Where Congress Would Have Gone During a Cold War Nuclear Attack

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The always-entertaining Atlas Obscura surfaces another wonderful pushpin on their very odd map. They've got a new post up describing the nuclear fallout shelter at the Greenbrier Resort where Congress would have conducted its business in a postapocalyptic scenario that (thankfully) never arose. Zach Frechette (@ztf on Twitter), editor of GOOD Magazine, spotted the link. Perhaps it was the hideously outdated and wonderful wallpaper our representatives would have had to endure that caught his eye.

The shelter was fully equipped and among its standard bunk-beds, TVs and furniture, which populate the "Graceland of Atomic Tourism," there are a few very curious items. Among these are a special room meant for holding and calming members of Congress who can't handle the stress, and an incinerator meant for "pathological waste," or the Congressmen's irradiated bodies. A huge 100-foot radio tower installed 4.5 miles away was connected to the bunker so that the congressmen could broadcast emergency messages.

Read the full story at Atlas Obscura.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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