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Cold War History – Soviet Citizens Could Not Travel to Utica in the 1950s

During the Red Scare of the Cold War, America was on alert for the influence of agents provocateurs from the Soviet Union.  Part of that effort was to restrict the travel of Soviet citizens within the United States.  One of those restricted areas? Right here in Utica.

This map, which was published on Slate’s history blog, The Vault, shows what area of the United States were closed to travel by those carrying passports from the Soviet Union.

In New York State, the restricted areas included Niagara Falls, presumably for the large power generating station there and the proximity to the border.

For what reason was the Utica area restricted?  My guess would be the Air Force complex at Griffiss in nearby Rome.

Taking a look at the map, one can surmise why other parts of the United States were off limits:

The automobile manufacturing heart of the Great Lakes centered on Detroit but extending to Toledo and Cleveland in Ohio to the east and the steel mills of Northwest Indiana around Gary and Chicago.

Also a no-go are the Nuclear research areas of Tennessee around Oak Ridge and northern New Mexico’s Los Alamos.

The vital transportation corridor along the Mississippi River was Soviet-restricted as well as the oil refining areas of the Louisiana and Texas Gulf coasts.

Soviet Exclusion Travel Map Slate via Rockefeller Institue
US Government Archives via Slate and Rockefeller Institute

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