Forbidden Zones

Slate’s Vault highlights a 1955 map of forbidden areas for Soviet travelers. Like all good things from the Cold War, it’s born out the absurdity, childish tit-for-tat, and fear.

In 1952, the US passed a law baring pinkos from entering the country. The next year, the Soviets decided to how much better they were by letting capitalist pig dogs into the 70% of Soviet Union. So in 1955, the US decided to mimic the Soviet travel restrictions by opening up 70% of the US and 70% of cities of population greater than 100,000 to the Soviets. Ports and military installations were forbidden, but must of it is just arbitrary nonsense. You can visit Minneapolis, but not St. Paul. KCK is fine, but KCMO is not. Also, don’t even think about leaving Kansas City, Kansas. Texas Panhandle? Not a chance. And don’t even think about visiting Southern Illinois.

It’s just stupid.

This map held until Kennedy removed all travel restrictions in 1962.