DEFENDERS OF AMERICA from National Biscuit Company: USAF TM-61 MATADOR

Another in the series of the Military Industrial Complex of the 1950s brought to you by the National Biscuit Company. Would a company today put trading cards about weapons in cereal boxes? I'm sure if they thought it would earn them an extra buck they would.

It's frightening to think of the power that the defense companies have today. Most of the public isn't even aware of their power, nor do they care.

Let's face it, if less money had gone to build weapons and more spent on education we'd have a society better capable of understanding exactly what is going on. First and foremost should always be education.

I will now get off my political soapbox.

I give you the TM-61 Matador.

Click on either image to see it larger.
The Martin MGM-1 Matador was the first operational surface-to-surface cruise missile built by the United States. It was similar in concept to the German V-1, but the Matador included a radio link that allowed in-flight course corrections. This allowed accuracy to be maintained over greatly extended ranges of just under 1000 km. To allow these ranges, the Matador was powered by a small turbojet engine in place of the V-1's much less efficient pulsejet.
When originally introduced, the Air Force referred to them as bombers, and assigned them the B-61 designation. It was later re-designated "TM-61", for "tactical missile", and finally "'MGM-1" when the US Department of Defence introduced the Joint Designation System in 1963. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
The only President I have ever seen in person was Dwight D. Eisenhower in a parade in Hawaii. He rode in a black convertible with the crowds standing very close.
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction...
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.
—President of the United States (and former General of the Army) Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961
To see other cards in this trading card series click on the "Defenders of America" label below the post.

Next time...X-15 Rocket Powered Research Plane


  1. You're right, we have neglected education. How can people in this country understand what is going on when they don't even know where other countries are? For that matter, when I was at the bank prior to a trip a few weeks ago, a bank employee was going to show me how I could find ATM locations in Illinois and Wisconsin. He had to click on a map of the US, but he had absolutely no idea where Illinois or Wisconsin were. He finally guessed and clicked on Colorado. I wonder if he knows where Europe is...the Middle East?

  2. I agree with Christin H. It's just sad. Pathetic.

  3. Felix0912/06/2012

    Our educational system surely needs to be improved, and its teachings need to be more balanced between the left and right wings of thought, which both seek to brainwash the youth of America. It is especially troubling that the leftists have control over most of the public elementary, secondary and collegiate facilities. Dollars that are taken from taxpayers of all political persuasions should not be used to fund institutions that brainwash our youth in only one direction, which in America is to the extreme left. If our public educational system cannot be balanced it should be eliminated completely.