The pentagon is the largest low-rise office building in the world, this massive building is home to the world’s most secretive military decisions. Most U.S. citizens have no idea what goes on within the mysterious confines of this military headquarters.
Today we’re learning facts you didn’t know about the Pentagon
1. The pentagon fills up an unbelievable 6.6 million square feet, its labyrinthine hallways stretch for over 17 miles and while it’s only 77 feet tall a lap around the exterior of the building is almost a full mile.
There are legends that before phones were placed at every desk, a series of roller skating messengers were dispatched around the building, and this enormous space still ranks as the second largest office building in the U.S. The pentagon is extremely iconic because of its design, very few buildings exist in a perfect pentagon so why exactly was it built this way.
2. The building was originally designed to fit into attractive land with borders on five sides, the architects and designers came up with a unique pentagonal plan for the building that would maximize the site’s odd dimensions.
Each of the five wedges would have several concentric rings of office space linked to each other through corridors, a courtyard would sit at the centre of the complex, but after a pitched battle with conservationists who were concerned the building would block the sweeping vistas of Washington from the cemetery. President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided the new headquarters should instead be erected on the current site, which is at the foot of the Virginia side of the 14th street Bridge over the Potomac. The new location 80 acres carved out of fort Meyer and almost 147 acres from the old Washington hoover airport was chosen in part because a slum known as hell’s bottom could be removed. The government eventually evicted the occupants to make way for the pentagon. This was controversial because hell’s bottom was an extremely low-income area and many of the residents struggled to relocate, with 23,000 employees the pentagon is in dire need of ample facilities but the fact is that there are almost twice as many bathrooms as would normally be necessary. This was due to Jim Crow laws that were in place at the time of its construction which lead to the segregation of bathrooms. According to historian Steve Vogel despite the impression created by some post-war Hollywood films that depicted white and black troops fighting side by side during World War 2, the U.S. armed forces were not desegregated until 1948.
Three years after the end of the war when President Harry Truman issued an executive order calling for equality of treatment for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. The racial divide that existed in wartime America and the manpower shortages created by the war affected the civilian workers who toiled on the pentagon construction site as well.
3. There were racial tensions in bigotry rampant among the construction workers and in the end the architect was forced to build a segregated pentagon. This represents a dark period in America’s past when the government endorsed a racial caste system that went all the way to the top, obviously the building is no longer separated but the abundance of bathrooms serves as a reminder of the pentagon’s dark past. The pentagon is not known for its frugality but apparently they have started to cut costs on at least one front, after many years of testing they have introduced a combat chewing gum in order to help compensate for the more than 100 million dollars they spend on dental care for soldiers every single year. The peppermint flavored gum was envisioned for troops deployed to challenging environments with no running water, but as the work progressed researchers at the U.S. army institute of surgical research saw a wider need. The army’s intent would be to prescribe the gum to high-risk soldiers hail said they would be asked to chew the gum for 20 minutes, three times a day after each meal the effort should reduce plaque and therefore tooth decay regular sugar-free gum stimulates the flow of saliva in your mouth the longer you chew it. The more thoroughly it neutralizes the acids found in plaque, combat gum is also sugar-free like trident but the army’s formula involves an ingredient codenamed ksl-w a synthetic sequence of antimicrobial peptides mimic defenses. The bacteria killing molecules naturally found in saliva, peptides are very fast acting they kill bacteria within five minutes an officer explained.
4. The events of September 11, 2001 are burned into the collective memory of Americans everywhere. The tragedy cantered on a number of important U.S. landmarks, among them the pentagon. Early in the morning of September 11th a passenger plane crashed into the pentagon, causing widespread chaos and panic. While the act was horrific and all the losses on that day were devastating structural damage analysis revealed that the death toll at the pentagon could have been far worse if not for some critical engineering decisions made 60 years earlier.
5. Construction began on the pentagon soon before the start of the Second World War, at the time steel was being rationed and pentagon was built with reinforced concrete. A material that would eventually limit the effects of the blast on September 11, furthermore thinking the pentagon would need to store heavy caches of records for the long haul the U.S. army corps of engineers built in excess strength and structural redundancies that would end up saving hundreds and potentially thousands of lives on 9 11. Though the events were deeply scarring for the employees of the pentagon many lived to see another day due to these fortuitous renovations, because it’s the headquarters for the department of defense the pentagon is home to numerous weapons on the cutting edge of military technology among the weapons rumored to be in production are directed energy weapons which function like lasers and can disintegrate objects from miles away long-range acoustic devices which are concentrated beams of sound often used for crowd control and magnetic hydrodynamic explosive munitions, which can seek out their targets through magnetism and in 2018 after securing a 928 million dollar U.S. air force contract to build an undefined number of hypersonic conventional strike weapons. A Lockheed martin representative noted that the company will not be able to host any interviews on this program due to its sensitive nature. Many conjectured that these hypersonic missiles would be capable of thwarting any foreign power if they attempted to attack the U.S. They have also developed something nicknamed a ninja bomb which can drop 100 pounds of knives on a target from afar and then there’s rocket balls rocket balls are the latest pentagon secret weapon to be publicized, the idea is that you take a hollow sphere with a hole in it made of rubberized rocket fuel when lit the rocket balls get very hot inside and ejects a high temperature exhaust through the hull then it propels itself every which way bouncing off hardened walls and breaking through doors into whatever else falls in its path.
Where is the pentagon?
6. Between June and October of 1999 one of the most incredible episodes in the history of hacking was carried out. The United States department of defence discovered a number of intrusions to private companies’ school systems as well as the department of defence itself and even NASA. The interesting thing about all this is that these intrusions were the work of a young man of just 15 years of age, a native of Miami Jonathan James who operated under the pseudonym of comrade is considered one of the greatest hackers in history thanks to his great ability to access private systems between June 29th and 30th Jonathan managed to break NASA security and access 13 computers from which he stole software and information worth 1.7 million dollars which caused the agency to shut down their systems for 21 days, an action that would cost them 41,000 in repairs and losses. Anyone who assumed that the pentagon was deeply secure was proven wrong when it was foiled by a teenager, ultimately he became the first minor hacker to be sentenced to prison where he spent six months of his 16th year on earth.
7. Vietnam was the first war in us history to face widespread disapproval, especially young people had a particular ayah for the war and did everything possible to express their anger. In 1967 a group of hippies decided to express this anger in an absurd way a simple march would not do, instead they attempted to levitate the pentagon to figure out how many hippies it would take to encircle 6.5 million square feet of military office space. Abby Hoffman one of the leaders and a friend alternated holding hands counting body lengths as they circled the building, everybody knows that a five-sided figure is evil explained Hoffman, the way to exercise it is with a circle.
Before long security guards rushed out of the pentagon and arrested them for littering, they had put some leaflets on the windshields of cars in the parking lot. They were brought before a general service administrator at which point the pair explained they would like to obtain a permit to levitate the pentagon 300 feet, by forming a circle enchanting Aramaic exorcism rights the monstrosity would rise into the air turn orange and vibrate until all evil emissions had fled.
8. The “pentagon papers” contained secret government information about what? Most of the public found their exploits humorous though, they were never able to carry out their exorcism. It’s well known that the pentagon keeps secrets about every aspect of the U.S. government. But in 2005 there was a massive leak of documents known as the pentagon papers, officially titled history of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam 1945-68, the pentagon papers are a study of the origins and development of the Vietnam War. They were commissioned in June 1967 by secretary of defense Robert McNamara after he had developed doubts about the morality of the war. They became the subject of a major supreme court case New York times co vs united states regarding censorship and freedom of the press the files contained information on massive U.S. and British electronic surveillance programs designed to spy on terrorists and ordinary citizens by collecting their personal data, the paper had been publishing the information for a month refusing government demands to stop when the authorities showed up.
They released numerous government abuses of civil liberties both of us citizens and foreign nationals, ultimately discrediting much of the pentagon’s work over the last several decades. In recent years public support for the pentagon has plummeted as people begin to associate it with torture and runaway spending not to mention illegal monitoring of U.S. citizens.
9. On January 29 1975 an explosion rocked the headquarters of the U.S. state department in Washington d.c No one was hurt but the damage was extensive impacting 20 officers on three separate floors hours later another bomb was found at a military induction centre in Oakland California and safely detonated a student group called the weather underground claimed responsibility for both bombs. Originally called the weatherman or the weatherman a name taken from a line in a Bob Dylan song the weather underground was a small violent offshoot of students for a democratic society or SDS.
10. A group created in the turbulent 60s to promote social change, in the subsequent years they have been deemed controversial. It took its name from Bob Dylan’s lyrics “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” from the song subterranean homesick blues.
Though many critics consider it a form of soft propaganda the pentagon will bankroll Hollywood movies if they portray the pentagon in a positive light. It’s a matter of public record that the pentagon has had an entertainment Liaison office since 1948. The CIA established a similar position in 1996, both organizations leveraged script changes to paint them in a more flattering light in exchange for advice permission to use locations and equipment such as aircraft carriers. For instance in the war movie black hawk down the U.S. military not only provided all of the weapons and vehicles for the film, it also provided ranger training for the actors many people believe that the military should stay out of the entertainment industry but the pentagon’s involvement in Hollywood has certainly helped its image over the years.