In 1954 Sandy Hook became home to Nike Site NY-56, one of a series of Nike missile sites that formed a circle around New York City. From 1954 until 1974, Nike Site NY-56 operated secretly as a last line of defense against a nuclear attack by Soviet Union bombers. Local residents were often aware that there were missiles behind the fences but very few knew that they were armed with nuclear warheads. Even today some residents find it "chilling" to learn that they lived so close. Here is a link to a multimedia virtual tour of the site. And for further information see the Fort Hancock Nike Association.