-In Steve’s ‘interrogation’, Lee asks him if his parents were associated with the Socialist Party of Ireland. This was a real party, founded originally in 1896 with several failures and revivals along the way. It eventually became the Communist Party of Ireland in 1921, so while Lee would probably know it better as that name, Steve’s parents, and therefore Steve, would not. In addition, while regarded as significant by Irish historians, it was a very small party, so Steve’s parents probably would not have been part of it.
-The KGB was established in march of 1954; it is the KGB that Steve is working recon on in this section.
-The Venona project mentioned was a decrypting operation run out of the US that worked to counter Russian intelligence.
-The Vinnitsky district was a tiny industrial county in Leningrad that existed from 1927 to 1963 — I have no idea where in Leningrad it actually was, nor any idea if the KGB actually had roots there — obviously, it probably didn’t.
-Chukotskiy was located in the far, far, far, FAR, FAR northeast of the AOk (a region of the USSR) and technically, from what i understand, operated autonomously from the USSR. it was (and probably still is) a mostly-abandoned, largely uninhabitable wasteland, and therefore seemed the perfect place for kicking off something as hugely fucking shady as the Red Room, particularly when the asset they’ve just acquired from the splinters of HYDRA is hugely unstable, unpredictable, and prone to lashing out like a feral animal. Note that this isn’t comic canon; there’s actually no canon whatsoever elaborating on the location of the Red Room at all. Fanon likes to put it in western Russia. I…think that’s way less fun, at least for the beginnings of it.
-ПРОЕКТ: ЗИМНИЙ ВОИН/ Proyekt Zímnij Voin: I thought using a Russian word that can mean berserker, warrior, or soldier depending on the connotation and context would be way fun to acknowledge that the Winter Soldier hasn’t always been called the Winter Soldier. Maybe first he was patient zero, and then subject one, and then that became a project when the Red Room followed HYDRA’s footsteps and wanted to try recreating their own brand of super assassins. Also, I love this idea that the Red Room thought maybe it was the serum itself that was making Buck unpredictable — I love this idea that Buck was very difficult to control for the first decade or so, because cryo was new and unstable and the memory wipes just weren’t as efficient. So that’s my justification for using a word that has connotations beyond “soldier” — the Red Room was unsure of him.
-We originally used “ЗИМА” rather than “ЗИМНИЙ” because… well, we don’t speak Russian, but we were informed by the lovely isamai that “ЗИМНИЙ” would make more sense because you’re not supposed to put two nouns in a row. This made me realize that in English two nouns are… Ok? Not sure, I’m not a linguist or anything, but Winter Soldier is definitely two nouns in a row, but Winter still acts as a modifier for Soldier. If we didn’t allow for the two nouns and instead needed an adjective and a noun, it would be Wintry Soldier, and that sounds a little silly. This linguistics rant is now over unless someone who knows their shit with linguistics happens to tell me otherwise.
-I couldn’t help giving him the signature thighs of death Red Room move. Work it, Buck
-The Soldier reports into his comm that he’s injured in a potentially fatal way and asks if they still want the mission completed. they say no, so he beats it. Obviously this isn’t because Buck wants to live — he’s been instructed to let them know if he thinks he’s dying so that they can pull him immediately. He’s too good of an asset to lose. Additionally, you’ll notice that I didn’t give the Americans comms but did give them to the Red Room. This is mostly because we know that the Red Room’s tech is miles beyond anything the Starks have, even by 2014.
-The WHCA dinner is a gala that happens annually at the White House to raise funds for scholarships. It’s pretty much a relaxed and fun evening despite the part where it’s black tie, involves a bunch of military officials, and is held at, you know, the White House. I fudged the date; in ’62 the dinner actually happened in late april, but the snow was more dramatic.
-“Duck and cover” was really strange. In schools they’d air these short films about how the best way to survive a nuclear attack was to hide underneath your desk. Like we have fire drills or lockdown drills, they’d have duck and cover drills. I have links to the propaganda cartoons if you want to see them; it’s so fucked up. I actually found out about this from my dad a million years ago, who told me about the duck and cover drills they did up through middle school. I thought this would be something that Steve would be deeply unimpressed by.
-Steve is Colonel Rogers because of his two honorary promotions.
-LBJ, apparently, wasn’t too cool of a guy; he was famous for something called “the Johnson treatment” which involved intimidating people physically in order to get them to pass his legislations. JFK didn’t want him to be president, ever. As we know, Steve hates bullies.
-Women were actually banned from the WHCA dinner up until 1962, so Peggy’s presence here is… rather significant?
-CBS cut into a new episode of As The World Turns to report the news that the president had been shot. As the world turns was a soap opera. Literally the only way for me to make this historically accurate was to have Steve watch a soap opera. Can’t make this shit up. amazing.
-Famously, the coverage of JFK’s death lasted for four days. So that’s why it’s four days until cap makes an appearance to Reassure The Nation. The timing of the press conference is obviously fictional though.
-The format of the headline is unusual but is actually typical of the NYT, both then and now, so I rolled with it. Also, you would not believe the number of gay scandals in ’66. There were a lot.
-Stonewall was a few months before the moon landing so that explains the order of this section.
-I could not physically stop myself from referencing issue #5 of Man Out Of Time with the Grand Canyon scene because I have a disease.
-The Winter Soldier Investigation happened in, ironically, the winter of ’71 (jan 31 - feb 2), so I put this section in this year and changed Steve’s arrest/meeting Fury to ’72.
-Just a personal note, good luck watching the actual testimonies about the Winter Soldier investigation; I actually had to stop about every five minutes for a breather. I couldn’t finish it. It was actually too much for me, and that is — saying something. The things that were done, the atrocities they were forced to commit under orders, the mutilations, the executions, the women and children they killed, it’s enough nightmare fuel for the next century. Do you know what white phosphorous does to the human body? I didn’t either, at least not in vivid detail, and now I wish I didn’t. I don’t know how those boys ever got a wink of sleep after they got back home. I sure as hell won’t forget these testimonies and I know I’ll think about them for a long time.
-At this point in time, San Fran was a hotbed of hippies. It was one of the places to be for hippie culture, so that’s interesting, and also why Jim doesn’t live directly in the city, probably. I also don’t know how I feel about Morita going back to live in Fresno. There’s probably a lot of bad memories.
-The Winter Soldier investigation was kick started by Vietnam vets who wanted accountability and change. (John Kerry actually testified, fun fact. he was very, very young then, and had about the same amount of hair.) It happened in Detroit and received basically no media coverage outside of the city itself, no guesses why. It’s completely reasonable to assume that Steve knew nothing about the investigation at all: it wasn’t televised and the documentary was released over a year later, in late ’72. Jim, on the other hand, who’s still keeping up with shield despite getting up there in age, doubtlessly heard about the organization that kick started it through one of his work contacts.
-The story about the rabbit is true; the guy said his CO gutted it, and said, “now you know,” and he shipped out six hours later.
-The protest Steve marches in is real, except for I changed some of the details: it wasn’t members of the police force arrested, it was members of the gay organization that marched, and the march actually happened in 1971. But making it the cops themselves was too fitting and I had to. Other than that, the demonstration did take place on a frigid December day, and there was almost a riot, and a lot of people got arrested.
-I’m pretty much ignoring MCU canon regarding Fury, mostly because MCU’s canon for Fury is a complete disaster and also because everything is way more fun this way. And also because it’s actually not that far fetched that fury fought in Vietnam before doing his secret cold war ops.
-Song lyrics from Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.
-Southern Vietnam is actually fairly dry in the winter, while the north is rainy- this situation is flipped in summer, with southern Vietnam more rainy and northern Vietnam more dry. I picked southern Vietnam because from what I have found of maps on the internet, most of the battles of the Vietnam war were fought there.
-Both sides did indeed leave land mines.
-I figured it would make sense for Buck to get a purple heart, as that’s reserved for soldiers killed by the enemy or soldiers who died in battle. Even though this isn’t technically completely accurate, he was Captain America’s second in command, and I feel like awarding him with it would have been the done thing. Buck also has the SSR listed in his service record because the Commandos were technically outside of army jurisdiction and under SSR jurisdiction instead.
-This protest is NOT real, but during the AIDS scare there were plenty just like it, particularly in the west village. Act Up — Fight AIDS is a real slogan. There were a lot of myths about AIDS — how you contract it, how you cure it. Papers called it “the plague.” Basically it was a really shitty time to be LGBT, and mostly everyone in the community was focused on tamping down fear and stigma to get out the facts and keep people safe.
-ACT UP is actually the name of an organization: AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. the whole purpose of ACT UP is to raise awareness, education, and money for research about HIV/AIDS in an effort to stop what was pretty much The Red Scare Take 3: Gay Community Edition. There’s also the added benefit that it sounds nifty. Someone really wanted to the acronym to spell act up, I think. Because that’s what it’s about — making your voice heard. Acting. Educating. Keeping people healthy and safe and disputing irrational, panicked fears.
-Quick summary of Kat: Kat was born in ‘48, meets Joe Morita at age 25 (in 1973) over the summer at an internship in California when she goes to visit uncle Jim Morita. Joe and Kat fall in love, marry two years later (’75) after Kat finishes her PhD. Neither of these events are in this fic because everything happens in the winter and Kat’s life is clearly all about summer. Assuming they had their first kid two years later (77) and then the next two years after that (79), that would make her eldest 21 and her youngest 19 at this point, which I’m sure is a great time for Tony because here he’s only 28 and he’s probably having the time of his life mentoring Kat’s kids because YOU KNOW she mentored him YOU JUST KNOW. This commentary probably could have gone better in a section under “1985” but I’m too lazy to move it.
-Joe Wright directed the film about Steve and Buck because Joe Wright directs all the saddest historical love story movies. It was probably very depressing and involved a lot of whoever played Buck staring longingly across the way at whoever played Steve while soft sad piano music played, and probably there was some kind of bombed-out French mansion involved, and maybe a claw footed bath tub, and probably an uncomfortably erotic scene involving water somehow, and I can guarantee that he made up a few extra letters that were incredibly dirty, because Joe Wright’s favorite thing is to put dirty letters into period pieces and have the protagonist read them out loud to himself. All the reviews are like, the shocking sexual tension! An American icon! Destroyed!! most of the movie is done in voiceover. Even the butchest dude men who went in to appease their girlfriends got a little teary when the movie ended with Steve, like, tragically finding the letters somewhere improbable, and resting his head in his waif-like, confused blonde wife’s lap and crying One Single Tear. It was super overdone and even a little melodramatic in parts and tumblr like, made a million gifsets of it, and to this day hipsters quote it to each other. I’m spending way too much time thinking about this. Anyway.
-Basic takes 10 weeks unless you end up getting recruited to train for an MOS — a Military Occupational Speciality — in which case you’re there from anywhere between 14 to 16 weeks. So Bucky doesn’t know it yet, but he’s lying to Steve when he says he won’t be long; he was probably gone for 16 weeks, which is the norm for sniper trainees. This is also how he managed to ship out as a Sergeant even though it was only his first tour. This also means that he was consciously working to become an officer before he finished basic, because if you can do that your pay increases. But Buck doesn’t think he’s coming back. So like. He probably just clawed his way up the ranks before he shipped out because he wanted Steve set up nice for when he died out there. Like that’s probably canon.