Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, October 16, 2021


Here's a blast from the past from the Federal Civil Defense Adminstration:  Advice to kids on what to do when the atomic bomb hits.  When, not If.

Not only does this booklet show a complete misunderstanding of nuclear explosions, but it traumatized a generation of American youth.  My wife completely remembers the "duck and cover" practises when she was in grade school. Her school sent out a request to parents on what they would like done if the bomb drops:  Keep them at school or try to send them home.  At the time Kitty's family was living in a Baltimore suburb fairly close to ground zero so the reaction these kind of made sense.  I lived in a small Massachusetts farming community that did not get caught up in the "duck and cover" mania (although there were occasional "duck and cover" ads on Boston television), which leads me to conclude 1) that we not important enought to save, or 2) wiser heads prevailed.

You must remember, though, the danger from an atomic attack was a real possibility, even if the suggested response was pure moonshine.

Somehow we managed to grow up somewhat unscathed, but aware of the consequences of grownup stupidity.

Anyway, here is Bert the Turtle, the "star of the official U.S. Civil Defense film 'Duck and Cover'."

As a bonus, here's Bert in his starring role in the animated short Duck and Cover:

1 comment:

  1. I lived in Tampa, Florida when the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred. I was in 3rd grade at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary, less than 2 miles from MacDill Air Force Base, headquarters for the Strategic Air Command. We did all the drop and cover drills and had to bring in canned food, "in case." Decades later, we learned that MacDill was ground zero for the first launch from Cuba. Drop and cover wouldn't have done a thing for us. I'm guessing the canned goods stood a better chance of survival...