Speeches, Radio Drama, and Public Service Announcements (1950s-1960s)
"If the United States were to be attacked with nuclear weapons . . .
During the era of Atomic Radio, This collection of Civil Defense messages from the 1950s and 1960s includes messages from Leo Hoegh, director of the office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, an announcement from John F. Kennedy, and public service announcements for the protection of yourself, your family, and your home in case of a nuclear emergency.
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In this collection, you will learn how to design your home to shield against the dangers of radioactive fallout and how to fight nuclear flash fires (close doors, windows, and Venetian blinds, or cover windows with aluminum foil). You will also learn how to improvise in case tragedy strikes and you are not near a fallout shelter (use doors off their hinges, furniture and appliances, plus stacks of other shielding materials such as trunks or drawers filled with sand or earth to make an enclosure large enough to live in for a short time). There are also instruction on what to do if you see a nuclear flash in the distance (take cover immediately - get in a ditch or building, get under a parked car, behind a tree or a wall, then curl up in a ball and cover your head with your arms and stay there until heat and blast waves have passed, then go to the nearest fallout shelter before radioactive fallout starts drifting down).
In a time when Americans feared nuclear threat from abroad, when schools were designed to double as fallout shelters, and Americans wore dog tags and practiced nuclear drills and blackout runs to their nearest shelter, radio became the main method of communication between defense officials and the public. These messages from the Office of Civil Defense and the North American Air Defense Command provide an insightful historical perspective on the worries and uncertainties of this time. See also: