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In Case of Nuclear Attack

Newspapers carried articles and federal employees were given instructions what to do in case of nuclear attack during the 1950s.


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Instructions and Precautions in Case of Nuclear Attack

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For years, American newspapers carried articles regarding what to do if the United States should be attacked by nuclear weapons. Groups and organizations held meetings, reports were filed, and schoolchildren practiced diving under their desks. More recently we went through the "Y2K" scare.

An issue of the Albuquerque Journal in 1954 gave detailed instructions on what to do before (Keep trash cans covered), during (Fall flat on stomach and cover face with arms), and after (Vigorously scrub fingernail) an attack (see Almost History by Roger Bruns, pp 7-8). Federal employees were instructed to go to their nearest post office to fill out a registration card so that the government, at least, could keep on functioning.

This edition of the Halifax Gazette, 5 October 1961, talks about bomb shelters. The Cuban crisis in 1962 reinforced people's fears.

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