Category: videos

    Duck and Cover: 1951 Civil Defense Film for Kids

    Interesting to consider that this was a reality for school kids in the early days of the Cold War. By the 1970s, when I was in school and aware of such things, such an understanding of nuclear weapons would have seemed extremely naive.

    In the mid-1980s, in the field artillery, we were taught to drop to the ground, asses to the blast and hands between our legs. That was for tactical nuclear artillery rounds, but it felt just as silly.

    Source and further details: Prelinger Archives, hosted by the Internet Archive.

    Don’t be a Sucker (1947)

    There is an infectious simplicity about this film, which rings true politically in these times, even if the history it tells was more complicated.

    Source: U.S. War Department, Prelinger Archives, hosted by the Internet Archive.

    Kitchens of the Future

    Imagined in the 1950s (a future seemingly impervious to changes in normative gender roles), two kitchens on YouTube:

    Source information, according to the anonymous YouTube user:

    Selections from two industrial films from the 50s. First, the Frigidaire kitchen from General Motors' “Design for Dreaming,” a promotional film for the 1956 Motorama. Second, a section from film coverage of the Monsanto “House of the Future,” located in Tomorrowland in Disneyland. Just one word: “plastics.”

    Update: I've removed my YouTube embeds because I don't want to set up consent notices for their trackers

    . Clicking the above screenshot will take you to the video on their site. (June 2, 2024)

    Miracle Workers by Taylor Mali

    I know my university history teaching and my work with adults learning to speak English is different than what Taylor Mali does with high school students, but I can still relate to his poetry about teaching. Maybe it’s because I often have teenagers in required courses. But maybe it’s because there’s something more fundamental to the craft, no matter who or what you are teaching. Here’s a piece he posted to his YouTube channel this year:

    Update: I've removed my YouTube embeds because I don't want to set up consent notices for their trackers. Clicking the above screenshot will take you to the video on their site. (June 2, 2024)

    A Christmas Short Film from 1898

    The British Film Institute has a YouTube channel that offers a lot of historic films. Here is “Santa Claus' by G. A. Smith in 1898. Apparently the special effects were quite a feat 110 years ago.

    Update: I've removed my YouTube embeds because I don't want to set up consent notices for their trackers. Clicking the above screenshots will take you to the videos on their site. (June 2, 2024)

    And a slightly longer film from 1941

    For something longer and more in tune with this blog’s recurring theme of war and society, see “Christmas Under Fire” (1941), which looks at Britain at war on Christmas Eve. This film from the Ministry of Information has an American narrator for an American audience. It was made before Pearl Harbor, when the American public had no stomach for going to war in Europe.

    Professor Wikipedia

    Here’s a satirical video about Wikipedia as a person by CollegeHumor on YouTube.

    Update: I've removed my YouTube embeds because I don't want to set up consent notices for their trackers, over which I have no control. Clicking the above screenshot will take you to the video on their site. (June 2, 2024)

    Germany and the United States on the Eve of the Cold War

    Almost anyone who has lived in Germany over the past sixty years will find the following video very strange indeed. It appeared in the early days of the occupation, when the Cold War was still only on the horizon and a strict anti-fraternization policy made sense to the U.S. military leadership.

    By the way, if you’re a Dr. Suess fan, listen to the language. I’ve read many of his stories to my son, and I can hear the hand he had in this film.

    Dr. Suess also addressed the question of war and peace in a famous children’s book from the Cold War, The Butter Battle Book. In it, one side ate its bread butter side up, and the other butter side down, leading to mistrust, the erection of a wall, and an arms race.

    Source: U.S. Army, 1945, hosted by the Internet Archive

    Donald Duck Goes to War

    Here’s an interesting piece of American propaganda from the Second World War. The working man pays “taxes to sink the Axis.”

    Update: I've removed my YouTube embeds because I don't want to set up consent notices for their trackers

    . Clicking the above screenshot will take you to the video on their site. Unfortunately, it's resolution is very low by today's standards. (June 2, 2024)