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 extemely 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, https://archive.org/details/DuckandC1951.
A younger historian on Facebook called this picture a “Nice primary source of the late Cold War!” I don’t know what that makes me, the guy in front, but I… Read more Grafenwöhr 1983 →
Soviet stop motion animation of matchsticks fighting over a border and then launching the ultimate weapon, ending everything.
In a piece called “Mind Games: Remembering Brainwashing” from today’s New York Times, Tim Wiener points to one of the more irresponsible uses of historical documents that I have seen this summer. Apparently “American military and intelligence officers” (he is not more specific) decided in 2002 to examine Cold War CIA studies of Chinese interrogation methods during the Korean War. After all, these Communists were the supposed masters who fed the kinds of fears that later gave rise to a movie like “The Manchurian Candidate.” In one major study the… Read more Authors of Interrogation Handbook Abuse Their Sources →
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 are 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. If that film appears ridiculous,… Read more Germany and the United States on the Eve of the Cold War →
The Cold War Museum does not yet have a permanent home, but you can visit it on the web. While I welcome this resource, I am disappointed that it focuses almost exclusively on the military side of this conflict. What about the Cold War’s broader impact on culture, politics, and the economy? I suppose the museum’s current focus cannot be helped, given its close relationship with the Cold War Veterans Association, with which it issues a quarterly electronic newsletter. This association seeks recognition for the service of Cold War veterans… Read more The Cold War Museum →
When I went to the student coffee shop on Friday, the student at the cash register guessed my order before I could tell him what I wanted. I remarked that I had had similar experiences with regulars when I worked at a Dunkin’ Donuts over twenty years ago. His response: “They had Dunkin’ Donuts back then?” For me there has always been a Dunkin’ Donuts. Indeed, according to Wikipedia and the corporate website of Dunkin’ Donuts, the first store opened in 1950, which is close enough to “always” for someone… Read more Across Generations →