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.
Performance of an earlier, prizewinning composition by my son, while at the San Francisco Conservatory. (The choir sheet music is here.)
The latest from my brother (music video)
There is an infectious simplicity about this film, which rings true politically in these times, even if the history it tells was more complicated.
Video: Imagined in the 1950s (a future seemingly impervious to changes in normative gender roles)
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: This post originally appeared on my old history blog, Clio and Me, on this… Read more Miracle Workers by Taylor Mali →
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. 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… Read more A Christmas Short Film from 1898 →
Here’s a satirical video about Wikipedia by CollegeHumor. Enjoy.
Soviet stop motion animation of matchsticks fighting over a border and then launching the ultimate weapon, ending everything.
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 →
Video: Here’s an interesting piece of American propaganda from the Second World War. The working man pays “taxes to sink the Axis.”