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 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.

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 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, here is a piece of wartime propaganda from Walt Disney to put it into context.

By the way, 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 which one side ate its bread butter side up, and the other butter side down. This led to mistrust, the erection of a wall, and an arms race.

This post originally appeared on my old history blog, Clio and Me, on this date.