On the domestic front, the Cold War was characterised by the popular mobilisation of civilian populations. The techniques of popular mobilisation were extensively developed during the preceding years of WW2. Such popular mobilisation was necessary to both distribute important information and maintain popular support for the Cold War.
Image: US Government Information Booklet
For a modern audience, some of the government information films listed below are quite chilling – such as the education of children to prepare for a nuclear attack. Watching such films reminds one of the old adage that ‘…the past is another country…’.
|Atomic Alert, Elementary Version||Type||Film|
|Historical Context||Prepared in the early 1950s, this US government film was intended to educate elementary school children about the dangers of a nuclear attack, and provides simple instructions on what to do – how to prepare at home, and what to do when the alert siren sounds.To modern viewers, watching at a distance of over sixty years, this film provides a chilling insight into the everyday fears of Americans during the Cold War.|
|Sources||Film (10.34 min)|
|Survival Under Atomic Attack||Type||Film|
|Historical Context||US government film intended to raise awareness of the dangers of a nuclear attack – ‘our cities are prime targets for nuclear attack…’With the recent knowledge of the US atomic attacks on Japan during WW2, this film stresses that survival is possible and that analysis of those attacks provide insights into how to survive.|
|Sources||Film (8.45 min)|
|Duck and Cover||Type||Film|
|Historical Context||Short animated movie (featuring an anthropomorphic turtle) produced as a Civil Defence instructional film for children.In the event of a nuclear attack, children should ‘duck and cover’ (i.e. take cover) to protect themselves from the blast.|
|Sources||Film (9.15 min) and Discussion|
|Family Fallout Shelters (produced by ‘The Office of Civil and Defense Mobilisation’||Type||Film|
|Historical Context||US government film intended to advise Americans how to build or prepare domestic nuclear fallout shelters|
|Sources||Film (17.40 min)|
|Image: Copyright details
Subject: Executive Office of the President, NSRB, Civil Defense Office, 1950. Government Printing Office, Washington. Issued from the Cleveland Office of CIVIL DEFENSE, Room 121, City Hall.
Source: Wikipedia Commons
Copyright statement: This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code. See Copyright.