Americas Civil Preparation for Nuclear Warfare

In-Depth Description

During the Cold (Nuclear) War,1945-1960, the American Government put a large amount of effort into preparing his citizens for Nuclear warfare. Civilians were given a number of legitimate instructions to protect themselves in and outside of their homes, schools, and workplaces.

Significant Individuals

Franklin D. Roosevelt: president at the time. Created the Divsion of State and Local Cooperation to further assist the efforts of the Council of National Defense
Fiorello La Guardia: New York governor. Headed the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD), which was created to take the large responsibilities away from the state councils.
Ralph DiGia: pacifist and social justice activist. He actively protested the civil defense program.
Harry S. Truman: president after Roosevelt. Created a new agency, the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA)

Harry S. Truman


How it Influenced the Cold War

The prospect of a nuclear war terrified the American people. There was a need for civil defense to become more detailed and divisive. This is why the "Blue Book," a 162 page document of the civil defense structure, was created by the National Security Resources Board in 1950. However, Congress could not come close to meeting the budget requirements for these requests.

Lives of the People

Life during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis for an average american was very scary, always just waiting for that moment for the missilies to come and bombs to explode. Children in school practiced for the attack, going under they chairs and hiding and what to do in other parts of the school. Parents would stay close to the television or to the radio waiting to hear good news about if the missiles have been taken out yet of Cuba, hoping that this time was over so there would be no more stress. Peoples parents were in the navy or were in the airforce which scared many family and friends. Many people who lived in places such as Florida, Alabama or places close to Cuba were some of the people most frightened.

Life Story from a Teenager.
I was in high school, my dad was a naval officer assigned to a destroyer at the Naval station, Key West, Florida. I was 90 miles from Cuba, that is a four hour boat ride or a few minutes on any airplane.
Our house, was on the base, and we were on the beach at the south end of the island.
It was rather scary as all of our dad’s got called out to their ships in the middle of the night, and the next morning, all the mothers and kids watched from the beach and a jetty, the long line of ships cruising out to sea. One cannot forget such.
It was a very sad and tense few days, then one morning Army “HAWK” missile units set up on the beach. A HAWK
missile looks like two large missile mounted on a portable
trailer. It was getting real serious.
School was closed at the Naval base was “locked down’,
so we kids hung out on the beach and took food and cokes to the soldiers. We, of course, watched the TV hourly.
It was often that a news report would show some US Navy ships and we knew what our dad’s ship number was. It was very personal, we figured we’d be the first to go. Key West is a flat island at the tip of the Florida keys. No where to hide, run or such, as the days past my dad’s destroyer came in for one day, we know know that they picked up more depth charges for anti-submarine operations. Some histories say they actually dropped a few on sub contacts.
Then it was over. Navy “brats” as any military kids get the picture, as we grew up with it. Realize that most of the US aircraft were based in Key West and the next key: Boca Chica at the two Naval Air Stations. There hourly flights ’24/7″ for the entire time. I suspect that those pilots and navy crews would have fought extra hard has their familes were so close to Cuba.
Then it all ended but one never forgets being that close or that afraid.