Title

Rural Civil Defense during the Cold War

Date

5-30-2013 9:00 AM

Location

Natural Sciences (NS) 103

Department

History

Session Chair

John L. Rector

Session Title

History Department Undergraduate Senior Seminar Papers

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Kimberly Jensen

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Facing the constant threat of an atomic attack from the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the United States established civil defense policies of fallout shelters and evacuation from target centers to protect Americans in the event of an attack. Both of these policies benefited urban and industrial Americans, where public shelters were common and evacuation routes could move the population out of a city. For rural Americans, however, these polices demanded that they took a more active approach to civil defense. Rural landscapes were often designated as gathering centers for urban evacuees, and farmers were expected to provide their urban neighbors with food and shelter. Likewise, private instead of public fallout shelters were promoted to rural Americans who were then personally responsible for the protection of their family, crops, and livestock from nuclear fallout.

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May 30th, 9:00 AM

Rural Civil Defense during the Cold War

Natural Sciences (NS) 103

Facing the constant threat of an atomic attack from the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the United States established civil defense policies of fallout shelters and evacuation from target centers to protect Americans in the event of an attack. Both of these policies benefited urban and industrial Americans, where public shelters were common and evacuation routes could move the population out of a city. For rural Americans, however, these polices demanded that they took a more active approach to civil defense. Rural landscapes were often designated as gathering centers for urban evacuees, and farmers were expected to provide their urban neighbors with food and shelter. Likewise, private instead of public fallout shelters were promoted to rural Americans who were then personally responsible for the protection of their family, crops, and livestock from nuclear fallout.