Dr. Kimberly Jensen
Bachelor of Arts
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 promoted to rural Americans to take on a personally responsible for the protection of their family, crops, and livestock from nuclear fallout. This paper will analyze the rural civil defense policies established by the federal government and the ways that rural regions in the Midwest and Northwest incorporated these policies into their state and local civil defense measures.
Claussen, Kate. "“Rural America Is ‘On The Front’”: Rural Civil Defense In The Midwest And Northwest During The Cold War." Department of History senior seminar thesis paper, Western Oregon University, 2013.