Duck And Cover: The Power Of Propaganda In The Cold War

708 Words 3 Pages
The 1950s was an era full of innovation, growth, change, and panic. More importantly, the Cold War was emerging during this time period. The Cold War was a state of political hostility between the Soviet Union and the United States. This era is characterized by threats, propaganda, and technological and scientific advancements. The US and the Soviet Union were in an arms race, a space race, and overall in constant rivalry. Most striking is the copious propaganda publicized during the era. Propaganda, more specifically the film Duck and Cover, reveals the sense of American vulnerability and fear of a nuclear attack. In 1945, the United States possessed a monopoly over the atomic bomb it was dropped for the first time in Hiroshima and in Nagasaki. …show more content…
The next year, FCDA produced Duck and Cover. The film exemplified the way the FCDA, the government, and educators handled civil defense, particularly for children. The video instructed individuals to “duck and cover” during an air raid. In order to appeal to the young, the film included a cartoon character named Bert the turtle. In schools, “changes came in the form of civil defense drills, new identification programs for schoolchildren, innovations in school architecture, new emphasis on community-school relations, and greater interest in child psychology” (Brown, 71). Drills purged the frightening elements of a bomb and implemented a puerile impression. This propaganda campaign educated and trained people. In fact, air-raid drills were a regular occurrence —almost like the fire and earthquake drills we have. The drills may seem bizarre to us, but at the time people feared an atomic war and lived with that possible threat. This fear has returned since the US is “Faced with growing concerns about a nuclear attack on one or more major cities — this time from terrorists, or bombs smuggled instead of dropped by countries like Iran or North Korea — authorities are once again looking to educate citizens about what to do in the event of a nuclear attack” (The Atlantic). We see the correlation and understand the distress during the 1950s. It is possible that Duck and Cover may be …show more content…
This was another element in his safety policy of the era. The FCDA also urged people to have fallout shelters in their home. Techniques to defend against radiation poisoning resulting from nuclear fallout emerged. There was much panic over the atomic bomb, but “typically, educational journalists did not discuss the Bomb 's other effects: death, massive injuries, shock, blindness, burns, radiation sickness, and secondary social effect” (Brown, 76). People were not aware of the consequences and of the permanent dangers of the war. Civilians were anxious, yet unaware. After Russia succeeded in creating their atomic bomb, Truman approved the creation of the hydrogen bomb in 1950. In 1952, the US tested the first hydrogen bomb. However, a year later the Soviet Union tested its first H-bomb as well. This sparked even more fear and

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