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Shelter on a Quiet Street

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Despite the United States' creation of a nationwide system of public fallout shelters in 1961, the federal government continued to encourage the construction of private shelters in individual homes.  Shelter on a Quiet Street follows Hank Adams, local civil defense director, as he discusses the noticeable lack of public shelters in suburban areas.  Offering a remedy for this problem, Adams helps the family of David and Betsy Warren transform their basement into a fully stocked shelter on an affordable budget.

Town of the Times

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Released in 1964, Town of the Times unfolds as a dramatic standoff between two men on opposing sides of a public fallout shelter debate.  As an insurance salesman, George McCardle views public shelters as vital protection for the future of his community.  William Groves, on the other hand, sees them as an unnecessary encouragement of war.  The use of well-known actors and a dramatic storyline makes the film, which was meant for television broadcast, an incredibly entertaining watch.

Three Reactions to Shelter Life

Instead of explaining the physical science behind protection from radioactive fallout, Three Reactions to Shelter Life examines the psychological problems likely to occur when people are confined to fallout shelters following a nuclear attack.  By presenting three scenarios which highlight the mental stress, irrational decision making and and even potential physical violence that such cramped quarters may give rise to, this 1964 Office of Civil Defense film asks fallout shelter managers how they would better handle troubled occupants.

Safety Measures in Public Shelters

This Office of Civil Defense film from 1963 outlines the duties of the public fallout shelter safety manager.  While following a live-action safety manager through an empty model shelter as he checks his paperwork and equipment, the narrator discusses the various responsibilities of the position which include confiscating dangerous objects and maintaining order.  Additionally, the safety manager must be ready to fight fires or tunnel out of compromised shelter spaces in the event of a building collapse. 

Information Programs Within Public Shelters

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Released by the Office of Civil Defense in 1963, Information Programs Within Public Shelters explains in detail how important it will be to established a relaible way to present information to public shelter occupants following a nuclear attack.  Prolific character actor Chris Bonn hosts the film, often standing at the edge of the set and offering advice.  Through enactments, he shows how quick and accurate information can end rumors, stop panic and raise morale in the period immediately following an attack. 

One Week in October

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The Cuban Missile Crisis offers the only international situation to date where the American public believed a nuclear war was a probable outcome.  In 1964, the Office of Civil Defense produced One Week in October which uses footage shot during the crisis to examine how populations respond to emergency situations.  The film argues that while most people were aware of civil defense measures and the National Fallout Shelter System, too many relied on last second plans driven by panic.   

Planning for Public Shelter Entry

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The implementation of the National Fallout Shelter Survey in 1961 created the need to train thousands of volunteers to staff the public refuges.  This film from 1963 was designed to examine the initial moments of shelter entry, when frightened citizens would need to be safely and efficiently settled inside.  Following civil defense officials, Planning for Public Shelter Entry, stresses good communication, good organization, a secure environment, and prompt first aid for those in need immediately following an attack.

Public Shelter Supplies: What Additional Supplies Are Desirable?

Released in 1963 as a companion to Public Shelter Supplies: What Does the Government Supply? this Office of Civil Defense film makes it clear that life in a public fallout shelter would be spartan.  Because the federal government will only provide supplies absolutely necessary for survival, local authorities are encouraged fill their shelters with extra amenities.  An austere, government supplied shelter is depicted alongside one stocked with cots, canned food, books, and other items to increase comfort.

Public Shelter Supplies: What Does the Government Supply?

Once a structure was structure was marked as a public fallout shelter, the next step was to stock it with supplies.  The Office of Civil Defense offered food, water, sanitation items, medical kits, and radiological detection equipment.  This film, from 1963, highlights the efforts of the federal government to provide basic essentials to sustain a shelter occupant for up to eleven days inside a public shelter.  Local authorities are repeatedly urged to stock additional supplies to make a shelter stay more comfortable for the local population.

Public Shelter Organization and Staff

If a population was forced to seek refuge inside of a public fallout shelter, it was hoped that strict adherence to well-rehearsed procedures would ensure a peaceful occupancy.  Public Shelter Organization and Staff demonstrates how to implement procedures to effectively manage a shelter after a nuclear attack.  Interestingly, the film also depicts unexpected situations, such as the death of trained staff and power outages, all of which force the shelter manager to improvise and utilize the skills of his fellow occupants.


When the National Fallout Shelter Survey began in 1961, it quickly became apparent that government civil defense planners could not rely solely on existing buildings to shelter the American population as this would result in a shortfall of shelter spaces.  To remedy this problem, the architectural concept of modifying a structure's blueprints during the planning phase to make it suitable as a fallout shelter, otherwise known as "Slanting" was developed.  The Office of Civil Defense released this identically titled film in 1967 to document the process.  

Texas Has a Brand New School

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When the Board of Directors for The United Independent School District voted to build a new high school, they also made the decision to include fallout shelter space.  Highlighting this example of a new building designed to serve as a public fallout shelter, The Office of Civil Defense documented the planning and construction in its 1965 film Texas Has A Brand New School.  Featuring testimony from students, parents, and staff, the film offers a look at local participation in the civil defense process.

The Protected School

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When education officials in Laredo added fallout shelter space and other protective features into the newly constructed United High School, the Office of Civil Defense sought to promote this practice by featuring the district in the 1965 film Texas Has a Brand New School.  Later that same year, officials released a condensed version of the film titled The Protected School.  As a series of still images strung together with narration, The Protected School highlights the multipurpose benefits fallout shelters can serve.

Food For Thought

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Released by the Colorado Civil Defense Agency in 1956, Food for Thought is aimed at suburban housewives, assigning them the vital task of feeding their families and those less fortunate after an enemy attack.  The film begins by examining changes to the food industry over the first half of the 20th Century and highlighting its vulnerability to the atomic bomb.  When Denver is bombed, the actions of four housewives are presented along with general advice for stockpiling food during any type of emergency.

Operation Scramble

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As part of Operation Alert 1955, St. Louis County Hospital tested an evacuation plan designed to relocate patients, staff, and medical equipment in the event of an enemy atomic attack on St. Louis, Missouri.  Footage captured during this test, dubbed Operation Scramble, was edited together into this film of the same name, released Federal Civil Defense Administration in 1957.  Dr. John M. Whitney, Health Services director for the F.C.D.A., also details the "Survival Ward" under the hospital for patients who can't evacuate safely.

Display of Operational Data

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The chaotic period immediately following a nuclear attack would require snap decisions based on accurate information.  Display of Operational Data, released by the Office of Civil Defense in 1967, shows how proper collection of facts and proper presentation of statistics is vital to post-attack management.  Set in the emergency operating center of a city inundated with radioactive fallout, a host explains to viewers the best sources to collect information from, and the best ways to display this information.

A Concrete Plan for Civil Defense

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Realizing a unique opportunity to showcase its services and equipment, as well as its commitment to national civil defense efforts, The Ready Mixed Concrete Company teamed with The Colorado Civil Defense Agency in 1953 to release A Concrete Plan for Civil Defense.  The film describes the many ways concrete mixer trucks will play in civil defense, primarily by transporting water and aiding firefighters and medical personnel.  All viewers are, of course, expected to volunteer their services. 

A Day In September

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When the National Fallout Shelter Program first began, many initial shelters were located in federal buildings.  As it waned in the late 1960's, buildings owned and operated by the federal government were primarily the only locations still marked and stocked as public shelters.  A Day in September, released in 1968 by the Office of Civil Defense, visits federal buildings across the United States designed to provide fallout protection and ensure government continuity.

A New Look at the H Bomb

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The United States developed the hydrogen bomb in 1952 and when the Soviet Union achieved the same feat the following year, it fanned a growing fear of an enemy attack.  Rising to address the situation, Federal Civil Defense Administration director Val Peterson lectures viewers on the increased destructive power of the the hydrogen bomb, focusing primarily on the dangers of fallout radiation.  Released in 1955, A New Look at the H Bomb uses detailed photographs to show the nature of radiation and the best defenses against it.

About Fallout

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Seeking a straightforward and relatively entertaining way to educate the American public on the threat of lingering radioactive particles after a nuclear attack, the Office of Civil Defense and Wilding Productions released About Fallout in 1963.  It would quickly become the most requested civil defense film ever made, popular with both critics and audiences alike.  Presented here is a complete history of this film including the various incarnations it was edited into. 

Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow

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Narrated by radio personality Andre Barruch, this production spotlights the civil defense preparations being undertaken by the city of Reading, Pennsylvania. Stressing the need to help others and come together as a community during an atomic crisis, the film offers exciting shots of rescue teams in action, as well as the creative ways in which Berks County is preparing to warn the public and carry on effective communication after the bomb falls.  The finale of the film features the complete set up of a Packaged Disaster Hospital.

-And A Voice Shall Be Heard

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In 1951, General Electric teamed with the dramatized news program March of Time to pioneer a new marketing strategy for its line of two-way radios. The result of this cooperation, -And a Voice Shall Be Heard, is a film which operates primarily as an elongated commercial for communication devices.  Set in Syracuse, New York, after an enemy atomic attack, construction crews, police, firemen, medical personnel and members of the press coordinate recovery efforts via G.E. radios. 

Atomic Alert

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Sometimes marketed with the subtitle "School, Home, Street", Atomic Alert was an early attempt by Encyclopaedia Brittanica Films to introduce children to the dangers of the atomic bomb.  Released in May of 1951, the film uses a blend of animation and live action to teach children what to do if an attack happens with no adults present.  The ideas of seeking shelter, avoiding blast and heat, and trusting adults and older kids are repeated numerous times for the benefit of young viewers.

Atomic Attack

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Often, the federal government would promote films and other productions which highlighted civil defense, even if it did not have a hand in their creation.  Such was the case with Atomic Attack, a dramatic fiction adapted into an episode of the Motorola Television Hour in 1954.  Phyllis Thaxter stars as Gladys Mitchell, a suburban housewife caught home alone when New York City is destroyed by a H-Bomb.  In spite of her initial panic, Mrs. Mitchell regains her composure and follows CONELRAD radio instructions.

Big Men In Small Boats

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Accepting both the vulnerabilities and the advantages of America's seaboard communities, the Federal Civil Defense Administration teamed with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Chrysler Corporation to release Big Men In Small Boats in 1956 to highlight how sailors can aid in the event of an atomic attack.  With fallout settling and debris in every direction, boat captains would have the best knowledge of navigable waterways.  Big Men In Small Boats examines how impromptu rescue fleets would best serve civil defense efforts.


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The Burroughs Corporation, a producer of adding and data storage machines, created Bombproof in 1956 after consulting with the Federal Civil Defense Administration. By telling the story of the fictional Donovan Manufacturing Company, the film offers business continuity advice for the aftermath of an enemy H-Bomb attack. Walter Abel stars as the gruff head of Donovan Manufacturing who wisely used microfilm processing (a service provided by the Burroughs Corp.) to preserve vital company records prior to an attack.

Briefly, About Fallout

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When it was released in 1963, About Fallout became one of the most widely distributed films on the topic of fallout protection.  However, it was deemed too long to screen for the passing crowds at civil defense exhibitions.  In 1967, the Office of Civil Defense edited the film into a condensed version, creatively dubbing it Briefly, About Fallout.  With a brisk eight minute runtime, this shorter version functions primarily as an advertisement for the National Fallout Shelter Program while still relaying basic fallout protection advice.

Civil Defense In Schools

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Based off a pamphlet of the same name, this 1958 film from the Federal Civil Defense Administration examines how educators can organize emergency plans in case of an enemy attack.  In addition to discussing the bureaucratic procedures needed, Civil Defense in Schools presents numerous examples of improvised fallout shelters.  Also presented are fascinating shots of civil defense equipment in action, including light warning boxes, telephone operated sirens, and radiological detectors.

Community Protection Through Civil Defense

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Months after the creation of a National Fallout Shelter Program, officials in Jacksonville, Florida began negotiating with property owners to acquire public shelter space.  Hoping to set an example, Jacksonville filmed each step it took towards creating a local fallout shelter plan, releasing the footage under the title Community Protection Through Civil Defense in 1963.  The film highlights a one-day shelter stocking effort in October of 1962 where volunteers made ready shelter for 50,000 people.


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Eager to highlight their contribution to the nation's civil defense effort, the Ex-Cell-O Corporation, a producer of paper milk cartons, teamed with the Federal Civil Defense Administration to produce Crisis in 1956.  Hosted by broadcaster Bob Considine, the film tells the story of how the dairy industry delivered pure drinking water to in the wake of Hurricane Diane.  Considine continually reminds the audience of a need for clean water during both natural disasters and atomic attack.

Cummings City

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During the summer of 1958, two government agencies merged into the hybrid Office of Defense and Civilian Mobilization which was renamed less than two months later. Despite its brief lifespan, The ODCM managed to produce at least one film, Cummings City, which examines military assistance in the wake of natural and nuclear disasters.  Set in a coastal city during a hurricane, the film makes clear that any military presence would be a temporary supplement to local civil defense.

Day Without End

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After the creation of the National Fallout Shelter Program in late 1961, the role of the local civil defense director expanded as cities and states, once left to devise their own pre-attack preparedness, now received guidance, funding and supplies from the federal government.  Day Without End shadows Bill Logan, civil defense director, as he coordinates his town's emergency planning. Facing bureaucrats, reluctant property owners, and lack of participation, his challenges are many and his hours are long.

Decision Making in Civil Defense

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Throughout history, military commanders, politicians, and even civilians, have been called upon to make difficult decisions in difficult circumstances. After an enemy attack, civil defense personnel would have been expected to make snap judgments while under enormous stress.  Comedian Eddie Bracken hosts Decision Making in Civil Defense, a 1967 film guiding volunteer civil defense officials through the process of decision making in times of emergency.

Decontamination of Food

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Once a population had been safely established inside a fallout shelter, there remained a need to continually inspect food and other shelter supplies vital for survival for radioactive contamination.  Decontamination of Food, released by the Office of Civil Defense in 1967, thoroughly explains the process of cleansing cans and fresh vegetables of radioactive particles.  Like its companion film, Decontamination of Personnel, operation of the CDV-700 Radiological Survey Meter is heavily featured.

Decontamination of Personnel

Once a community established a system of public fallout shelters, there remained a fear that persons entering the shelter area would bring radioactive particles along with them.  Decontamination of Personnel, released by the Office of Civil Defense in 1967, explains step-by-step procedures for checking individuals with radiological detectors and subsequently cleansing bodies and clothing.  Heavily featured is the CDV-700 Radiological Survey Meter, designed to register miniscule amounts of radiation.

Disaster on Main Street

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The Federal Civil Defense Administration was established in 1950 with two goals: first to raise awareness of the atomic bomb's potential for destruction without frightening the American public into apathy, and to motivate the same public into making preparations for an attack.  Disaster on Main Street sought to accomplish both of these goals by connecting images of rubble and refugees from World War II with a stern warning that the same fate could befall American cities who remain complacent on civil defense.  Narrated by famed journalist Edward R. Murrow.

Emergency Action to Save Lives

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In early 1951, the newly formed Federal Civil Defense Administration announced the creation of nine films concerning various aspects of emergency preparedness. Each film was to be based off widely distributed pamphlets which had been in circulation for the previous year.  Emergency Action to Save Lives, which explains very basic first-aid techniques needed in the aftermath of an atomic attack, was produced as part of this public information initiative. 

Emergency Hospital

Civil defense planners knew an enemy attack involving nuclear weapons would place great strain on the United States' medical infrastructure.  To help ensure continuity of medical services, the federal government began a program stockpiling pre-packaged disaster hospitals outside large cities in 1956.  The specifics of this program are examined in the 1959 "filmograph" Emergency Hospital, made by Creative Arts Studio for the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization.

Emergency Operating Centers: The Basic Concepts

As promised by the title, this 1967 production from the Office of Civil Defense explains in detail how to set up an effective emergency operating center for local governments. Set in the fictional Central City, the film features an unlikely duo consisting of straightman celebrity host Conrad Bain and wiseguy comedian Arnold Stang.  Among the topics covered are organization, collection and display of critical post-attack data and necessary personnel staffing.

Emergency Operating Centers: Radiological Defense Operations

Created in 1967 as part of a monitoring series, this film picks up moments after an enemy attack has hit the fictional Central City.  Descending into civil defense headquarters, Emergency Operating Centers: RaDef Operations follows a number of volunteers as they plot fallout patterns headed towards the town.  Covering in detail the jobs of each staff member, the film uses a number of relatable characters who also address problems of communication and a lack of accurate information.

Environment for Education

In 1973, The Defense Civil Preparedness Agency was busy expanding traditional notions of civil defense to include natural disasters, civil disturbances and pollution in addition to nuclear readiness.  As part of this strategy, Environment for Education was released.  The film examines how architectural designs in new school buildings diminish noise pollution, increase fallout radiation protection and minimize damage from rioting students.

Face of Disaster

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Using footage from the critically acclaimed Office of Civil Defense film Though the Earth Be Moved, Face of Disaster tells the story of Alaska's devastating Good Friday Earthquake.  Released by The Office of Civil Defense in 1965, the film also examines other deadly natural disaster from tornado outbreaks to floods.  A fast-talking narrator warns that no matter what the threat, be it nature's fury or the blast of an enemy nuclear missile, viewers must be prepared and have an active and effective civil defense plan in place.

Facts About Fallout

By 1955, the Federal Civil Defense Administration recognized fallout radiation as a deadly side-effect of an enemy atomic attack.  That same year, to help remove the misinformation which spread quickly whenever the topic of radioactivity was raised, a colorful pamphlet titled Facts About Fallout was published to explain the basic ways of protecting individuals and families from fallout.  This animated film of the same name, released in 1957, brings the pamphlet to life.

Facts Make the Difference​

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In the chaos which would surely follow an enemy atomic attack, there would be a risk of rumors and false information causing panic and lowering morale. It would be the job of civil defense to ensure all actions were based on accurate information. Facts Make the Difference, released by The Office of Civil Defense in 1965, examines ways to collect and act upon information.  Firemen, police, and shelter managers are encouraged to ask who, what, when, where and why and the best methods for collecting accurate information are presented.

Fallout and Agriculture

Emphasis on the lingering threat of fallout radiation in the late 1950's meant an increase of civil defense material aimed toward rural populations.  The need for fallout shelter for people and cattle and for soil decontamination became the pamphlets and films.  A 1960 production of the U.S.D.A, Fallout and Agriculture addresses the farmer through vibrant animation on shelter, soil absorption rates relating to radioactive rays and cleansing of exposed crops.

Fallout: When and How to Protect Yourself Against It

1958 saw the creation of a new national civil defense agency which initiated greater awareness of fallout radiation.  As part of this public information endeavor, an animated film was contracted in 1959 to provide an overview of the threat fallout particles posed.  The resulting production, Fallout: When and How to Protect Yourself Against It, features a cartoon businessman, who demonstrates how to protect himself, his family, and his property from the deadly residue.

Fallout Shelter: What Is It?

The concept of seeking shelter from radioactive fallout was relatively new to Americans when the Kennedy Administration introduced the National Fallout Shelter System in late 1961.  This film, released by the Office of Civil Defense in 1963, explains the process of selecting buildings to be used for public shelter.  In addition to discussing the use of solid building materials, the film offers some interesting alternatives for cities to consider including train tunnels and potato cellars.

The Family Fallout Shelter

When the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization distributed a pamphlet entitled The Family Fallout Shelter in 1959, it formally asked the American public to create a private shelter system within their homes.  The following year, this film with the same title was produced, illustrating the do-it-yourself shelter designs showcased in the pamphlet.  Featuring the Brown family, The Family Fallout Shelter traces their elaborate shelter from the planning stages to the final stocking of supplies.

Fire Fighting for Householders

As one of the nine original commissions by the Federal Civil Defense Administration in 1951, this production holds a unique place in the first film campaign on nuclear civil defense.  Step by step procedures for fighting different fires are presented while encouraging the clean up flammable debris.  Utilitarian in script and drama, Fire Fighting for Householders gives the viewer just enough taste of their expected responsibilities as to encourage further reading on the subject.  

The Five Days of Betsy

Hurricane Betsy slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States in the fall of 1965, carving a swath of destruction and leaving 81 dead.  In 1966 the Office of Civil Defense released A Hurricane Called Betsy to highlight the role civil defense measures played during the disaster.  With a run time of 30 minutes, A Hurricane Called Betsy was deemed too long to screen for crowds at civil defense exhibits this shorter version was released as The Five Days of Betsy. 

Food for Thought

Released by the Colorado Civil Defense Agency in 1956, Food for Thought is aimed at suburban housewives, assigning them the vital task of food preparation after an enemy attack.  The film examines changes to the food industry over the first half of the 20th Century, highlighting its vulnerability to the atomic bomb.  When Denver is bombed, the actions of four housewives are presented along with general advice for stockpiling food during any type of emergency.

Frontlines of Freedom

Hypothetical projections of a nuclear attack against the United States often began with a flight of Soviet bombers sweeping across Canada towards their intended targets.  Recognizing the mutual threat this scenario posed to each country, civil defense officials in Canada and the United States came together to produce Frontlines of Freedom in 1955.  The film was made to serve primarily as a propaganda piece, extolling the virtues of democracy and other Western freedoms.

The H-Bomb

The Home Office, R.H.R. Productions. This civil defence film
from the UK explains the basic dangers of nuclear weapons, as well as the difference in destructive power between atomic and hydrogen bombs. Both animation and live action are used.  The importance of trained rescue squads is discussed. The film is mentioned in the 1958 New
York Civil Defense film catalog. (YouTube-Periscope Films’ Channel w/subtitles, VHS)

The H-Bomb Over Illinois​

As promised by its title, The H-Bomb Over Illinois examines what would happen should an enemy target the "Peaceful Land of Lincoln" with hydrogen weapons.  Released by the Illinois Civil Defense Agency in 1956, the film focuses on Chicago and explains how radioactive fallout would spread far and wide.  The disruption such an attack would cause on commercial, industrial and population centers like Peoria, The Quad Cities and East St. Louis is also highlighted.

Handbook for Survival

In order to see how average populations would fare inside a community fallout shelter, the Office of Civil Defense observed large groups of volunteers confined to a warehouse in downtown Athens, Georgia.  Using an experimental guidebook, otherwise untrained citizens organize themselves to survive for a week under conditions simulating a nuclear attack.  A film crew from the University of Georgia captured raw footage of the experiment.

The House in the Middle (1953 Version)

Released by the Federal Civil Defense Administration in 1953, The House in the Middle uses footage from the Nevada Proving Grounds to argue that well-kept homes are much less likely to catch fire during an enemy atomic attack than dilapidated homes.  Although not as well known as it's colorized remake, this version of The House in the Middle provides a fascinating look at early American civil defense policy and attempts to educate homeowners on the atomic threat.

The House in the Middle (1954 Version)

To spreading public awareness of civil defense, the Federal Civil Defense Administration often invited various companies and trade organizations to test their products in the presence of an atomic blast.  This experimental marketing gave the National Paint, Varnish, and Lacquer Association promising footage concerning the protective capabilities of finishing materials.  The resulting film, The House in the Middle, recommends a tidy yard and a fresh coat of white paint to keep homes safe.

Individual and Family Reactions on Warning

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Meant to be both entertaining and informative, Individual and Family Reactions on Warning was created by the Office of Civil Defense in 1964 to guide the formation of a family fallout shelter plan.  Fred, a concerned husband and father, strategically questions each member of his family on appropriate actions during an emergency.  A consensus is quickly reached that calls for a quick journey to the nearest marked public shelter when the sirens sound.  Other options, such as a home shelter in the basement and a farm root cellar are discussed.

In Time of Emergency

The late 1960's saw a decline in civil defense, both budgetary and in a general apathy on behalf of the American public.  As an attempt to reinvigorate a stagnating image across the country, the In Time of Emergency pamphlet campaign developed in March of 1968 and this film of the same name followed a year later.  While the idea of campaign was to liken preparation for an enemy attack to natural disaster, the film focuses almost exclusively on fallout protection.

Introduction to a Radiological Defense Exercise

The first in a line of films designed to show county level civil defense officials how to set up an effective radiological monitoring program, this short begins with a personal story.  Follow Dan Carter, an average citizen already learned in physics, as he becomes educated in the science of fallout.  A fun beginning to a tedious series, Introduction to a Radiological Defense Exercise weaves human poignancy with the cold facts of nuclear war, and all in six minutes!  

The Invisible Enemy

1958 saw the formation of The Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, an agency devoted to spreading the message of fallout protection.  To achieve this task, government planners appropriated a number of existing films, such as The Invisible Enemy, which had been created for specific regions.   Made in Michigan to highlight radiation dangers facing that state, the film features the emergency preparations of Grand Rapids and Battle Creek, explained through a lecture by a research scientist.

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The Soviet Union's speedy acquisition of the hydrogen bomb came as a shock to many.  Seeking to address the new threat, the Federal Civil Defense Administration released Let's Face it in 1955, which bluntly explains the increased danger now posed to American cities.  The film further explains, however, that a robust civil defense program augmented with ample citizen participation, which is prominently highlighted throughout the film, can counter this danger.

Let's Face It

Living With the Atom

Religion often found its way into many policies or practices concerning the atomic threat.  In 1957, The Moody Institute of Science incorporated the principles of Intelligent Design into both atomic energy and the vast moral dilemma the wielding of such power held.  Living With the Atom unfolds as both a science lesson, complete with visual aides, and a moral lecture urging consultation with a higher power before dictating policies involving "the building blocks of The Creator."

Lifeline of the Nation (1945 version)

America's intricate system of railroads, often held as a symbol of progress and expansive trade, took on even greater importance during World War II.  As the principal carriers of troops, vehicles, and general supplies needed for the war effort, the major freight lines comprising the Association of American Railroads released Lifeline of the Nation in 1945 to express a commitment to the country's well being.  The film would be updated and re-released in 1958 to show the rail industry's commitment to civili defense.

Lifeline of the Nation (1958 version)

To highlight the contributions of the rail industry in the Second World War, The Association of American Railroads produced the film Lifeline of the Nation in May of 1945.  Looking to promote their continuing efforts towards civil defense in the Hydrogen Age, the Association released an updated version in 1958.  Arguing that railroads are ideally suited to transport food and rescue workers into areas stricken by an enemy bomb, the film also showcases new rail technology.

Manual Damage Assessment

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The aftermath of a nuclear strike on the United States would be chaotic, to say the least.  Should such an attach disable conventional means of communication, civil defense officials would need to rely on alternative methods of determining which areas have been hit.  In 1967, the Office of Civil Defense released Manual Damage Assessment to train volunteers in how to calculate the location and scale of a nuclear detonation using only eyewitness accounts and radio reports.

Medical Self-Help: Radioactive Fallout and Shelter

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Anticipating interruptions in medical services following a nuclear attack, the Office of Civil Defense and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare developed the concept of Medical Self-Help to train Americans to treat ailments with no expectation of aid from doctors. In 1965, eleven films were released to supplement this program. The first film, Radioactive Fallout and Shelter, explains the dangers of fallout and demonstrates how to treat radiation sickness.

Medical Self-Help: Healthful Living in Emergencies

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The need to seek shelter from radioactive fallout in the event of an enemy nuclear attack would have forced millions of Americans into protected, yet cramped and confined spaces with few conveniences of modern life. Released as part of a series of Medical Self-Help films in 1965, Healthful Living in Emergencies examines the problem maintaining adequate food and water supplies in fallout shelters, as well as the problems of sanitation and disease.   

Medical Self-Help: Artificial Respiration

How to keep people breathing.

Medical Self-Help: Bleeding and Bandages

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Released as part of the Medical Self-Help film series in 1965, Bleeding and Bandaging shows viewers to treat severe cuts and and lacerations when there is no expectation of aid from trained doctors or nurses.  The film, produced by The Office of Civil Defense in 1965, focuses on conventional and industrial scenarios involving everyday injuries.  The aftermath of a nuclear attack is also shown and the need to move victims into shelters is discussed in detail.

Medical Self-Help: Fractures and Splinters

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During a "major disaster" situation, this film explains, the majority of injuries would be fractures.  Released by the Office of Civil Defense and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in 1965 as part of the Medical Self-Help Series, Fractures and Splinters shows how to identify and set broken bones.  While nuclear attack is never explicitly mentioned, the narrator emphasizes moving victims into a "sheltered environment", later shown to be a public fallout shelter.

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