Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

"Duck and Cover" short from the 1950s


HoldenIsHere
 Share

Recommended Posts

Very early this morning TCM aired the 1950s short "Duck and Cover" that was intended to teach kids what to do to survive an atomic bomb attack, specifically to "duck and cover."

 

I wonder if this was taken seriously at the time or was considered humorous by the audience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very early this morning TCM aired the 1950s short "Duck and Cover" that was intended to teach kids what to do to survive an atomic bomb attack, specifically to "duck and cover."

 

I wonder if this was taken seriously at the time or was considered humorous by the audience.

As someone who grew up in that era, I can say it was taken seriously. A certain time each month, air raid sirens all over the neighborhood would sound and everyone in all the classsrooms would "duck and cover" until the "all clear" was given. My schools had tall towers with sirens positioned 50 feet from the buildings - very imposing sight walking to and from school each day.

 

When I look around (east coast), I see no remaining towers - anywhere. There may be some in the mid-west used for tornado warnings - I'm not sure about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very early this morning TCM aired the 1950s short "Duck and Cover" that was intended to teach kids what to do to survive an atomic bomb attack, specifically to "duck and cover."

 

I wonder if this was taken seriously at the time or was considered humorous by the audience.

 

Well, it was supposed to be taken seriously, but in my 50's elementary school in Washington, we took it about as seriously as those mandatory Bible readings we were forced to roll our eyes through every day.  We went through the motions but that was about it.  The truth is that the only time during the Cold War where we ever really felt any imminent danger of a possible nuclear attack was the week of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. 

 

BTW  if you ever want to see a great comedy set during that week of terror, check out the 1993 John Goodman flick Matinee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very early this morning TCM aired the 1950s short "Duck and Cover" that was intended to teach kids what to do to survive an atomic bomb attack, specifically to "duck and cover."

 

I wonder if this was taken seriously at the time or was considered humorous by the audience.

 

It was taken very seriously. There was an air raid signal atop my elementary school and we had drills once a month. I grew up in Las Vegas and even after the testing went underground, we continued to have the drills and the air raid signal was tested every Saturday morning at 10:00 am to make sure it was working order.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I concur with the Kid here. It was especially taken seriously during the height of the Cold War in the environs of Los Angeles, and where at the time probably half the fathers of the kids in my classes worked for one of great many of the aircraft "defense plants"(North American/Rockwell Aviation and where my father worked, Douglas Aircraft, Northrup Aircraft, Lockheed Aviation) located there at the time.

 

(...and thus the theory was that WE were gonna get hit FIRST when those "nasty ol' Ruskies started WWIII") 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can confirm that this sort of Civil Defense film was still being shown in grade schools in the South as late as the 1970s. While not grimly terrifying, it was not laughed at either.

 

Robert Klein had a great routine about this sort of thing, suggesting that during a drill would be the ideal time for the Russians to attack (since no one will know it's real until it's too late), and the teacher's reaction: "No butting in line! I want an orderly nuclear holocaust!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can confirm that this sort of Civil Defense film was still being shown in grade schools in the South as late as the 1970s. While not grimly terrifying, it was not laughed at either.

 

Schools in the South that I was in, in the 1950s, also combined the practice duck and cover warnings, along with the sirens, to simulate tornado warnings.

 

These were always taken seriously, since we did have a lot of tornadoes in the South. But, luckily, no Russian bombers.

 


New petition planned for Oklahoma school shelters 1 year after tornado killed 7 students

http://www.startribune.com/nation/261434511.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i remember doing the drill in the late 60s as a first grader. i thought, crouched downward with my hands over the back of my head will leave my spine exposed to the crumbling building. they should give us batshields instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Schools in the South that I was in, in the 1950s, also combined the practice duck and cover warnings, along with the sirens, to simulate tornado warnings.

 

These were always taken seriously, since we did have a lot of tornadoes in the South. But, luckily, no Russian bombers.

 

SEE?! Like I was sayin' here...we ANGELENOS were probably goin' to be THE FIRST to get hit in a worst case scenario!!!

 

(...and mean, why would those Ruskies even BOTHER with those little podunk places in the South, right?!...WHAT?!...would they REALLY need to worry about destroyin' all the GRITS in the world???!!!)

 

LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SEE?! Like I was sayin' here...we ANGELENOS were probably goin' to be THE FIRST to get hit in a worst case scenario!!!

 

(...and mean, why would those Ruskies even BOTHER with those little podunk places in the South, right?!...WHAT?!...would they REALLY worry about destroyin' all the GRITS in the world???!!!)

 

LOL

Have you ever tasted grits? Yum.

 

Taken very seriously in my grammar school. Then again, when we were forced (you didn't want to disobey the absolute rule of a nun) to get under those desks, we truly believed our desks had some power from above to protect us from any and all bombs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you ever tasted grits? Yum.

 

 

 

Are you KIDDIN', lady?! Why, I'll have you know that even THIS ol' Angeleno HERE never passes up the opportunity to tell the waitress at the Cracker Barrel that I'll take the grits whenever I order that delicious Country Breakfast special there! So yeah SURE, I've tastes grits, and I LOVE 'em!!!

 

(...but that really wasn't my point) ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you ever tasted grits? Yum.

 

Taken very seriously in my grammar school. Then again, when we were forced (you didn't want to disobey the absolute rule of a nun) to get under those desks, we truly believed our desks had some power from above to protect us from any and all bombs.

 

In my school, we were told the desks would protect us from falling debris. The teachers never mentioned a "direct hit" to us, so we all got the idea that the falling bombs would explode a few miles away from us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We took it very seriously in the 1950's in N.Y.  But then someone mentioned that if a fireball was heading toward us, maybe it wasn't the best place to hide, under a wooden desk next to large glass windows....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our Southern educational films taught us to run to the nearest fallout shelter, take plenty of boxed food, soap, and one good looking dame to keep us calm.

 

survival-supplies.gif

 

 

FredC,

 

The barrel in your picture brought back a memory. The Sands Hotel (the Place in the Sun and home to the Rat Pack) had a number of those Fall-Out barrels, filled with necessities in case of an atomic attack. They were kept in the basement of the hotel and just before it was demolished -so the Venetian Hotel could be built -a couple of the barrels were discovered.

 

They now have a home at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas in their collections.

 

There also was a Fall-Out Shelter (along with a sign indicating where it was) just off Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, near Benny Binion's Horseshoe Club.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FredC,

 

The barrel in your picture brought back a memory. The Sands Hotel (the Place in the Sun and home to the Rat Pack) had a number of those Fall-Out barrels, filled with necessities in case of an atomic attack. They were kept in the basement of the hotel and just before it was demolished -so the Venetian Hotel could be built -a couple of the barrels were discovered.

 

Since we never went to war with Russia, yet the government never decided to clean out the storage rooms, a lot of that stuff was left in place for many decades. Some is probably still stored someplace, maybe with the entrances to the rooms bricked over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Twilight Zone THE SHELTER

 

Air Date: September 29, 1961

 

This episode had a shocking, profound effect on all Americans who saw it. This story was brilliantly told in less than 24 minutes. It was very frightening when it originally aired, because most Americans had never thought of this type of thing happening.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm6cMdePtMA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of movies about bomb shelters, one goofy and one interesting, only because I like Michael Shannon:

 

Blast From The Past

 

Take Shelter

 

I know, Dargo, but I'd rather eat grits than worry about the Russians. Last I paid attention to them, Khrushchev was banging his shoe on a podium.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our Southern educational films taught us to run to the nearest fallout shelter, take plenty of boxed food, soap, and one good looking dame to keep us calm.

 

survival-supplies.gif

Fred, I have one of those drinking water barrels in my basement. I found mine in the Ann Arbor city dump, late 60s, or early 70s.

 

I went to school in Oklahoma City, from 54 to 58, and never saw the Duck and Cover  film, or had a drill. Don't know why.

 

There is an even more outrageous nuke PSA shown on TCM, don't recall the title. It makes the claim that having your house in good condition, including the paint, can help it survive a nuclear blast! I guess that people were ignorant about nukes enough then, that they could believe that stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is an even more outrageous nuke PSA shown on TCM, don't recall the title. It makes the claim that having your house in good condition, including the paint, can help it survive a nuclear blast! I guess that people were ignorant about nukes enough then, that they could believe that stuff.

 

Even they weren't as bad as those early Formica ads that claimed that they repelled radiation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Very early this morning TCM aired the 1950s short "Duck and Cover" that was intended to teach kids what to do to survive an atomic bomb attack, specifically to "duck and cover."

 

I wonder if this was taken seriously at the time or was considered humorous by the audience.

I have a Heathkit CA-1 Conelrad Alarm from the "Duck and Cover" era.  They thought a ham transmitter would be a homing beacon for a Russian nuke. LOL!

 

conelrad_alarm_ca_1_1094797.jpg

 

Oh, yes the old trusty Geiger counter that is yet to pick up anything from Fukushima.

cdv700a.JPG

 

 

 

Teacher, question... how exactly does this help if its 2 million degrees in the shade??

duck-and-cover.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...