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Old 12-21-2010, 10:31 AM   #21
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While I do remember the duck & cover drills my feelings about the atomic bomb testing may be different than yours. My father worked for the Corp of Army Engineers and their employees and members of the military, including my father, would go the NV to watch. In high school I remember an experiment with radio active materials.

They really had no clue of the risks.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:06 PM   #22
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Many laugh that ducking and covering would be useless in the case of an atomic bomb explosion, but I figure that the explosion could be far enough away that D&C could save your life or eyesight.

If you're at ground zero, no help. If you are 1,000 miles away, no help. But somewhere in between...
Yep, I never quite understood all the laughter about the futility of the drills. Do people think that every school is going to be at ground zero? A fireball and really intense heat cover a fairly small area, and the overpressure waves decrease as a square of the distance. There's a very large area where the structures will still be standing but the windows are blown out. There are a lot of windows in some schools.

Sure radiation/fallout is a hazard, but not nearly the killer many people assume.

Besides, what else have you got to do if the alarm goes off? Seems a few minutes under the desk provides as good an opportunity to reflect as any other course of action.
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:51 PM   #23
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Do people think that every school is going to be at ground zero?
You're right, it was pretty reasonable, and another aspect, often forgotten, is that in those days the threat wasn't from ICBMs but rather from manned bombers, and accuracy wasn't exactly pinpoint.

As I remember it from my misspent youth in NYC, they would start the explanation with something like "Let's assume the bomb falls over in New Jersey ..."

That made everyone feel better, because nobody would care or even notice if New Jersey were turned into a slag heap.
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:01 PM   #24
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Richard Feynman was the first person to see a nuclear bomb blast. All of the military brass ducked and covered and he watched it behind a pick-up windshield.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:17 PM   #25
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[QUOTE

As I remember it from my misspent youth in NYC, they would start the explanation with something like "Let's assume the bomb falls over in New Jersey ..."

That made everyone feel better, because nobody would care or even notice if New Jersey were turned into a slag heap. [/QUOTE]

LOL, too funny!
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #26
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Growing up on Long Island, we were told that we were between the two targets: New York City and Brookhaven labs.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:26 AM   #27
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Growing up in the 80s in Montana I had a high school history teacher explain duck and cover very succinctly. "It's the governments way of telling you to bend over and kiss your ass goodbye."

Here's to Mr. Lipp! He was a helluva history teacher.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:14 AM   #28
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I was in grade school in the mid to late 50s and "duck and cover" was never mentioned by anyone. I guess no one thought ND would ever be a target.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:13 AM   #29
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We had two drills in elementary school (late 50s): Fire drill, in which we went outside, and another drill in which we went into the hall, and sat on the floor by the walls. Anyone remember what they called that drill? Was it for nuclear attack?
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:32 AM   #30
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Yes, depending on your location it could also be for tornadoes -a very rare event on most of the west coast. As I recall they would send the classes on the 2nd floor to the basement.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:47 AM   #31
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We had two drills in elementary school (late 50s): Fire drill, in which we went outside, and another drill in which we went into the hall, and sat on the floor by the walls. Anyone remember what they called that drill? Was it for nuclear attack?
When I did that in Alabama it was a tornado drill.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:31 PM   #32
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I was in grade school in the mid to late 50s and "duck and cover" was never mentioned by anyone. I guess no one thought ND would ever be a target.
Why not Minot? Really, isn't ND where all the missile silos were located?
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:40 PM   #33
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Why not Minot? Really, isn't ND where all the missile silos were located?
At one time there were missile silos all over ND based at both Minot and Grand Forks AFBs but I think that started more in the early to mid 60s. At that time the story around here was that if ND were a separate country it would have been the third largest nuclear power in the world. The first I ever heard of "duck and cover" I was probably in high school in early 60s.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:57 PM   #34
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During the Cuban missile crisis, we lived on the Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia. I now know that it would have been a prime target if things had escalated, but then I was so young that the only things I knew were that the dads were all gone to sea ("quarantining" Cuba) and the moms were entirely freaked out.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:04 PM   #35
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During the Cuban missile crisis, we lived on the Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia. I now know that it would have been a prime target if things had escalated, but then I was so young that the only things I knew were that the dads were all gone to sea ("quarantining" Cuba) and the moms were entirely freaked out.
I was 15 at the time of the Cuban crisis and will never forget waiting for Kennedy's address to the nation that night; everyone was pretty freaked out.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:30 PM   #36
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Do I remember that, oh yes!! I was in NYC staying at the apartment of UN translators who were too busy to come home.
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