Saturday, August 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Cold realities during the Cold War

Duck and Cover (click picture to view gallery)

Duck and Cover (click picture to view gallery)

By
From page A2 | February 03, 2012 |

I took Angel Zimmerman to see “WarGames” in 1983 and while the thriller — about a teen who almost starts a global thermonuclear war by hacking into a government computer to play games — got its mojo from the Cold War atmosphere of the time, I wasn’t really scared. I just wanted Angel to be, so she would need me to snuggle with.

A different Cold War film that inspired real fear was the 1951 Civil Defense Administration’s “Duck and Cover.” It starred cartoon Bert the Turtle, who helped show U.S. citizens how to protect themselves in the event of atomic attack.

The film’s Ward Cleaver-esque-voiced narrator said that if there was a sudden flash of light brighter than the sun, Americans should drop what they were doing and cover their head and neck with those well-known radiation busters, their hands.

They were to stay like that until a government civil defense worker — whom we are told in Orwellian fashion that “we must obey” — came to help.

Schoolchildren had drills that included hiding underneath their desks in case of the Big One.

Locals reminisced about those days:

Janis Edwards: “Oh yes, duck and cover. Now we know how useless that was. Our house was near a siren and when it would go off at night it always scared the heck out of me.”

Barbara Macy Cordy: “I remember being told during drills, ‘Do not open your eyes!’ I just knew I would.”

Danny Cordova: “I wanted to watch everything melt.”

I’ve heard kids these days balk at having to carry student IDs. Well, back in the 1950s, kids didn’t carry IDs; they wore dog tags with their names and blood types, similar to the ones issued to GIs.

According to JoAnn Hinkson Beebe, Ray Anne Fune Sullivan, Carol Hanson and others, they were not really seen as frightening and indeed some saw them as kind of a fad or used them for hopscotch markers.

If given advance notice of an attack, locals were urged to get the heck outta Dodge.

Susan Macy Luckenbach: “If we had to leave quickly by car, we were to head for Chico. They had a trial run and it was a traffic jam. We would have been better off digging a hole and staying put if the real thing happened.”

Digging a hole and staying put was exactly what the Office of Civil Defense had in mind when it encouraged Americans to get underground fallout shelters.

Suggested provisions for a two-week stay included 1 quart of water per day per person, 700 calories of food per day per person (which equals one Jack in the Box milkshake), sanitation supplies and radiation detection equipment.

Los Altos built a 25-foot by 48-foot public shelter in 1962 that could sleep 96 people. Locally, a list developed in 1972 of designated fallout shelters included Holiday Inn and City Hall.

Running and hiding from a nuclear attack were not the only options. Nike surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile sites were installed all around the country. From 1958 to 1971, Fairfield had Nike missiles located off Clay Bank Road near the jail, where the Fairfield-Suisun School District Transportation Department now sits.

Comic movies like “Dr. Strangelove” and “Blast from the Past” have been made about the Cold War, but when the U.S. and U.S.S.R. came close to launching their respective missiles during the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was no laughing matter.

Mary Fehrman: “In October 1962, I was a senior at Armijo. My dad flew C-124s with the 85th Air Transport Squadron at Travis. He came home one day with a duffel bag full of stuff, including a.45 pistol and a steel helmet. He was on one-hour standby to depart for parts unknown. With any luck he was supposed to get off the ground before the Soviets bombed Travis.

“He was honest and told us we were within 5,000 yards of ground zero, and could not expect to survive. Those were scary times. We came very close before they called it off. Travis would have been a smoking hole in the ground, and Fairfield would probably still be uninhabitable. In those days, the ‘cold war’ didn’t seem so cold.”

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at getthelowdown@sbcglobal.net.

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 11 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Gary KatocsFebruary 03, 2012 - 5:49 am

    Is it any wonder if there are Alien life forms with knowledge of us why they don't formally visit...would you?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SavetheRepublicFebruary 03, 2012 - 8:53 am

    Available from the Solano County Library system -- you can put a hold on it --- the 1964 movie Fail Safe really worth watching it has the same theme kind of as Dr Strange Love. Really Check it out. You won't be sorry. Watching this clip inflicts a similar, chilling sense of paranoia comparing to the current fiscal fiascos revealing our goverment's frightful ineptitude- only here it means a qucik annihilation once the president (Henry Fonda) follows through on his promise to bomb NYC after accidently leveling Moscow. It's a pending cold war apocalypse in this film called Fail Safe 1964 which has an interesting relationship with Kuprick's Dr.Stanglove. Look it up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvQqMBaVM80&feature=related

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SavetheRepublicFebruary 03, 2012 - 9:06 am

    It is very interesting to watch Dr Strangelove then immediatly follow it with Fail Safe, they are both based on the same novel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KULM72PoaOo&feature=related

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Gary KatocsFebruary 03, 2012 - 9:10 am

    Really miss Peter Seller..He left us way to soon

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SavetheRepublicFebruary 03, 2012 - 9:14 am

    LISTEN LIVE www.infowars.com

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SavetheRepublicFebruary 03, 2012 - 9:27 am

    Another interesting movie available throughthe Solano County Library System -- you can put a hold on it. The Americanization of Emily 1964 James Garner stars as a US Naval officer who is chosen to be the martyr at D-Day on June 6, 1944. His superior orders him to be the first casualty of the invasion, while ironically he is actually a coward and does everything he can to stay away from combat. Julie Andrews, James Coburn, Melvyn Douglas and Keenan Wynn round out the supporting cast. If you are aware of the occult (hidden history), follow the money you will find that International Financiers have funded both sides of every war since Napoleon. They set up the opposing side by picking the leaders/politicians of influence, they build up the corporate war machine. They created/financed our enemies, Facism, Communism, now Militant Islam. Lucifer likes death, destruction, war, disease, hate, suffering, poverty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSC3hNY8Oa8

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SavetheRepublicFebruary 03, 2012 - 9:54 am

    The Secret History of the Bomb http://www.whale.to/b/mullins8.html

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SavetheRepublicFebruary 03, 2012 - 11:31 am

    The Illuminati is not a "Jewish" thing it is a vast consortium of persons of all purported creeds, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Jewish, nationalities, and races that have chosen to serve the dark master Lucifer. Luciferian-Illuminati, Satanists, high level wicca, high level Masons, high level Mormons, leading Christian Evangleists(that are really on the dark side), high level New Agers ect. At the top are persons who are associated being Jewish, but in the strict sense are not Jewish as they do not keep the Commandments of God. No one at a low level should be persecuted for their beliefs, God gave us free will, we are free not to choose Jesus, but this is a mistake with eternal consequences. IF YOU ARE NOT HURTING ANYONE ELSE you are free to believe as you wish. Money Powers and Governments/Politicians make the wars, not your average citizen anywhere in the world. Jerusalem is important to Lucifer as he seeks to mock God. The Abomination of Desolation must be established in Jerusalem, read Revelation. http://www.texemarrs.com/092010/triad_of_evil.htm

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Gary KatocsFebruary 03, 2012 - 11:52 am

    The 9th circle of Hades is the innermost ring..it directly faces Lucifer it is reserved for those that commit treachery..Those unfortunate souls condemned there are doomed to spend eternity in isolation on a frozen lake....For you though Republic a padded room will do for now

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SavetheRepublicFebruary 03, 2012 - 9:40 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppmzx6B1X8k

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Tony WadeFebruary 03, 2012 - 9:42 am

    Nice--I have placed my holds at the library--thanks!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

County unveils Solano economic diversification study

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Fairfield, Vacaville face off at Solano fair

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield couple celebrates 65th anniversary

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

County offers free Hepatitis C testing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Reports close books on Solano DA race spending

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
’4 guys, 4 guns’ case ends with acquittals

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

Starbucks card as bribe? Not this time

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Commune with your neighbors on National Night Out

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Which is best: All-inclusive resorts or cruises?

By Rose Alston | From Page: B5

 
Derriere dialing – who’s in your pocket?

By Murray Bass | From Page: B5

Fairfield police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

In brief lull, Gaza’s displaced survey devastation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Congress backs Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Poll: Public ready to close book on 2 wars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Israel pounds Gaza as it searches for soldier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Stars willing to risk opinions on Gaza clash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Last ex-city official sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California prisons alter treatment of mentally ill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Court gives new life to California high-speed rail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lightning sparks dozens of new California fires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Attorney in deadly bank robbery requests records

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Report disputes mom’s claim in school altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Denver fair’s bong, edible contests celebrate pot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Law changed to allow ‘unlocking’ cellphones

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Army to force out 550 majors; some in Afghanistan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Nevada no lock for Tesla plant despite groundwork

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Lab who walked 30 miles back home adopted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Americans with Ebola returning to US for treatment

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Iran opens first state-run alcohol rehab center

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Remains of Air Algerie crash victims now in Paris

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
China bladder trade sending porpoise to extinction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Uruguayan pot marketplace may go up in smoke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Ugandan court invalidates anti-gay law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Ebola moving faster than control efforts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Ukraine: Body parts retrieved at jet crash site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

2 Americans detained in North Korea seek US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Stolen WWI gas mask found in pawn shop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

WWI aviation still alive at aerodrome in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Cheers, jeers for the week of July 27 to Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Politicians gain superiority over electorate

By Murray Bass | From Page: A8

Election focus: Changing of political guard

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Perspective needed on Gaza conflict

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Aug. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for Aug. 2, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Airstream trailers enjoy resurgence as fixed lodging

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes for Aug. 2, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B11

My husband buys drinks for female strangers sitting alone in bars

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B11

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Larry King and Piers Morgan trade jabs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Robert Kennedy Jr. to marry actress Cheryl Hines

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Got a beef with television? Why not sue somebody?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Rising band getting more than 5 seconds of summer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Guitarist, songwriter for Alice Cooper dies at 71

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Batman creator’s personal copies to be auctioned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Baseball Notebook: Vanden grads Negron, Aplin making their mark

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants RHP Cain needs surgery to remove bone chips

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Raul Ibanez homers to carry Royals past A’s 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Expos stop Shockers, stay alive in state tourney

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

Vogelsong stifles Mets in Giants’ 5-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Browns’ Gordon meets with NFL on appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Woods, Mickelson paired together again in a major

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
George suffers serious leg injury in US exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Montoya interested in running The Double for Penske

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nick Watney leads Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anaheim Ducks to retire Selanne’s jersey Jan. 11

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mudcats still alive in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Sergio Garcia shoots 61 to take Firestone lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Goodell defends NFL’s 2-game suspension of Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Packers unveil statue for the Lambeau Leap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Marco Dawson leads 3M Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

PGA Tour refutes report Johnson suspended

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Redskins WR Jerry Rice Jr to have shoulder surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spurs sign Tony Parker to extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hunter-Reay tops after early Mid-Ohio practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Larson wins 1st career pole at Pocono Raceway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Raiders’ Bergstrom adding center to his resume

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Blaine Gabbert learning 49ers system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Jon Lester ready to help lead A’s back to playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

.

Business

Allergan sues Valeant, claims fraud in buy attempt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
US job growth eases but tops 200K for a 6th month

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Rare summer relief for gasoline prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
US auto sales sizzle in July, helped by discounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

S&P 500 has its worst week in 2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Microsoft sues Samsung over halt to royalties

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

HP to pay $32.5M to settle Postal Service dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Hyundai recalls more than 419K vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marjorie Lee Myrick

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Alice Marion Brown

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Enid Mary Vesci

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 08/2/14

Right at Home: cooking up a color-happy kitchen

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Aug. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.12 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3