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Blackwell-The Cold War   Tags: mrs. blackwell, social studies  

Resources and information on the Cold War in US History
Last Updated: Jan 4, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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The Cold War refers to the post World War II hostilities between the Soviet Union and the United States that eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Throughout the 45 year period, although no real battles were fought between the two superpowers, there was a threat of nuclear war on both sides, participation by proxy in the wars of allied countries, a race for supremacy in space exploration, intense missile and nuclear weapon rivalry and economic competition in the form of American capitalism vs. Soviet Communism.


Cold War "Educational" Video

After nuclear weapons were developed (the first having been developed during the Manhattan Project during World War II), it was realized what kind of danger they posed. The United States held a nuclear monopoly from the end of World War II until 1949, when the Soviets detonated their first nuclear device.

This signaled the beginning of the nuclear stage of the Cold War, and as a result, strategies for survival were thought out.Fallout shelters, both private and public, were built, but the government still viewed it as necessary to explain to citizens both the danger of the atomic (and later, hydrogen) bombs, and to give them some sort of training so that they would be prepared to act in the event of a nuclear strike.

The solution was the duck and cover campaign, of which Duck and Cover was an integral part. Shelters were built, drills were held in towns and schools, and the film was shown to schoolchildren. According to the United States Library of Congress(which declared the film "historically significant" and inducted it for preservation into the National Film Registry in 2004), it "was seen by millions of schoolchildren in the 1950s.


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