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The Life Atomic: Growing Up in the Shadow of the A-Bomb

The "duck and cover" drill many baby boomers will remember from their early school days.1 / 2
A well-stocked "bomb shelter."2 / 2

Today American citizens find themselves threatened with the possibility of harm at the hands of foreign terrorists. But 50 years ago, during the height of the Cold War, Americans lived under another kind of threat - global thermo-nuclear war. Anxious citizens built fallout shelters in their homes. "Duck and cover" drills trained school children to react to an atomic attack by crawling under their desks and covering their heads with their arms. But the new technology of "radiation bombs" inspired more than fear. The bomb also influenced virtually every aspect of American popular culture. Even movies and toys reflected a society that managed to come to terms with life in the nuclear age.

The exhibit, "The Life Atomic: Growing Up in the Shadow of the A-Bomb," explores the history of the Cold War's influence on America. It will be on display from September 1 through October 13, 2009 at the ITOW Veterans Museum in Perham. The exhibit also includes a DVD featuring some public domain Civil Defense films such as Duck and Cover and Operation Cue.

Also on display will be selections from the oral history of William Stodderl, an area veteran who witnessed the Atomic Bomb tests on the Marshall Islands. "The Life Atomic" was produced by the Rogers Historical Museum in Rogers, Arkansas and made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For more information call 218-346-7678 or visit