Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Old Fears

The nuclear test by North Korea and the fear that Iran will get the bomb or that the Islamic extremists will get control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons reminded me of some old fears when I was a teenager in the late 1950's.

There was the pervasive fear then of nuclear war with the then Soviet Union. All across our nation, cities and villages designated public places as fallout shelters and stockpiled them with water and food. Civil Defense directors were appointed to oversee and plan for survival after the atom bombs dropped.

Individuals prepared for survival by constructing home shelters and conducting family drills in what to do in case of a nuclear emergency. Our radioes had special spots on the dial for people to tune to for information. Radio stations would test the system periodically by playing an alert tone. I remember the warning sounded and then the announcer said: “This is a test. This is only a test. If this had been an actual emergency, you would be instructed to tune to 640 or 1240 on the radio dial for emergency information.”

The Soviet leader behind most of this fear was Nikita Khrushchev. A hard communist, who once told America, “ we will bury you.” Meaning communism will dominate democracy. Nikita Khrushchev died in 1971.

His son, Dr. Sergei Khrushchev is a Senior Fellow at Brown University. Ten years ago he and his wife became American citizens.

No comments:

Free Blog CounterEnglish German Translation