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Classroom Deception: School Civil Defense in Atomic America

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Title: Classroom Deception: School Civil Defense in Atomic America
Author: Sills-Takyi, Adrian
Advisor: Friedman, Andrew
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of History
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the first ever atomic bomb on another country and with it forever changed not only the face of war, but also the very nature of society. As civil defense programs pushed into American culture during the 1950s, many Americans, especially young ones, pushed back against its tactics and message. In this thesis, I will show how school civil defense programs throughout the 1950s and early 1960s deceived young people by presenting them with a false reality of the dangers of nuclear war. This deception was recognized by both teachers and students, and severed a divide between the educational community and the United States Government. Ultimately, this mistrust caused many young people to lose faith in their government, and played a significant role in creating the rebellious, anti-government youth culture that has come to characterize the 1960s and 1970s.
Subject: United States -- Politics and government -- Public opinion -- 20th century
Subject: Civil defense drills -- United States -- History -- 20th century
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Sills-Takyi, Adrian. "Classroom Deception: School Civil Defense in Atomic America". 2011. Available electronically from

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