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Lecture 11

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Author: Grant Mathews

The Bomb Test Programs  1946 - 1963

  1. Between July 16, 1945 and September 23, 1992 the United States of America conducted (by official count) 1054 nuclear tests, and two nuclear attacks. What are the reasons and results?

Preparation of Population

  1. Test program needed psychological preparation of population down-playing internal impact while up-playing external enemy familiarizing population and society through media & propaganda
    1. The Red Nightmare: A federally funded film. The tale of an ordinary American town and its life as a Communist satellite, with everyone becoming emotionless automations.
    2. Invasion, USA was a prominent cold war 'scare' movie. Unlike pacifist films such as Arch Oboler's Five, this show depicts a Soviet Union so aggressive, Senator Joe McCarthy wouldn't recognize it.
  2. The ‘Duck and Cover’ propaganda movie was probably one of the most famous of all the pieces of propaganda during the early stages of the cold war. It was targeted at school children and was intended to install the constant fear of a nuclear attack from the Soviets.

Nukes as a business motivator


On March 1, 1954, the first Hydrogen Bomb test on Bikini Atoll.  Designer Louis Réard thought his daring new swimsuit (the bikini) would have an impact comparable to the impact of the bomb.
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