A Trained Alert America is a Mighty Force for Peace (1956)


What You Can Do Now!: For a Strong America (Washington, DC: Federal Civil Defense Administration, 1956. SuDoc: FCD 1.2:W55/956) is a provocative document from the atomic age. There are ideas in What You Can Do Now! – an honesty if you will – that isn’t as transparent in many FCDA publications. For example, on page 2:

Any city attacked with nuclear weapons would be substantially destroyed.
In an all-out attack, millions of Americans probably will die.

There is also an interesting twist in terms of connecting a public commitment to civil defense planning, education, and peace as part of U.S. national defense strategy:

Admittedly there is no 100 percent defense against nuclear attack except peace. A strong civil defense could tip the scales for peace if enemy strategists were assessing the risk involved in starting war and gambling on a quick knockout victory.

And remember: “a strong civil defense can be our salvation” (p.4).