Loading Events

Atomic Alert! Curator Talk
Living with the Atomic Bomb: 1945-1965

Saturday, March 28, 1:00-2:00pm
Members $6, Nonmembers $12. To register call 978.598.5000, or click the link below.

Michael Scheibach, Ph.D., historian, author, and curator of the Atomic Alert! the exhibit presents “Living with the Atomic Bomb: 1945-1965,” a multimedia talk on the impact of the atomic bomb on the nation’s government policy, military strategy, civil defense programs, and individual citizens during the early Cold War.

The Soviet Union’s successful test of an atomic bomb in August of 1949 pushed the United States into a new era. Just four years to the month after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, ending World War II, the nation faced an atomic-armed adversary. As the 1950s unfolded, many in the U.S., including military leaders and government officials, believed an enemy attack by the Soviet Union was not just a possibility but a probability. To help prepare the nation, President Harry S. Truman created the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) in December 1950 to oversee the nation’s civil defense program—a program designed to help Americans prepare for and survive an atomic attack.

In this informative, insightful, and engaging presentation, Scheibach examines the government’s civil defense efforts at the national, state, and local levels; the role of men and women in those efforts; the impact of “The Bomb” on children and youth; the involvement of the military in promoting civil defense; and the nation’s view of the Soviet Union as a potential military threat.

“Living with the Atomic Bomb” features photos, illustrations, and audio and video clips to highlight the extent and impact of America’s civil defense program. Michael Scheibach, Ph.D., is an independent scholar specializing in the history of the early Cold War from 1945 through the 1960s. He is the author of four books, including Atomic Narratives and American Youth: Coming of Age with the Atom, 1945-1955; Atomics in the Classroom: Teaching the Bomb in the Early Postwar Era; Protecting the Home Front: Women in Civil Defense in the Early Cold War; and Atomic Alert: The Atomic Bomb and “The Show That May Save Your Life.” Also, he is the editor of “In Case Atom Bombs Fall”: An Anthology of Governmental Explanations, Instructions, and Warnings from the 1940s to the 1960s. He is also the curator of the traveling exhibit, Atomic Alert! Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age, which features artifacts from his collection. Scheibach, who received his doctorate in American studies from the University of Kansas, lives in Miami, Florida.