Atomic Alert!: Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age

June 28 – August 8, 2021

The Soviet Union’s detonation of its first atomic bomb test on August 29, 1949, thrust the United States into a new and more precarious era. Just four years after celebrating victory in World War II as the only nation with an atomic bomb, Americans now found themselves confronting the probability of an atomic war.

Atomic Alert!: Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age, a new exhibition on view at the Museum of Russian Icons from June 28 – August 15, 2021, explores the U.S. government’s Cold War era efforts to educate Americans about what to do before an atomic attack, how to react to a sudden, blinding flash, and what action to take in the aftermath of a catastrophic blast.

Featuring artifacts such as posters, brochures, videos, and interpretation from Michael Scheibach, Ph.D., independent scholar and author, Atomic Alert! offers a unique opportunity to revisit the early atomic age when the world was divided between two atomic-armed adversaries: the United States and the Soviet Union.


July 29–October 3, 2021

On November 6, 1956, armed with a camera, maps, passports, C-Rations, a budget of $5.00 per day ($3 food, $1 sleeping, $1 for gas and everything else) and little else, 25-year-old Gordon Lankton left Frankfurt, Germany on an NSU motorcycle and began an adventure that would come to influence the path he would take for the next 50 years.

Over 40 stunning photographs, taken by Museum founder Gordon Lankton during this life-changing journey, along with artifacts from the trip, will be on display. Click here for a story map of Gordon’s adventure.