Comic Books #17: If an A-Bomb Falls
During the height of the Cold War, citizens went about their daily lives as normal, all the while conscious of the fact that a nuclear warhead could turn their bodies to dust at any moment. They had every reason to believe this was not an "if it happens", but rather a "when it happens" scenario. Rather than crawl into a dark corner somewhere in the fetal position and spend your final days weeping and gnashing teeth, Americans lived life as normally as possible - as if the total annihilation of the human race was not just around the corner. They say that while a fourth of the European population was being wiped out by the Black Death, very little was written about it - Boccaccio's Decameron makes mention of it, but it very rarely made its way into paintings and poetry. Like the people of the plague, the people of the Cold War carried on as it had before the threat of complete planetary extinction.
However, they did take precautions. They built bomb shelters, had drills, stockpiled food, and so forth. Looking through this old comic book, If an A-Bomb Falls from 1951, is an interesting glimpse into the Cold War mindset. Much like another comic book on nuclear war preparation I posted on earlier, the advice seems to border on insanity. For instance, if an atomic bomb is about to drop on your city, make sure you pull the drapes, turn off the stove, and take the trash out (?)