Civil Defense

Archive Report

American Civil Defense in Total War

Hearings before the congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy during the month of February will focus public attention on problems of civil defense and the readiness, or lack of readiness, of the United States to meet possible enemy attack upon its civilian population. The hearings result in part from demands evoked by President Truman's announcement, Sept. 23, 1949, that an atomic explosion had occurred “within recent weeks” in the Soviet Union.

The President's announcement produced calls for renewed United Nations efforts to achieve international control of atomic energy and for specific planning in this country to deal with any emergency that might arise from breaking of the American monopoly on the atomic bomb. On Oct. 3 Bernard Baruch urged “immediate ...

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