Saturday, May 14, 2016

It's a Mad Mad World: Nuclear Weapons and The Cold War

Fallout Shelter Sign Washington DC
Photo by Lance Mosier
In the final weeks of the semester my students and I explore the Cold War Era. An area that we look at is the fear of Nuclear Weapons and their impact on the Cold War. Below are some websites I have found beneficial in looking for resources to share with students or places for students to explore more about the fears of Nuclear War during the Cold War.

Strategic  Air Command Museum
Photo Lance Mosier

Nebraska Studies: Cold War Section
This is a very helpful website with lots of information about the Cold War and Nebraska's role in this era. Check out some of the resources on Living in an Atomic Age, TheCreation of SAC (Strategic Air Command), and Civil Defense.

Civil Defense Archives: There are lots of great primary source documents for you and/or your students to pull to learn more about what was done to protect Americans from the possibility of a Nuclear War.

Strategic Air Command Museum Website: If you visit Nebraska or live in Nebraska, you should check out this museum that hosts many planes from World War II and the Cold War. There are lots of great exhibits to learn more about The Cold War.

Animated Map of Every Nuclear Bomb Explosion: From Business Insider, this animated map shows the location of every known Nuclear Bomb explosion in history. This is a good way to see the proliferation of nuclear weapons as well as seeing when various arms treaties were signed throughout the Cold War.

C-SPAN Book Discussion on Atomic Weapons Test: Trinity through Buster-Jangle (1945-1951):
This is a very informative book talk full of information on nuclear weapons testing during the early years of the Cold War.

Omaha.Com Article "Inside Bunker, SAC Crew feared WWIII was on its way" by Matthew Hansen
There were many times that the United States and the Soviet Union were on the verge of an all out Nuclear War. This is a very interesting article of a little known incident and the soldiers who experience the real possibility of Nuclear War.

This website allows you to see the devastation of various nuclear weapons on targets of your choosing. The website shows areas of fall out and potential casualties of these weapons. This can be a very "morbid" exercise so I think it is important to walk students through discussions before, during, and after they explore this website.

Comic Books:
I have blogged about Comic Books in Up In The Sky It's A Bird. It's A Plane... these are some comics from ComicBook+ that are vintage comics that deal with Nuclear War. A very interesting collection of primary source of the Cold War Era on how to survive a Nuclear War.

PBS: Race for the Superbomb
This PBS Documentary has some great resources such as bomb test footage, tour of the Greenbier Government Bunker, and a 1950's test on how Panic-Proof you are.

Fall Out Shelters Virtual Tours via Civil Defense Museum:
This site has some great images of several types of fall out shelters to see what these shelters looked like.

Playlist of 8 Videos on YouTube:
1. Nuclear Detonation Timeline 1945-1998
2. Could You Survive a Fallout
3. How To Protect Yourself from Nuclear Fallout and Survive an Atomic Attack 1950s
4. Underground Nuclear Subsidence Creator
5. Why You Should Care About Nukes
6. Duck and Cover | 1951 | How to Survive a Nuclear Attack
7. Inside the Doomsday Plane
8. The Only Winning Move Is Not To Play (From WarGames)

What do you use to teach students about the Cold War? I would love to hear about it in the comments section below.