Abstract

During the Cold War, physical and cultural distance from major metropolitan areas did not preclude farm and rural families from taking part in civil defense preparations. In the early 1950s the evacuation of civilian populations from urban areas and military targets served as the basis for federal and state civil defense programs. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, however, as the dangers of fallout shaped the public discourse, rural areas were no longer considered safe from an attack. Throughout this period, the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA), in conjunction with the USDA and State Cooperative Extension Services, launched campaigns to educate farmers on their roles as providers of food and as budding atomic scientists. The rhetoric of these programs reinforced the notion that rural Americans contributed not only food and raw materials to the American economy, but also served as the moral backbone of a democratic nation. Such language placed farmers and rural residents on the front lines of the Cold War.

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Notes

1 Morris Fleming ,
The Reluctant Giant
, ca.
1982
,
2 Morris Fleming , "Civil Defense News,"
Douglas County News
,
Mar. 14
,
1963
,
3 Anonymous,
Mightier than Missiles
(Chicago: American Feed Manufacturers Association,
1961
).
4 R. K. Bliss ,
Agriculture’s Contribution to the National Economy Radio Talk
,
July 27
,
1962
, R. K. Bliss Papers, RS 16/3/13, Special Collections, Parks Library, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (hereafter SCPLISU);
Morris Fleming , "Civil Defense News,"
Douglas County News
,
Dec. 16
,
1963
, Fleming Papers.
5 W. E. Hamilton, Director of Research, Nov. 20, 1959
American Farm Bureau Federation Records, MS-479, SCPLISU.
6 Richard E. Bell ,
An Agricultural Comparison: The United States and Soviet Union
(Washington, DC: Economic Research Service, USDA,
1961
).
7 "What Are You Afraid Of? Iowa Farm People List Communists, War, Depression among their Biggest Worries,"
Wallace’s Farmer and Iowa Homestead
,
Sept. 4
,
1954
,
38
;
Dan B. Murphy , "Sputnik and the Hoe,"
Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman
,
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,
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,
1
.
8 "
Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism, a Comparison of Economic Policy
," in
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, Michigan State College and Michigan State University (East Lansing: Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service,
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1
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9 "Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Committee Handbook, 1958-1959";
"Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Committee Handbook, 1960-1961";
"Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Committee Handbook, 1964,"
annual meeting of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation in 1959,
"IFBF Resolutions: Civil and Defense Mobilization,"
Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman
,
Nov. 28
,
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,
18
.
10 "What are you Afraid Of?" 38;
Ella Loughran Brown to
Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman
, Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman,
Apr. 27
,
1957
,
4
.
11 "Farmers Needed for Success Against Air Attack,"
Successful Farming
50
(
Oct.
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):
80
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12 Paul G. Steinbicker , "Shelter or Evacuation?"
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
13
(
May
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):
166
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Kenneth D. Rose ,
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(New York: New York University Press,
2001
),
24
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13 "An Interview with Governor Val Peterson,"
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
10
(
Dec.
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):
375
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14 Val Peterson , "Mass Evacuation,"
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
10
(
Sept.
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): 29495;
Nebraska Survival Project ,
State of Nebraska Operational Survival Plan: Basic Plan
(Lincoln: State of Nebraska Civil Defense,
1958
).
15 Nebraska Survival Project, State of Nebraska Operational Survival Plan;
Federal Civil Defense Administration
,
Training Courses for Civil Defense: Technical Manual
(Washington, DC: GPO,
1954
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3
.
16 "An Interview with Governor Val Peterson," 375-77.
17
Federal Civil Defense Administration
,
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(Washington, DC: GPO,
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);
"If H-Bomb Comes-What You Can Do About It,"
US News & World Report
(
Apr. 8
,
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):
75
.
18 Barent Landstreet , "
Evacuation and Dispersal
," in
A Report on the 1955 Washington Conference of the National Women’s Advisory Committee: Federal Civil Defense Administration, November 3, 4, 1955, Washington, DC
, National Women’s Advisory Committee on Civil Defense (Washington, DC: GPO, 1955).
19 Laura McEnaney ,
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(Princeton: Princeton University Press,
2000
),
132
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20 Ibid.
21 Rose ,
One Nation Underground
,
98
-100.
22 "Defense Against Radioactive Fallout on the Farm,"
Wallace’s Farmer and Iowa Homestead
,
July 6
,
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,
18
;
John H. Rust , "
The Agricultural Problem in Civil Defense
," in
Civil Defense: A Symposium Presented at the Berkeley Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 1965
, ed. Henry Eyring (Washington, DC: Association for the Advancement of Science, Committee on Council Affairs,
1966
),
78
, 81-82.
23 "
Accomplishments of the Office of Civil Defense Mobilization, 1953-1960
,"
Dec. 27
, 1960,
Neil FitzSimons , "
Brief History of American Civil Defense
," in
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),
41
;
Rose ,
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,
35
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24 "
Civil Defense and Mobilization
," in "
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Committee Handbook, 1960-1961
," Iowa Farm Bureau, Women’s Committee Records, SCPLISU.
25 Fleming , "Civil Defense News,"
The Parker Press
,
Feb. 11
,
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, Fleming Papers;
Fleming , "Civil Defense News,"
Douglas County News
,
Aug. 31
,
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, Fleming Papers.
26 Federal Civil Defense Administration, Rural Family Defense.
27 Fleming , "
Civil Defense News
,"
Nov. 8
,
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, Fleming Papers.
28 "Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Committee Handbook, 1960-1961," Iowa Farm Bureau, Women’s Committee Records, SCPLISU;
"East Pottawattamie County,"
Agriculture and Natural Resources
(hereafter ANR) (
1959
):
9
;
"Lee County,"
ANR
(
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):
13
;
"Civil Defense Booth at
1960
Fair,"
Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman
,
Aug. 27
, 1960,
5
;
"FB Women Hold Civil Defense Day,"
Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman
,
Mar. 5
,
1960
,
18
.
29
Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization
,
How It Was Done: Rural America
(Washington, DC: GPO,
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).
30 Ibid., 3, 9, 11.
31 Fleming , "Civil Defense News,"
Douglas County News
,
Aug. 31
,
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, Fleming Papers.
32 Pamphlet, Wonder Building Company, n.d., Hoegh Papers.
33 Midwest Plan Service , "
Protecting Family and Livestock From Nuclear Fallout
,"
Extension Booklet #RCD-16
(Ames: Iowa State University Cooperative Extension Service,
1966
).
34 Ibid.
35 Fleming , "Civil Defense News,"
Douglas County News
,
Apr. 16
; Dec. 10,
1964
, Fleming Papers.
36 USDA , "
Fallout in Agriculture
," in
Atomic Scare Films III
(1958; Seattle: Something Weird Video,
2000
).
37
Agricultural Research Service
,
USDA Radiological Training Manual
(Washington, DC: USDA,
1961
).
38 Douglas County, Colorado, Radiological Monitoring Course, 1960, Fleming Papers;
United States Office of Civil Defense
,
Rural Fallout Shelter Analysis Workshop: Instructor’s Manual
(Washington, DC: GPO,
1966
),
65
.
39 Jack Bickers , ed., "Why Farmers Don’t Need to Fear Fallout,"
Farm Journal
85
(
Dec.
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):
26
-27.
40 Encyclopedia Britannica and the University of Illinois , "
Atoms in Agriculture
," in
Atomic Scare Films III
(1952; Seattle: Something Weird Video,
2000
).
41 "How Atoms Work for Farmers,"
Wallace’s Farmer
,
Sept. 17
,
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,
32
;
"Atomic Research for Farmers,"
Wallace’s Farmer
,
Oct. 20
,
1956
,
30
-31.
42 Thomas C. Renner and Wayne E. Swegle, "A
Successful Farming
Report on Atomic Energy in Agriculture," Successful Farming
57
(
July
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):
44
-45, 90;
"Atoms in the Garden,"
Newsweek
58
(
Mar. 6
,
1961
):
88
.
43 Fleming, The Reluctant Giant, Fleming Papers.