(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
Mobilizing citizens for defense against "Soviet attack" was an important local activity in the 1950s. The threat of nuclear war was the main context but Cold War American fears of attack were also influenced by the large-scale bombings during the Second World War. Civil defense planning included developing plans for evacuation and the constructing of underground air raid shelters. As this letter to the Greenfield, Massachusetts, Recorder-Gazette shows, these programs also involved mass training of civilians in first aid techniques. The letter is also evidence of the growing influence of professionals during the 1950s.