Worlds Destroyed before Your Eyes: American Children and the Threat of the Atom

Chris O’Brien of the University of Maine-Farmington will present his talk “Worlds Destroyed before Your Eyes: American Children and the Threat of the Atom” on Wednesday July 27th at 2:00 PM, in the Willamette East seminar room. Dr. O’Brien has been conducting research in the History of Atomic Energy Collection and in the Pauling Papers for nearly one month. A short description of his presentation is appended below.

Please do pass along word of this event to anyone whom you feel might be interested in attending. Refreshments will be served - we’ll hope to see you there!

Young Cold Warriors understood the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union to mean their own homes, families, schools and friends might be destroyed in nuclear annihilation. From 1945 to 1963, Americans underwent periods of intense nuclear concern, followed by relative quiescence. Even in the quiet times, however, nuclear issues tinted the American consciousness. In popular culture and in classrooms, young people were beset with images of the atomic bomb and constantly reminded of the Cold War’s dangers. Drawing on materials from the Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections and other sources, this presentation links the difficult topics of fallout and shelters with the lives of young Americans.

Posted - August 04, 2011