Monday, December 1, 2014

52 Weeks of Sharing Our Memories - Air Raid Drills

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Writing our Memories by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy who has challenged us to write our memories for our future generations.

When I was in the second and third grades, we had air raid drills at school. This was after the Soviet Union (Russia) began nuclear testing in the early 1950s. I saw online that these were called "duck and cover" drills. I don't think we had them in first grade. This was in the 1960s during the Cold War. I don't remember much about what we had to do during the drills, possibly hide under our desks. I do remember that we had to learn our way home from school in case we were sent home and our parents couldn't come for us. Every day at noon (or maybe it was just once a week) for decades, the air raid siren would sound all over town. There would also be a test on the TV by the Emergency Broadcast System--probably on the radio, too. People built bomb shelters, but I don't know if anyone in Valdosta built one.

I saw this YouTube video below on wikipedia. The video was put together by the Civil Defense department in 1951. It was written by Raymond J. Mauer and directed by Anthony Rizzo and distributed by Archer Productions. 

The elementary school I went to for first through third grades was the old Sallas Mahone on the corner of Patterson Street and Woodrow Wilson Drive (the school has since been torn down and the property is now part of the hospital). I don't remember having air raid drills when I changed schools to S. L. Mason Elementary School for fourth through sixth grades. This school was closer to our house and we walked or rode our bikes every day to school, so we already knew the way home from there.

Ah, the "good ole days" with the fear of nuclear attack! I remember my oldest brother and I would sometimes search the sky for enemy planes as if we'd know what they looked like from several thousand feet in the air.


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