federal civil defense administration

10

Declassified U.S. Nuclear Test Film #55: “Let’s Face It”

Based on the assumption that a nuclear attack from the former Soviet Union was imminent, the Federal Civil Defense Administration created a number of nuclear preparedness videos in the 1960s. In “Let’s Face It,” citizens are shown evacuating in an orderly manner, free from panic and driving mishaps. In addition, the video shows tests that were conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) to gain data that would help in Civil Defense preparedness. At the NTS, entire cities or “doomtowns,” including houses containing furniture, appliances, food, and mannequins representing people, were built. Inside each house was an array of instruments to gather the pertinent data on blast, heat and radiation effects. The majority of the buildings were destroyed by the blast. Yet, the underlying message given is that if citizens remain calm and “face it,” they can survive the bomb.

2

Before and After Operation Doorstep

On March 17, 1953 the Federal Civil Defense Administration conducted Operation Doorstep at Yucca Flat, Nevada.  It tested the effects of thermal radiation and nuclear blasts on residential buildings and mannequins such as the model family pictured.

Mannequin Family in a House at Operation Doorstep, 7,500 Feet from the Blast, before the Blast, 03/17/1953

Mannequin Family in a House at Operation Doorstep, 7,500 Feet from the Blast, after the Blast, 03/17/1953

(see also “Operation Cue” conducted in May of 1955.)