Talk by Thomas E. Dewey

Wednesday, June 20, 1951

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

The 22nd program of the series. Governor Dewey tells the audience to take responsibility for saving their lives if a nuclear attack were to occur. If we are prepared, it is less likely to happen. Our citizens are not doing their job. If an atom bomb fell in your community tonight, what would happen? Death, destruction, fire, chaos, and horror. This is no idle nightmare; it actually happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan was not prepared. Do you know what to do?

Your state government has done its job.

Asks for $12 million to buy supplies. The men dying in Korea are dying in vain if we don't protect ourselves. If total war comes, everybody will be on the front lines.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71582
Municipal archives id: LT1832


Thomas E. Dewey


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About Plan For Survival

"Maybe you, maybe me.  Death and destruction ... Panic in the streets ..." Not a program for pre-bedtime listening, these recordings examine the impossibility of sufficiently preparing for nuclear winter.

With surprisingly calm moderators, the Plan for Survival series (1950-1951) goes beyond the usual "duck and cover" advisement and into the details of an A-bomb attack, fallout shelters, the Soviet threat, first aid, radiation sickness, and food and water supplies following a nuclear attack. Guests include civilians recounting their survival experiences in wartime, like the missile blitzes in England.

The show was transcribed for the Civil Defense Network, which "linked virtually every radio station in New York State and operates entirely by air. It can function even if regular radio lines are destroyed." Bill Leonard hosts with expert panelists, and most programs consist of a balance of speculation and civil information for New York State in general and New York City in particular.  Intended to be a public service announcement for a new nuclear age, the record of these programs now serves to add perspective to 21st century fears —from suffocating due to sinus congestion to bags left in the subway. It's clear -- death comes from above.


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