For nearly half a century Americans coped with the possibility of atomic war as a regular part of their daily lives.
That era is remembered in the exhibit Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965 on display November 10, 2012 through January 6, 2013 at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
During the Cold War Americans were flooded with messages about the dangers of atomic weapons and attack from foreign powers. This exhibit features dozens of pamphlets, household objects, and other materials reflecting these concerns.
Presented chronologically, the exhibit moves from the post-war era -- when Americans realized that atomic weapons might be used against them -- to the realization that the Soviets had developed their own bomb, and on to the development of Civil Defense measures that touted backyard fallout shelters, evacuation plans, and "duck and cover" drills for school children.
The multimedia exhibit looks at how Americans responded to all this at home, at school, in their communities, and at play. Mass merchandisers found new opportunities for using atomic imagery to add excitement to products and packaging. In popular culture comic books, monster movies, and toy ray guns created an alternate set of coping mechanisms for a nation constantly under siege from messages of pending atomic annihilation.
Curated by Michael Scheibach and ExhibitsUSA, more than 75 original objects from the era are featured.
Admission is free. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th & Baltimore.