Saturday, April 24, 2010

Portland civil defense, 1940s-1950s

Portland's Civil Defense program of the 1940s and 1950s was once a national model. In 1956, Portland became the first city in the nation with an underground emergency response headquarters, built inside Kelly Butte. The CBS networked featured the city's civil defense program in their 1957 film A Day Called X. By the early 1960s, however, state and city leaders deemed this civil defense project a waste of funds and canceled the program.

A Day Called X, Part I:

A Day Called X, Part II:

Here are some additional sources on this topic:

Harry Rasky, dir., A Day Called X, CBS Television, 1957. [IMDB]

Peter Ames Carlin, With nuclear annihilation imminent, Portland keeps its cool, Oregonian, May 9, 2009.

Scans from 1955 Portland Civil Defense pamphlet.

Historical and recent images of the Kelly Butte Civil Defense Center, Portland.

Trudy Flores and Sarah Griffith, "Civil Defense Underground Headquarters", Oregon Historical Society's Oregon History Project, 2002.


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