Federal Civil Defense Administration

  1. What was the need for The Emergency Alert System (EAS)? This was a descendant of CONELRAD, a system that began in 1951. Discuss the US government’s education campaigns about nuclear weapons.

President Harry S Truman signed the CONELRAD act into law. America would be on edge for decades as the threat of a looming nuclear disaster was ever present until the final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992. Bomb shelters were the norm throughout the next several decades, with even department stores like Sears selling kits to build one’s own bomb shelter. Children throughout America were taught to “duck and cover” in case of a nuclear attack; see: “Education is our first line of defense” and Duck and Cover: Federal Civil Defense Administration  and then (may take a while to load) Federal Civil Defense Administration stated that films like these were necessary, as “Duck and Cover was a social guidance film produced in 1951 by the United States federal government’s Civil Defense branch shortly after the Soviet Union began nuclear testing. Written by Raymond J. Mauer and directed by Anthony Rizzo of Archer Productions and made with the help of schoolchildren from New York City and Astoria, New York, it was shown in schools as the cornerstone of the government’s “duck and cover” public awareness campaign. The movie states that nuclear war could happen at any time without warning, and U.S. citizens should keep this constantly in mind and be ever ready.”


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  1. There are readings and a film for you to review. Discuss Brown vs. Board of Education and how this decision impacted the Civil Rights movement. Discuss how the movement continued to evolve. Here is a link on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This video from the Ben Hooks Institute from the University of Memphis is on the Civil Rights Movement. In your answer, be sure to include analysis of at least one Civil Rights figure (cite which source that was used) in your response, and do reference your textbook. Last, watch this film about Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin, and comment about what you learned from this tribute to his life.


  1. The Stonewall Riots were a critical movement in LGBTQ history. Review this timeline, comment on what you learned, and develop a discussion question for the class to respond to. See also: CNN: 1969 Stonewall Riots


Bonus: read/listen to one song/comment on (1 extra credit point) The class might be interested in the music of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who influenced generations of musicians, including Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Kanye West and many more. She was a master guitarist as well, also pioneering women performing as lead guitarists. Her music is also an important activist commentary on the Civil Rights movement. Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s bio:

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