Are you American and remember the Cold War?

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  • #16
    Some strange answers here, and some were just flippant.

    I have personal memory of the Cold War. I have a clear memory of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, various news about Berlin (people escaping to West Germany, people being killed by guards as they attempted to escape), open-air nuclear testing, and many other themes from that era.

    In fact, a news report might have used either "Russians" or "Soviets" or "the Soviet Union."

    Loosely, "Russia" was used in place of "the Soviet Union" a lot. But you heard and read both. It was a lot like how "America/Americans" and "US/USA/The United States" are used today.

    Do not worry about it. Do not try to Google or research it. You will just become further confused.

    By the way, I am sure that practices differed from one American school to another, but the "duck and cover" drills (hiding from a nuclear blast under your desk) were not nearly as common as you might believe if you had to judge based on what TV and popular history say nowadays. I remember doing it only a few times over several years in "middle school" (as it is now called) and in high school. These were not like fire drills, which were frequent exercises.

    One more "by the way" about the Cold War: With the exception of the Cuban Missile Crisis (and I could say much about that), the Cold War was a less frightening and hazardous time than you might think. Life went on in a very stable manner until certain factions got us into the Vietnam War, which was one of the catalysts for disastrous sociopolitical change in America. In fact, the world situation is much worse today than it was during the Cold War. I am not going to name current villains, because that would lap over into politics, which we made an off-limits topic when I was still one of the administrators on this board.

    Good luck with your writing!

    "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
      I have personal memory of the Cold War. I have a clear memory of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, various news about Berlin (people escaping to West Germany, people being killed by guards as they attempted to escape), open-air nuclear testing, and many other themes from that era.
      Same here.

      Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
      By the way, I am sure that practices differed from one American school to another, but the "duck and cover" drills (hiding from a nuclear blast under your desk) were not nearly as common as you might believe if you had to judge based on what TV and popular history say nowadays. I remember doing it only a few times over several years in "middle school" (as it is now called) and in high school. These were not like fire drills, which were frequent exercises.
      Regarding “duck and cover” drills, life in close proximity to Washington, D.C., was different. In elementary school, we performed “duck and cover” drills several times per week. This practice remained well after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which lasted from Oct. 16, 1962 to Oct. 28, 1962.

      As young children, we were given a cursory explanation about the necessity of the drills, which was that another country might rain nuclear bombs on us. My memory is vivid about the day that was first explained as we huddled beneath our flimsy desks.

      When the teacher told us we might be bombed, I'd seen enough World War II movies to know that was not good. I asked myself, Why would they want to do that? What did we ever do to them? In the movies, our country was “the good guys,” weren't they?

      Now, in retrospect, I have some of the answers to those questions.
      Last edited by Clint Hill; 12-25-2021, 02:42 PM.
      "If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all." — Joseph Campbell

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      • #18
        In the 1950s we generally referred to the USSR as Russia even though we knew that was not really correct. In my schools, the duck and cover exercises only occurred a couple of times. Remember that in 1945 the US actually dropped nuclear weapons on Japan , so the notion of a nuclear war happening 10 or 15 years later was not such a far out idea. Tensions were especially heightened during the Cuban missile crisis. My father actually flew a B-52 from Loring AFB, Maine to Florida where he and his crew were on alert to carry out a mission against the Soviet Union should it have become necessary. Yes, we were all scared that we were going to die from an atomic bomb sent to us by missile from Russia. We all believed that Nikita Kruschev was most evil living man on Earth.
        We're making a movie here, not a film! - Kit Ramsey

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        • #19
          I remember a friend's older brother having a "Ruck Fussia" t-shirt, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. I think you can't go wrong calling them "Russians."

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          • #20
            Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
            I remember a friend's older brother having a "Ruck Fussia" t-shirt, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. I think you can't go wrong calling them "Russians."
            Hilarious. Reminds of when me and a high school buddy -- having convinced our History teacher to chaperone an "educational" class trip to the Soviet Union -- had T-shirts made that said "Born In The USA" on the front and "Kill A Commie For Mommy" on the back, and brazenly wore them on an hours-long train trip between Moscow and St Petersburg, wandering about the train so drunk on vodka we're lucky we didn't end up in the gulag.

            Good times...Oh, and we called them Russians.

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