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Cold War Events
This is an event flow of events during the Cold War both in Winston-Salem and the United States. The information is gathered on a total of two pages, so continue on to page two. Most of the information here comes from a series of articles from the Winston-Salem Journal, the local newspaper in Winston-Salem and the web sites in the Works Cited page. The articles can be found at the end of the second page.
Victory Declared!
May 8, 1945 : V-E Day! Victory is declared in Europe! By this time Hitler has commited suicide (April 30) and the Germans surrendered the day before, May 7. This is the end of WWII. Shortly after the war ends the rivalry between the United States and the USSR is quickly refueled. It seems that the tolerance the Americans maintained through the war for the Russians reverted back to its pre-WWII status.

An American soldier hugs an English woman in celebration.
The Soviets Have Done It!
August 1949: The Soviet Union detonates their first atomic device. This
throws the Americans into a "Red Scare" frenzy. Americans are suprised that the Soviets were able to build one so quickly.
America gets Worried

January 1950: Truman orders the development of the H-Bomb in response to
the Soviet detonation of their own atomic device. Truman asks his scientists as to whether or not the Soviets could develop the H-Bomb and they say "yes." Production begins on the H-bomb immediately.
Civil Defense Begins
March 10, 1950: A Civil Defense program begins in Winston-Salem. Robert W.
Gorrell serves as the director or the local defense organization. Other members include J. R. Durham as deputy director and Gwen Harris, Frank W. Docker, and R.F. Brooks as assistants to Durham.
The Korean War Begins
June 1950: North Korea invades South Korea and the Korean War begins. Truman says: "The communists in the Kremlin are engaged in a monstrous conspiracy to stamp out freedom all over the world. If they were to succeed, the United States would be numbered among their principal victims." This is justification for involvement in the war in Korea and probably the beginnings of the Domino Theory.
Essex Announces Air Raid Services Defense Staff
March 31, 1951: Air raid deputy director Harold Essex of Winston-Salem
announces the development of only one remaining civil defense organization to be made. Essex volunteers to do double duty as an associate deputy of the radio broadcast communication as well as deputy of his duties as the deputy director of the Air Raid Services. Essex's division includes communication facilites in the community.
Civil Defense Training begins in Police Force
June 19, 1951: The police force in Winston-Salem will begin civil defense
training in early July. The chief of police Jim Waller says this is one of the phases in preparing the police department for civil defense. Some of the things that the police must do is pass a Red Cross first aid test and take classes on the atomic bomb. A total of twenty-five are selected to participate in the training.
Instruction Cards Distributed
September 22, 1951: Three women make and distribute instruction cards to over 12,000 Forsyth County families. Louise Ziglar Joyce, Elizabeth L. Tuttle, and Mary K. Routh makes the pamplets that include instruction cards on air raids and a household first-aid kit. The pamplets are passed out to the 31 home demonstration clubs and the 20 4-H clubs to deliver to their respective neighborhoods.
The Korean War Ends
July 27, 1953: The Korean War ends with the signing of the cease-fire agreement.

A sherman tank.
Civil Defense Meeting in Winston-Salem
September 12, 1960: The first session of a statewide Civil Defense meeting is held. Many members from the eastern part of the state cannot attend due to Hurricane Donna. The meeting is held in the Robert E. Lee Hotel downtown Winston-Salem and is attended by about 75 people. Speakers include William S. Yeager from Western Electric Co and Mayor Marshall Kurfees; they speak mainly on the funds made available from the government for local Civil Defense programs.
Livestock and the Atom Bomb

November 17, 1960: What are you going to do with your cows when the bomb falls? The Department of Agriculture is thinking about this problem. When the bomb falls milk will be needed so it is important that the cow have shelter too. When the bomb falls immediately take your cow to the barn and milk her because after she is affected by fallout it will be a couple of days before her milk is safe. When it is safe to come out go and wash your cow off with water and feed her hay that is not exposed to fallout. And the Chickens? The egg's shells will be full of fallout but the radioactivity will not get to the yolk so you can eat the eggs right away. Ten farmers were asked if their farm was ready and not one of them say yes, but they all agree it is a good idea.
First Fallout Shelter Completed in Winston-Salem
January 13, 1961: Hamilton W. Howe, director of Civil Defense for Forsyth
County and Winston-Salem, announce the first Civil Defense fallout shelter in the basement of the Warner family. The shelter will be open for the public starting January 21, from 1 to 4 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The shelter was built by Ervin Building Co. and cost about $740. This shelter is the first of its kind to be funded and built by the government. The shelter is built of concrete block weighing 144 lbs. per cubic foot and covers a 9 by 12 foot area that would house Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Warner and their two children. This prototype shelter is stocked with bunk beds, food and Civil Defense radiological detection equipment.
Prefabricated Shelters
August 11, 1961: N. B. Booras, president of Forsyth Living Shelter Co., puts prefabricated metal fallout shelters up for sale. This company is a local franchise dealer of the larger company out of Chicago called the Wonder Building Corporation. The shelters come in a variety of sizes and can cost anywhere from $525 and up. Two models are displayed at Thruway Shopping Center for 60 days. Orders are taken immediately and installation will begin within three weeks.
Two Women Live in a Shelter for a Week
August 18, 1961: Gaynelle Rothrock and Fanny Harper live in a shelter for a week. The two women want to know exactly what it would be like to live in the shelter if the atom bomb was to fall. They bring books, cards and paint sets to keep them busy. The shelter is stocked with four beds that fold into two couches, bathroom facilities, food, a telephone and a radio. The only cooking the two plan to do is making soup and heating water for soup, both of them anticipate losing weight.
Interest in Fallout Shelters is Booming
September 28, 1961: The interest in fallout shelters in North Carolina is
booming. This is following a trend that seems to happen all over the United States. The crisis in Berlin and Russia's recent nuclear tests have touched off a tremendous increase in paranoia in the US. State Civil Defense Director Edward F. Griffin cites that 8,000 fallout shelters have either already been built or are in the process of being built.
They Emerge!
October 1, 1961: The two Winston-Salem women that entered their fallout
shelter one week earlier on September 23 have emerged. Overall they say that conditions were not bad and they enjoyed it. They had plenty of food and Harper's only complaint is that she would have liked more seasoning for the food. Harper says "I don't think people should have a horror of living in these things. I think sooner or later we will probably have to stay in them." The shelter was built by Survival Inc. of Winston-Salem.
Schools Shelters Considered in Winston-Salem
October 14, 1961: North Senior High School (now known as North High School) is the proposed site for the first large-scale public fallout shelter in Winston-Salem. Estimates of the cost start at about $50,000 and end at $100,000. The gym of the school "would accommodate all the students under standards set up in fallout shelters."
A Fallout Shelter for just $30?
November 8, 1961: Professor Willard F. Libby instructs the public of Winston-Salem on how to make a shelter for just $30 in the third of a series of articles called "Atomic Survival." Professor Libby built his thirty dollar shelter by digging horizontally into the slope of a hill and lining that with bags of dirt. He instructs the public that anyone with a basement is "lucky" because he doesnt have to build a freestanding structure, in fact it would be easier and cheaper for those who do have a basement to build a fallout shelter. He also preaches the use of practical items like a broom for sweeping away atomic fallout.
Time to Get Home
November 14, 1961: Bert the Turtle has warned us that the bomb could drop at any time and Professor Libby agrees with this wholeheartedly. He brings up the fact that when the bomb does drop a person has "one to several hours to assemble your family,...unless you are in the immediate blast area." Libby points out that most schools do not have fallout shelters and that the children should run home in the case that the bomb does fall. "The odds are very strong that most of us shall have warning of an impending attack." The Civil Defense siren signals and the Conelrad broadcast on the radio will let someone know what was happening and unless they were in the blast radius they will have the time to act rationally and get to safety.
Community Shelters are the Cheapest
November 16, 1961: Professor Libby provides evidence that community shelters that hold 50 to 100 persons are the cheapest type of fallout shelter available. A community of people can build a shelter for $100 per family, which is considerably less than what a typical family shelter costs. He also points out that the Russians are far more sophisticated in building their fallout shelters.
Local Teenagers dont want a Shelter
November 25, 1961: 5 local teens from Forsyth County express their distrust in a fallout shelter program in a school. One teen points out that more effort should be used to preventing the need for a fallout shelter. Another points out that knowledge of a fallout shelter in a school during a real emergency could quite possibly endanger the students. These five teens seem to exhibit a distrust of the fallout shelter system and generally think that nuclear war is far-fetched.
Fallout Shelter Offically Opened
December 17, 1961: An above ground shelter with a six person capacity is opened to the public on the grounds of the Army Reserve Armory. This shelter is the third and last shelter to be a demonstration shelter built under Civil Defense. Estimated cost is between $800 and $900.
Cuban Missile Crisis

President Kennedy
October 1962: A period of thirteen days where the United States and the USSR are on the brink of Nuclear war. It begins when reconaissance photos show missile silos in Cuba aimed towards the US. President Kennedy enacts a quarantine of Cuba and no Soviet Ships are allowed in. A standoff between Kennedy and Krushchev ensues, but war is averted. This causes a tremendous resurgence in the Civil Defense programs of the United States.
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