Since its founding in 1999, CONELRAD has had the honor of making some significant contributions to the understanding and celebration of Cold War popular culture. The following are some of the major accomplishments that the CONELRAD staff has shared over the past eight years:
- In 2002 CONELRAD co-produced with Synapse Films the deluxe DVD re-issue of the atomic / Red Scare B-movie classic INVASION, USA. The DVD was subsequently chosen by the New York Times as one of the ten most notable releases of that year.
- In 2004 CONELRAD spearheaded the public campaign to get the 1951 Civil Defense film DUCK AND COVER into the Library of Congress's National Film Registry. In conjunction with this successful effort, CONELRAD published the definitive production history of this iconic film that included interviews with the Executive Producer (Leo Langlois) and Screenwriter (Ray J. Mauer).
- Also in 2004, CONELRAD published formally classified letters from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to 11 (mostly) private citizens who had been identified to take over key industries in the event that the United States was ever destabilized by a nuclear attack or other emergency.
- In 2005 CONELRAD partnered with the prestigious Bear Family Records of Germany to produce a 6 disc box set of vintage Cold War music, Public Service Announcements and film. The collection, titled ATOMIC PLATTERS: COLD WAR MUSIC FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOMELAND SECURITY won rave reviews in numerous newspapers and magazines.
- In 2007 CONELRAD published a major, multimedia feature article on the history of the infamous and iconic 1964 DAISY television advertisement produced for Lyndon B. Johnsonís presidential campaign. CONELRAD performed significant original research into the spotís production history including a very rare interview the star of the ad, Birgitte Olsen (Olsen played the little girl who plucks the daisies before being "blown up" by stock footage of a nuclear explosion).
CONELRAD was launched on July 16, 1999 (the 54th anniversary of the Trinity test of the world's first atomic device) by two Cold War civilian veterans (Ken Sitz and Bill Geerhart) and a retired United States Air Force captain, Curtis Samson (who is still waiting on his Cold War service medal from the Pentagon). Each amazed the other one night at a dinner party by mentioning Atomic Culture books the other had never heard of (THE DAY AFTER WORLD WAR III by Edward Zuckerman being just one of many titles bandied about). CONELRAD the site was born as a means to share all the strangeness that this lengthy and tumultuous era produced.
Ken Sitz, Creative Director, is a pop music historian who was a featured interviewee in Re/Search Publications INCREDIBLY STRANGE MUSIC VOL. II published in 1994.
In addition to his work with CONELRAD, editor Bill Geerhart has been published in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and he was the co-director of the non-Atomic documentary Out of Fashion: Royce Reed. Bill resides, above ground, in Los Angeles.
Publisher Curtis Samson is the man most responsible for what will certainly be CONELRAD's most debated feature, The CONELRAD 100. Curtis, a devout film buff, spent many hours researching, assembling and tweaking the list which is now presented for your electronic perusal. Curtis will also be working on CONELRAD's forthcoming Atomic Pulp book section.
CONELRAD welcomes ideas, suggestions and obscure trivia, so join the Ground Observers Corps today!