Below are selected comments about Bert the Turtle and DUCK AND COVER from CONELRAD readers and correspondents. Use the submission form below to contribute your own comments.
I was thrilled to get your email identifying my sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Bohan, as a participant in the film, "Duck and Cover." I remember that era well, and I'm curious how you managed to track me down. I did a short remembrance of Mr. Bohan last year for Child Magazine
and I tried to find out what happened to him, and whether he might still be alive. The school system in Astoria was of no help. They said that no records existed going back that far. Mr. Bohan made a huge impression on me. Aside from being my first male teacher (and that was big right there), he was wonderfully encouraging and ran a classroom that was both disciplined and fun.
I have no memory of being filmed for the movie, and I'm not sure whether the class that is pictured was my class. But the setting is very familiar. We had regular air raid drills where we dove under our desks and were told to keep our faces away from the windows. School windows are towering affairs, and I was always worried about the potential for flying glass. We were also issued dog tags with our blood type. The specter of nuclear attack was very real. I remember asking my mother whether we were going to be bombed, and she assured me that New York was safe -- Washington was what they were really after. Now I live in Washington, and I console myself with the likelihood that the real threat is from a dirty bomb, which is more a weapon of mass disruption than destruction. Looking back at "Duck and Cover," it was the Cold War version of duct tape and plastic sheeting. How little our leaders have learned.
Sincerely, Eleanor Clift
National Film Registry
Library of Congress, M/B/RS Division
Washington, D. C. 20540
Dear Steve Leggett:
I am writing to strongly urge the Library of Congress National Film Registry committee to consider the nomination of the U.S. short animated film DUCK AND COVER (1951). As an internationally reknown scholar of the mass mediated and popular culture manifestations of nuclear energy I can attest that this film has had a lasting impact on the generations of American and international babyboomers, while retaining a resilient and ongoing cultural significance as a metaphor and icon of the post-war atomic epoch.
Hence its historical and cultural value will only grow in years to come and surely demands registration and preservation as an American classic.
Dr Mick Broderick
Media, Communcation & Culture
Dear Mr. Leggett.
I am writing to ask that you include "Duck and Cover" (1951) in the 2004 induction into the LOC National Film Registry. This CONELRAD film is nothing less than a piece of our history. My husband and I strongly feel it should be preserved and support bill Geerhart’s official nomination of the film.
I started school in 1955. As an Air Force brat (and I use the term w/pride) in Texas, we were taught the technique both at home and in school, along w/our very frequent tornado drills. The Cold War dominated lives in the US for so very long and preserving “Duck and Cover” would also preserve part of the childhood of millions of Baby Boomers.
Thank you for your consideration.
Penny Finuf, MSN, RN,CHN-CH,BC
B. Dennis Finuf, MPA