Oak Ridge, United States, World

Bring Back Duck and Cover Drills

Imagine being 5 years old and walking to school, and the first thing you do after walking into the classroom and putting your bag up is hearing a loud alarm and the teacher rushing all of the kids in the room to get under the desks for a duck and cover drill. For some people they didn’t have to just imagine this, they lived it. Throughout the 1950’s and early 60’s some schools would take part in duck and cover drills. These drills were a procedure utilized by certain American schools in different states because of the Soviet Union’s aggressive testing of the atomic bomb on their own land to test the effects of the blast and try to compete with U.S.’s first atomic explosion “Trinity”.

Also they were taken into action for kids to stay safe if a bomb was ever dropped on us and if the schools were in a far enough radius that they wouldn’t get incinerated but the blast and the power would shatter the windows, that is why the kids went under the desks,if a blast ever happened, they would take these precautions so they would not be badly hurt from windows breaking and glass flying. Now the real question is should we bring back these drills because of nuclear tensions with our government and North Korea’s government?

The cold war was post WWII and the cold tensions between America and the Soviet Union. This was considered a cold war because no overt actions were taken. Just words without actions besides increasing arsenal. Both the nations knew that if one of us took first fire at the others with these weapons of mass destruction we or they would fire back immediately and we would all be dead. The closest we got to going into a “hot” war was in October 1962 when the cuban missile crisis happened. The U.S became aware that the Soviet Union was positioning nuclear missiles in Communist Cuba.  We then sent out the Naval Blockade to stop the Soviet ships. On October 28 the crisis ends after getting the closest the world has ever gotten to WWIII. This then turned into the Nuclear Arms Race, which was basically a competition for superiority in nuclear warfare.  These were the numbers of launchers, warheads and megatonnage that the Soviets and U.S made.

Year Launchers Warheads Megatonnage
United States Soviet Union United States Soviet Union United States Soviet Union
1964 2,416 375 6,800 500 7,500 1,000
1966 2,396 435 5,000 550 5,600 1,200
1968 2,360 1,045 4,500 850 5,100 2,300
1970 2,230 1,680 3,900 1,800 4,300 3,100
1972 2,230 2,090 5,800 2,100 4,100 4,000
1974 2,180 2,380 8,400 2,400 3,800 4,200
1976 2,100 2,390 9,400 3,200 3,700 4,500
1978 2,058 2,350 9,800 5,200 3,800 5,400
1980 2,042 2,490 10,000 7,200 4,000 6,200
1982 2,032 2,490 11,000 10,000 4,100 8,200

But there were times where a lot could have gone really wrong. For example on January 16,1966 during a “routine mission” when 4 hydrogen bombs plummeted the earth at very high speeds which could have killed millions of people if they exploded, but luckily they didn’t.

But this just shows on how dangerous these weapons can be, and with tensions rising with U.S and North Korea, I think these drills would be a smart decision to bring back duck and cover drills. With North Korea’s crazy dictator and our president acting as a immature child on social media that is just antagonizing North Korea and getting us closer to a nuclear war, that make worried civilians like myself duck whenever a plane is in earshot. As of right now North Korea has roughly 200 launchers and has enough plutonium to create 10-16 nuclear missiles that could make it to one of our major cities. On the other hand in America we have 9,960 intact missiles. But with all these tensions, the question still stands, should we bring back duck and cover drills in certain states? But that question is for our elected officials that control our country. “I feared for my life everyday, it was horrendous”- Diane Sanders

Article by Dom Smith

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