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Bracing for ArmageddonWhy Civil Defense Never Worked$
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Dee Garrison

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195183191

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183191.001.0001

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The Fantasy Dies The Reagan Years

The Fantasy Dies The Reagan Years

Chapter:
(p.153) SIX The Fantasy Dies The Reagan Years
Source:
Bracing for Armageddon
Author(s):

Dee Garrison

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183191.003.0008

This chapter analyzes the second period of civil defense hype, which peaked in President Reagan's first term when he announced his seven-year, $4.2 billion plan for an expanded urban evacuation program. Time and again, the press reported that the host rural areas not only knew nothing about the hundreds of thousands of city people directed their way, but also had no shelter, water, or food supplies with which to assist the escaping urban masses. As a result a huge grassroots movement against civil defense swept the United States. By 1985, twenty-four states and 120 major cities formally refused to participate in crisis relocation planning. As the peace movement rapidly expanded in the United States and Europe, Reagan announced the birth of the Star Wars defense program.

Keywords:   civil defense program, Ronald Reagan, urban evacuation, crisis relocation, Stars Wars

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