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Calgary evacuates for Cold War disaster planning

The Story

The clock is ticking down to a planned disaster. On a sleepy Wednesday morning, Calgary's mayor initiates the alarm to empty one-quarter of the city's suburbs. Schoolchildren run home and families are given two hours to relocate to surrounding towns. Escape routes are tested and by early afternoon the northeastern section of the city is eerily deserted. This CBC Television report chronicles the mass evacuation effort.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: Oct. 9, 1955
Duration: 10:15

Did You know?

• The notion of civil defence as a means of patriotism was issued from the top. "Civil defence can serve a deterrent purpose by demonstrating to a potential aggressor that Canada is determined to survive even a nuclear war and carry on as an organized society and united nation in the face of the utmost perils and hardships," said Prime Minister Diefenbaker in a 1959 address to the House of Commons.


Cold War Culture: The Nuclear Fear of the 1950s and 1960s more