Duck and Cover
Duck and Cover is considered the first civil defense film produced for an audience of school children. It was not the first, but it is the one remembered by those who saw it. Duck and Cover is a landmark civil defense film seen by millions
of schoolchildren in the 1950s. As explained by Bert the Turtle, to survive an atomic attack you must
duck and cover.1
To many of its original viewers, it remains a darkly comic reminder of the strange ways in which the American government tried to shape their childhood.2
Now, Duck and Cover has value as a primary source. It provides students the opportunity to examine how school children of the 1950s were taught to deal with the very real possibility of atomic attack and how the Cold War was viewed on the homefront.
After viewing the film the students will respond in writing to questions. Additionally, an essay is provided for additional background about the film.
Duck and Cover,Brief Descriptions and Expanded Essays of National Film Registry Titles, https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/film-registry/descriptions-and-essays/. National Film Preservation Board, Library of Congress, accessed August 14, 2020. 2 Jake Hughes,
Duck and Cover,https://www.loc.gov/programs/static/national-film-preservation-board/documents/duck_cover.pdf. National Film Preservation Board, Library of Congress, accessed August 14, 2020.