Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Bischof, Gunter

Second Advisor

Dupont, Robert L.

Third Advisor

Mizell-Nelson, Michael


At the height of nuclear tension, governments at all levels took steps to both educate and protect their citizens. Plans that included mass evacuations and shelters were put forth to protect the public and prepare for the seemingly inevitable war with the Soviet Union. These efforts faced tremendous obstacles, including a persistent sense of apathy amongst the public. Many authors insist that life under the persistent threat of a nuclear holocaust had a profound effect on the American psyche. The main thesis of this paper argues that while people were undoubtedly aware of the potential danger, those greatly affected and traumatized by it were the exception, particularly in the New Orleans area. Most people recognized the danger, but opted to not let it dominate their thoughts. They were far more concerned with their own interests, including family, career and home ownership.


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