The origins of public awareness for fallout protection in North Carolina align with the release of information by the Atomic Energy Commission's admission of the threat of radioactive fallout in April 1955. Granted, this information was known following the exposure of the crew of the Japanese fishing vessel Lucky Dragon No. 5 by radioactive fallout from Shot Bravo of Operation Castle, 1 March 1954. The fallout threat also predated this information, but a culture of secrecy surrounding nuclear weapons and atomic testing precluding sharing said information with planners at the Federal Civil Defense Administration. In a way, this NCCD information urging civil defense development in the wake of the fallout threat does not necessarily counter statements made by Brigadier General Edward F. Griffin exactly a year before, when he advocated sheltering in place as opposed to evacuation of cities. It is important to mention, however, that North Carolinians did not build bomb/fallout shelters in any appreciable number before the fallout threat, nor after.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Hurricane Hazel's fury is known in numbers at Long Beach, North Carolina (five out of 357 buildings left standing) but pictures are worth a thousand words.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Sometimes even the smallest letters will have comments that in hindsight were victims of poor timing. In September 1954, numerous central North Carolina communities turned to the FCDA for loans of pipe and pumps to bring water to the communities suffering from a severe drought (hence the reference by Governor William B. Umstead's secretary about drought). Hurricanes are handy for attenuating drought conditions, and prior to Hazel, Hurricane Edna skirted the coast depositing much needed rain. Hazel, presumably in the minds of some, would be the same. Sadly, this was not to be the case. Hurricane Hazel struck the North Carolina coast on 15 October 1954, killing 19 people and wiping out the community of Long Beach (as well as cutting an inlet through the island).
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Apologies for not posting more. I've been rather busy teaching a college class for the first time, working as wing historian for the Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, and trying to organize my dissertation data bit by bit.
In the course of data organization this morning, I thought I would share two interesting documents. The first is a letter from Orville Wright to Governor J. Melville Broughton about the return of the original Wright Flyer to the United States and the possible display of the aircraft in North Carolina. An effort was made in the state to bring the Flyer back to be displayed at Kitty Hawk, but in the end the aircraft ended up in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington. All the same, to find a letter from one of the inventors of heavier-than-air flight is well, quite a surprise and treat.
The second is a press release from the Governor's Office in reference to Operation Overlord, issued on D-Day, 6 June 1944. I think this document speaks for itself.