Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

April 27 - May 1, 2015

Windows Into the Cold War: American Artifact Analysis

Date: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Time: 2:15pm - 2:45pm
Location: Roth Nelson Room
Description: The Cold War may be a memory, but the artifacts of the war are all around us. This photo display of the Cold War American class highlights fall-out shelters in Atomic California, specifically in the suburban areas of the Los Angeles and Ventura County areas. Southern California was considered a prime target for a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. Because of this fear, suburban houses of the period often came equipped with fall-out shelters to protect the new families of the Baby Boom from harmful radiation. Come to view these artifacts and stay for the session following at 2:45 which includes two presentations on this subject.

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Abigail Yarrow

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Michaela Reaves
Babies, Bottles, and Bombs: Pronatalism in the Cold War

After World War II the belief in “pronatalism” – the idea that having multiple children was more beneficial than having only one or two – reigned supreme. Houses were built with five bedrooms, station wagons filled the driveways, and stair-step families with children from two to twenty-two rebuilt an America stunned by war. Besides replacing lost soldiers, this emphasis on home and American values also served as a distraction in a world living with the threat of nuclear war. Advertisements for bottles, diapers, bigger cars, and homey foods filled the pages of magazines. Babies and the push for couples to have an increasing number of children became a means during the Cold War for stabilizing the country’s anxieties about the threat of communism. Though covert, these themes pervaded print advertisements and articles found in the archives of the popular women’s magazine, McCall’s, throughout the late 1940’s and into the mid-1950’s.