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because rachel asked for it: have you ever wanted to know how to survive an atomic bomb that the ussr has just fired at you? tell the difference between real americans like you and me and communists? ladies, do you want to know how to become good housewives and mothers in the suburbs? WELL NOW YOU CAN!!!

the best of public service announcements from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. IMPORTANT: as per their era, these all feature heavy sexism, american nationalism, occasional homophobia, slut-shaming, ableism, etc.

cold war-specific:

  • red nightmare: features a high school where young communists learn ESPIONAGE and SCIENCE!! officially the greatest film of the twentieth century a+++ go america
  • how to spot a communist: the upshot is that if someone doesn’t like america they are a communist!! i am not exaggerating it’s so great
  • duck and cover: the one where hiding under your desk will save you from the atomic bomb
  • eta: red planet mars: in which god talks to american leaders through the radio and un-converts the soviets from communism, ending the cold war. (thanks, qichi!)

general advice:

  • how to be well-groomed: this one is really worth it just for the great slang + the terrible acting
  • boys beware: really, really, really homophobic. you can take a wild guess as to what this one is about.
  • how to say no: moral maturity: the narrator of this has the worst shirt i’ve ever seen
  • how to be popular: “why did they invite caroline over to their table? is it because she seems as interested in girls as in boys?”
  • the house of the future: “in an ordinary house, we’d be talking about the refrigerator and freezer. but in this house of the future, we call them COLD ZONES.”
  • how much affection?: in which you shouldn’t have sex or you will get pregnant and die

bonus: world war ii propaganda by disney!:

  • reason and emotion: did u know: if u give in to your emotions u will BECOME HITLER. now u know
  • education for death: another disney cartoon, because it’s not really wwii if you don’t have disney subtly plugging their own movies while animating kids screaming in german. (this one made ME scared of nazis. thanks, disney.)

i love this shit. the timeframe’s slightly later than the above, but if you’re interested you might also wanna look at “protect and survive" - the uk government sent these pamphlets to every home in the country to instruct people on what to do in the event of nuclear war. they’re pretty interesting. there are also infomercials

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