The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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What If a Thermonuclear Blast Hit the Valley?

  March 26, 1961, Valley Blast  

  March 26, 1961, Valley Blast  

March 26, 1961: So, if a nuclear blast from the Soviets (who else?) hit the San Fernando Valley, it would be bad. How bad?

"The Valley would not survive a direct hit," The Times said. 

"A thermonuclear blast in the Valley would be like a giant firecracker going off in a teacup," says Clifford R. Standing, Valley Civil Defense coordinator. "We'd all be part of the fallout and all our plans would be useless."

Some of the predictions:

Every woman five months or more pregnant would have miscarried in the shock and turmoil of the attack.

There would be "wild and panicky mobs and cool and calculating looters."

Bodies of victims would have to be collected and buried or burned.

Standing’s advice: "Families should begin now to construct shelters with walls and ceilings at least 3 feet thick and adequately stocked for a long siege."

  March 26, 1961, Valley Blast  

  March 26, 1961, Valley Blast  

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