*Age 10 — 1962 Civil Defense Letter from School


My mother ‘accidentally’ grabbed the piece of paper the following was printed on to use for stationary when she wrote her November 13, 1962 letter to her mother.

The Cuban Missile Crisis happened October 14 – 28 of 1962.


Nobody named the threat or the source of the threat in this letter.  At least when my mother told my father the order he was to shoot his family in should the Russians invade Alaska she was naming the threat.  The thought she would tell my father to shoot us, and the thought that he might shoot us, was terrifying in itself!

I was ten and in the 5th grade when the public schools sent the following home to parents — “Civil Defense for Our Schools” letter, mimeograph due to terror of Russian nuclear attack


November 1962

Civil Defense for Our Schools


In the event of only – A flash or loud sound as a warning – Students will be instructed to “Duck and Cover”, and get under their desks,

In the event of an imminent attack with 10 minutes warning, students will be directed to school halls.


If the warning is 15 minutes or more – walking students would be directed to proceed immediately to their homes and stay there if the parents are not at home.

Under this plan parents are advised to instruct their children as to the exact route they should take to their home.  They also should give them alternative instructions as to what to do if the parents are not at home.

BUS STUDENTS would proceed to the halls of the school to wait for further directions.


If the warning is one hour or more –

Under this walking students will be dismissed immediately and should follow the same directions as for plan B,

The regular transportation will be provided bus students.

Bus students would be held in readiness for the regular schedule which will start as soon as possible.

The transportation routes would operate on the identical school-to-home routes with less stops and more short-cut routing to save time.

The above instructions are subject to change.  In the event shelters are provided or new Civil Defense Plans are received we will send out new directions at once.

[signed by]

Elmer C. Smith, Superintendent

Chugiak-Eagle River Schools


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