Understanding the Cold War

Clyda Weeks Lutz discusses the U-2 spy incident, preparedness for nuclear attacks, and other aspects of the Cold War that were on people's minds during the early 1960s.

Interview on 2012-09-26


00:00:00.000 Well, it was just such a-. First of all, we didn't all realize we had spies flying over Russia. At the time the Cold War was definitely on people's minds.
00:00:15.649 They were building bomb shelters. Civil Defense put out all kinds of movies and what have you, how to be prepared for a nuclear attack.
00:00:29.165 That was big in some people's minds. I never worried about it too much, I really didn't. I mean I didn't encourage my family to do a bomb shelter
00:00:40.084 or anything but I had contemporaries that did and I know they were stocking up food and all this. So I think for me the Gary Powers incident opened my eyes to the fact:
00:00:56.834 Well hey, we are out there spying on this world. And then I remember when the Cuban Missile Crisis happened that year also, and I can remember my dad coming home and saying,
00:01:12.942 "You better buy you a winter coat this year," and I said, "Why?" and he said, "Because we don't know what's going to happen," and he was thinking back to the Second World War,
00:01:24.286 how scarce so many things got, and thinking that there was a possibility that war was going to reach our shores. I just remember him telling me that, and it was like, oh. Okay. So that was the mindset then.