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For a history page I have posted some DCPA/FEMA documents with Civil Defense History Information.
This information is from the DCPA booklet
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN UNITED STATES CIVIL DEFENSE HISTORY and
FEMA Monograph AMERICAN CIVL DEFENSE 1945-1984, THE EVOLUTION OF PROGRAMS AND POLICIES
AMERICAN CIVIL DEFENSE 1945-1984
THE EVOLUTION OF PROGRAMS AND POLICIES
Thank you to Susan Smith at Minnetrista in Indiana for this document and many others!
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN UNITED STATES CIVIL DEFENSE HISTORY
DEFENSE CIVIL PREPAREDNESS AGENCY
Washington, D.C. 20301
Booklet is transcribed below. I don't have a PDF file available for this yet.
DCPA Booklet 1975
Compiled by Mary U. Harris, Information Services, DCPA, February 7, 1975, with the help
of Carol Wanner, White House Office Library, formerly the library of Office of Emergency
Preparedness and predecessor agencies, including the National Security Resources Board (NSRB)
and the Office for Emergency Management, Executive Office of the President, within which the
World War II Office of Civilian Defense was established....Reprinted July, 1, 1975 with additional
|August 29, 1916
Council of National Defense created by act of Congress
(39 Stat. 649; 50 U.S.C. ch.l). Composed of the Secre-
taries of War (Newton D. Baker, Chairman), Navy, Interior,
Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor, Council was charged with
coordination of industries and resources for the national
security and welfare, and with creation of relations ren-
dering possible in time of need immediate concentration
and utilization of resources of the Nation.
|October 11, 1916
Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense
appointed by the President; composed of seven members,
each chosen for special knowledge in one of the following
fields: transportation and communications, manufacturing
and industrial relations, supplies, raw materials, minerals
and metals, engineering and education, labor, medicine and
| April 6, 1917
War declared by Congress. . . . Council of National Defense
established State Council Section to guide growth and work
of State defense councils.
|April 9, 1917
Council Chairman requested all State Governors to establish
councils of defense. Such councils were organized in every
State, and by November 11, 1918, local units numbered 182,000.
|April 21, 1917
Council appointed a Woman's Committee to coordinate and
stimulate war activities of Nation's women.
| November 11, 1918
Armistice resulted in rapid dissolution of State and local
|December 2, 1918
In response to the United States Employment Service, Council
of National Defense adopted resolution asking State and
local defense councils to keep organizations intact to
assist Federal agencies in meeting postwar adjustments.
|May 25, 1940
Office for Emergency Management established within Executive
Office of the President by administrative order, in accordance
with Executive Order 8248 of September 8, 1939. OEM
had certain stated functions performed under direction of
the Liaison Officer for Emergency Management. (OEM,
primarily a framework within which various civilian war
agencies were established, is now inactive.)
| May 29, 1940
President approved regulation of Council of National
Defense that Advisory Commission provided for in sec. 2
of act of Aug. 29, 1916 (39 Stat 649) shall be composed
of an Adviser on Industrial Production; an Adviser on
Industrial Materials; an Adviser on Employment; an Adviser
on Farm Products; an Adviser on Price Stabilization; and
an Adviser on Consumer Protection. This was the beginning
of the National Defense Program of WW II. Realignment of
relationships necessitated by expansion of the program
decentralized the Advisory Commission by merging its divi-
sions with other newly created national defense units.
Agencies which evolved from the Advisory Comission, with
the exception of Office for Agricultural War Relations and
Office of Price Administration, became units of Office for
|August 2, 1940
Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense
appointed by the President, and State Governors advised
to reestablish defense councils.
|August 5, 1940
Establishment of Division of State and Local Cooperation
by Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense
|November 1, 1940
First regional conference on civil defense held in New York
City; followed by conferences in New Orleans, Salt Lake City,
Chicago, and Memphis.
Drafts of model law sent to States for consideration of
legislature with a view to securing uniformity of civil
defense organization on the State level.
|February 24, 1941
President asked Congress to appropriate $150,000,000
"for the purpose of providing community facilities made
necessary by defense activities." Division of State and
Local Cooperation helped to sponsor the community facilities bill, which became known as the Lanham Act.
|May 20, 1941
Office of Civilian Defense established within Office for
Emergency Management by EO 8757, to assure effective
coordination of Federal relations with State and local
governments engaged in furtherance of war programs; to
provide for necessary cooperation with State and local
governments with respect to measures for adequate protection of civilian population in war emergencies; and
to facilitate participation by all persons in war programs.
. . . Mayor Fiorello La Guardia of New York City named as
Director, serving on volunteer basis without compensation.
|June 20, 1941
Executive Order 8799 amended EO 8757 to provide for a
wider and more effective functioning of the Volunteer
Participation Committee by increasing its membership
from 20 to 45.
|June 28, 1941
Lanham Act approved by Congress (five weeks after Division
of State and Local Cooperation was supplanted by OCD).
|June 30, 1941
First training course given at Edgewood Arsenal, Md.
(These courses continued weekly thereafter.)
|July 5, 1941
Emergency Medical Services established with representative
of U.S. Public Health Service as Chief Medical Officer. EMS
was responsible for establishment of necessary emergency
medical facilities in communities throughout the country,
including organization of emergency field units and casualty stations.
|July 10, 1941
OCD established nine regional offices: Boston, New York
City, Baltimore, Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago, Omaha,
San Antonio (later Dallas), and San Francisco.
|July 16, 1941
Executive Order 8822 amended EO 8757 to include American
Red Cross among organizations invited to designate representatives to serve as members of the Board for Civilian
Protection in OCD.
|July 24, 1941
Official CD insignia adopted by OCD; included the basic CD
insigne and 15 distinctive identification symbols for
volunteer workers: Air Raid Warden, Auxiliary Police,
Bomb Squad, Auxiliary Firemen, Fire Watcher, Road Repair
Crew, Decontamination Corps, Staff Corps, Rescue Party,
Medical Corps, Nurses Aides Corps, Messenger, Drivers Corps,
Emergency Food and Housing, Demolition and Clearance Crew.
The insignia were developed by Charles T. Coiner, consultant
on design to Division of Information, Office for Emergency
Management, in collaboration with Col. Walter B. Burn, an
OCD staff member.
During that month "The United States Citizens Defense Corps"
was published. It gave the first complete and coordinated
plan for local organization of civilian defense, and was
the prototype of all following CD organizations.
|September 22, 1941
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt appointed Assistant Director, OCD,
heading Volunteer Participation activities, to administer
the nonprotective aspects of civilian defense. She reported November 1, 1941, and resigned February 20, 1942.
|October 7, 1941
Official CD insigne patented (U.S. Letters Patent No.
D-129,797) by Col. Walter P. Burn, who assigned rights
to Government. (CD insigne continued by Federal Civil
Defense Administration under Public Law 920, the Federal
Civil Defense Act of 1950.)
|October 15, 1941
Physical Fitness Division established under direction of
John B. Kelly, with headquarters in Philadelphia. Also
during October, OCD initiated active program of training
Citizens Defense Corps personnel in every State and city.
During that month first consolidated reports from States
showed over one million volunteers trained, or in training;
first regionwide test blackout was held in OCD Region 1
was held at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and selection of
(New England); final definitive test of warning devices
approved type was made.
|December 7, 1941
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
|December 8, 1941
Director La Guardia announced establishment of Civil Air
Patrol (CAP) under OCD. (In April 1943, CAP was transferred from OCD to War Department and operated as an
auxiliary of the Army Air Force.) Note: CAP website states the CAP was born a week before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
|January 3, 1942
Boy Scouts of America accepted assignment of messenger
training; over one million messengers were trained for
CD. American Water Works, American Hotel, and National
Retail Dry Goods Association accepted assignments from
OCD to recommend protection programs for their member
|January 6, 1942
Special 10-day course for 150 Reserve and National Guard
officers, assigned to regional and State offices, began
at Edgewood Arsenal, Md.; conducted by Chemical Warfare
and OCD officers.
|January 12, 1942
James M. Landis, Dean of Harvard Law School, appointed
Special Assistant to the President to devote full time
to executive work of OCD.
|January 27, 1942
Congress approved act to "provide protection of persons
and property from bombing attacks in the United States,"
which authorized an appropriation not to exceed $100,000,000
to enable the Director of OCD to provide such protection.
|January 28, 1942
First schools in emergency CD duties of regular police
and duties of auxiliary police opened in 46 cities by FBI
in cooperation with OCD.
|January 31, 1942
Melvyn Douglas (Hesselberg), actor, named Director of OCD
Art Council, to mobilize volunteer activities of Nation's
writers, artists, musicians, and actors for Division of
Civilian Participation program; served without compensation; resigned December 5, 1942, to enter Army.
|February 4, 1942
Joint Committee on Evacuation (interdepartmental)
created. (Apparently abolished prior to July 1, 1944.
No reference to it after that date.)
|February 10, 1942
La Guardia resigned as Director of OCD. (His last day
in office was February 11, 1942.)
| February 12, 1942
James M. Landis took over as Director of OCD.
|February 21, 1942
Congress approved act appropriating $100,000,000 to OCD,
specifying that no part of the money be used for "the
employment of persons, the rent of facilities or the
purchase of equipment and supplies to promote, produce
or carry on instruction or direct instruction in physical
fitness by dancers, fan dancing, street shows, theatrical
performances or other public entertainment."
|April 15, 1942
Executive Order 9134 expanded functions of OCD Director by
authorizing him to maintain a clearinghouse of information
on State and local defense activities in cooperation with
appropriate Federal departments and agencies; and replaced
both the Board of Civilian Protection and the Volunteer
Participation Committee by a single Civilian Defense Board
to advise and assist the Director. . . . James M. Landis
received official appointment as Director of OCD at a
salary of $10,000 a year.
|May 19, 1942
||Executive Order 9165 established Facility Security Division
for protection of essential facilities from sabotage and
other destructive acts, and placed responsibility for
facility security program upon OCD.
|May 28, 1942
War Emergency Radio Service (WEBS) authorized by Defense
Communications Board (name changed to Board of War Communications by EO 9183, June 15, 1942) for civilian defense,
Civi Airs Patrol, and State guard systems, to permit
licensing for defense purposes limited number of amateur
shortwave stations, all of which had been closed the first
of the year for security reasons. By end of 1944, 250
licenses (covering 5,213 radio transmitters) were issued
to civilian defense stations.
|June 17, 1942
Conference on emergency CD Driver Training at Yale University launched program in which American Automobile Assn.
trained 800,000 drivers for CD.
|August 25, 1942
Landis named Liaison Officer to Civil Defense of Canada for
coordination of policies, air raid signals, equipment, etc.
|September 8, 1943
Director Landis resigned and recommended abolition of OCD.
John B. Martin, deputy, became Acting Director.
|October 4, 1943
War Department announced that Aircraft Warning Service
would be placed on standby basis.
|October 18, 1943
Executive Order 9389 expanded authority of OCD Director
to permit him to provide for the internal organization
and management of OCD, and to delegate authority to carry
out his powers and duties to such agencies and officials
as he might designate.
|December 30, 1943
Six Army officers who had been section or unit chiefs in
Protection Branch relieved to go overseas to organize
Passive Air Defense for the invasion of Normandy, under
SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces).
Left in February 1944.
| February 1944
Lt. Gen. William N. Haskell (Retired) assumed duties as
Director of OCD.
Gradual liquidation of OCD began.
|April 18, 1944
Executive Order 9437 abolished Facility Security Program
assigned to OCD by EO 9165.
|July 1, 1944
OCD regional offices abolished.
|November 3, 1944
U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey established, pursuant to
Presidential directive, to study effects of air war over
Germany with two objectives: help plan impending expansion
of air war against Japan, and help assess and evaluate air
power as a military instrument in the interest of future
planning for national defense. (Resulted in Summary Report.
(European War), GPO, 1945.)
|May 4, 1945
President Truman signed Executive Order 9562 calling for
termination of OCD on June 30, 1945.
|May 8, 1945
Victory in Europe (V-E Day).
|June 30, 1945
OCD abolished. This action was followed by the disbanding
of most State and local civil defense organizations. All
protective property acquired under act of January 27, 1942,
and act of February 21, 1942, was transferred to Department
of Commerce; liquidation of OCD fiscal affairs assigned to
|August 6, 1945
Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
|August 9, 1945
Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
|August 15, 1945
Victory in Japan (V-J Day) . . . . President Truman
requested U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey to study effects
of air war on Japan, particularly the effects of bombing
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Resulted in Summary Report
(Pacific War), GPO, 1946.)
|April 30, 1946
Provost Marshal General Study 3B-1, "Defense Against
Enemy Action Directed at Civilians," concluded that
atomic warfare did not eliminate the possibility of
effective civil defense but, rather, increased its
importance; that civil defense be considered an integral
and essential part of national defense; that a national
shelter program and other passive defense policies must
be planned at once and continuously studied and updated;
and that advance planning include: updated inventories
of essential materials and facilities available, maintenance
of reserve stockpiles of critical materials, studies
of dispersal of facilities as well as emergency evacuation
of civilians, and development of intelligence detection
systems as well as warning systems.
U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey issued special report:
"The Effects of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
Report is one of the earliest descriptions of the atomic
bomb--how it works, its main effects (heat, radiation,
blast), and how it compares with conventional weapons;
suggested immediate planning for action in four areas:
(1) shelters and construction, (2) decentralization,
(3) civilian defense, and (4) active defense. "Shelters
and construction" envisaged not only a national shelter
program, but also modification of new construction to make
buildings more blast- and fire-resistant.
|November 25, 1946
War Department Memorandum 400-5-5 (signed by Chief of
Staff Dwight D. Eisenhower) established WD Civil Defense
Board (Bull Board, headed by Maj. Gen. Harold R. Bull)
to study problem of civil defense.
|February 28, 1947
Report (then classified Confidential) of WD Civil Defense
Board issued, and Board adjourned.
|July 26, 1947
Public Law 253 (Unification Act) approved; law established
National Security Resources Board (NSRB).
|August 29, 1947
National Convention of American Legion at New York City
adopted report of Legion's Civil Defense Commission,
urging the President to establish a civil defense planning
agency under direction of a civilian, and outlining minimum
requirements for civil defense. This report, when presented
to the President, became the basis for establishment of the
Office of Civil Defense Planning.
|January 13, 1948
Bull Board report declassified by authority of Secretary
|February 15, 1948
"A Study of Civil Defense," a pamphlet presenting
conclusions and recommendations of the War Department Civil
Defense Board (Bull Board), released to the public. It
was first report on a civil defense program for the United
States. . . . New York Times featured story on first page
captioned: "Civilian Defense To Be Established--Forrestal
to Set Up Interim Organization as Soon as He Can Find
|February 22, 1948
Russell J. Hopley, President, Northwestern Bell Telephone
Company, asked by Secretary of Defense James Forrestal to
organize and direct committee to plan for establishing
civil defense organization for the Nation.
|March 27, 1948
Mr. Forrestal created Office of Civil Defense Planning,
with Mr. Hopley as director, within National Military
Establishment (predecessor to the Department of Defense,
which was established as an executive department by the
National Security Act Amendments of 1949 (P.L. 81-216,
approved August 10, 1949).)
|October 1, 1948
Office of Civil Defense Planning submitted Hopley Report,
"Civil Defense for National Security," to Secretary
Forrestal. Released to the public November 13, 1948, The
New York Times of November 14 carried feature story on
page 1: "Civil Defense Plan Mapped Against Enemy Action."
(Considered to be most detailed and complete plan available
for setting up operational civil defense organization,
including a peacetime organization to be used in natural
disaster even though it may never be used for war.)
|March 3, 1949
In memorandum to Acting Chairman John R. Steelman, the
President assigned to National Security Resources Board
primary responsibility for civil defense planning.
|March 29, 1949
Acting Chairman of NSRB requested Director, Office of
Mobilization Procedures and Organization, NSRB, to initiate
a study of problems and submit a report.
|June 3, 1949
Acting Chairman, NSRB, requested:
(a) Administrator, Federal Works Agency (which became
General Services Administration July 1, 1949) to assume
responsibility for "wartime civil disaster relief
planning," including activities and supplies, rescue,
evacuation, demolition, regulation of transportation,
communications, and restoration of order;
(b) Secretary of National Defense to assume responsibility
for planning civilian participation in active defense,
including detection, observation, and identification of
aircraft, air-raid-warning systems, border patrol, anti-aircraft
defense, civil air patrol, camouflage, and
|June 6, 1949
NSRB Document 112, "A Report on Civil Defense Planning,"
transmitted by Acting Chairman to Federal departments and
agencies for comment. (This was report requested March 29.)
|August 1, 1949
Secretary Forrestal abolished Office of Civil Defense
Planning and established Civil Defense Liaison Office.
Lt. Col. (later Col.) Barnet W. Beers named as Assistant
for Civil Defense Liaison.
|August 23, 1949
General Services Administration submitted planning
prospectus to Acting Chairman, NSRB.
Department of Defense held "Operation Lookout" in 10
northeastern States to test air-defense plans. Exercise
was sponsored jointly by Air Defense Command and Civil
Defense Liaison Office (formerly Office of Civil Defense
|September 23, 1949
President Truman announced that Russians had exploded
their own atomic bomb in the Soviet Union.
|October 5, 1949
A statement of policy for relations with State and local
governments, the first in a series of Civil Defense
Planning Advisory Bulletins (Doc. 121), sent by NSRB
to all State Governors.
|October 24, 1949
Senator Brian McMahon, Chairman, Joint Committee on
Atomic Energy, announced that public hearings on problem
of civil defense would be held early during next session
|December 1, 1949
The second of NSRB Civil Defense Planning Bulletins
(Doc. 121/1) sent to all State Governors. Bulletin
outlined Federal Government's objectives in planning,
set forth information on planning activities in progress,
made recommendations for State and local action, and
requested information on specific questions relating to
State civil defense programs.
|January 13, 1950
NSRB Doc. 121/2, "Medical Aspects of Atomic Weapons,"
sent to all State Governors.
|January 31, 1950
President directed Atomic Energy Commission to study possibilities
of building thermonuclear (hydrogen) bombs.
|February 3, 1950
NSRB Doc. 121/3, announcing training courses in radiological monitoring
and medical aspects of civil defense against atomic attack, sent to all State Governors.
|March 1, 1950
Paul J. Larsen appointed Director, Civilian Mobilization
|March 3, 1950
Hearings on civil defense were begun by the Joint Congressional
Committee on Atomic Energy and the Senate
Armed Services Committee.
|March 17, 20,
23,30, Apr. 3,1950
Hearings on civil defense continued by Joint Congressional
Committee on Atomic Energy.
|March 23, 1950
Start of testimony on civil defense before Joint Congressional
Committee on Atomic Energy and Senate Armed
|March 27, 1950
Radiological monitoring and medical and health courses
sponsored by NSRB began; continued through July 1950.
|April 10, 1950
Nomination of W. Stuart Symington as Chairman of NSRB
confirmed by the Senate. (Took oath of office April 26.)
|May 1, 1950
NSRB Doc. 121/4 transmitted to State Governor. Suggested
course of action for States, described radiological and
medical training activities, suggested approach to civil
defense, and defined responsibility for civil defense
|May 18, 1950
NSRB Doc. 121/5, defining role of American Red Cross in
civil defense, transmitted to all State Governors.
|June 25, 1950
President Truman announced invasion of South Korea by
|June 29, 1950
Atomic Energy Commission disclosed that "great steps"
had been achieved in developing the hydrogen bomb.
|July 12, 1950
In letter to NSRB Chairman, Senator Estes Kefauver, Chairman of the
Subcommittee on Civil Defense of the Senate
Armed Services Committee, pointed out that "if it is
humanly possible to do so, legislation in this field
should be submitted to the Congress prior to September."
|August 8, 1950
AEC issued "The Effects of Atomic Weapons," predecessor
to "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons," which was issued in
1957 and revised in April 1962. (Book was prepared by
Defense Atomic Support Agency of the Department of Defense
in coordination with other cognizant governmental agencies
and published by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. . . .
Public Law 93-483 abolished AEC and created two new
agencies, effective January 19, 1975: U.S. Energy
Research and Development Administration and Nuclear
|September 8, 1950
Public Law 774, Defense Production Act of 1950, approved. . . NSRB
Doc. 128, "United States Civil Defense" (Symington Report),
proposing a national civil defense plan (then referred to as the
"National Plan" or "The Blue Book"), transmitted to the President.
(Exhibit C of Doc. 128 is proposed bill "To authorize a Federal Civil Defense
Program and for other purposes.") . . . Paul J. Larsen resigned as
Director of NSRB's Office of Civil Defense (formerly Office of Civilian
Mobilization); succeeded by James J. Wadsworth.
|September 18, 1950
H.R. 9689, "To authorize "Federal Civil Defense Program,"
introduced in House of Representatives by Carl T. Durham
(North Carolina) . . . . "National Plan" released to the
|September 19, 1950
S. 4162, "To authorize a Federal Civil Defense Program,"
introduced in the Senate by Ernest W. McFarland (Arizona)
and Brian McMahon (Conn.).
|September 30, 1950
Public Law 875 (81st Congress), "To authorize Federal
assistance to States and local governments in major
authority to coordinate activities of Federal agencies
in providing disaster assistance. . . . NSRB Doc. 128/1
transmitted to all State Governors. Discussed Mutual Aid
disasters, and for other purposes," bested in President
and Mobile Support Systems,with Critical Area Map of hypothetical State of Columbia.
|October 18, 1950
NSRB Doc. 121/6 announced training courses for professional nurses.
|October 29, 1950
NSRB Doc. 130, "Survival Under Atomic Attack," published;
first of a series designed to instruct the public in
individual protection against special weapons.
|November 30, 1950
Revised bill (H.R. 9798, "To authorize a Federal Civil
Defense Program") introduced in House of Representatives
by Congressman Durham; revised civil defense bill (S. 4219)
introduced in Senate the next day by Senators Estes Kefauver
(Tenn.) and Harry P. Cain (Wash.).
|December 1, 1950
Executive Order 10186 created Federal Civil Defense
Administration (FCDA) within Office for Emergency
Management, Executive Office of the President. On same
day President Truman appointed Millard F. Caldwell, Jr.,
former Governor of Florida, as Administrator, succeeding
James J. Wadsworth, Acting Director, Civil Defense Office,
NSRB. (Mr. Wadsworth was named Deputy Administrator.)
|December 4, 1950
Hearings on proposed civil defense legislation were begun
by the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy,
the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the House Armed
|December 12, 1950
||FCDA announced that model interstate civil defense and
disaster compact had been submitted to all State Governors
and civil defense directors as a legal basis for mutual
aid and mobile support among the States in the event of
enemy attack. It applied particularly to use of fire,
police, medical, and rescue personnel and equipment.
|December 13, 1950
NSRB Doc. 132, "Fire Effects of Bombing Attacks," released.
Prepared for NSRB by the Civil Defense Liaison Office and
Office of the Secretary of Defense, booklet sent to all
State Governors as background information on fire problem.
|December 15, 1950
A basic code of public air raid warning signals, to be
used by all States and cities in event of attack,
announced by FCDA. The two-stage warning code--"Red
Alert" and "All Clear"--was developed by a panel consisting
of representatives of FCDA, the Department of
Defense, State and city civil defense authorities, and
|December 16, 1950
Executive Order 10193 established Office of Defense Mobilization
within Executive Office of the President to direct,
control, and coordinate all mobilization activities of the
Government, including production, procurement, manpower,
stabilization, and transport activities.
|December 28, 1950
FCDA released a 248-page volume on "Civil Defense Health
Services and Special Weapons Defense." Prepared for FCDA
by Health Resources Office of NSRB with assistance and
technical advice of number of Federal and private agencies,
booklet gave detailed information required by State and
local planners for civil defense health services against
atomic, biological, and chemical warfare.
|January 12, 1951
President Truman signed the Federal Civil Defense Act of
1950 (Public Law 920, 81st Congress), establishing FCDA
as an independent agency in the executive branch of the
|January 17, 1951
Designation of certain amateur frequencies for civil
defense use by licensed amateur radio operators, after
any suspension of normal amateur activity, announced
jointly by FCDA and Federal Communications Commission;
made possible for State and local civil defense authorities
to plan for utilization of Nation's amateur
operators for civil defense purposes.
|February 12, 1951
FCDA announced at a national meeting of State civil
defense directors that matching Federal funds would be
made available for construction of individual or family-type shelters,
but that no contributions would be made
for shelters outside critical target areas.
|February 21, 1951
Meeting of United States and Canadian civil defense
officials in Ottawa for further informal exploration
of possible agreements on mutual civil defense problems.
Discussions covered interstate-provincial and international
mutual aid agreements, exchange of medical
services, and standardization of civil defense supplies
and equipment; also possible exchange of civil defense
personnel between United States and Canada.
|March 2, 1951
Executive Order 10221 authorized Housing and Home Finance
Administrator to act for President in carrying out provisions
of P.L. 875, to assist States and local governments
in major disasters.
|March 27, 1951
||Canada and United States effected a civil defense mutual
|April 5, 1951
First issue of THE CIVIL DEFENSE ALERT, official monthly
publication of FCDA, distributed to all FCDA personnel and
all CD staff members in States, cities, and territories to
keep them currently and uniformly informed on civil defense
activities, plans, and programs; and to help maintain the
teamwork and morale essential to the FCDA program.
||First FCDA motion picture, "Survival Under Atomic Attack,"
released: 16mm, one-reel, sound, black and white; pro-
duced by United World Films, Inc., and distributed by
First meeting of Joint United States-Canadian Civil
Defense Committee held in Washington, D.C. Eight Canadian
representatives, headed by Paul Martin, Minister
of National Health and Welfare, and six U.S. officials
took part in conference.
National Civil Defense Training Center opened at Olney,
Md., consisting of Staff College for training in civil
defense administration and operations, and Rescue School
for training in rescue operations and related skills.
|May 5, 1951
First FCDA Advisory Council (12 members) appointed by the
President. Appointment of Council members was in accordance
with section 102 of the Federal Civil Defense Act.
|May 7-8, 1951
Civil Defense Conference, Washington, D.C.; called to
mobilize organizational leadership of Nation to survival;
attended by some 1,200 leaders of State and local civil
defense organizations and representatives of about 300
national associations whose membership numbered over
50 million. A series of forums on civil defense organization,
volunteer technical services, public education,
health and welfare services, shelters, attack warning
and communications, training, and other program activities
were held during the conference.
|May 24-25, 1951
First meeting of FCDA Technical Committee on Street and
Highway Traffic held at Evanston, Ill., home of the
Traffic Institute of Northwestern University, which FCDA
had selected to develop the traffic training program.
Matters concerning regulation and control of traffic in
relation to CD were considered.
|June 6, 1951
FCDA Eastern Training Center established at Olney, Md.
This was in addition to Staff College and Rescue School
established April 30, 1951.
|June 14, 1951
FCDA released summary of system to be used for determining
amount of shelter from atomic attack needed in a given area
and amount of suitable shelter space available in existing
buildings in that area. A conference to discuss system was
held at FCDA Staff College, June 14-15, 1951. Among conferees
were State engineers, Staff College technicians, and
representatives of the Bureau of the Census and Lehigh
University Institute of Research. Release of system for
determining shelter in existing buildings marked the first
phase of the shelter program.
|June 22, 1951
FCDA announced distribution to State and local directors
of an illustrated bulletin containing a suggested organizational
pattern for the communications section of municipal
control centers, to be used as official guide.
|July 2, 1951
Second meeting of FCDA Technical Committee on Street and
Highway Traffic held at Northwestern University, Evanston,
Ill. Committee reached agreement on overall objectives of
traffic handling during CD emergencies.
|July 3, 1951
||FCDA announced distribution to State and local directors
of bulletin covering plans and specifications for civil
defense attack warning systems. Bulletin set forth specifications
and methods for installing well-engineered and
economical attack warning systems, and included tables and
charts for determining area coverage of sound devices, with
map showing layout of a public sound warning system for a
|July 13, 1951
First course for local civil defense instructors in
midwestern States opened at Oklahoma A&M College,
Stillwater, Okla. This was first training center for
local instructors in the country, and continued operating
for about one year. (Closed August 15, 1952.)
|July 27, 1951
Manual on "Shelter from Atomic Attack in Existing Buildings,"
sent to State and local civil defense directors;
provided method for determining census of persons in
given locations and uniform evaluation of shelter space
in existing buildings.
|August 2, 1951
James J. Wadsworth, Deputy Administrator, announced that
St. Mary's College of California, strategically located
about 20 miles east of the San Francisco Bay area, had
been selected as the Western Training Center of FCDA.
(Center opened Sept. 4, 1951; discontinued Sept. 1953.)
|September 9, 1951
FCDA Emergency Welfare Services Advisory Committee
concluded its first meeting, a 2-day session. During
meeting Committee reviewed welfare problems before and
after an attack, including emergency shelters, food
supply, emergency mass feeding, personal identification,
notification of next-of-kin, and post-disaster legislation.
|September 13, 1951
FCDA announced that five States (California, Connecticut,
Delaware, Maryland, New York) would share in the initial
allocation of funds from a $20,000,000 Congressional
appropriation for civil defense first aid stations and
stockpiling of medical supplies and equipment.
|September 20, 1951
FCDA released Advisory Bulletin No. 69 to furnish advice
and guidance to States regarding a uniform method of
issuing identification tags for civilians.
|October 26, 1951
Initial meeting of new group, Advisory Council for
Women's Participation, held at FCDA building (Gelmarc
Towers), 1930 Columbia Road, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Its mission was to assist Mrs. John L. Whitehurst,
Assistant Administrator, in alerting and organizing
American women for civil defense.
|November 2, 1951
Beginning of Massachusetts Regional Project, a laboratory
study of urban area target analysis and State and
regional plan, cooperatively undertaken by FCDA, City
of Boston, State of Massachusetts, and the Armed Forces.
|November 9, 1951
FCDA published Advisory Bulletin No. 79, informing State directors of
location and geographic boundries of nine regional offices:
|Region 1, Boston Mass. (New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Mass., Conn, Rhode Island);
|Region 2, Richmond, Va. (Pa., W. Va., Del., Md., North Carolina);
|Region 3, Atlanta Ga. (Tenn., Miss., Ala., Ga., South Carolina, Florida);
|Region 4, Cleveland, Ohio (Mich., Ohio, Kentucky);
|Region 5, Chicago Ill. (Ind., Ill., Wis., Iowa, Minn., North Dakota, South Dakota);
|Region 6, Dallas Tx. (Tex., Okla., Ark., La.);
|Region 7, Denver, Col. (Wyo., Col., New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri);
|Region 8, Berkeley, Cal. (Cal., Nev., Utah, Ariz.);
|Region 9, Seattle, Wash. (Wash., Mont., Oregon, Idaho).
|November 15, 1951
FCDA announced the original cartoon character "Bert the
Turtle" as the "star" of "Duck and Cover," an FCDA cartoon
film produced by Archer Productions, Inc., New York City,
in cooperation with the aT tional Education Association and
FCDA. A turtle was chosen as the star of a children's
civil defense campaign because his ability to duck and
cover into his shell illustrates the basic principle of
|November 29, 1951
America's butchers, bakers, grocers, and milkmen called
upon by FCDA and the Department of Agriculture to help
set up immediate plans for nationwide emergency civil
defense feeding in event of attack. Call for help was
in form of an announcement that FCDA and USDA had reached
agreement on detailed plans to provide adequate food for
the Nation under emergency attack conditions.
|December 2, 1951
A 16-page illustrated booklet, "Duck and Cover," issued
by FCDA for distribution by the States and territories.
Three million copies were sent out.
|December 9, 1951
FCD Administrator Millard Caldwell, on completion of his
first year in office (appointed Dec. 1, 1950), announced
that over a million and a half volunteers were on guard
as part of the growing homefront army for civil defense.
|December 10, 1951
Communications experts from throughout the Nation joined
FCDA officials in a 6-day session to discuss technical
details of a communications system for civil defense in
a national emergency. The meeting, devoted chiefly to
use of radio facilities, was held at FCDA Staff College,
Olney, Md. Among the 120 delegates were representatives
of 19 associations and such organizations as the American
Telephone and Telegraph Company, Western Union, Motorola,
General Electric, and Radio Corporation of America.
|December 16, 1951
FCDA established new office of volunteer manpower for
recruiting. Mrs. John L. Whitehurst of Baltimore, Md.,
appointed Assistant Administrator in charge of its
activities. Previously, Mrs. Whitehurst had served as
Assistant Administrator in charge of Women's Participation.
Purpose of new office was to "afford the necessary
impetus and coordination essential to increase public
participation in recruitment of additional volunteers
for the growing U.S. Civil Defense Corps."
|January 5, 1952
FCDA launched series of nationwide radio programs to promote
civil defense organizations in the country, featuring
officials of FCDA, Atomic Energy Commission, and top
senatorial and military leaders.
|January 7, 1952
"Alert America" Convoy Exhibit opened to public at Interdepartmental
Auditorium, Constitution Ave., Washington.
Exhibit presented various aspects of civil defense and
reasons why America needed a well-trained civil defense
organization. After Washington showing, "Alert America"
toured major U.S. cities to encourage public support and
participation in civil defense. . . . National Civil
Defense Advisory Council, created by President Truman,
met in Washington to attend exhibit, to review first
year's progress of FCDA, and to discuss plans for 1952.
|January 9, 1952
State, territorial, and FCDA regional directors held 3-day
conference at Wardman Park Hotel (now Sharaton Park),
Washington, D.C., to map 1952 program. About 65 State
representatives, 7 State deputies, 3 territorial, and
9 regional directors participated in discussions designed
to present current policies of Atomic Energy Commission,
Department of Defense, and FCDA. The 3 territorial directors
represented Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico; Guam and
Virgin Islands did not send representatives. Foremost on
agenda were discussions on civil defense volunteer recruiting
programs, which called for 17.5 million workers,
or one out of every 12 Americans, to meet minimum manpower
requirements throughout country. Top consideration
also was given to grants-in-aid, fiscal relations between
Federal and State governments, public information, and
training and education of civil defense volunteers.
Conference was open to members of press and radio.
|February 4, 1952
FCDA Technical Training School opened at Ogontz, Pa.;
reduced funds forced closing and move to Olney, Md.,
July 28, 1952.
|April 17, 1952
Executive Order 10346 enjoined Federal departments and
agencies to develop, in coordination with FCDA, civil
defense emergency plans pursuant to sec. 302 of Public
Law 920, the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950.
|November 15, 1952
Mr. Millard F. Caldwell, Jr., resigned and Mr. James J.
Wadsworth, formerly Deputy Administrator, designated
Acting Administrator, FCDA.
|January 16, 1953
Executive Order 10427 gave FCDA responsibility for
providing assistance to localities stricken by major
disasters under Public Law 875, and revoked Executive
Order 10221, which had assigned responsibility to
Housing and Home Finance Administrator.
|March 4, 1953
Mr. (Frederick) Val Peterson, former Governor of
Nebraska, sworn in as Administrator, FCDA.
|March 13, 1953
Executive Order 10438 transferred certain functions of
the National Security Resources Board to the Office of
|June 12, 1953
||Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1953 established a new
Office of Defense Mobilization which assumed functions
of former ODM, the National Security Resources Board,
and critical materials stockpiling functions formerly
vested in the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, Air Force,
and Interior, and of the Army and Navy Munitions Board.
|June 18, 1953
Executive Order 10461 redefined functions of ODM, as
provided in Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1953, including
functions of original ODM and those under the Defense
Production Act of 1950.
|August 5, 1953
||FCDA Advisory Bulletin No. 146 announced revision of
regional areas. For economic reasons, number of regions
reduced to seven: Region 1, Boston, Mass. (No change.)
Region 2, Philadelphia, Pa. (Pa., Del., Md., Va., W. Va.,
Ky., Ohio); Region 3, Atlanta, Ga. (N.C., S.C., Ga., Fla.,
Tenn., Ala., Miss.); Region 4, Chicago, Ill. (Ill., Ind.,
Wis., Minn., Iowa, N.D., S.D.); Region 5, Dallas, Tex.
(N.Mex., Tex., Okla., Ark., La.); Region 6, Denver, Col.
(Wyo., Col., Neb., Kansas, Mo.); Region 7, San Francisco,
Cal. (Cal., Nev., Mont., Idaho, Utah, Ariz.,Wash.,Oregon).
|April 22, 1954
||Executive Order 10529 authorized FCDA to coordinate participation
by Federal employees in State and local civil
defense preemergency training programs.
|September 1, 1954
FCDA moved to Battle Creek, Mich., leaving only a small
liaison staff, including the Administrator, in Washington,
D.C. Move included Staff College from Olney, Md., except
Rescue School, which continued at Olney until its closing
|October 1, 1954
Except for Region 6, which remained near Denver, Col.,
FCDA regional offices moved to safer locations in
keeping with national policy of locating civil defense
headquarters outside areas of expected heavy damage:
Region 1, Newton Center, Mass.; Region 2, West Chester,
Pa.; Region 3, Thomasville, Ga.; Region 4, Joliet, Ill.;
Region 5, Denton, Tex.; Region 6, Denver, Col.; Region 7,
Santa Rosa, Cal. There were no changes in regional
boundaries. (During 1955 Region 2 was moved to Olney, Md.,
and Region 4 to Battle Creek, Mich.)
|February 15, 1955
In response to growing public demands, Atomic Energy
Commission issued a press release describing fallout
from a multimegaton thermonuclear device exploded by
the United States at Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954.
|February 22, 1955
In light of newly disclosed fallout problem, the Subcommittee
on Civil Defense (Senator Estes Kefauver,
Chairman) of the Senate Armed Services Committee began
a series of major hearings on the operations and policies
of the Federal Civil Defense Program. (Hearings were
continued through June 20.)
|May 11, 1955
Executive Order 10611 established Civil Defense
Coordinating Board, to assist in the development of an
orderly, integrated plan for participation of all
Federal departments and agencies in the civil defense
of the Nation, and to report to the President on progress
of such plan.
The Subcommittee on Military Operations (Representative
Chet Holifield, Chairman) of the Committee on Government
Operations, House of Representatives, held major hearings
on "Civil Defense for National Survival."
|August 11, 1956
FCDA released "The National Plan for Civil Defense
Against Enemy Attack," outlining Federal responsibilities
and programs and suggesting plans for State and local
|June 14, 1957
Mr. Val Peterson resigned and Mr. Lewis E. Berry designated
|July 19, 1957
Mr. Leo A. Hoegh, former Governor of Iowa, sworn in as
Administrator, FCDA, serving in that capacity until
July 1, 1958, when he was named Director of the Office
of Defense and Civilian Mobilization, later redesignated
Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization (OCDM).
|October 29, 1957
Executive Order 10737 expanded functions of FCDA in
administering disaster relief under Public Law 875.
|April 24, 1958
President Eisenhower sent Reorganization Plan No. 1 of
1958 to Congress, transferring all responsibilities of
the Federal Civil Defense Administrator and the Director
of the Office of Defense Mobilization to the President,
and consolidating FCDA and ODM into a new Office of Defense
and Civilian Mobilization in the Executive Office of the
President. Plan was to become effective July 1, 1958.
|May 7, 1958
FCDA announced five-point national policy on
attack; (2) survey existing structures, mines, subways,
(1) disseminate public information on effects of nuclear
tunnels, etc., to determine protection factor; (3) accelerate
research to determine how fallout protection
might be incorporated in existing and new buildings;
(4) construct limited number of prototype shelters; and
(5) incorporate fallout shelters in appropriate new
Federal buildings designed for civilian use.
|June 9, 1958
FCDA Eastern Instructor Training Center opened at Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York.
|June 30, 1958
Rescue Instructor Training School, Olney, Md., closed;
training in rescue operations transferred to Eastern
Instructor Training Center.
|July 1, 1958
Executive Order 10773 delegated to the Director, Office
of Defense and Civilian Mobilization, all functions transferred
to the President by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of
1958. (EO 10773 had the effect of transferring to the
Director of new agency certain authorities delegated by
Executive Orders 10219, 10242, 10260, 10296, 10312, 10346,
10421, 10427, 10460, 10480, 10494, 10524, 10529, 10560,
10590, 10601, 10634, 10638, 10655, 10660, 10700, 10705,
and 10737. EO 10773 revoked Executive Orders 10224, 10276,
10293, 10350, 10475, 10611, and sec. 1.02 of 10480.)
|August 8, 1958
Public Law 85-606 amended Public Law 920 to vest responsibility
for civil defense jointly in Federal Government
and the States and their political subdivisions, and to
authorize: (1) financial contributions to States and their political
subdivisions for necessary and essential personnel and administrative
expenses, commonly referred to as the P&A program; (2)reimbursement
toward expenses of students attending civil defense schools, known as
the Student Expense Program.
|August 26, 1958
Public Law 85-763 redesignated the organization as
the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization (OCDM).
(Note: This was done to restore the "CD" identity.)
|September 6, 1958
Exectutive Order 10782 amended Executive Order 10773 by deleting the
words "Defense and Civilian Mobilization" and inserting therefor the words
"Civil and Defense Mobilization," as authorized by Public Law 85-763.
OCDM issued "The National. Plan for Civil Defense and Defense Mobilization."
|March 1, 1959
By Interim Directive No. 45, dated February 27, 1959,
OCDM established Region 8, Everett, Wash., with jurisdiction over Alaska,
Wash., Oregon, Montana, Idaho. (Region 8 was moved to Bothell, Wash., in
December 1968, upon completion of underground facility.)
||OCDM Western Instructor Training Center established at
|January 20, 1961
Mr. Leo A. Hoegh resigned as Director of OCDM. (For
about one week after resignation, Mr. John S. Patterson, former Deputy Director,
served as Acting Director; then Mr. Lewis E. Berry was designated Acting Director
and served as such until appointment of new Director.)
|March 9, 1961
Frank B. Ellis, former Governor of Louisiana, took oath of office as
|May 25, 1961
President Kennedy, in a special message to the Congress,
announced that under authority of Reorganization Plan
No. 1 of 1958 he was assigning responsibility for civil
defense to the top civilian authority already responsible
for continental defense, the Secretary of Defense; and
that the OCDM would be reconstituted as a small staff
agency to assist in the coordination of these functions,
under the name of Office of Emergency Planning. . . . In
his message, President Kennedy stressed several key points:
"One major element of the national security program which
this Nation has never squarely faced up to is civil defense.
. . Public consideration has been largely characterized
by apathy, indifference, and skepticism . . . it cannot
deter a nuclear attack. . . . We will deter an enemy from
making a nuclear attack only if our retaliatory power is
so strong and so invulnerable that he knows he would be
destroyed by our response. If we have that strength,
civil defense is not needed to deter an attack. . . .
But this deterrent concept assumes rational calculations
by rational men. And the history of this planet, and
particularly the history of the 20th century, is sufficient
to remind us of the possibilities of an irrational attack,
a miscalculation, an accidental war. . . . It is on this
basis that civil defense can be readily justifiable--as
insurance for the civilian population in case of an enemy
miscalculation. . . . Once the validity of this concept
is recognized, there is no point in delaying the initiation
of a nationwide long-range program of identifying present
fallout shelter capacity and providing shelter in new and
|June 3-4, 1961
President Kennedy conferred with Premier Khrushchev in
Vienna on a number of international issues. . . . Berlin
Crisis precipitated by Soviet demand for a Peace Treaty
from Germany. Situation intensified, culminating in the
Berlin Wall, which was started August 15, 1961.
|July 20, 1961
Executive Order 10952, effective August 1, 1961, transferred
to the Secretary of Defense certain civil defense
functions under the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950,
as amended, and retained in the Office of Civil and
Defense Mobilization functions which had formerly been
assigned to the Office of Defense Mobilization and
natural disaster functions under Public Law 875.
|July 25, 1961
President Kennedy addressed Nation, describing threat of
war brought on by Berlin Crisis, calling up certain reserve
units to cope with threat, and asking Congress for
$207 million for group fallout shelters that could save
10 to 15 million Americans who would otherwise perish in
a nuclear attack. The President stressed need for civil
defense, and ordered a full-scale step-up in efforts to
inform and aid the public on methods of protection.
|July 31, 1961
In a memorandum to the heads of the Defense agencies
and military departments, Secretary of Defense Robert S.
McNamara announced interim organization of the Office of
Civil Defense, effective August 1, 1961, within the
Department of Defense, and named Mr. Adam Yarmolinsky,
Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, as the
head of OCD until such time as a qualified successor
could be named to assume that responsibility.
|August 14, 1961
Executive Order 10958 delegated responsibility for civil
defense food stockpiles to the Secretary of Agriculture,
and for civil defense medical stockpiles to the Secretary
of Health, Education, and Welfare.
|August 30, 1961
Mr. Steuart L. Pittman named by President Kennedy to be
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Civil Defense); confirmed
by Congress September 15. (DoD Directive 5140.1 covered
functions of ASD(CD).)
|August 31, 1961
Soviet Union announced resumption of nuclear-bomb testing.
Kruschchev boasted of a monster 100-megaton bomb which he
claimed could destroy vast reaches of United States. (A
58-megaton bomb was actually tested by the Soviets.)
|September 17, 1961
Civil Defense Committed of the Governors' Conference met
with Secretary of Defense McNamara and Assistant Secretary
Pittman to discuss plans for a nationwide survey of
|September 22, 1961
Congress approved Public Law 87-296, changing name of OCDM
to Office of Emergency Planning.
|October 17, 1961
||Kruschchev intimated he would delay threat to take certain
action in Berlin until end of year. International crisis
escalated. Inquiries from public to OCD for information on
self-protection reached unprecedented proportions.
|December 1, 1961
||Department of Defense news release announced initiation
of National Fallout Shelter Survey (NFSS) to identify,
license, mark with distinctive signs, and stock with
essential food and other supplies suitable public fallout
shelter space in existing structures, mines, caves, and
tunnels throughout the United States. Directed by OCD
and supervised by Naval Facilities Engineering Command
(NAVFAC) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, work was done
under contract by local architect-engineer firms.,. . .
Also in December, OCD issued handbook (H-6) on "Fallout
Protection--What to Know and Do About Nuclear Attack."
Millions were distributed.
|February 16, 1962
||President Kennedy signed various Executive orders assigning
to other departments and agencies certain emergency preparedness
functions in fields related to their activities:
EO 10997, Secretary of the Interior
EO 10998, Secretary of Agriculture
EO 10999, Secretary of Commerce
EO 11000, Secretary of Labor
EO 11001, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
EO 11002, Postmaster General
EO 11003, Federal Aviation Agency
EO 11004, Housing and Home Finance Administrator
EO 11005, Interstate Commerce Commission
|September 27, 1962
||Executive Order 11051 prescribed responsibilities of the
Office of Emergency Planning in the Executive Office of
|October 22, 1962
||Newspapers around the country began to break story of
possible crisis brewing in Cuba. President Kennedy
addressed the Nation "on a matter of great urgency." . . .
Again people began to think of survival, and civil defense
offices throughout the country were besieged by calls and
letters asking what to do in case of attack. Because of
Cuba's proximity to the United States, the Cuban Missile
Crisis created even more concern among the U.S. populace
than had the Berlin Crisis a year earlier. During week of
October 22-27 (Monday-Saturday), all public media centered
on the crisis, civil defense, and related protective measures.
Civil defense awareness, and particularly the need
for shelter in the event of nuclear attack, reached its
zenith during the Cuban Missile Crisis. . . . Shelter
survey, marking, and stocking accelerated by OCD.
|May 28, 1963
||A Subcommittee of the House Committee on Armed Services
(Edward Hebert, Chairman) began major hearings on the
fallout shelter program and on proposed amendments to
the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950. Hearings were
concluded August 27, 1963.
|March 27, 1964
The Alaskan Earthquake, one of the strongest in recorded
history (8.4 plus on the Richter scale), occurred on
Good Friday, March 27. Because of the extensive involvement
of people, organizations, and governmental
entities in emergency operations, the Alaskan Earthquake
provided a classic operational exercise. Earth shocks,
tidal waves, and fires--with attendant casualties--
produced a situation comparable in many ways to that
which could be expected in a nuclear attack. All of the
elements were there except radioactive fallout. When
the earthquake struck, power went off almost immediately,
including most communications networks. The OCD Warning
Officer for Alaska, stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base,
provided the first official situation report to the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and the Defense News Room in the Pentagon
over the National Warning System (NAWAS) through OCD
Public Information. . . . Members of Alaska's Radio
Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) were among the
first to establish communications between key emergency
control points, and worked closely with the OCD Warning
|March 31, 1964
Mr. Steuart L. Pittman resigned as Assistant Secretary
of Defense (Civil Defense).
|April 1, 1964
||(a) Effective April 1, 1964, Secretary of Defense transferred
all functions assigned to him by EO 10952 to
the Secretary of the Army, with authority to redelegate.
(DoD Directive 5160.50, March 31, 1964,
and Federal Register notice published April 10, 1964
(29 F.R. 5017).)
(b) Concurrently, Secretary of the Army established in
his immediate office an Office of Civil Defense,
headed by a Director of Civil Defense, redelegating
to the Director of Civil Defense all functions
assigned to the Secretary of the Army by the Secretary
of Defense. (Also published in the Federal
Register April 10, 1964, 29 F.R. 5017.)
(c) Mr. William P. Durkee named to serve as Director of
Civil Defense, and sworn in by Secretary of the Army
Stephen Ailes on April 7, 1964.
Office of Emergency Planning issued "The National Plan
for Emergency Preparedness." The plan set forth basic
principles, policies, responsibilities, preparations,
and responses of civil government to meet any kind of
national defense emergency; and described role of the
Federal Government, the States and their political subdivisions
, and, as appropriate, nongovernmental organizations
and individual citizens. The OEP "National Plan"
superseded the OCDM "National Plan for Civil Defense and
Defense Mobilization" of October 1958.
|November 1, 1965
Eastern and Western Instructor Training Centers closed;
activities combined with OCD Staff College, Battle
|October 11, 1966
Executive Order 11310 (sponsored by Office of Emergency
Planning) assigned emergency preparedness functions to
the Attorney General.
|December 31, 1966
Mr. William P. Durkee resigned; Mr. Joseph Romm designated
Acting Director of Civil Defense, effective
January 1, 1967.
Office of Civil Defense released H-14, "In Time of
Emergency--A Citizen's Handbook on Nuclear Attack . . .
Natural Disasters." Millions of copies have been distributed.
(In response to popular demand, a Spanish
version (H-14-A) was released in November 1968.)
|May 20, 1968
Mr. Joseph Romm named Director of Civil Defense by
Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor in memorandum to
his Chief of Staff, Under Secretary, Assistant Secretaries,
the General Counsel, Director of Civil Defense,
Chief of Information, Chief of Legislative Liaison, and
the Administrative Assistant; designation authenticated
by The Adjutant General on May 22, 1968.
|October 21, 1968
Office of Emergency Planning redesignated by sec. 402
of Public Law 90-608 (82 Stat. 1194) as Office of
|May 20, 1969
Mr. John E. Davis, former Governor of North Dakota,
sworn in as Director of Civil Defense by Secretary of
Defense Melvin R. Laird.
|October 28, 1969
Executive Order 11490 (sponsored by Office of Emergency
Preparedness) assigned emergency preparedness functions
to various Federal departments and agencies; superseded
previous Executive orders on subject.
|December 31, 1970
Public Law 91-606, Disaster Relief Act of 1970, revised
and extended Federal programs for relief from the
effects of major disasters.
|December 9, 1971
In letter to Secretary of the Army Robert A. Froehlke,
OEP Director George A. Lincoln outlined plans for OCD
participation in disaster operations.
|January 5, 1972
OCD Director John E. Davis replied to December 9, 1971,
letter from OEP Director Lincoln, agreeing to plans
proposed in letter to the Secretary of the Army.
|February 18, 1972
OEP Director Lincoln wrote to OCD Director Davis in
furtherance of proposal discussed in previous correspondence
and enclosed a paper setting out "Policies
and Procedures for Performance of Civil Defense Related
to Local Government Preparations for Major Disasters."
|March 8, 1972
OCD Director Davis acknowledged assignments made to
OCD in paper forwarded by OEP Director with letter of
February 18, 1972, and assured full cooperation of
OCD with OEP in carrying out mutual responsibilities.
|May 5, 1972
Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird established independent
DoD agency, Defense Civil Preparedness Agency,
headed by a Director reporting directly to the Secretary
of Defense. John E. Davis continued as Director.
Office of Civil Defense abolished. (DCPA charter
covered in DoD Directive 5105.43, "Defense Civil
Preparedness Agency (DCPA).")
Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1973 proposed abolishment
of Office of Emergency Preparedness as of June 30, 1973,
with transfer of responsibilities to HUD (disaster functions),
GSA (certain functions under Federal Civil
Defense Act of 1950 and Defense Production Act of 1950),
and Treasury (import investigations under Trade Expansion
Act of 1962).
|February 1, 1973
||DCPA established two regional suboffices:
DCPA Region One Suboffice: New York City; responsible
for New York, New Jersey.
DCPA Region Six Suboffice: Kansas City, Mo.; responsible
for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska.
Kentucky transferred from Region 4 to Region 3
Ohio transferred from Region 2 to Region 4
Utah transferred from Region 7 to Region 6
|June 27, 1973
Executive Order 11725, effective July 1, 1973, transferred
functions of the Office of Emergency Preparedness
to HUD, Treasury, and GSA. All delegations previously
issued by President to OEP were to remain in effect
until superseded or canceled by succeeding agencies.
||As authorized by Executive Order 11725:
(a) Federal Disaster Assistance Administration (FDAA)
established by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
to administer natural disaster functions.
(b) Office of Preparedness (OP) established by Administrator,
General Services Administration, to develop
and coordinate civil preparedness policies and plans.
(Note: Effective July 1, 1975, name changed by GSA
to Federal Preparedness Agency.)
|December 10, 1973
Executive Order 11749, "Consolidating Disaster Relief
Functions Assigned to the Secretary of Housing and Urban
Development." Sec. 3 established National Council on
Federal Disaster Assistance, composed of HUD (Chairman)
and representatives from DoD (Army and DCPA), Interior,
Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, HEW, Transportation,
Small Business Administration, and Office of Economic
Opportunity. Superseded Council established by EO 11526;
also superseded EO 11526, 11575, 11662, 11678, and
sec. 1 of EO 11725.
First issue of FORESIGHT, a bimonthly news magazine, published
by DCPA. Distributed to Congressmen, other Federal
agencies, State and local officials, industrial and civic
organizations, and foreign civil-defense counterparts,
FORESIGHT serves as a forum for exchange of information on
preparedness for all types of emergency situations.
In his FY 1975 report to Congress, Secretary of Defense
James R. Schlesinger stated: "The Federal Government
must continue to meet its responsibilities under the
Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950--to provide leadership,
guidance, and assistance to the State and local governments.
Development of civil defense capabilities, which
are essential to our national security, also generates,
as a bonus, an improved readiness on the part of State
and local governments to conduct coordinated operations
in peacetime emergencies and disasters.
|May 22, 1974
Public Law 93-288, Disaster Relief Act of 1974, repealed
the Disaster Relief Act of 1970 (P.O. 91-606 as amended
by P.L. 92-385) except sections 231, 233, 234, 235, 236,
237, 301, 302, 303, and 304. Provisions of P.L. 93-288
were retroactive to April 1, 1974.
|July 11, 1974
||Executive Order 11795, "Delegating Disaster Relief
Functions Pursuant to the Disaster Relief Act of 1974,"
effective May 22, 1974, to:
(1) Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, with
authority to redelegate to head of any agency of
executive branch all powers vested in President,
except sections 202c, 301, 313, 401, 409, and 412;
(2) Secretary of Defense, provisions of section 202c
concerning utilization of Federal civil defense
communications system for disaster warnings; and
(3) Secretary of Agriculture, all authority under sec.
409 concerning food coupons and distribution.
|November 6, 1974
DCPA Director Davis signed "Statement of Understanding
Between Federal Disaster Assistance Administration and
Defense Civil Preparedness Agency." Statement continued
assignments previously made by Office of Emergency Preparedness
to Office of Civil Defense.
The January-February issue of FORESIGHT featured article
by Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger in which he
defined "Civil Defense Programs--Roles and Missions."
In this article, Secretary Schlesinger emphasized that:
"The civil defense program is an integral part of the
United States' effort to ensure peace. it also provides
many domestic benefits. . . . The Department of Defense
reaffirms the need for a viable and vigorous civil defense
program. Over the years, this need has not diminished.
The civil defense program is, and will remain, an integral
part of our total national security effort. It is the
responsibility of all government officials--Federal,
State, and local--to support this program in achieving
its basic objective--the protection of our citizens in
time of emergency."
|March 18, 1975
In letter to President of the U.S. Civil Defense Council,
President Ford stated: "I am particularly pleased that
civil defense planning today emphasizes the dual use of
resources. Through development of the capability to support
and assist our citizens in time of war, we are also
improving our ability to respond to humanitarian needs
during natural disasters. . . . The basic goal is the
same--to save lives. No goal imposes a higher priority."
Compiled by Mary U. Harris, Information Services, DCPA, February 7, 1975,
with the help of Carol Wanner, White House Office Library, formerly the
library of Office of Emergency Preparedness and predecessor agencies,
including the National Security Resources Board (NSRB) and the Office for
Emergency Management, Executive Office of the President, within which the
World War II Office of Civilian Defense was established. . . . Reprinted
July 1, 1975, with additional "events."