For baby boomers who grew up in the Cold War era, the latest headlines – about the Russian annexation of Crimea and Vladmir Putin’s America-bashing speech – bring up uncomfortable memories. Who doesn’t remember that childhood fear of being herded into a flimsy bomb shelter with incoming Russian missiles overhead? As we worry about whether another Cold War could loom ahead, here are seven things we don’t miss about the first one:
1. Duck and cover drills at school
2. Home nuclear fallout shelters
3. Mutually assured destruction: The idea that war could be avoided because anyone who started one would be blown away in the resulting firestorm.
Discussion: Share your Cold War memories with others here
4. Russian bad guys (and women) in movies: Here’s Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love.
5. The domino theory: If Vietnam fell, then Laos, Cambodia and Thailand would be next and the “dominoes” would never stop falling.
6. The Berlin Wall: Built in 1961.
7. The Iron Curtain
What are you glad the end of Cold War left behind? Are you afraid we’re entering a new Cold War era? Let us know below.
Credits: Duck and cover: Bettman/Corbis; Fallout shelter: National Archives via Wikipedia; Nuclear test: National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office via Wikimedia; Lotte Lenya in ‘From Russia With Love’: Getty Images; American troops in Vietnam: National Archives via Wikipedia; Berlin Wall: Roger Wollstadt/Flickr; Map of Europe: Created by BigSteve Via Wikimedia Commons
Also of Interest
- 24 Veterans Get Long-Overdue Medals of Honor
- ‘American Grafitti’ and Other Essential Boomer Movies
- Get free assistance with tax-return preparation from Tax-Aide
- Join AARP: Savings, resources and news for your well-being
See the AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more