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Laura McEnaney on: Integration During Evacuation
Laura McEnaney Q: The Eisenhower and Truman administrations also expressed concerns about the problem of racial conflict during the sheltering or evacuation of populations in the event of a nuclear attack.

LM: When the Eisenhower administration embraced evacuation as its plan, it started to map out various schemes about how urban populations would move into suburban areas. And several planners brought up the question of the result of mixing different kinds of populations. And what they meant by different kinds of populations, was...different racial populations. And populations of urban poor with middle class populations.

And this was brought to the attention of the FCDA by consultants who had studied civil defense in England during World War II. And they found that the classes did not mix very well underground in their bunkers and in the subways. And they suggested that this might be a problem for the United States, if it decided to embrace evacuation as policy. And in fact the consultant argued that it was going to be more of a problem in the United States because the United States was a more racially diverse population than in England....

But these conversations about racial mixing and the mixing of the classes were conversations that were not aired publicly for the most part. These were high-level policy discussions that occurred away from the public eye because they were potentially explosive issues.

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