Overland Traveling Exhibit - Atomic Alert!: Confronting "The Bomb" in the New Atomic Age

Atomic Alert!: Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age

Traveling Exhibit

The Soviet Union’s detonation of its first atomic bomb on August 29, 1949, thrust the United States into a new and more precarious era. Just four years after celebrating victory in World War II as the only nation with an atomic bomb, Americans now found themselves confronting the probability of an atomic war.

Over the next decade, the government, through the newly formed Federal Civil Defense Administration, issued posters, pamphlets, and related materials; offered training courses; sponsored civil defense conferences; and worked in cooperation with state and local civil defense entities as well as the private sector to prepare men, women, and children for the day “the bomb” might fall.

Atomic Alert!: Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age explores the government’s efforts to educate Americans about what to do before an atomic attack; how to react to a sudden, blinding flash; and what action to take in the aftermath of an atomic blast.

Visitors to Atomic Alert! will:

  • learn more about the FCDA’s efforts to promote the nation’s civil defense program;
  • explore how Americans prepared themselves and their families for when the bombs might fall; and
  • consider how an earlier period in American history sparked a similar national reaction to a threat to the American way of life.

Featuring artifacts and interpretation from Michael Scheibach, Ph.D., independent scholar and author, Atomic Alert! offers a unique opportunity to revisit the early atomic age when the world was divided between two atomic-armed adversaries: the United States and the Soviet Union.

DURATION 7 weeks
TARGET AUDIENCE Ages 8 and above
SHIPPING FEES Renter pays inbound shipping: common carrier
TOURING DATES October 2019 –

Overland Traveling Exhibits - Atomic Alert!: Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age - exhibit rendering

Overland Traveling Exhibits - Atomic Alert - Full exhibit perspective

Atomic Alert! features a large interactive called “When the Bomb Falls,” which allows visitors to explore the impact of a nuclear blast on a geographic area. From the innermost circle, where survival is near impossible, to the outer edges of the blast radius, where the immediate impact is less severe but the  threat of radiation from fallout remains. Featuring a large sculptural a-bomb, “When the Bomb Falls” draws visitors closer, all while exploring the dangers of proximity to an atomic explosion.

Atomic Alert Schedule

Oct 24 – Dec 17, 2019Reserve it!
Dec 19 – Feb 11, 2020Reserve it!
Feb 13 – Apr 7, 2020Reserve it!
Apr 9 – Jun 2, 2020Reserve it!
Jun 4 – Jul 28, 2020Reserve it!
Jul 30 – Sep 22, 2020Reserve it!
Sep 24 – Nov 17, 2020Reserve it!
Nov 19, 2020 - Jan 12, 2021Reserve it!
Jan 14 - Feb 9, 2021Reserve it!
Feb 11 - Apr 4, 2021Reserve it!
Apr 6 - Jun 29, 2021Reserve it!
Jul 1 - Aug 24, 2021Reserve it!
Aug 26 - Oct 19, 2021Reserve it!
Oct 21 - Dec 14, 2021Reserve it!

Frequently Asked Questions about Atomic Alert

What is required to lock in our reservation?

A verbal commitment gets you started (we put the PENDING notification on the calendar), but we require a deposit and a signed hosting agreement to lock it in for sure. If you’re thinking about reserving a date, let us know and we’ll hold it for you until you can get approval for payment.

How does the exhibit travel?

The Atomic Alert exhibit travels by common carrier. It’s easy to set up, break down, and because the shipping containers transform into exhibit components, you don’t need to worry about arranging storage for bulky crates!

We’re not a museum, but we’d still like to host the traveling exhibit. Is that possible?

You certainly don’t have to be a museum to host the exhibit, or even a non-profit. So long as you have the space and meet the basic security requirements, you can be a valid host. Please send us a message letting us know your situation and we’ll get the process started!

I’d like to follow along on future projects that you’re building. What’s the best way to stay in touch?

That’s awesome. We’re glad you like what you see. We post a lot of in-progress photos on Facebook, so like us there to see what’s going on. Also, we’d love it if you would join our mailing list. We only send out the good stuff through there–we’re not fans of excess email. Just fill out this form and you’ll be in!

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