17 thoughts on “Civil Defense Exercise, 1959

  1. How did they do anything without computers? It looks like the only tools they have are rotary dial phones and lots of ashtrays. Was this at Kelly Butte?

  2. Just indulging in some amusement…
    In the bunker, you mostly sit but sometimes get to exercise your mouth. You wear professional clothing and sit in a designated area. The space is expansive and well-lit.
    Massive maps and charts cover some walls, and people write or make marks on them while standing on a ladder. Time is important here so there are two different kinds of clocks near a bank of lights. One indicates things are on high alert but still okay (yellow or green ?) and the other (red?) says “take cover”; which is, “this is it folks”, this is the real thing – every man/woman for himself.

    But the clock here says it’s after quitting time so all these folks will soon return home. The metal chairs will become unused and cold. The In/Out baskets sit empty in the dark. Everybody will pick up their papers, pens, pencils and go home.

  3. The VP photo from August 19, 2021 has a closer photo of the woman in the Kelly Butte bunker plotting the progress of the bombers. Wikipedia indicates that Soviet Backfire Bombers first flew a decade after this photo.

  4. “Duck and cover” so when you get nuked you’ll be on your knees instead of standing up. Easier that way. LOL. Just think… most of the young people on here have no idea what I’m talking about.

  5. I wonder if they are tracking the Russian Доппельгангер of Slim Whitman riding Царь Бомба to downtown Portland. Here’s to you Slim where ever you are.

  6. 1. I have a hunch that the exercise portrayed is the same exercise documented in the CBS broadcast “A Day Called X”, easily enough retrieved from Archive.org and maybe also YouTube.

    2. Using that datum as a baseline, has anyone considered Council Crest?

    3. The Tupolev bomber that first flew a decade after this photo was taken is not the Backfire (Tu-22M) but the Blinder (Tu-22), an older and entirely different aircraft. Wikipedia has all the details, including a brief discussion of the Tupolev bureau’s re-use of the -22 series designation for the newer aircraft. The aggressor bombers most likely presumed by the exercise would’ve been M-4 Bison.

  7. When I was in 5th or 6th grade (Brooklyn School 1957-1958) our class got a tour of Kelly Butte. The facility was not operating at the time but I remember the labels for each function which are shown in the picture. The specific ones I remember were PG&E, AT&T and Portland Police Dept. We were also shown all the food and water supplies. I remember water in cans and crackers also in cans and they had, as I remember a 10 to fifteen life. I saw an article I think in the 80’s, where they had to decide to dump all the emergency food supplies because they were not usable and there was a debate on replacing them. I believe the decision was not to replace them. This is one of the field trips I still remember.

  8. Is the bunker still there under Kelly Butte? In “A Day Called X” it looks as if the bunker were at the end of SE 103rd, but the radio tower and structure in the film aren’t visible on google maps

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