Duck and Cover

      Today I learned about the atom, atomic bombs and duck and cover.

      In 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan, ending World War II. These bombs were never used before. They were a new invention, made possible after we learned how to split the atom.

      All matter is made up of atoms. Matter is anything that takes up space and has weight — like a chocolate chip cookie, for example.

      I never knew that splitting an atom could make a bomb before. After the U.S. used these bombs, they were worried a bomb would be dropped on them by the Russians because they also had the bomb and were our enemy. Because of this, in the 1950’s through the 1980’s, Americans were told to prepare for an atomic bomb that could happen at any moment by making sure to “duck and cover.”

      People were told that if they heard a bomb siren they should duck and cover right away. They were also told that if they didn’t hear a siren, they would know to duck and cover once they saw a flash in the sky, meaning a bomb was near.

      The video shown above was used by the U.S. government to show school kids how to duck and cover. The beginning of the video shows a turtle walking when a monkey holds a bomb stick behind his head to blow him up! He ducks just in time, though, and the monkey gets blown to smithereens instead.

      There’s music, too. It goes like this:

There was a turtle by the name of Bert.
And Bert the turtle was very alert.
When danger threatened him,
He never got hurt.
He knew just what to do:
He ducked and covered,
Ducked and covered.

      I thought, “Really? You have to make a song out of death, doom and destruction?” Back then it was serious stuff; you could actually die. That’s what they thought anyway. The U.S. has never been bombed, though. Thank God!

      People are still told, though, to duck and cover just in case of a tornado, earthquake, etc. Just today I saw a story proving this. The image on the right shows two girls in a school in India ducking and covering today because of a possible earthquake. Read the story here:

      You can learn more about ducking and covering at: