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President Kennedy Pushes Fallout Shelters

July 5, 1962 - President Kennedy broke six months of silence on civil defense today and expressed hope for prompt Congressional action on his proposals for fallout shelters. Referring to apparent public and Congressional apathy on civil defense, the President told his news conference: “These matters have some rhythm; when the skies are clear, no one is interested. Suddenly, then, when the clouds come — after all, we have no assurance that they will not come — then everyone wants to find out why more has not been done. I think the time to do it is now.” The heart of the President’s program for 1963 is a $460 million “shelter incentive.” This is a subsidy designed to help schools, hospitals, and other local nonprofit organizations build community fallout shelters.


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