Monday, December 31, 2007

Target...Austin, Texas

Here’s a somewhat harrowing Cold War-era clip to end 2007. Target...Austin, Texas was a documentary produced by KTBC-TV in 1960. Cactus Pryor narrates a nightmare scenario in which CONELRAD is activated in response to reports of advancing enemy aircraft. Of course, in the event of an actual emergency, the city would’ve likely been cooked long before the radio announcer finished following official procedures.

Civil Defense was big business in Austin. Bergstrom Air Force Base spent much of its postwar commission as a front-line Strategic Air Command post, making the city a likely target in the event of a Soviet attack. The base was protected by two NIKE missile batteries. One of the missile sites is located on private land just south of the airport and the other is west of town just off Bee Caves Rd.

Fortunately, Austin never got nuked by the Russians. Cactus Pryor is still here, too. Happy New Year!

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