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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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Take The Step (Four Wheels To Survival): Unknown Announcer and Cast [1953]

The kid from the 'Grandma's Pantry' PSA (see "Grandma's Pantry" entry) is back and this time he wants to place stickers on the radio dial of the family car to mark the CONELRAD frequencies. The announcer then breaks in and trumpets the family vehicle as the listener's "four wheels to survival." This track is instructive because it illustrates how confused civil defense policies were. In some public education efforts, such as this one, the government encouraged car use during an attack, but in other communications it discouraged using one's vehicle because of concerns over traffic.
LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Take The Step (Four Wheels To Survival): Unknown Announcer and Cast [1953]

Announcer: Will you take the step?

Kid: Hi, Dad. Want some help washing the car?
Dad: What? Oh, sure, Tom, you want something?
Kid: Nothing, Pop…uh, mind if I put some Civil Defense stickers in here?
Dad: Stickers? What for?
Kid: Oh, see Pop – put 'em on the radio dial at 640 and 1240. That's CONELRAD.
Announcer: Four wheels to survival – that's your car in a Civil Defense emergency. It will help you move away from danger, If it's in good mechanical condition, tires properly inflated, battery in tip top shape, and your gas tank more than half full. Mark your car radio at 640 and 1240 for official information. Another sticker at the half full mark will help remind you to keep plenty of gasoline in the tank. Know the six steps to survival. Make this year your family's year for Civil Defense. You take the first step.


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