A-Bomb in Akard Street! — 1950

by Paula Bosse

mcgrath-frank_atomic-aftermath-downtown-dallas_1950See Pegaus up there in the cloud of smoke and debris? (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The image above, from 1950, is a depiction of what downtown Dallas might look like if an atomic bomb were dropped at the corner of Main and Akard (which is weirdly specific).

In 1950 Russia detonated a nuclear bomb during atomic tests and President Truman announced that the United States would increase and intensify research and production of thermonuclear weapons. It was a scary time for the world. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were still fresh in everyone’s minds, and news of the even more frightening hydrogen bomb was everywhere in 1950.

The drawing above is by Dallas artist Frank McGrath. It isn’t terribly realistic — Big D probably wouldn’t survive a nuclear blast —  but it’s nice that Frank spared Pegasus from annihilation.


Sources & Notes

There were bomb shelters all over the Dallas area. There was a (surprisingly) large shelter on the grounds of Fair Park. Watch a video tour here. And read the Flashback Dallas post “‘Dallas Is a Major Target Area!’ Know Where Your Nearest Fallout Shelter Is.”

Read about the tenor of the times in the article “Hydrogen Bomb — 1950,” here.

The title of this post is a direct reference to a great song by one of my favorite bands, The Jam. Listen to “A-Bomb in Wardour Street,” here. This time it’s nuclear apocalypse in London, but change the accent and, sure, it could be Dallas. (I knew I’d work The Jam in here one day!)


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.