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Cold War Exhibit Opens at CSUN

February 08, 2001|STEPHANIE STASSEL

An exhibit of Cold War memorabilia, from toy ray guns to backyard bomb shelter diagrams, has made its San Fernando Valley debut this month at Cal State Northridge.

"Atomic City: Southern California in the Nuclear Age," a traveling exhibit created by Physicians for Social Responsibility, takes a look at how the threat of nuclear war affected everyday living.

"It shows the whole culture that developed underneath it, the literature that people read, the movies that people made. It permeated everything," said Tony Gardner, curator of special collections and archives.

The display at CSUN includes such memorabilia as an atomic-themed board game called "Meltdown," comic books, antinuclear bumper stickers and more than 100 photographs. In one photo, downtown Los Angeles is shown illuminated by an atomic blast from the Nevada Test Site, more than 300 miles away. Other photos show Valley locations, including fallout shelters and the Rocketdyne facility in the Santa Susana Mountains, where an early reactor was developed.

The exhibit opened three years ago at the downtown Central Library, said Jonathan Parfrey, director of the Los Angeles office of Physicians for Social Responsibility, which shared a Nobel Prize in 1985 for its antinuclear work.

Gardner said for those old enough to remember "duck and cover" drills in school, the exhibit will bring back a sense of nostalgia. For the younger students on campus, he said: "It's really history for them. It's something to reflect on."

The exhibit will be on display through Feb. 28 on the second floor of the Oviatt Library, located in the center of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. Library hours are 7:45 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:45 a.m to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

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