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Civil Defense Records
1917-1968, [1941-1958]
Extent: .25 linear feet
Accession Number: 2008.064
Abstract:  Includes defense council meeting minutes, member lists, and publications outlining strategy for public safety and security during WWI, WWII, and the Cold War era.   Also includes safety information in the cases of tornadoes, fire, or a nuclear attack.
Processed by: Darren Bell, November 2011
Repository: Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University
Phone: (573) 651-2245; Fax: (573) 651-2666; Email: semoarchives@semo.edu
Provenance: Unknown
Citation: Civil Defense Records, Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University
Other Relevant Collections:
Missouri Council of Defense Records, 1940-1945, The State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
Historical Note
The National Council of Defense established by the The United States Army Appropriation Act of 1916 coordinated and streamlined resources of the federal departments of War, Navy, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor in the event that the United States was involved in armed military conflict. Local versions of the National Council of Defense were created to support this mission on the state, county, and municipal levels. At the urging of a number of mayors, the Office of Civilian Defense was created in 1941 to support the National Council of Defense on the local level, providing functions that the federal government did not, such as protection of personal property.

A part of the Missouri Council of Defense, the Cape Girardeau County Council of Defense held its first meeting on June 23, 1917. Missouri State Normal School-Third District President Washington Strother Dearmont served as the chairman. At the end of World War I, the Missouri and Cape Girardeau County Councils of Defense were disbanded.

Reorganized in 1941, the Missouri Council of Defense coordinated civil defense activities in Missouri during World War II; the council dissolved in 1945 at the conclusion of the war. Federal and municipal governments assumed responsibilities for civil defense during the Cold War. The Federal Civil Defense Administration and its successor, the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, coordinated civil defense preparedness activities relating to events such as a nuclear attack. Municipal governments coordinated the use of local resources in the event of a nuclear attack or natural disaster.
Scope and Content Note
Records, newsletters, speeches and brochures divided thematically by level of government into four series concerning civil defense efforts during World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. Each series is organized chronologically. Series I contains civil defense records and brochures from Cape Girardeau County during WWI and the Cold War. Series II contains newsletters and speeches from the (Missouri) State Council of Defense during WWII. Series III contains civil defense efforts of the Southeast Missouri State Teachers College faculty during WWII. Series IV contains civil defense related brochures published by the United States government during the Cold War.
Archivists Note: The collection is divided thematically by level of government to examine how civil defense was organized and functioned in the United States.
Rules or Conventions: Finding Aid prepared using DACS
Container List
Series I Cape Girardeau County
Box 1203
Folder 001 Cape Girardeau County of Defense 1917-1919
Folder 002 Cape Girardeau County Community Shelter Plan 1968
Series II State (Missouri) Council of Defense
Box 1203
Folder 003 Progress Bulletin 1941 Dec- 1942 Jun
Folder 004 Progress Bulletin 1942 Jul-1943 Jan
Folder 005 Civil Defense Speeches 1942
Folder 006 Irion, Theo W.H., State Defense Bulletin Volume II Number I 1943
Series III Southeast Missouri State Teachers College
Box 1203
Folder 007 Faculty Defense Committee Circa 1943
Series IV United States Government Publications
Box 1203
Folder 008 Civil Defense and Emergency Management Publications 1941
Folder 009 Office of Civil and Mobile Defense Administration Publications 1957-1959
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