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Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

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Calamity Jane—a Heavy-Duty Heroine for the Nuclear Age

Posted March 08, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl

For those of us raised in the United States from the 1950s into the 1990s, the ever-present threat of nuclear war was acknowledged, but not necessarily dwelled upon. Fallout shelter signs were a common sight in cities and towns alike, and most municipalities had their own Civil Defense department, marked with the instantly recognizable blue circle, white triangle and red CD letters. Thanks to a federal grant program kicked off in the early 1950s, many also had "Calamity Janes," heavy rescue trucks from manufacturers like REO, International and GMC. These Calamity Janes are now little more than a footnote to history, but it's worth making sure that they aren't forgotten.

Civil Defense programs first began in the United States during World War I, but were implemented in a more widespread and organized manner during World War II, especially in coastal areas. Civilian volunteers monitored the skies and the seas for signs of an enemy invasion that, thankfully, never came. The end of the war brought with it a temporary reduction in Civil Defense activities, but this was to be short-lived.

What rescue relief would have looked like in the Cold War.

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Engineering Fields - Nuclear Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville, OH
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Re: Calamity Jane—a Heavy-Duty Heroine for the Nuclear Age

03/08/2016 11:13 PM

I have one almost identical to this; a 1954 Reo/Swift. It does have the front winch, but not the crane device. It has a siren just in front of the windshield. Otherwise pretty much identical on the outside. Can't tell about the inside of course.

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