History 1960s

Despite all of these developments, the general public at large had begun to grow weary of the "Duck and Cover" clips, and the occasional discussions about civil defense at local community group meetings. There was growing realization that an evacuation of major cities in the shadow of a nuclear attack was not feasible, so the primary emphasis continued to be centered around fallout shelters.

In 1961, however, President John F. Kennedy, sensing that the overwhelming majority of state and local governments were doing little if anything to develop a sheltering capability, decided to make civil defense preparedness once again a central issue. Kennedy once again separated out "civil defense" functions and other emergency preparedness functions into two agencies. Executive Order 10952 moved the CD functions into and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) within the Department of Defense, and assigned to the Secretary of Defense. A full-fledged nationwide shelter program, funded by the federal government was developed, resulting in engineering studies of existing structures, the acquisition and deployment of shelter stockpiles (i.e., the crackers and other goods one could find in the basements of these so-designated facilities). This moved "civilian" defense into the military arena, but it was widely believed that the Defense Department had the resources to undertake such a massive logistics program associated with the development of the sheltering program.

What remained of the emergency preparedness programs was transferred to a newly created Office of Emergency Planning (OEP), which became responsible for all civilian emergency preparedness activities, including resource utilization, disaster relief, economic stabilization, post-attack rehabilitation, and continuity of government functions. Still we have the separation of CD and other emergency functions at the federal level. In 1968, this office was renamed the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The Cuban Missile Crisis in late 1962 woke everyone up to the renewed possibility of a nuclear attack upon the United States. This incident served to bolster the Defense Department's budget requests for accelerated shelter program development, and this was reflected somewhat in the next budget. Once again, however, the following years would see a dearth of funding for such programs, especially given that with the removal of missiles from Cuba, and the newly developing war in Vietnam, there was once again little interest in the prospect of nuclear attack.

In August of 1966, the Tennessee Civil Defense Agency promulgated the Tennessee Plan for the Management of Resources. This plan was designed to formalize the manner in which critical resources would be managed by the federal, state and local government following a nuclear attack. In 1964, the federal OCD and OEP offices agreed to the framework for the management of the nation's critical resources following an attack - delegating the management of resources in the aftermath of such an attack. TCDA undertook an extensive review of the state's electrical and telecommunications assets, fuel supplies, food, industrial production assets, etc., and determined how they would be managed following a massive nuclear attack on the U.S., in conjunction with the federal management of nationwide resources. Governor Frank G. Clement signed an Executive Order [#28] on June 23, 1966, designating the Director of Civil Defense as the officer in charge of such coordination and planning efforts within Tennessee, and directed all other state agencies to coordinate their activities with the CD Director. Over the next several years, agency planners would set out developing lists of "critical facilities" that needed to be considered during planning for nuclear attacks and other emergencies that might involve resource shortages. Agency officials also coordinated the massive amounts of data related to the engineering studies and designation of shelters within Tennessee.

In 1967, the TCDA moved into its new emergency operations center, located at the Clement-Nunally Armory in south Nashville. This facility, housed on what is now called Houston Barracks, is the headquarters of the Tennessee Military Department, and the existing successor agency to TCDA still operates from there today.