It wasn’t a movie poster for a monster or disaster film. It was an illustration of America’s worst nightmare – that an atomic bomb would strike a major U.S. metropolis.
The harrowing image of the New York City skyline marred by a giant mushroom cloud splashed the cover of Collier’s magazine on August 5, 1950 – at a time of heightened American anxiety.
The Collier’s issue was spotlighted recently on Smithsonianmag.com, which ran the same pictures that appeared in the same 1950 issue of the magazine.
While recent films like The Avengers, Independence Day and Cloverfield touched on a
fictional attack against New York City by aliens and monsters, a full-scale explosion that could level Manhattan’s skyscrapers was plausible, especially during the Cold War.
The accompanying article, entitled ‘Hiroshima U.S.A.: Can Anything Be Done About It?’ opens: ‘For five years now the world has lived with the dreadful knowledge that atomic warfare is possible.
‘Since last September, when the President [Harry Truman] announced publicly that the Russians too had produced an atomic explosion, this nation has lived face to face with the terrifying realization that an attack with atomic weapons could be made against us.’
Attribution: Smithsonian, Mail Online