Tuesday, January 3, 2012

NAS Norfolk's The Dope Sheet Gets Cold

This alarmist headline is from The Dope Sheet, the official newspaper for Naval Air Station Norfolk. It was not the typical headline from a newspaper that devoted much of its space to changes in command, "bravo zulus" to Sailor volunteer work, movie listings at the base theater, and the latest news (and pictures) on Hollywood starlets. Did the Sailors at NAS Norfolk know something about the end of the world that others did not? Well, not necessarily. After one reads the accompanying article, one learns that the headline is a bit overblown, but not by much.

1948 was indeed the beginning of dangerous times for the United States and the world as a whole. President Harry S. Truman's 1947 public speech that announced American support for Greece and Turkey against communist forces (the "Truman Doctrine" as it has since been called) is considered by many historians to be the beginning of the Cold War. This was followed by the more secret "NSC-68" paper that concluded, "The issues that face us are momentous, involving the fulfillment or destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself."

The Dope Sheet article references a Joint Chiefs of Staff planning document known as the "M-Day Plan." This document outlined what the JCS saw as possible threats, particularly nuclear weapon threats, over the next thirty years. It also produced a map of the current and very real national security threats facing the United States in 1948.

But, fear not, hillbilly music would remain.

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