The Gipper is dead

In case you hadn’t heard: Ronald Reagan, the President who, together with Margaret Thatcher, brought the world to the brink of a cold war era nuclear apocalypse, has died at the age of 93.

Can’t say I’m going to shed any tears. I still very clearly remember sitting in an English class at High Storrs school in Sheffield at the age of 14 when the air raid siren on the school’s roof went off. Everyone went quiet and white, including the teacher Mrs Canham, who went to find out what was happening (it turned out some maintenance workers came across it and thought they’d give it a crank to see if it still worked. Morons).

If you’re younger than about 35, you may not remember just how real the threat of nuclear war was back in 1982. We all pretty much thought we had 4 minutes to go before being incinerated by searing hot 500 mile per hour blast wave from a nuclear air burst over Sheffield.

If you don’t believe me, here’s a poster from the era that I remember very clearly, courtesy of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics’ exhibition, Graphics for the Gipper:

There was even a movie where exactly that scene was depicted: It was called “Threads,” and it was by local author Barry Hines. His children, Sally & Thomas, were also at my school, so we had all seen the movie.

One thought on “The Gipper is dead

  1. Pingback: The Thatcher Years, Part 1: The Cold War | Tony Gill

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