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32 WTF Pictures Of America During The Cold War

A look back at America's atomic anxieties during the early years of the Cold War, presented by Getty Images.

Posted on May 17, 2017, at 5:17 p.m. ET

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Raymond Carlin, age 7, of the Bronx is held spellbound before his television screen as he watches a live atomic detonation in 1955.

Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

An atomic cloud rises over the desert after an atomic bomb detonation in 1951.

Photoquest / Getty Images

Observers wearing protective eyewear witness the detonation of nuclear artillery shell, codenamed "Grable," at the Nevada Proving Grounds on May 25, 1953. The long shadows are the result of the nuclear fireball. The shot was the 10th in a series of 11 nuclear detonations conducted in Operation Upshot–Knothole and marked the first time a nuclear device had been fired from a cannon.

Getty Images

Left: Caged monkeys are test subjects during the Bikini atom bomb tests in 1946. Right: A government employee shears a goat before an atomic bomb test in 1946.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Plastic dummies are arranged by the US government in a casual dinner scene in an average American home located almost two miles from where an atomic bomb was scheduled to explode on March 17, 1953.

Bettmann / Getty Images

A woman sets up a grocery store scene at a Nevada test site dubbed "Doom Town," where the effects of an atomic blast would be tested on a variety of subjects in April 1955.

Photoquest / Getty Images

A mushroom cloud forms after the detonation of nuclear artillery shell Grable at the Nevada Proving Grounds on May 25, 1953.

Loomis Dean / Getty Images

Dummies are used to show the effects of an A-bomb during a test in the desert in 1955.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A government worker highlights the effects from an atomic bomb on a test dummy placed 7,000 feet from the explosion.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

This closeup shows the particles of sand seared by the atomic bomb when it was tested near Alamogordo, New Mexico, in July 1945. Intense heat seared the sand into jade-green glasslike particles.

Galerie Bilderwelt / Getty Images

An atomic test during Operation Upshot–Knothole.

This series taken by an automatic camera in 1953 shows the effects of an atomic bomb on a house built 1 mile from the point of detonation, over a period of 2.3 seconds.

Graphicaartis / Getty Images

Students at a Brooklyn middle school in 1962 conduct a duck-and-cover practice drill in preparation for a nuclear attack.

Getty Images

Left: A woman looks out from the entrance to an underground bomb-fallout shelter in Texas i 1961. Right: Ruth Colhoun and her small daughters climb down to their new underground atomic bomb shelter, which they had built for $1,995 in 1951.

Loomis Dean / Getty Images

A boy and his dog model the latest fashions in atomic protection in front of their bomb shelter in 1951.

Pictorial Parade / Getty Images

A cutaway display of a concrete masonry basement fallout shelter reveals an exercise bike, television, and library in the 1950s.

Frederic Lewis / Getty Images

A model poses with a display of bomb shelter supplies in the 1950s.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A family in Bronxville, New York, gives a tour in 1952 of their elaborate preparations in the event of an atomic war.

Keystone-france / Getty Images

The United States tests an atomic bomb above the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1946.

Keystone / Getty Images

Crew members of the "Enola Gay," the American B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, areparaded through New York City on April 12, 1946.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Ten Japanese women who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima wave to photographers in New York City following surgeries to treat their injuries. Dr. Sadam Takahashi, a Japanese surgeon traveling with the women, holds a box containing the ashes of 26-year-old Tomako Nakabayashi, who died from heart failure during her third operation to treat a disfigured arm.

Print Collector / Getty Images

A 15-megaton thermonuclear bomb explodes over the Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954. The unexpected spread of fallout from the test led to an increased awareness of, and research into, radioactive pollution.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Dancer Gene Nelson performs what he calls the "Atom Antic" on a mountaintop near Las Vegas, with a real atomic mushroom rising in the background.

Fpg / Getty Images

A model of the Nucleon, an atomic car conceived by Ford but never built, is displayed in 1958.

Underwood Archives / Getty Images

The winner of the "Miss Atomic" beauty contest poses with two businessmen in 1955.

Historical / Getty Images

Two boys play with atomic-themed toys during the early 1960s.

Historical / Getty Images

The atomic bomb nicknamed "Smokey" is detonated in the Nevada desert as part of Operation Plumb Bob in 1957.

See more pictures of America during the Cold War at Getty Images.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.