The mock disaster was sprung on a Sunday afternoon.

Civilian-defense authorities decided that Sector 21, a residential area in Syracuse's southwest corner, had been heavily bombed. Boy Scouts were designated as wounded persons; each wore a card listing specific injuries. Ladies of the motor corps of Syracuse's Red Cross chapter bustled around, read the cards, applied appropriate first aid. From one front porch came blood-curdling screams and moans, persisting for a flat 30 seconds. Interested spectators noted that the Boy Scout who sirened these yells then retired to the back of the...

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