The U.S. At War, CIVILIAN DEFENSE: Confused & Unprepared

Realizing for the first time the dire possibility of air raids on their country, the U.S. people acted like hens in a barnyard at the rumble of a sudden summer storm. Some were apathetic and carefree, some panic-stricken, many more earnest and eager to be helpful. Everywhere was a great cackling. Little hen-shaped Fiorello LaGuardia, head of the Office of Civilian Defense, glared out over a U.S. that was mostly confused and unprepared.

President Roosevelt flung the Little Flower into OCD last spring. Mr. LaGuardia set up regional councils, which did their best to start State and local councils. All were...

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