The first fallout shelter in Massachusetts

Even though the National Fallout Shelter Survey began in 1961, it was sometimes well over a year until some buildings were marked with signs.

In Massachusetts, the first sign was posted at, of all places, the Massachusetts State House.


This photo, taken on November 5, 1962, shows then Massachusetts governor John Volpe posting the first fallout shelter sign on the front of the State House. He is flanked by Major General John J. Maginnis, Director of the Massachusetts State Civil Defense, Col. Peter Hyzer, Corps of Engineers, Division Engineer and John N. Levins, Department of Defense, Office of Civil Defense, State Chief. 

This is the main entrance on the Beacon Street side of the State House. Exterior signs were also posted on the Bowdoin and Mt. Vernon St sides. The sign on the Bowdoin St side (set back behind what is now the Mass Firefighter’s Memorial) was present as recently as the mid 1990’s. However, all the exterior signs, including the one in the photo, have since been removed. I know of at least one interior sign that was also removed, and I assume all the rest were as well.

The photo-op seen here was not unique to Massachusetts. It seems that sign posting photo-ops took place in other states as well.



Fallout Five Zero


Photo above and accompanying information used with permission from Conelrad Adjacent. Thanks to Bill Geerhart for allowing permission. 

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