Bomb Shelters

Building your own bomb shelter was a Cold War-era survival tactic for thousands of families nationwide and in South Florida. Welcome to the late ’50s and early ’60s, when nuclear nervousness gave urgency to a trend that made headlines in 1961. Everyone was building a shelter — or should have been, according to the experts of the day. South Florida’s bomb shelter boom began around the time that construction of the Berlin Wall began in 1961. Another round of popularity for fallout shelters came briefly in 1962 when the Cuban Missile Crisis brought four-story-high, warhead-tipped Nike-Hercules rockets to South Florida. The warheads are gone, but the shelters remain, for the most part, unused or converted.

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