FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CHARLES FOSTER KANE, MEET BERT THE TURTLE! CONELRAD SPEARHEADS CAMPAIGN TO GET CIVIL DEFENSE SHORT "DUCK AND COVER" INTO THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS'S NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY
Los Angeles, California—March 1, 2004—CONELRAD, the website devoted to Cold War popular culture today officially kicks off a month-long campaign to have the 1951 civil defense film "Duck and Cover" included as one of the 25 movies selected this year by the Librarian of Congress for permanent preservation in the National Film Registry. CONELRAD co-founder Bill Geerhart was notified by the Library of Congress on February 18th that his e-mail recommending the film for inclusion in this esteemed registry would serve as the official nomination. If chosen, Bert the Turtle, the animated hero of the first civil defense film produced for children, will join such celluloid icons as Charles Foster Kane, Jake Gittes and Scarlett O'Hara in a temperature controlled vault paid for by you the taxpayer!
Because the Library of Congress considers, among other factors, the popularity of the titles it inducts into the National Film Registry, CONELRAD is asking the public for help in buttressing its official nomination with additional letters and e-mails requesting that "Duck and Cover" be among the 25 films chosen in 2004. The deadline for receipt of these supporting nominations is March 30th. The announcement of selected films will occur in December 2004. CONELRAD provides all the information needed for those wishing to have their voices heard in its campaign statement: THE CONELRAD LEGACY PROJECT: DUCK AND COVER at http://conelrad.com/duckandcover/index.php?cover=01
CONELRAD believes that "Duck and Cover" deserves inclusion in the Registry because it falls well within the criteria as put forth by the Library of Congress: Specifically, it is over ten years old and it is a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" work. In fact, it is ALL of these things and more. Beyond the nominal criteria, "Duck and Cover" is also one of the most famous educational films ever made. The movie's title alone has come to be used as universal short-hand for the Cold War. Images and clips from the film have been used for decades to evoke the era of the 1950's. In the post-9/11 world the phrase "Duck and Cover" has been resurrected for a whole new age of paranoia.
Congress first established the National Film Registry in the 1988 National Film Preservation Act. Since 1989, the Librarian of Congress has selected 375 films for preservation. Titles include "Casablanca," "All About Eve," "Patton" and the 1963 Zapruder film of President Kennedy's assassination. A complete list is available at http://lcweb.loc.gov/film/titles.html
CONELRAD is a website that has been recognized by national media and as well as by academia for its incisive and witty Atomic pop culture analysis since its debut in 1999. For Cold War film, music, television, tourism, and secrets, CONELRAD is considered one-stop shopping for anyone obsessed with this bizarre era of American life.
Bill Geerhart, editor and co-creator of CONELRAD
CONELRAD Legacy Project: Why Bert the Turtle belongs in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.