An image of a boy doing a duck and cover drill on an old-fashioned television set. | Still from “Blue Sky Metropolis” Episode 2

The Theater of Duck and Cover

Once a month in California, air raid sirens would go off, marking the time when all residents would begin their duck and cover drills. Listen to the stories of an older generation who lived under constant thread of nuclear annihilation.


Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

The Big Chill: The Cold War Fuels Business and Anxiety

This episode traces how The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fund the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles.  The end of World War II meant massive unemployment for the millions of workers in Southern California who built the aircraft that helped win the war, but a series of world events changed all that, creating a permanent wartime economy.  First, the Soviets successfully tested an atomic bomb.  Next, Mao Tse-Tung created a second Communist empire with his People’s Republic of China.  Finally, the Korean War marked the first communism/capitalism military showdown

  • 2019-08-23T07:00:00-07:00

A Space Odyssey: Southern California Spearheads Mankind’s Greatest Achievement

The triumphant and tragic Space Race unfolds in the first-hand accounts of those who pioneered the technology and built the hardware that made possible mankind’s greatest achievement. Meantime, the military-industrial-complex expands unchecked.

  • 2019-08-25T13:00:00-07:00
  • 2019-08-25T16:00:00-07:00
  • 2019-08-26T07:00:00-07:00
  • 2019-08-30T07:00:00-07:00

Back to the Future: A New Space Age Dawns in Southern California

“Back to the Future” explores the decline of the industry in Southern California and its resurgence in recent years.  We hear first-person testimony from Southern California residents who came of age during the Cold War and Space Race.

  • 2019-09-01T13:00:00-07:00
  • 2019-09-01T16:00:00-07:00
  • 2019-09-02T07:00:00-07:00
  • 2019-09-06T07:00:00-07:00

Wings: Aviation Takes Flight in Early Los Angeles

In this episode, the documentary establishes Southern California as the undisputed aviation capital of the world and introduce the industry founders — Jack Northrop, Glenn Martin and Donald Douglas.  Nice weather attracted them but so did a climate friendly to dreamers, risk takers and entrepreneurs.  Amelia Earhart learned to fly here, becoming only the 16th woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license, succeeding in an industry dominated by men.

  • 2019-09-13T07:00:00-07:00