Letters Stir Conflict On Shelter Program

This article, from the February 12, 1962 issue of the Daily Princetonian, discusses the conflict and tension over whether or not Princeton should construct nuclear fallout shelters. The topic of fallout shelters seems to be of great discussion on campus. One Princeton professor remarked,  “This is all you ever hear in the faculty lounge.”

About 120 Princeton faculty and 68 Rutgers faculty published a letter endorsing President Kennedy's fallout program in the February 11 issue of the Princeton Town Topics. Signees included Princeton President Goheen and Physics Professors John Wheeler and Eugene Wigner. Proponents of the fallout shelter program saw a need to adequately prepare for the event of a nuclear bomb being detonated over NYC or Philadelphia. 

A second letter signed by 100 faculty members who oppose the fallout program and construction of fallout shelters appeared in the Washington Post in late December 1961. This opposing letter argues that constructing fallout shelters increases the probability of nuclear war by endorsing methods of surviving the aftermath rather than preventing their detonation in the first place. 

John W. Fisher, “Letters Stir Conflict On Shelter Program,” Daily Princetonian, 86(8): 1 (1962) https://theprince.princeton.edu/princetonperiodicals/?a=d&d=Princetonian19620212-01.2.7&srpos=1&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN-Letters+Stir+Conflict+On+Shelter+Program------