Cold War era Congressman Chet Holifield wanted the federal government to finance a network of underground bomb shelters. His successor, Henry Waxman, wanted the federal government to take over health care. Holifield failed; Waxman did just fine. [Credit: NY Times]
Chet Holifield was obsessed with The Bomb.
During a 32-year tenure that flowered during the Cold War, the Los Angeles Congressman sought federal money to help Americans survive a nuclear war. He called for “a nationwide system of underground shelters” in which to huddle, safe from irradiated debris.
Though Holifield achieved success in other areas – he was known as “Mr. Atomic Energy” for his promotion of nuclear power — he left Congress in 1974 without fulfilling his subterranean vision. Continue reading →