The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States that developed after the Second World War peaked during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Fear of a nuclear war prompted many Americans to build fallout shelters in their yards, according to Evansville’s Civil Defense office.
By 1962, about 300 public underground shelters had been constructed in the city, identifiable by a black and gold sign. In this image from August 8, 1961, a model fallout shelter, built by Traylor Bros. Construction, is on display outside of the Sears store on Sycamore Street, capturing the attention of several curious pedestrians.
Although a few old shelter signs were still visible around town in the early 1990s, the shelters themselves had largely disappeared.