Lapel pin worn by a Civil Defense volunteer, New York City, c. 1950. Gilt brass with enameling.
After World War II, with the advent of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and rising tensions with the Soviet Union, the security of the homeland became a top priority of Washington. With the creation of the Federal Civil Defense Administration in 1950, local governments were asked to draw up preparedness plans for the aftermath of nuclear war. Next to Washington itself, the New York metropolitan area was considered a probable target for Soviet warheads. This enameled pin features the classic triangular Civil Defense logo, and would have been worn by a citizen of Gotham during that nervous era.