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Plain Dealing: City of refuge

In its July 2, 1959 issue The Bossier Banner-Progress proclaimed “Plain Dealing, A Modern City of Refuge.”  The editors believed that Plain Dealing was the perfect location to escape exploding bombs.

“From Biblical prophecy and from present threatening developments, the third and last great war cannot be so far away, and with all the nuclear power at the command of the opposing powers, Russia and the West, havens for those dwelling in vulnerable areas is one of the vital necessities.”

“According to the public statement of the Louisiana’s Civil defense Chairman, any point within a twenty-two mile radius of bomb exploding areas are in danger of immediate death.”

“Plain Dealing, just eight miles north of that line at once becomes a ‘City of Refuge,’ not for those feeling the avengers as in olden Biblical days, but for the thousands of innocent people who must escape the holocaust of modern death dealing bombs.”

“Of all towns in Louisiana, Plain Dealing is the most perfectly located for such a refuge.”

“Plans are already blue typed for evacuation and the Shreveport metropolitan area and the little city atop the western hills of the Ozark Spur is the nearest key point of such proposed evacuation.  This provincial haven, just three miles from the towering cliffs, four hundred feet above Red River, known as the tip of the Ozark Spur, is the one place in Louisiana that has the potential of thousands of nestled-in retreats or underground caverns that possibly alone could save many thousands in such dire emergencies.”

“In France today there are thousands of her humble population that dwell in such abodes carved out at the base of just such hills as these in her Southern portion.  These homes are known as ‘abris’ and in many instances are very comfortable and neat domiciles.”

“All the G.I.’s [sic] of the first two World Wars who traveled in France, particularly in France, particularly south of Dijon, will remember these.”

“Some of our readers may say this article is visionary or of the alarmist type, but how can one read the daily papers or hear the reports of our radio and television commentators and question the realities of these rather ominous observations.”

“No doubt the extent of the vulnerable area will be enlarged and in this case our own city might fall in the danger sector.  In this case surely we first should make tangible plans for future eventualities.”

“Let us not forget that Barksdale is one of the most potent air bases in the world and should another ‘December 7th’ come, this base will be among the first targets.”

“In the meantime, if such it proves, let us thank the Almighty Providence, that the Little Mountains are a[t] our door.  Our application for an ‘abri’ spot is in the offing.”

Thankfully, no bombs have exploded on our soil and we still enjoy our freedom.  So exercise the freedom of your public library and visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center soon.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us

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