Remembering The Day After

By | December 13, 2018

Immerse yourself in a movie that changed the world

In 1983, the television movie The Day After depicted a full-scale nuclear war and its impacts on people living in and around Kansas City. Viewed by over 100 million people, the film had a profound effect on those who viewed it, including then-President Ronald Reagan, who wrote that it changed his mind about the trajectory of nuclear policy.

In recognition of the 35th anniversary of The Day After, the Bulletin‘s new multimedia presentation looks back at the film’s significance as one of the most-watched television programs of all time. Months in the making, this unique showcase features a first-hand account from the Bulletin‘s contributing editor, Dawn Stover, who traveled to Lawrence, Kansas, where much of the movie was filmed. Her article examines the impact of the movie on the local community, as well as the intense conversation about nuclear weapons that the movie inspired, both in the United States and beyond.

This special feature also includes an interview with veteran newscaster Ted Koppel, who sat down with Bulletin editor-in-chief John Mecklin and reflected on similarities and differences between then and now, in our geopolitics and in our national politics. Koppel recalls ABC’s after-movie discussion, which aired immediately following the film’s broadcast and included heavyweights such as Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, Carl Sagan, Elie Wiesel, Bob McNamara, and George Schultz to help American audiences process what they had just seen.

Visit our special feature on The Day After. As the Bulletin‘s Dawn Stover writes, “It won’t be long before another 40 years have passed. Americans have not yet perished in a nuclear war or its aftermath, but a new arms race is beginning and the potential for an intentional or accidental nuclear war seems to be rising.” It’s imperative that we continue the conversation.

Facing nuclear reality, 35 years after The Day After
Dawn Stover

An interview with Ted Koppel on the meaning of The Day After
John Mecklin

Together, we make the world safer.

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5 years ago

I’m a Cold War kid and the sight of those missiles rising above the trees chills me to the core. Never have been able to get through the whole movie..