Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its threats against the United States and NATO have made nuclear war a top-of-mind issue for Americans once again. Nearly 70 percent of Americans now worry about a nuclear attack, a level of concern unparalleled since the Cold War.
Back then, the ever-present risk of nuclear annihilation was popular culture fare. On a Sunday night in 1983, more than 100 million people in the United States tuned in to ABC’s made-for-TV film “The Day After.” The film dramatized the fictional account of a Kansas town caught in the terror of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The film is said to have led then-President Ronald Reagan to support his first arms control agreement with the USSR, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (which President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2019).
Please join us for a live virtual conversation with Jeff Daniels, who made a documentary on the making of “The Day After” and its impact; Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher of The Nation and a board member of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft; and nuclear weapons expert Sharon K. Weiner to explore the history and the legacy of the film and its lessons for today. Nausicaa Renner, senior politics editor at The Intercept, will moderate.