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Dr. Spock, Daisy Girl, and DDT

Dr. Spock, Daisy Girl, and DDT

A Prehistory of Environmental Icons

(p.9) One Dr. Spock, Daisy Girl, and DDT
Seeing Green
Finis Dunaway
University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents three sets of images as together constituting a prehistory of environmental icons: advertisements against nuclear testing produced by SANE (the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy); the Daisy Girl and other TV commercials produced for the 1964 Lyndon Baines Johnson presidential campaign; and pesticide imagery that followed publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) and culminated with the 1972 federal ban on DDT. These images depicted the temporality of the environmental crisis by portraying the long-term risks of radioactive fallout and pesticides to the environment and the human body. This chapter explains how popular images challenged the Cold War emotional style by picturing innocent children as the prime victims of environmental danger. From SANE ads to the DDT ban, images helped popularize notions of the ecological body by explaining the ways that Strontium-90 and pesticides could enter the food chain and thereby threaten fragile ecosystems and human health.

Keywords:   SANE (National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy), Lyndon Baines Johnson, Daisy Girl, Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, pesticides, DDT, radioactive fallout, ecological body, children

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