Bert the Turtle, Rockland, ca. 1957
The symbol for a national Civil Defense promotional effort was Bert the Turtle, who taught children how to "duck and cover" in case of danger.
A live Bert, a 50-pound North African sea turtle, appeared on a float at the Rockland Seafood Festival in the late 1950s.
C. Bruce Wright, public relations director of the Maine Civil Defense and Public Safety Department, acquired the turtle from a Brunswick doctor who had gotten it from sailors at Brunswick Naval Air Station. It became a popular attraction promoting civil defense in Maine.