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.

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