Operation Danville

This is a fascinating bit of history that my friend Vicki reminded me was on YouTube.  This is an Army propaganda film about an exercise that took place in 1959 in my home town of Danville, Va.  Apparently, the premise was a foreign army took over Danville and the US Army had to liberate it.

The first few minutes of the first segment are also fascinating to me as they illustrate a vibrant Southside  Virginia town that is gone with the winds of change.  A city of 50,000 people dependent on tobacco and textiles.  Danville was either a victim of history or a city not wise enough to look forward and plan for the future.  Depends on your point of view.

My father took some home movies of this that are in our family archives, but this is the first time I ever saw the whole professional version.  It’s really kind of sad to see what the town was and how it has lost amost all it’s charm and hope since this was produced.  It’s also gives you a hint as to the mindset that hasn’t changed much since 1959.  Much is between the lines….


Filed under My Journey, Politics, Social Commentary

5 responses to “Operation Danville

  1. Nita

    When I read the title, I was almost hoping that you were plotting an “anti-tea party gathering” in front of your fellow Danville-ite’s home who heads up the state tea party party. In my fantasy, I was thinking that we could set up a lemonade stand, and serve “LEMONDADE,” OR MINT JULEPS, in front of his house and do a marathon reading of the constitution. Since it’s my own political fantasy, I would call it “OPERATION DANVILLE: The Millenium.”


  2. Aunt Lily

    OMG ,I did not know about this,it explains older folks hysteria and inflated fear of Danville as a tertiary nuclear target in the 60’s. Dibrell Bros,Kingoff’s WBTM,WDVA, Main St,Gate 7 at th the Mill,awesome.


  3. Aunt Lily

    I think the ‘aggressor’ army has no black soldiers,I bet the Army thought it better to have them as” liberators” only. Too bad the woman did not “through off the yoke of oppression”


  4. Leonard

    I observe that the Army trusts the people in the town. I don’t think the government of today trusts us.


  5. I was there. I was fifteen at the time and my mom and I went and watched this.


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