It was a major issue and the clock always felt very close to the proverbial 'midnight'.
I remember having nuclear drills at school, being taught what to do incase of a nuclear attack (like hiding beneath a table propped up against a wall would have really helped!) and seeing the 'public service' adverts on television all the time.
People took the threat of nuclear war between NATO and the Soviet Block very seriously as The Cold War was at it's height and everyone seemed to be on tenderhooks. I knew people whose families had nuclear shelters in their gardens FFS! I also remember me, and the rest of the class/school, being scared shitless when the local nuclear siren went off when we were in class completely unexpectedly. But three minutes later we were all still alive - albeit very shakey - and we never found out why the damn system had gone off!
Anyway, with this in mind I'd like to link to an article that mindcube found this evening.
Remember the Forgotten Hero Who Saved The World (ITPRO Blog; Tuesday 26th September 2006)
Thank heavens for a level head!