Starting on April 19, 1956, the federal government practiced and planned for a near-doomsday scenario known as Plan C. When activated, Plan C would have brought the United States under martial law, rounded up over ten thousand individuals connected to “subversive” organizations, implemented a censorship board, and prepared the country for life after nuclear attack.
There was no Plan A or B.
The first known mention of this strategy was a memo released by the FBI to MuckRock under a Freedom of Information Act request. It is an invitation to the Bureau to attend an afternoon meeting on April 19, 1956, organized by the Office of Defense Mobilization.
Held in the same room as the president’s usual press briefings, just across from the White House in the Executive Office Building, this briefing requested the presence of three top officials from every department, except the Department of Justice which was asked to bring four.