1948 (The People's Chronology)
Communists take over Czechoslovakia February 25 in a coup d'état engineered in large part by party leaders Antonín Zápotocky, 63, and Rudolf Slánsky, 46 (see 1946). Statesman Jan Masaryk commits suicide at his native Prague March 10 at age 62 (his body is discovered three floors below an open bathroom window); a new Soviet-model constitution is promulgated May 7, President Benes refuses to sanction it, a general election is held May 30, President Benes resigns June 7, and the National Assembly elects Klement Gottwald president. He is inaugurated June 14 and will hold office until his death in 1953, and he is succeeded as prime minister by his friend Zápotocky; Benes dies at Sezimovo Ustí, Czechoslovakia, September 3 at age 64 (see 1952).
The Italian Senate elects Bank of Italy governor Luigi Einaudi, 74, as the republic's first president May 11 (see 1946). A trained economist who fled to Switzerland 5 years ago, Einaudi returned in 1945, has curbed inflation and stabilized the currency as the nation's first minister of the budget, and will hold office until 1955.
Yugoslavia is expelled June 28 from the 9-month-old Communist Information Bureau (Cominform) for alleged doctrinal errors and hostility to Moscow. The Yugoslav Communist Party supports Marshal Tito, now 56, and purges itself of all Cominform supporters in a clear break with Stalin. The bureau moves its headquarters to Bucharest and will continue until 1956 to publish propaganda encouraging international communist solidarity while obstructing implementation of the Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine. Former Ustase leader Ante Pavelic, now 59, arrives in Argentina, having hidden out in Austria and Italy.
Soviet occupation forces in Germany set up a blockade July 24 to cut off rail, canal, and highway traffic between West Germany and Berlin. Many Americans favor pulling out of Europe altogether, some favor sending an armored division to force passage, but Georgia-born Gen. Lucius (du Bignon) Clay, 51, is denied permission to run a convoy through the blockade and orders an airlift that begins July 25 with U.S. and British aircraft flying in flour, meat, fish, potatoes, vegetables, coal, electrical generators, automobiles, blankets, clothing, and other supplies for the more than 2 million people of West Berlin. Strategic Air Command chief Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, now 41, uses three air corridors in a logistical tour de force, with U.S. C-54 cargo planes landing at Templehof Airport, British planes at another airport; by September the airlift is carrying 4,500 tons per day, with a plane arriving every 3 minutes around the clock (see 1949).
The Nuremberg Tribunal sentences former German field marshal Erich R. von Leeb to 3 years' imprisonment for war crimes against Russian civilians; former field marshal Heinrich A. W. von Brauchitsch dies at Nuremberg October 18 at age 67 while awaiting trial as a war criminal.
Alger Hiss supplied Soviet agents with classified U.S. documents while working in the State Department in the 1930s, says Time magazine senior editor Whittaker Chambers in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee August 3. President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Hiss is a former State Department official; Chambers denounced him as a fellow Communist Party member to State Department officer Adolph A. Berle in 1939; now 43, he sues Chambers for slander, but Chambers, now 47, will produce as evidence a microfilm that he has kept hidden in a pumpkin at his Westminster, Md., farm. A federal jury at New York indicts Hiss for perjury December 15. Rep. Richard Milhous Nixon, 35, (R. Calif.) pushes a congressional investigation of the Hiss affair, having won election in 1946 by suggesting that his Democratic opponent H. Jerry Voorhis had communist support; he has asked Norfolk, N.Y.-born Senate War Investigating Committee lawyer William P. (Pierce) Rogers, 35, to help him investigate Hiss, Rogers has found evidence to support charges, and he has urged Nixon to pursue the case that will bring the congressman to prominence, but Hiss's first trial will end in a hung jury (see 1950).
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicates September 4 at age 68 after a 58-year reign. Her 39-year-old daughter will reign until 1980 as Juliana.
The Treaty of Portsmouth signed January 15 provides for a continuing role of British military forces in defending Iraq (see 1947), Iraqis react with violence, the treaty is not ratified, but the 1930 treaty remains in force (see 1950).
Yemen's Zaydi imam Yahya (Manmud al-Mutawakkil) is machine-gunned to death at Sana January 17 at age 80 after an autocratic rule of nearly 44 years. He remained neutral during the war, and dissidents have gained power with support from Yemenis in other countries.
The State of Israel is proclaimed May 14 as the British mandate over Palestine expires (see 1947). Britain has withdrawn her forces under pressure from the terrorist Irgun, "Stern Gang," and Haganah, most Arabs have fled the country, and Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, now 73, takes office as provisional president (see 1949; Balfour Declaration, 1917; Weizmann-Faisal Agreement, 1919). Polish-born settler David Ben-Gurion (originally David Green), now 61, has been chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine since 1935 and serves as prime minister and minister of defense. The new state occupies four-fifths of Palestine and has an Arab Palestinian population of about 200,000 after more than 700,000 have fled or been expelled. Israel opens her doors to the world's Jews, and President Truman promptly recognizes the new Jewish homeland against the advice of Secretary of State Marshall (who says the president is acting for reasons of domestic politics). Truman's former Kansas City haberdashery partner Eddie Jacobson, 58, has served as unofficial liaison with President Weizmann, who initially receives more support from Moscow than from Washington. Some countries withhold recognition (Madrid will not establish diplomatic ties until 1986).
Transjordan's Arab Legion enters Jerusalem, Egypt joins the attack on Israel May 15 and bombs the temporary capital at Tel Aviv, South African-born Israeli diplomat Abba Eban, 33, helps secure a cease-fire that allows Israeli forces to regroup and rearm, Israeli defenders using Czech-built weapons throw back the invaders, but Jewish terrorists assassinate Swedish diplomat and UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, 53, September 21 in the Israeli-held quarter of Jerusalem.
Image Pop-UpIsrael gained independence, offered refuge to the world's oppressed Jews, and fought off her Arab invaders.
A new Selective Service Act passed by Congress June 24 provides for the registration of all U.S. men between 18 and 25 with men between 19 and 25 to be inducted for 21 months' service. Registration begins August 30 to initiate a program that will continue for 25 years.
The Uzi submachine gun developed after the Arab-Israeli War by German-born Israeli Army officer Uziel Gal, 23, is a compact automatic weapon based in part on earlier Czech designs. Weighing only nine pounds when loaded with a 25- to 32-round magazine of 9-millimeter pistol ammunition, it is 25.6 inches long (it will also be made in versions as short as 18 inches), is easy to load, accurate even when fired automatically, and will find wide use by police and special forces.
"Axis Sally" is indicted for treason at Washington September 10. Maine-born émigrée Mildred Elizabeth Gillars (née Sisk), now 48, took a job as a German radio announcer in 1940 at the urging of her German lover, and broadcast to U.S. troops from December 11, 1941, through May 8, 1945, becoming the highest-salaried broadcaster in the Reich. Persuading captured U.S. soldiers to record messages to their families and families, she doctored them to insert Nazi propaganda. She started her propaganda talks to Allied troops with appeals such as, "Hello, gang. Throw down those little old guns and toddle off home. There's no getting the Germans down." Found cowering in the cellar of a bombed-out building in Frankfurt-am-Main, she was returned by the army to stand trial (see 1949).
Gen. John J. Pershing, U.S. Army (ret.), dies at Walter Reed Hospital July 15 at age 87; former Supreme Court chief justice and 1916 presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes at Osterville, Mass., on Cape Cod August 27 at age 86.
Congressman Lyndon Baines Johnson (D. Tex.) celebrates his 40th birthday August 27 and wins the Democratic primary for U.S. senator the next day in a runoff contest against Gov. Coke R. Stevenson. Beaten when he ran for the Senate 7 years ago by what he considered fraudulent late votes cast for Gov. W. "Pappy" Lee O'Daniel, Johnson has used a helicopter to barnstorm the state. Stevenson led by 71,000 votes after the July 4 primary but fell short of a majority, he leads by 854 votes August 29, county bosses turn up votes that cut the lead to fewer than 155 votes, and party boss George Parry then produces Box 13 from the town of Alice in South Texas, it contains 202 previously uncounted votes, they are listed in alphabetical order in identical handwriting, almost all are for Johnson, he wins the nomination by 87 votes, and nomination as a Democrat in Texas is tantamount to election. Johnson will become Senate minority whip in 1951, minority leader in 1953, and majority leader after 1955 as he masters the legislative process and enforces party discipline (see 1960).
The Republican National Convention at Philadelphia nominates Gov. Thomas E. Dewey of New York as its candidate, full of confidence and exuberance for Dewey's second bid for the presidency (see 1944); Democrats nominate President Truman in the same Philadelphia auditorium a month later amidst gloom, confusion, and sweltering heat (some "doves of peace" hidden inside a flowered Liberty Bell are found to have died, others menace the delegates, and Chairman Sam Rayburn bellows over the radio, "Get those [expletive] pigeons out of here!)." But Truman accepts the nomination at 2 o'clock in the morning, calls the 80th Congress back into session to address issues such as housing (in a speech at Spokane, Wash., June 9 he has called the 80th Congress "the worst we've ever had"), boards a train September 17 to begin what will be a 22,000 mile whistle-stop tour, hears his 70-year-old running mate Alben W. Barkley tell him, "Give 'em hell, Harry," campaigns with pugnacious vigor, refuses to believe the polls, and wins election in his own right with 303 electoral votes to 189 for Dewey, who has campaigned with platitudes and refused to say anything that might cost him a vote. Racist Southerners have bolted the Democratic Party to form the States' Rights Democratic (Dixiecrat) Party, Dewey receives 45 percent of the popular vote to Truman's 49.5 percent. States' Rights Democratic (Dixiecrat) candidate Sen. (James) Strom Thurmond, 45, of South Carolina has run on a segregationist platform and receives 39 electoral votes (but less than 3 percent of the popular vote), carrying Alabama, Lousiana, and Mississippi as well as his home state and gets 56 percent of the white vote in Georgia; other minority party candidates, including Henry Wallace (Progressive Party) and Norman Thomas (Socialist Party), splinter the Democratic vote. Stunned by the defeat of their candidate, Republicans will make an issue of alleged "communist subversion" in an effort to smear Democrats (see McCarthy, 1950).
Burma gains independence January 4 after more than 60 years of British colonial rule. The colonial government appointed U Nu, 40, last year to succeed Bogyoke Aung San after the latter's assassination, he asserts democratic principles, and he will hold office through repeated military upheavals until ousted by a military coup in 1962.
Siam's (Thailand's) military restores former premier Luang Phibunsongkhram to his former position (see 1947). He takes prompt measures to contain the spread of communism and begins an authoritarian rule that will continue until 1957, cooperating with British and Malayan forces in fighting communist guerrillas on the Malayan border and suppressing the economic development of Chinese immigrants (see Thailand, 1949).
The Renville Agreement signed January 17 by Dutch and Indonesian representatives aboard the U.S.S. Renville tries to settle disputes left in the wake of last year's Cheribon (Linggadjati) Agreement. It orders a cease-fire, confirms Dutch territorial gains, and grants the Dutch de jure sovereignty until the Indonesian republic can be fully established. The Indonesians obtain the promise of a plebiscite in Dutch-occupied parts of Java, Madura, and Sumatra, but the Dutch launch a new military offensive in December and capture the republican capital of Jakarta while Indonesian guerrillas do their best to counter the Dutch (see 1949).
A Hindu extremist assassinates Mahatma Gandhi at Delhi January 30 at age 78. Many Hindus resent Gandhi's agreement to last year's partition of India and Pakistan. Former Madras prime minister Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, 68, takes over as governor general in June, becoming the first native-born governor general of an independent India (he will serve until January 1950; see constitution, 1950).
Ceylon gains independence from Britain February 4 (see 1956).
Pakistan's governor general Mohammed Ali Jinnah dies of tuberculosis at his native Karachi September 11 at age 73 (see 1956).
Hostilities between India and Pakistan continue over the issue of Kashmir (see 1947; 1949).
Indian troops sent into Hyderabad by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru September 13 enter the city of Hyderabad 4 days later. The Nizam Sir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, 62, has ruled the 82,000-square-mile state since 1907 and refused to join India or grant parliamentary government; he has appealed to the United Nations but bows to force and is permitted to retain his title, palaces, and private property (including a harem of 42 concubines). His annual income of $50 million is reduced to an allowance of $900,000.
The first president of the Philippines Manuel Roxas dies at Clark Field, Pampanga, April 15 at age 56 after less than 2 years in office and is succeeded by his vice president Elpidio Quirino. A general amnesty is declared in April for all Filipinos who have been accused of collaborating with Japanese occupation authorities, and the action stirs anger among Huk rebels, who have gathered an estimated 500,000 rifles and resist turning over their Luzon government to what they consider an oligarchic regime that includes people who collaborated with the Japanese (see 1950).
The Republic of Korea is proclaimed at Seoul August 15 with Synghman Rhee, 73, as president; Soviet troops leave North Korea, but communist leader Kim Il Sung (originally Kim Song Ju), 36, heads the Korean People's Democratic Republic proclaimed at Pyongyang September 9 and challenges the Rhee regime, claiming dominion over the entire country (see 1945). A prominent member of the guerrilla resistance against Japanese colonial rule, Kim has had military and political training in the Soviet Union, served as a major at the head of a Korean contingent in the Red Army during the war, returned home with other Soviet-trained Koreans after the war, and will rule his country with an iron hand until his death in 1994 (see 1949).
Some 600,000 Chinese communist troops under the command of Gen. Zhu De battle a Nationalist army of comparable size for control of Suzhou (Suchow) beginning in November (see 1946). Mme. Chiang Kai-shek arrives at Washington December 1 to request U.S. help as the communist forces of Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung) engulf China, but revelations of corruption in her husband's Nationalist regime have cooled enthusiasm for Mme. Chiang's cause (see 1949).
Former Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita is convicted of war crimes and hanged February 23 at age 60 (see 1946). The so-called "Tiger of Malaya" surrendered his troops in the Philippines in September 1945, was tried at Manila in October before a military tribunal of five generals on charges of not having prevented troops under his command from committing atrocitiesapes, torture, and killings that were actually perpetrated for the most part by naval forces whose commander ignored Yamashita's orders (the admiral responsible went free). The former U.S. labor lawyer charged with defending Gen. Yamashita will later charge that his trial and verdict were scripted by Gen. MacArthur; Gen. Homma Masaharu is executed by a firing squad at Los Baños on Luzon in the Philippines April 3 at age 58 for having ordered the Bataan Death March in 1942. The Australian judge who has headed the International Military Tribunal for the Far East since 1946 announces November 4 that all of the defendants have been found guilty after a 2½-year trial: the IMTFE sentences seven to death, 16 to life imprisonment, two to lesser terms (two others have died during the trials and one has been found insane). Japan's wartime prime minister Hedeki Tojo and six others are hanged by U.S. occupation authorities at Tokyo's Sugamo Prison December 23.
South Africa's Nationalist Party wins the country's May 26 elections, bringing right-wing politician Daniel F. Malan, now 74, to power as prime minister. An Afrikaner clergyman who opposed his country's participation in World War II, Malan holds racist views, he has run on an apartheid platform favoring separation of the races, he is avowedly anti-British and anti-Semitic, his bloc defeats a United and Labour Party coalition headed by Jan Christiaan Smuts, now 78, and his election produces an outcry from moderates such as Zulu chief Albert J. Lutuli, now 50, but Malan will rule until his resignation late in 1954 (see human rights, 1944; 1949).
Canada's prime minister W. L. Mackenzie King steps down after a third ministry that has lasted since 1935. Now 74, he is succeeded by his Liberal Party protégé Louis (Stephen) Saint Laurent, 66, who has served as leader of the Canadian delegations to the United Nations at New York and will serve until his retirement in 1958.
Left-wing Colombian Liberal Party leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán is assassinated in broad daylight April 9 in downtown Bogotá; the resulting riot (it will be called the bogotozo) produces an estimated $570 million in property damage throughout the country and begins a 15-year period of insurrection (La Violencia) that will see an estimated 200,000 people killed, with atrocities committed on both sides. Former foreign minister Laureano Eleuterio Gómez, 59, has expressed support for Francisco Franco and the late Adolf Hitler, he is suspected of having had a hand in Gaitán's murder, and he exiles himself to Spain (see 1950).
The Venezuelan army ousts President Gallegos after 9 months in office and institutes a military junta that will rule until 1958 under the leadership of Gen. Marcos Pérez Jiménez, who outlaws the Acción Democrática, driving Rómulo Betancourt and other anti-fascists into exile (Betancourt will spend the next 10 years in the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica trying to hold the remnant of the Acción Democrática together).
El Salvador has a successful military coup d'état (see 1944). The "Majors' Revolt" installs a junta headed by Major Oscar Osorio, who will organize the Revolutionary Army of Democratic Unification (Partido Revolucionario de Unificación Democrática), initiate a program of hydroelectric dam and urban housing projects, and be elected to a 6-year term in 1950 (see 1956).
A Peruvian military junta headed by Gen. Manuel A. (Apolinario) Odria (Amoretti) 50, seizes power in an October coup d'état, ousting President José Bustamente to begin a dictatorship that will continue until 1956. Odria has complained that Bustamente was too weak in dealing with radical Apristas and adopts repressive measures to suppress them (see 1950).
Human Rights, Social Justice
President Truman sends a message to Congress February 2 proposing passage of a federal anti-lynching law and desegregation of the armed forces, but a Gallup Poll survey shows that a large majority of Americans oppose the ideas.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules May 3 that a state court may not enforce private acts of discrimination (Shelley v. Kraemer). Restrictive covenants in deeds have prohibited sales of houses to minorities, but such covenants are not legally enforceable, the Court rules in an opinion written by Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson.
President Truman addresses the NAACP convention at Kansas City June 29, telling the delegates that there is no justifiable reason for discrimination on the basis of ancestry, religion, race, or color (see 1917). He is the first president ever to address the association; the NAACP decides to give up its fight for equalization of separate black facilities and push instead for integration, especially of schools (see 1954).
Executive Order 9981 ends racial segregation in the U.S. armed forces (see 1945). President Truman signs the order July 26 in response to a civil disobedience campaign organized by A. Philip Randolph (see 1941), and he orders racial integration of federal jobs that the late Woodrow Wilson segregated after becoming president in 1913, but Southern Democrats attack Truman for his policies; federal offices at Washington, D.C., will remain segregated for the most part until the late 1960s or early 1970s.
The California Supreme Court strikes down racial discrimination in marriage October 1, ruling 4 to 3 in Perez v. Sharp that a person seeking a license to marry the "wrong" kind of person "finds himself barred by law from marrying the person of his choice and that person to him may be irreplaceable. Human beings are bereft of worth and dignity by a doctrine that would make them as interchangeable as trains." But most other states continue to prohibit interracial marriage (see Loving v. Virginia, 1967).
The U.S. Supreme Court agrees in October to hear an appeal by Elmer Henderson to overturn a federal court's ruling in the racial-segregation case that he filed against the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Southern Railway in 1942. Solicitor General Philip Perlman agrees at the urging of his assistant Philip Elman to tell the high court that dining car segregation is indefensible, and Elman writes a brief saying, in part, "Segregation of Negroes, as practiced in this country, is universally understood as imposing on them a badge of inferiority." The Court rules unanimously that segregated dining cars violate the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, that the practice calls "attention to a racial classification of passengers." While it does not face the constitutionality of segregation per se, the Court begins striking down state rules requiring that blacks attend separate law schools or be segregated in university classrooms (see Brown v. Board of Education, 1954).
South African activist Helen Beatrice May Joseph (née Fennell), 43, obtains a divorce from her dentist husband and helps found the Congress of Democrats, the white wing of the African National Congress, to fight racial discrimination (see politics, 1948). Born in England, Mrs. Joseph served as an information and welfare officer in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during World War II and later became a social worker in Cape Town and Johannesburg, where she saw the realities of South Africa's racial policies, designed to segregate the races completely except where whites need blacks for menial labor (see 1956).
Israel, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and the Dutch colony of Surinam grant women the right to vote on the same basis as men (see Iran, 1980).
French authorities in occupied Germany arrest steel mogul Hermann Rechling, 76, on charges of crimes against peace and humanity. Rechling is credited with having developed the Saar Basin's iron and steel industries at the turn of the century; he used slave labor to keep the late Adolf Hitler's war machine supplied with steel during World War II, he receives a prison sentence of 7 years (it will later be extended to 10 but he will serve only 3), his family is expelled from the Saar, and it is denied entrance to its plants (see commerce, 1954).
A Universal Declaration of Human Rights of Man adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at Paris December 10 is based on the U.S. Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man. Eleanor Roosevelt has fought for the Declaration (authored primarily by UN Human Rights Commission president René Cassin, 61) and wins a standing ovation at 3 o'clock in the morning.
Hungarian police arrest Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty December 26 for his anticommunist statements (see 1944). Cardinal Mindszenty will have a show trial next year and be sentenced to death, but the sentence will be commuted to life imprisonment (see 1956).
A communist-bloc Council for Mutual Economic Assistance created January 18 at Moscow tries to further economic cooperation between the Soviet Union and her satellites. Poland joins a week later.
Congress raises the salary of the president from $75,000 to $100,000 per year January 19 with a tax-free allowance of $50,000 for expenses (see 1909). The salary will double in 1969 and double again (to $400,000) beginning in 2001.
Detroit banker Joseph (Morrell) Dodge, 58, arrives at Tokyo February 1 to help occupation authorities deal with Japanese economic woes. Having headed the U.S. Joint Price Adjustment Board, served under Gen. Eisenhower as financial adviser to the military government at Berlin, and under Gen. Clay as finance director for U.S. forces in Germany, Dodge works with finance minister Hayato Ikeda, 49, to stop the nation's inflation and balance its budget, but more than 2 million people are laid off as radicals derail trains and sabotage the occupation's efforts. The Far Eastern Commission terminates Japanese reparation payments May 12 to spur Japan's lagging economic recovery (see 1950).
New York banker-financier Thomas W. Lamont dies at Boca Grande, Fla., February 2 at age 77.
An Income Tax Reduction Act becomes law April 2 over President Truman's veto and gives further impetus to inflation.
A Foreign Assistance Act passed by Congress April 3 implements the 1947 Marshall Plan. The act authorizes spending of $5.3 billion in the first year for economic aid to 16 European countries, creating the European Recovery Program (ERP) and Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA). Studebaker boss Paul G. Hoffman is appointed Economic Cooperation Administrator of the ERP, President Truman and Secretary of State Marshall have designed an accountable and transparent mechanism for sending aid to needy nations, and although Congress has authorized spending of $17 billion the ERP will spend only $13 billion.
Former Chinese foreign minister T. V. Soong moves to San Francisco. Now 54, he has invested in U.S. securities and amassed a fortune of close to $100 million.
U.S. unemployment reaches 5.9 percent, up from 3.8 percent last year. Some 360,000 U.S. soft coal workers strike from mid-March to mid-April demanding $100 per month in retirement benefits at age 62.
United Automobile Workers (UAW) president Walter P. Reuther barely survives an attempt on his life at Detroit April 20 as a shotgun blast leaves his right arm crippled (see 1949). UAW workers at General Motors plants accept a slight wage cut as a business recession produces a decline in the cost of living (see 1948). GM grants an 11¢-per-hour wage increase to the United Automobile Workers. The contract signed May 25 by GM's Charles E. Wilson, now 57, and the UAW's Walter P. Reuther, now 40, includes a cost-of-living clause based on the Consumer Price Index of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (see 1913; 1949).
The average American steel worker has $3,000 per year to spend after taxes, the average social worker $3,500, a high school teacher $4,700, a car salesman $8,000, a dentist $10,000. Typical prices include a new Cadillac for $5,000, a gallon of gasoline 25¢, a man's gabardine suit $50, a 10-inch table TV set $250, a pack of cigarettes 21¢. Typical food prices: pork 57¢/lb., lamb chops $1.15/lb., Coca-Cola 5¢ per seven-ounce bottle, milk/21¢ qt., bread 15¢/lb., eggs 80¢/doz.
U.S. production, employment, and national income reach new highs, but renewed strikes bring a third round of inflationary wage boosts.
Labor movement veteran Agnes Nestor dies at Chicago December 28 at age 68, having seen U.S. workers win an 8-hour day, a minimum wage, and an abolition of child labor.
Economic conditions are so depressed in occupied West Germany that few people have any expectations of improvement; in Lübeck many mothers must wrap their infants in newspapers because there are no diapers, but the economy begins what many will call a "miraculous" postwar recovery as economist Ludwig Erhard, 51, reforms the currency. Germans line up June 20 to exchange their old Reichsmarks for new Deutsche marks, printed in the United States (each person receives 40, and business enterprises receive an additional 60 per employee). A group of industrialists quietly approached Erhard 5 years ago and asked him to create a plan to salvage the economy in the event (which seemed more and more likely) of an Allied victory; his work came to the attention of Gen. Clay, and he announces an end to most rationing June 21, letting market forces govern (see 1957). Moscow takes offense at the action and orders a blockade of Berlin.
The Israeli pound becomes legal tender August 16.
French gold reserves fall to 478 tons, down from 5,000 in 1932, and the war-weary nation adopts protectionist measures (see Schuman Plan, 1950; Monnet, 1953).
Britain's House of Commons votes November 17 to nationalize the steel industry.
Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average falls to 161 at midyear, down from 193 a year earlier, but while most consumer prices drop, housing and healthcare costs increase. The U.S. cost-of-living index reaches a record high in August (173 against 1935-1939 average), but the 80th Congress resists President Truman's repeated appeals for anti-inflationary legislation. The Federal Reserve's Board of Governors orders curbs on installment buying. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes December 31 at 177.30, down from 181.16 at the end of 1947.
A U.S. energy crisis in mid-January brings urgent requests for voluntary reductions in the use of gasoline, fuel oil, and natural gas. Long a net exporter of oil, the United States has become a net importer through the development of low-cost petroleum sources in Venezuela and the Middle East. Foreign crude oil will capture 18 percent of the U.S. market in the next 10 years, with most of it coming from Venezuela (see 1958).
U.S. railroads shift from coal-fired steam locomotives to diesel-electric locomotives in a move that will eliminate a major market for coal, leading to a 36 percent decline in coal mine output in the next 25 years and an increase in demand for oil (see 1924).
British railroads are nationalized January 1.
President Truman orders the army to operate the railroads beginning May 10 to abort a threatened nationwide strike. Trains will run under U.S. Army control until 1952.
New York City transit fares advance to 10¢ March 30, having remained at 5¢ since the subway opened its first line in 1904 (Fifth Avenue buses have charged 10¢ for years, and fares in most other U.S. cities have been 10¢ for some time). Irish-born Transport Workers Union president Michael J. Quill, 42, has made a deal with Mayor O'Dwyer's labor relations assistant Theodore W. Kheel, 33, to support the 10¢ fare in return for a generous labor contract (see 1953).
Aviation pioneer Orville Wright dies of a heart attack at his native Dayton, Ohio, January 30 at age 76.
Air India begins weekly Constellation service from Bombay (Mumbai) to London via Cairo and Geneva June 8 (see 1946). It will become a state corporation in 1953, will be serving Nairobi, Hong Kong, and Tokyo by 1955, and by 1960 will be flying to Djakarta, Darwin, Sydney, Tashkent, Moscow, Prague, Frankfurt, and New York.
The first jet aircraft to fly the Atlantic arrive in Labrador July 12. Six RAF de Havilland Vampires complete the crossing from Britain (see 1952; 1958).
The Vickers Viscount flown July 16 is the first British turboprop airliner.
The Soviet Air Force adopts the IL-28 jet bomber designed by S. V. Ilyushin (see 1942). The new aircraft will be the backbone of Soviet airpower for 15 years.
The Canadian Pacific adds an airline to its railway and shipping line. The CP acquires routes that will link Canada's major cities to much of the world.
President Truman dedicates New York's Idlewild International Airport July 31 (see La Guardia, 1939). The world's largest commercial airport relieves some of the pressure from the city's 9-year-old La Guardia but is much farther from midtown Manhattan (see JFK, 1963).
El Al has its beginnings September 30 in an Israeli Air Force DC-4 arrives from Geneva with Chaim Weizman, who is to be sworn in as the nation's first president; the plane has been freshly repainted and re-registered as a commercial aircraft and bears the Hebrew term for "upward." El Al is legally incorporated November 15 and will make its first scheduled airline flight to Paris next July.
The Land-Rover is introduced at the Amsterdam Motor Show April 30 by the Rover Co. of Solihull, Warwickshire (see 1906). The Jeep-like vehicle is designed for civilian use (see Universal Jeep, 1945; Leyland, 1966).
The first Porsche sports car is introduced by Volkswagen designer Ferdinand Porsche, now 73, who enters his machine in races and shows competitors his dust.
The first Saab motorcar is introduced by a Swedish aircraft maker (see Saab-Scania, 1949).
The Citroën 2CV unveiled at the Paris auto show in June will go on sale beginning next year. Designed before the war (prototypes were built in 1939), the "Deux Chevaux" has a two-cylinder, 375-cubic- centimeter, nine-horsepower engine that produces the equivalent of two units of chevaux vapeur (steam horsepower); its top speed is 34 miles per hour, and it can go 60 miles per gallon of gasoline; it comes at first only in gray, its seats can be unlatched and removed to serve as picnic chairs, and its canvas roof rolls back. A plant at Levallois-Perret will be producing 1,500 2CVs per week by 1953, more colors will become available, and by 1961 the CV2 will have a 13.5-horsepower engine and a top speed of 53 miles per hour (see 1962; DS-19, 1955).
Michelin Cie. introduces the world's first radial tires.
The first automobile air conditioner goes on the market. The crude affair is designed to be installed under the dashboard; within 25 years most new cars will have factory-installed air conditioning.
The 1949 Ford four-door sedan introduced in the fall sells for $1,333 to $3,563 and revitalizes Ford Motor Company, which has fallen behind General Motors and Chrysler. Developed from a job applicant's design, it has clean, sleek lines and will remain in production with only minor changes through the 1951 model year (production for its first year will exceed 1.1 million cars).
The Honda motorcycle is introduced by Japanese mechanic and former racecar driver Soichiro Honda, 38, who 2 years ago began fitting bicycles with surplus army two-stroke engines and now incorporates the Honda Motor Co. with 34 employees and the equivalent of $2,777 in capital. Production will exceed 3,500 units by 1950 and by 1958 Honda will be the world's leading motorbike producer (see 1958). The first Honda motorcar will appear in 1963.
The Liberian Maritime Law adopted by the Liberian Legislature in December will make ships flying the Liberian "flag of convenience" the largest merchant fleet in the world. The "flag of convenience" system began in 1940 to permit the United States to send aid to Britain while preserving technical neutrality, and it has been exploited by former secretary of state Edward R. Stettinius Jr., now 47, to permit major shipping (and oil) companies to operate more cheaply and profitably, avoiding use of U.S. crews and shipyards that would be required by U.S. registry, freeing themselves from certain inspection requirements, and taking advantage of Liberian tax laws to conceal income.
The Manchester Mark I computer executes its first program successfully June 21 (see ENIAC, 1946). Designed by graduate student Tom Kilborn, 26, and electrical engineering professor Frederic C. (Calland) Williams, 37, at Britain's University of Manchester, it is the first stored-program digital computer, and its cathode ray tube has a true random access memory, albeit limited (see BINAC, Forrester, 1949).
Physicist Richard P. Feynman and his erstwhile New York schoolmate Julian Schwinger develop a theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) that is far more powerful than the Dirac theories of 1926, 1927, and 1928 or the 1927 Heisenberg theory (see Tomonaga, 1943; Feynman, 1944). Together with that of Shinichiro Tomonaga, their work employs a process of "renormalization" to eliminate superfluous infinities, allowing the positive infinities to cancel the negative oneshe theoretically infinite mass and charge of the electronnd define the mass and charge by their measured values. The theory of quantum electronics as thus clarified becomes the most accurate quantum field theory available to science (see Gell-Mann, 1953).
The Palomar Observatory opens 40 miles northeast of San Diego, Calif. Founded by the 57-year-old California Institute of Technology to supplement the Mount Wilson Observatory and financed by the Rockefeller Foundation, its chief feature is the 500-ton Hale telescope, named for the late astronomer George Ellery Hale, who died 10 years ago. The telescope's 14½-ton main mirror measures five meters across and is made of the borosilicate glass Pyrex that has been ground and polished to the proper curvature and then coated with aluminum to give it a durable, highly-reflective surface. Corning Glass Works chemist J. Franklin Hyde, now 45, created a process in the 1930s to take a mineral found in ordinary sand and produce fused silica; it will be used not only in mirrors and telescopes but also in a variety of other applications, including engine sealants and medical devices.
Moscow purges Soviet scientific committees following T. D. Lysenko's denunciation of hostile geneticists.
London-born archaeologist Mary Douglas Leakey (née Nicol), 35, discovers the skeleton of a 1.7-million-year-old dryopithecine (primitive ape) at Rusinga on Lake Victoria (see Dart, 1924). She met African-born archaeologist and anthropologist Louis S. B. Leakey, now 45, in 1934 when she prepared drawings for his book Adam's Ancestors, became his second wife in 1936, and gains international attention for his work with her discovery of Proconsul africanus, an ancestor of both apes and humans who lived about 25 million years ago (see 1959).
Cairo-born Oxford biochemist Dorothy (Mary) Hodgkin (née Crowfoot), 38, and her colleagues use X-ray crystallography to analyze the complex nonprotein structure of the vitamin B12 molecule, one of the largest molecules to be analyzed. The project will take 8 years, Hodgkin will be the first researcher to analyze a complex molecule by X-ray diffraction before its structure is determined by chemical means, and she will go on to analyze the structures of other molecules, including penicillin and insulin (see 1964).
Physicist and astrophysicist Henri-Alexandre Deslandres dies at his native Paris January 15 at age 94; botanist Frederick O. Bower at his native Ripon, Yorkshire, April 11 at age 92.
The United Nations establishes a World Health Organization (WHO) with headquarters at Geneva. The United States accepts membership June 14.
Parliament enacts a British National Health Services law July 5 to offer taxpayer-financed "cradle-to-the-grave" medical care. The law makes medical service free; its effect will be to lower dramatically Britain's infant mortality and maternal death rates to levels below those in the United States and reduce death rates from bronchitis, influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and some other diseases to levels below U.S. rates.
The steroid hormone cortisone isolated from the human adrenal cortex by Mayo Foundation biochemist Philip S. (Showalter) Hench, 52, and his colleague E. Calvin Kendall of 1915 thyroxine fame brings the promise of new relief to arthritis victims. Chemist Tadeus Reichstein at the University of Basel isolated corticosterone more than a decade ago, he and his assistants have isolated 29 different steroids produced by the adrenal glands, Hench and Reichenstein have been testing cortisone, not enough of the substance is available for clinical evaluation, but Hench and Kendall obtain enough of the liver bile constituent deoxycholic acid to let Hench administer a dose of the anti-inflammatory compound E September 21 to a 20-year-old woman incapacitated by rheumatoid arthritis, she is active again 4 days later, and Hench then treats 13 other arthritics with similar dramatic results. Merck Laboratory researchers headed by Illinois-born organic chemist Lewis H. (Hastings) Sarett, 30, synthesize from liver bile the adrenocorticotropic hormone ACTH produced by the human pituitary gland to stimulate the adrenal glands, (see 1949; prednisone, 1955).
Montgomery, Ala.-born chemist Percy L. (Lavon) Julian, 49, finds a low-cost way to synthesize cortisone. It will make the drug widely available and make Julian a millionaire (he will use his fortune to support the civil rights movement).
The antibiotics aureoymycin and chloromycin are developed (see 1947).
Dramamine proves effective in relieving motion sickness. A clinic patient being treated for hives (urticaria) with the anti-allergen beta-diaminoethylbendohydryl-ether-8-chlorothyeophyllinate reports to Johns Hopkins physicians that taking 50 milligrams of the drug by mouth before boarding a streetcar prevents the motion sickness that she has usually experienced. Control groups on the U.S. troop transport General Ballou test it while en route to Bremerhaven for occupation duty, and the drug will be marketed under the brand name Dramamine.
Sexual Behavior in the Human Male by Indiana University taxological entomologist Alfred C. (Charles) Kinsey, 54, indicates that many sex acts thought heretofore to be perversions are so common as to be considered almost normal. Kinsey has conducted interviews with some 18,500 men and women throughout America with funds provided by the National Research Council and the Rockefeller Foundation. Published in January by medical textbook publisher W. B. Saunders, the "Kinsey Report" contains no photographs (but plenty of charts, footnotes, and statistics), sells for $6 when most books go for half that much, arouses great controversy, and enjoys sales of 200,000 copies in its first 6 months, forcing the publisher to run two presses around the clock to meet demand. The NRC will appoint a committee in 1950 to evaluate Kinsey's work (see 1953).
Louisiana state senator Dudley J. LeBlanc, 54, introduces Hadacol, a "health" tonic with B vitamins and a 12 percent alcohol content. A Cajun burial insurance promoter, he has borrowed $12,000 to start a company, sponsors Hank Williams on his radio station to boost sales, and makes his product such a success that he will be able to sell the company in 3 years for more than $8 million.
The U.S. Supreme Court ends religious instruction in public schools, ruling 8 to 1 March 8 in McCollum v. Board of Education. Justice Hugo Black says there must be an impenetrable wall between church and state; Justice Robert H. Jackson votes with the majority but says, "One can hardly respect a system of education that would leave the student wholly ignorant of the currents of religious thought that move the world. . . . Nearly everything in our culture worth transmitting, everything which gives meaning to life, is saturated with religious influences" (see 1963).
Boys Town founder Father Edward J. Flanagan travels on a mission to Germany and dies at Berlin May 15 at age 61.
Brandeis University is founded at Waltham, Mass. It is the first Jewish-sponsored nonsectarian university in America.
The Smith-Mundt Act (U.S. Information and Education Act) adopted by Congress January 27 funds Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcasts to foreign countries on a permanent basis as part of an overseas information program to coordinate State Department propaganda under the Office of International Information (see 1942; 1943). The VOA added Russian language programming last year, will add Ukrainian next year, and beginning in 1951 will add Azerbaijan, Estonian, Georgian, Hakka, Hebrew, Hindi, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, and Tatar. Sponsored by Sen. H. (Howard) Alexander Smith, 67, (R. N.J.) and Sen. Karl E. (Earl) Mundt, 47, (R. S.D.), the new law expressly prohibits any domestic dissemination of government propaganda (see Radio Free Europe, 1949; USIA, 1953).
A Greek boatman discovers the body of CBS foreign correspondent George W. Polk floating in the bay of Salonika May 16. Shot in the back of the head at point-blank range, the 34-year-old journalist has been missing for a week, having come to northern Greece for an interview with Menkos Vafiades, head of a communist-led insurgent group in the country's ongoing civil war. Polk has criticized both sides in the conflict, calling the communist guerillas "thugs," accusing the Greek government of greed and corruption, and questioning U.S. government support of a repressive, right-wing regime that is receiving $1 million per day in aid from Washington. An Athens court will convict Greek journalist Gregoris Staktopoulus, now 34, of Polk's murder in April of next year and sentence him to life imprisonment, Long Island University will establish the George Polk Award for outstanding journalism next year, and although many will condemn the investigation by Greek security police as a whitewash and say that Staktopoulus "confessed" after 2 months of torture its finding will be endorsed by Polk's CBS colleagues Winston Burdett and John Secondari, CBS chairman William Paley, and publisher Eugene Meyer, as well as by columnists Walter Lippmann and James Reston.
Cybernetics by Columbia, Mo.-born MIT mathematician Norbert Wiener, 53, summarizes results of studies in communication and information control. Derived from the Greek word for steersman, Wiener's title will come into common use to cover the whole field of information control by automated machines such as computers while Wiener works over the next 16 years to elaborate on the possibilities of cybernetics and warn of its dangers (see 1950).
"A Mathematical Theory of Communication" by Michigan-born mathematician Claude (Elwood) Shannon, 32, shows that radios, telegraph keys, human conversation, and all other information sources have a rate at which they produce information, a rate that can be measured (in bits per second) like density, mass, or any other measurable physical quantity. Shannon worked with Vannevar Bush at MIT on Bush's differential analyzer and used Boolean algebra to establish the theoretical underpinnings of digital circuits in his 1940 master's thesis "A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits." His new paper builds on seminal work on information theory done at Bell Laboratories in the 1920s by physicist Harry Nyquist, now 59, and R. V. L. Hartley (see Nyquist, 1928).
One million U.S. homes have television sets, up from 5,000 in 1945; the sets are still large cabinets with small screens but programming begins to improve and more TV stations go into operation.
Earl "Madman" Muntz enters the embryonic TV-set business at Los Angeles after a meteoric career as used-car dealer and promoter of Kaiser-Frazer automobiles. The 33-year-old Muntz will pay 400 disk jockeys to plug Muntz TV on radio, print slogans such as "Stop Staring at Your Radio" on the backs of Chicago streetcar transfers, sell as many as 4,500 sets in a single weekend, gross as much as $55 million per year, but be forced into bankruptcy in 1955.
The Electronic Secretary telephone answering machine invented by Milwaukee-born engineer Joseph J. (James) Zimmermann Jr., 36, is an 80-pound device designed to circumvent telephone company rules against letting outsiders install such devices (see Peterson, 1945). American Telephone & Telegraph Co. (AT&T) persuaded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the 1930s to outlaw answering machines on grounds that they could damage the system, but Zimmermann's machine mechanically lifts the receiver off the hook, whereupon a phonograph record plays a message that is sent through the air rather than through wires connected to the phone; the device then records the incoming message onto a strand of wire, shutting down after 30 seconds and returning the receiver to the hook. Illinois Bell buys rights to the machine and leases it to customers (see Ansaphone, 1960).
The Chinese newspaper People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) begins publication in Hebei (Hopei) Province. It will be the Communist Party organ for more than half a century.
The weekly general interest magazine Stern begins publication in West Germany with journalist Henri Nannen, 34, as editor.
U.S. News and World Report begins publication to compete with Time and Newsweek. Editor-columnist David Lawrence, now 59, turned his 7-year-old United States Daily into a weekly United States News in 1933, adopted a magazine format in 1940, has limited editorial comment to a single piece signed by him each week, merges United States News with the World Report that he founded 2 years ago, has an initial circulation base of 378,776, and will edit the periodical until his death in 1973.
"Pogo" makes its debut in the New York Star, successor to the Marshall Field tabloid PM. Philadelphia-born cartoonist Walt (Walter Crawford) Kelly, 35, is a former Walt Disney animator whose Okefenokee Swamp opossum will move to the New York Post upon the demise of the Star next year, and be in 450 papers worldwide by the late 1960s. Commenting on the ecological crisis, Pogo will say, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Publisher James H. McGraw of McGraw-Hill dies of bronchial pneumonia at San Francisco February 21 at age 87; shorthand inventor John R. Gregg at New York February 23 at age 80; journalist-author Will Irwin of a cerebral occlusion at his Greenwich Village, N.Y., apartment February 24 at age 73; Washington Times-Herald publisher Eleanor Medill "Cissy" Patterson of an apparent heart attack while in bed at her Maryland estate outside Marlboro July 24 at age 67.
The Hudson Review begins publication at New York, where it will continue into the 21st century without any academic affiliation or political ideology. Financial backing has come from Princeton graduates Frederick Morgan, Joseph Bennett, and William Arrowsmith, and their literary journal covers news of theater, dance, music, and the visual arts as well as book reviews, essays, and poetry by prominent and little-known writers.
President Truman confounds poll-takers by winning the November election. Both George Gallup and Elmo Roper have followed scholar Paul Lazarsfeld's advice that elections are decided by Labor Day and canceled their polls in the final 2 weeks of the race; the election results also embarrass LIFE magazine (whose November 1 issue has had a cover showing Dewey with a caption identifying him as "the next president"), the Washington Post (whose November 2 issue has run a banner headline saying, "Dewey Deemed Sure Winner Today"), and the Chicago Tribune, which has hit the streets with a front-page headline proclaiming Dewey the winner.
Nonfiction: The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It by Richard Hofstadter; The New Men of Power: America's Labor Leaders by Waco, Texas-born Columbia University sociologist C. (Charles) Wright Mills, 32; War Lords of Washington by Petoskey, Mich.-born Civil War historian (Charles) Bruce Catton, 48; Jefferson the Virginian by Mississippi-born historian-editor Dumas Malone, 56; The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson by Daniel J. Boorstin; The Seven Storey Mountain by French-born U.S. Trappist monk Thomas Merton, 33, creates a sensation with its autobiographical revelations; The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth by Robert Graves, who posits the existence of an all-important religion based on the worship of a goddess that is rooted in ancient times but has continued into the Christian Era; On Tyranny: An Interpretation of Xenophon's Hiero by philosopher Leo Strauss, who came to America 10 years ago, has been teaching at New York's New School for Social Research, but will move next year to the University of Chicago; The Origins of Intelligence in Children (La Nakissance de l'intelligence chez l'enfant) by Jean Piaget; The United States and China by South Dakota-born Harvard professor John King Fairbank, 41, who has pioneered the development of modern Chinese studies as an academic discipline.
Historian-political scientist Charles A. Beard dies at New Haven, Conn., September 1 at age 73; anthropologist-author Ruth Benedict of a heart attack at her native New York September 17 at age 61.
Fiction: Cry, the Beloved Country by South African novelist Alan (Stewart) Paton, 45, principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory since 1935, who indicts the apartheid society of his native land. His book will be issued in 20 languages and have sales of 15 million copies worldwide; Interview with Death (Interview mit dem Tode) (stories) by Hans Erich Nossack; Snow Country (Yukiguni) by Yasunari Kawabata; Confessions of a Mask (Kamen no kokuhaku) by Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima (originally Kimitake Hiraoka), 23, who gains quick celebrity and some notoriety for his semi-autobiographical novel of a homosexual with strong sadistic impulses; The Roadsign at the End of the Road (Owarishi michi no shirube ni) by Tokyo-born medical student-novelist Kobo Abe (originally Kimifusa Abe), 24; Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner; The Young Lions by novelist-playwright Irwin Shaw, now 35, who wrote scripts for radio shows and Broadway before serving with the U.S. Army in Europe; The Naked and the Dead by New Jersey-born infantry veteran Norman Mailer, 25, whose novel excoriates the hypocrisy of war; Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens, whose war novel about a Florida military air base brings attention to his neglected earlier novels; Remembrance Rock by Carl Sandburg; Other Voices, Other Rooms (stories) by New Orleans-born New York writer Truman Capote, 23; The World Is a Wedding (stories) by Delmore Schwartz; Walden Two by behavior psychologist B. F. Skinner is about a utopian community; The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene; Message from a Stranger by New York novelist-essayist Marya Mannes, 43; Never Love a Stranger by New York-born Universal Pictures junior executive Harold Robbins, 32; No Longer Human (Ningen Shikkaku) by Osamu Dazai; The Political Prisoner (Il carcere) by Cesare Pavese; House of Liars (Mentzogna e sortilegio) by Italian novelist Elsa Morante, 30; "The Lottery" by San Francisco-born writer Shirley (Hardie) Jackson, 29, in the June 26 New Yorker magazine; Dinner at Antoine's by Frances Parkinson Keyes; The Atom Station (Atom stooin) by Halldor Laxness, who has written the book in Los Angeles; The Aunt's Story by Australian novelist Patrick White, 36; Concluding by Henry Green; The Stain in the Snow (La Neige était sale) by Georges Simenon.
The late Scott Fitzgerald's widow, Zelda, dies at age 47 in a March 11 fire that destroys the Asheville, N.C., mental hospital where she has been a patient; novelist Osamu Dazai commits suicide by throwing himself into a Tokyo reservoir June 13 at age 38, leaving incomplete a novel entitled Goodbye (Sayonara); philosopher-novelist Georges Bernanos dies of liver cancer at Neuilly-sur-Seine outside Paris July 5 at age 60; novelist-playwright Susan Glaspell at Provincetown, Mass., July 27 at age 66 (or possibly 72).
Poetry: The Pisan Cantos (72 to 84) by Ezra Pound, who wrote them during his imprisonment at the end of World War II. Now 63, Pound has been arrested by U.S. military authorities in Italy and indicted for treason in connection with pro-Fascist anti-Semitic propaganda broadcasts that he made for the Italians. Judged mentally unfit to face trial, he will be confined to St. Elizabeth's Hospital at Washington, D.C., until 1958 (see 1949); The Lost Son and Other Poems by Theodore Roethke; The Dispossessed by John Berryman; Stranger at Coney Island by Kenneth Fearing.
The Bollingen Prize for achievement in U.S. poetry is established by philanthropist-art collector Paul Mellon, 41, who names the prize for the Swiss town where psychoanalyst Carl Jung spends his summers. Fellows in American Letters of the Library of Congress meet as an advisory board in November to decide what was the best book of verse by a U.S. poet published in the past year; the board's members include Leonie Adams, Conrad Aiken, W. H. Auden, Louise Bogan, Garrison Chapin, T. S. Eliot, Paul Green, Robert Lowell, Katherine Anne Porter, Karl Shapiro, Theodore Spencer, Allen Tate, Willard Thorp, and Robert Penn Warren (see 1949).
Poet Vicente Huidobro dies at his native Santiago, Chile, January 2 at age 54; poet-novelist Claude McKay at Chicago May 22 at age 58.
Jackson Pollock pioneers abstract expressionism with Composition No. 1 (tachisma), combining splashes and splotches of multihued paints on canvas to help launch a new school of "action painting" that will radically alter the direction of American art. Now 36, Pollock says his splashes are controlled by personal moods and unconscious forces.
Christina's World by Chads Ford, Pa.-born painter Andrew (Nelson) Wyeth, 31, captures the youthful vigor and anguish of Cushing, Me., cripple Christina Olsen, 55, in a work that will be widely reproduced. Son of the late illustrator N. C. Wyeth, Andrew illustrated the Brandywine edition of The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood at age 12 and has been working largely in tempera since 1946.
Other paintings: Natura Morta by Giorgio Morandi; Woman and Mailbox by Willem de Kooning; Elegy to the Spanish Republic by Aberdeen, Wash.-born abstract expressionist Robert Motherwell, 33; Peinture (Silver over black, white, yellow, and red) by Jackson Pollock; The Curiosity Shop by Norman Rockwell (cover illustration, Saturday Evening Post, April 3). Dadaist collagist-poet Kurt Schwitters dies at Little Langdale, Westmorland, January 8 at age 60 (he moved to Norway in 1937 after the Nazi government declared his art decadent and escaped to England 3 years later); Arshile Gorky hangs himself at New York July 3 at age 47, having had a colostomy for rectal cancer, had his neck broken and his painting arm paralyzed in an auto accident, lost many of his paintings in a studio fire, and found his 27-year-old socialite wife cheating on him with Chilean surrealist Roberto Matta Echaurren, who has been a close family friend.
Sculpture: Teilhard de Chardin (bust) by Malvina Hoffman portrays the French Jesuit theologian, paleontologist, and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, now 67; The Angel of the City by Marino Marini.
Photographs: Henri Matisse by Gisèle Freund.
The Nikon camera introduced by Nippon Kogaku K.K. of Japan is a 35-mm. rangefinder camera designed to compete with the German Leica. Organized by the Mitsubishi group in 1917, Nippon Kogaku has been making lenses under the Nikkor trade name since 1932 but has never before made cameras (see 1959).
The Polaroid Land Camera goes on sale for the first time November 26 at a Boston department store (see 1947; 1950).
Theater: The Antigone of Sophocles (Die Antigone des Sophokles) by Bertolt Brecht 2/15 at the Stadttheater in Chur, Switzerland; Mister Roberts by Fort Dodge, Iowa-born novelist-playwright Thomas Heggen, 26, and Texarkana, Tex.-born director-writer Joshua (Lockwood) Logan, 39, 2/18 at New York's Alvin Theater, with Henry Fonda, David Wayne, Robert Keith, William Harrigan, Brooklyn-born actor Eli Wallach, 32, Seattle-born actor Steven Hill, 25, 1,157 perfs.; The Lady's Not for Burning by Christopher Fry 3/10 at the London Arts Theatre, with Gordon Whiting, Alec Clunes (who also directs), Hughie Raeburn, Andrew Leigh, 22 perfs.; The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Der kaukasische Kreidekreis) by Bertolt Brecht (based on the Chinese drama The Circle of Chalk) 5/4 at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. (in English); Tit-Coq by Canadian playwright Gratien Gélinas 5/22 at Montreal's Monument National Theater; Mr. Puntila and His Hired Man (Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti) by Bertolt Brecht 6/5 at Zürich's Schauspielhaus; Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams 10/6 at New York's Music Box Theater, with Allegheny, Pa.-born actress Anne Jackson, 22, Margaret Phillips, 100 perfs.; State of Siege (L'état de siège) by Albert Camus 10/27 at the Théâtre Marigny, Paris; The Cry of the Peacock (Ardele, ou La marguerite) by Jean Anouilh 11/4 at the Théâtre de l'Atelier, Paris; Playbill (The Browning Version and Harlequinade) by Terence Rattigan 11/8 at London's Phoenix Theatre, with Eric Portman, Peter Scott, Marry Ellis, 244 perfs.; Light Up the Sky by Moss Hart 11/18 at New York's Royale Theater, with Glenn Anders, Audrey Christie, Sam Levene, Barry Nelson, Philip Ober, 214 perfs.; Anne of the Thousand Days by Maxwell Anderson 12/8 at New York's Shubert Theater, with Joyce Redman as Anne Boleyn, Rex Harrison as Henry VIII, 286 perfs.; Break of Noon (Partage de Midi) by Paul Claudel 12/16 at the Théâtre Marigny, Paris.
Japan's Kabuki drama begins to revive under the aegis of Gen. MacArthur's Oklahoma-born former aide-de-camp and interpreter Faubion Bowers, 31, who taught at Tokyo's Hosei University from 1940 to 1941 and serves as civilian censor as well as sponsor under the U.S. occupation authorities.
The Margaret Webster Shakespeare Company founded by director-producer Webster will tour the United States for years, performing in high school auditoriums, university theaters, and public halls.
French Radio director Vladimir Porche decides at the last minute to cancel poet-playwright Antonin Artaud's To Have Done with the Judgment of God (Pour En Finir Avec le Judgement de Dieu) scheduled for broadcast at 10:45 in the evening of February 2. Jean-Louis Barrault, Jean Cocteau, René Clair, and Paul Eluard have all supported the project, commissioned last year by French Radio's director of dramatic and literary broadcasts; he resigns in protest, and Artaud dies of cancer at Ivry-sur-Seine outside Paris March 4 at age 52, having been released from a mental asylum 2 years ago after 9 years' confinement.
Radio: Our Miss Brooks 7/19 on CBS with Eve Arden, now 36, as schoolteacher Connie Brooks (see television, 1952).
Television: The Ed Sullivan Show (initially The Toast of the Town) 6/20 with syndicated New York Daily News columnist Edward (Vincent) Sullivan, 45, as master of ceremonies. CBS program development manager Worthington Miner has hired the awkward, wooden-faced Sullivan to emcee the Sunday evening variety show, whose first program features comedians Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, composer and lyricist Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, a ballerina, a pianist, a boxing referee, and a troupe of crooning firemen (to 6/6/1971; see 1955); Texaco Star Theater 9/21 on NBC with comedian Milton Berle, now 40. The Tuesday evening show is soon so popular that NBC does not cancel it for election-night coverage, stores close early for patrons and employees to watch their TV sets, and more people buy sets to watch "Uncle Miltie" (to 1954); Philco Television Playhouse 10/3 on NBC with a 1-hour live version of the 1932 George S. Kaufman-Edna Ferber comedy Dinner at Eight. Mississippi-born producer Fred Coe, 33, has developed the show (to 10/2/1955); Westinghouse Studio One 11/7 on CBS with Dean Jagger, Margaret Sullavan in a drama series by Worthington Miner that began originally on radio (to 9/29/1958); Hopalong Cassidy 11/28 on NBC with Ohio-born actor William Boyd, 53, in television's first Western series, created from re-edited westerns made between 1935 and 1948 with some new material (to 12/23/1951); Kukla, Fran, and Ollie 11/12 on NBC with Fran Allison, puppeteer Burr Tillstrom, Akron, Ohio-born announcer Hugh Downs, 28 (to 6/13/1954, and on ABC from 9/6/1954 to 8/30/1957); The Perry Como Show 12/6 on NBC with singer Como, now 36, in a series that will move to CBS in 1950 and return to NBC in 1955 (to 11/22/1961).
Films: Vittorio de Sica's The Bicycle Thief with Lamberto Maggiorani; Laurence Olivier's Hamlet with Olivier; Joseph Mankiewicz's A Letter to Three Wives with Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Philadelpia-born actor Paul Douglas, 41; David Lean's Oliver Twist with Alec Guinness, 33, Robert Newton, 42, John Howard Davies; Howard Hawks's Red River with John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, West Virginia-born actress Joanne Dru (originally La Crock), 26; Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes with Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Scottish ballerina Moira Shearer (originally Moira Shearer King), 22; Fred Zinnemann's The Search with Montgomery Clift, Ivan Jandl, Aline MacMahon; John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt; Preston Sturges's Unfaithfully Yours with Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell. Also: Giuseppe De Santis's Bitter Rice with Sylvana Mangano, 18, Genoa-born stage actor Vittorio Gassman, 23, journalist-turned-actor Raf (originally Rafaele) Vallone, 31; Sam Wood's Command Decision with Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon, Newport, R.I.-born actor Van Johnson, 31; Billy Wilder's A Foreign Affair with Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich; George Stevens's I Remember Mama with Irene Dunne, New York-born actress Barbara Bel Geddes (originally Barbara Geddes Lewis), 25; Robert Hamer's It Always Rains on Sunday with Googie Withers, Edward Chapman, Sydney Tafler, Jane Hylton, Alfie Bass, Hermione Baddeley, 41; Jean Negulesco's Johnny Belinda with Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres; John Huston's Key Largo with Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall; Robert Flaherty's documentary Louisiana Story; Henry Cornelius's Passport to Pimlico with Stanley Holloway, Margaret Rutherford, Hermione Baddeley; John Hubley's Ragtime Bear with animation by United Pictures of America cartoonists, including Bill Melendez, 32, who draw two-dimensional figures and whose focus is not on the bear but rather on a short, stubborn, irascible, nearsighted Rutgers alumnus, Mr. (Quincy) Magoo, whose voice is that of Jim Backus; Walter Lang's Sitting Pretty with Robert Young, Maureen O'Hara; Anatole Litvak's The Snake Pit with Olivia de Havilland; Herbert Wilcox's Spring in Park Lane with Anna Neagle, Michael Wilding.
Pilot-oilfield magnate-producer Howard Hughes writes a check to buy the 20-year-old RKO Radio Pictures studio; it will suffer from neglect under his ownership and halt production in 1953.
Director Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein dies of a heart attack at Moscow February 11 at age 50. He defied the authorities by making Ivan the Terrible (Part Two), which was completed early in 1946 but will not be released until 1958, and has confided to a friend that he feared for his life; Dame May Whitty dies at Hollywood May 29 at age 82; motion picture pioneer Louis Lumière at his villa in Bandol on the French Riviera June 6 at age 83; motion picture pioneer D. W. Griffith at Hollywood July 23 at age 73 (he has made no pictures since 1931); actor Warren William dies at Hollywood September 24 at age 52; actress Elissa Landi of cancer at Kingston, N.Y., October 22 at age 43; director Fred Niblo of pneumonia at New Orleans November 11 at age 74; Sir C. Aubrey Smith of double pneumonia at his Beverly Hills home December 20 at age 85.
Hollywood musicals: Charles Walters's Easter Parade with Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Texas-born tap-dancer Ann Miller (originally Johnnie Lucile Ann Collier), 26, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, songs that include "Stepping Out With My Baby," "A Couple of Swells," "Shaking the Blues Away"; Vincente Minnelli's The Pirate with Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, songs that include "Be a Clown"; John Berry's Casbah with Canadian-born actress Yvonne de Carlo (originally Peggy Middleton), 24, San Francisco-born singer Tony Martin (Alfred Norris Jr.), 33, Peter Lorre, music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Leo Robin, songs that include "For Every Man There's a Woman."
Broadway musicals: Look Ma'm Dancing 1/29 at the Adelphi Theater, with Nancy Walker, Harold Lang, choreography by Jerome Robbins, book by Cleveland-born playwright Jerome Lawrence, 32, and his Elyria, Ohio-born collaborator Robert E. (Edwin) Lee, 30, music and lyrics by Hugh Martin, songs that include "Shauny O'Shay," 188 perfs.; Inside U.S.A. (revue) 4/30 at the New Century Theater, with Jack Haley, Beatrice Lillie, dancer Valerie Bettis, Lewis Nye, Carl Reiner, Herb Shriner, music by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Howard Dietz, choreography by Helen Tamiris, 399 perfs.; Where's Charley 10/11 at the St. James Theater, with Ray Bolger in an adaptation of the 1892 English comedy Charley's Aunt, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, songs that include "Once in Love with Amy," "My Darling, My Darling," "The New Ashmolean Marching Society and Students' Conservatory Band," 792 perfs.; As the Girls Go 11/13 at the Winter Garden Theater, with Bobby Clark, Hobart Cavanaugh, Buffalo-born actress Irene Rich (originally Irene Luther), 51, music by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Harold Adamson, songs that include "It Takes a Woman to Make a Man," 420 perfs. (the first Broadway show to charge $7.20 for orchestra seats); Lend an Ear (revue) 12/16 at the National Theater, with Carol Channing, Seattle-born Gene Nelson (originally Eugene Leander Berg), 28, Pennsylvania-born actor William Eythe, 30, scenery and costumes by Roul Pène Du Bois, music and lyrics by Charles Gaynor, songs that include "When Someone You Love Loves You," 460 perfs.; Kiss Me Kate 12/30 at the New Century Theater, with Alfred Drake, New York-born singer Patricia Morison (originally Eileen Patricia Augusta Fraser), 29, Lisa Kirk, Harold Lang, Metairie, La.-born dancer Peter Gennaro, 29, in an adaptation of the 1596 Shakespeare comedy The Taming of the Shrew, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, songs that include "We Open in Venice," "I've Come to Wive It Wealthily," "I Hate Men," "Another Opening, Another Show," "Why Can't You Behave," "Were Thine that Special Face," "Too Darn Hot," "Where Is the Life that Late I Led," "Always True to You in My Fashion," "So in Love," "Tom, Dick or Harry," "Wunderbar," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," 1,077 perfs.
Onetime Broadway musical star Edna May dies of a heart attack at Lausanne, Switzerland, January 1 at age 69; Earl Carroll of Vanities fame in a plane crash near Carmel, Pa., June 17 at age 56; onetime Broadway musical star Mary Eaton at Hollywood, Calif., October 10 at age 47.
Opera: The Beggar's Opera 5/24 at England's Cambridge Arts Theatre, with music by Benjamin Britten; Magdalena 7/28 at Los Angeles, with music by Heitor Villa-Lobos; German baritone (Albert) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, 23, makes his operatic stage debut 11/18 singing the role of Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, in the 1867 Verdi opera Don Carlos at the Berlin Städtische Oper.
Composer Franz Lehar dies of stomach cancer at his home in Bad Ischl, Austria, October 24 at age 78.
Cantatas: Knoxvilleummer of 1915 by Samuel Barber 4/19 at Boston's Symphony Hall, with Eleanor Steber (who has commissioned the work), text by James Agee; Saint Nicolas by Benjamin Britten 6/5 at the Aldeburgh Festival and in July at the 100th anniversary of St. Nicolas College, Lancing, Sussex; A Survivor of Warsaw by Arnold Schoenberg 11/4 at Albuquerque, N. M.
Ballet: Fall River Legend 4/22 at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, with Alicia Alonso, John Kriza, music by Morton Gould, choreography by Agnes de Mille; Orpheus 4/28 at the New York City Center, with Maria Tallchief as Eurydice, Tanaquil LeClercq as the leader of the Bacchantes, music by Igor Stravinsky, choreography by George Ballanchine; Cinderella 12/27 at London's Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, with Moira Shearer, music by Sergei Prokofiev, choreography by Frederick Ashton.
The Amadeus string quartet gives its first performance at London January 10. Its three young Austrian members (violist Peter Schidlof, violinist Norbert Brainin, and violinist Siegmund Nissel) were released from an internment camp after the war with help from harpsichorist Dame Myra Hess and composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, British cellist Martin Lovett joined them in 1946 to form the Brainin Quartet, they became the Amadeus quartet last year, and they will continue until 1987 to give recitals and make recordings.
First performances: Symphony No. 3 in E major by Walter Piston 1/9 at Boston's Symphony Hall; Symphony No. 4 by David Diamond 1/23 at Boston's Symphony Hall; Mandu-Carará (Symphonic Poem) by Heitor Villa-Lobos 1/23 at New York; Fantasy for Trombone and Orchestra by Paul Creston 2/12 at Los Angeles; The Seine at Night (Symphonic Poem) by Virgil Thomson 2/24 at Kansas City; Concerto No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra by Diamond 2/29 at Vancouver; Symphony No. 6 by Ralph Vaughan Williams, now 75, 4/21 at London; Symphony No. 4 (1848) by Darius Milhaud 5/20 at Paris; Symphony No. 2 by Roger Sessions 6/9 at Amsterdam; Toccata by Piston 10/14 at Bridgeport, Conn.; Sinfonietta by Francis Poulenc 10/24 in a BBC Orchestra concert from London; Mass by Igor Stravinsky 10/27 at Milan; Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra by Milhaud 11/7 at Paris; Wheat Field at Noon by Thomson 12/7 at Louisville; Concerto for Piano by Howard Hanson 12/31 at Boston's Symphony Hall; Symphony No. 5 by George Antheil 12/31 at Philadelphia's Academy of Music.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party rebukes Soviet composers Aram Khatchaturian, Sergei Prokofiev, and Dmitri Shostakovich February 11, calling their work an expression of "bourgeois decadence." The scolding comes on the heels of a denunciation by Soviet cultural czar Andrei Zhdanof, who has accused the composers of "failing in their duties to the Soviet people." Most of them avoid public appearances, Shostakovich humbles himself in a banal and masochistic speech that he reads aloud, Prokofiev dispatches a condescending reply.
The Aldeburgh Festival founded by composer Benjamin Britten and tenor Peter Pears has its first season 100 miles northeast of London.
The long-playing 12-inch vinyl plastic phonograph record demonstrated at New York June 18 by CBS engineer Peter Goldmark turns at a rate of 33 1/3 revolutions per minute instead of the usual 78, has 250 "Microgrooves" to the inch, plays 45 minutes of music, enables one record to contain an entire symphony where heretofore it has required five to 10 records, and begins a revolution in the recording industry (see 1946; Goldmark's color television, 1940). Goldmark also unveils a lightweight pickup arm and a silent turntable for his LP records (see 1949).
California guitar and amplifier maker C. (Clarence) Leo Fender, 40, goes into mass production with an electric guitar he calls the Broadcaster (it will be renamed the Telecaster in 1950). Created by Fender with help from George Fullerton, its solid body reduces feedback because it does not resonate inside and will help define the rock 'n' roll sound that will soon dominate the pop music scene (see 1954).
Popular songs: "Tennessee Waltz" by vocalist Redd Stewart and Wisconsin-born Grand Ole Opry accordionist-songwriter Pee Wee King (originally Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski), 33; "Country Boy" by Nashville composer Boudleaux Bryant, 28, lyrics by his Milwaukee-born poet wife, Felice, 23; "On a Slow Boat to China" by Frank Loesser; "Mañanas Soon Enough for Me" by Peggy Lee and her guitarist husband, Dave Barbour, 36; "South" ("Sur") by tango composer Anibal Troilo, lyrics by Homero Manzi; "Nature Boy" by Eden Ahbez; "It's a Most Unusual Day" by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Harold Adamson (for the film A Date with Judy); "Candy Kisses" by George Morgan; "'A'- You're Adorable" by New York-born songwriter Jules Leonard "Buddy" Kaye, 30, with Fred Wise, and Sidney Lippman; "Enjoy Yourselft's Later than You Think" by Carl Sigman, lyrics by Herb Magidson; "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" by Sid Tepper and Roy Beaumont; "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by Frank Loesser (for the film Neptune's Daughter); "You're Breaking My Heart" by Pat Genaro and Sunny Skylar; "Buttons and Bows" by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans (for the film Paleface); "Pigalle" by French songwriter Georges Ulmer; "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson, 39, lyrics by Mitchell Parish; "I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Kim Gannon, Walter Kent, Buck Ram. Patti Page (Clara Ann Fowler), 20, records "Confess" and has her first big success (she first sang under the name Patti Page for a Tulsa, Okla., radio show sponsored by Page Dairy Co.); Margaret Whiting records "A Tree in a Meadow" by British songwriter Billy Reid; Nellie Lutcher records "Fine Brown Frame"; Nova Scotia-born country singer Clarence Eugene "Hank" Snow, 24, records "I'm Movin' On" and has a hit that will be number one on the charts and remain there for 21 weeks; "I Can't Be Satisfied" and "I Feel Like Going Home" by Mississippi Delta-born guitarist-blues singer Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield), 33, who has been "discovered" by folk music collector Alan Lomax, now 33; Alabama-born country singer Hiram King "Hank" Williams, 26, records "Lovesick Blues" late in the year (he has been singing it on the radio show Louisiana Hayride out of Shreveport, La.) and it quickly climbs to number one on the charts, where it will remain for 16 weeks.
North Carolina-born banjoist Earl (Eugene) Scruggs, 24, leaves Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys with the group's guitarist and tenor singer, Lester Flatt, to form the Foggy Mountain Boys, which will gain fame for its recordings of "Earl's Breakdown," "Flint Hill Special," "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," and other numbers. The two will continue their partnership until 1969.
Songwriter Oley Speaks of "On the Road to Mandalay" fame dies at New York August 27 at age 74.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is created with 17 professional teams by a merger of the 2-year-old Basketball Association of America with the National Basketball League.
Robert Falkenburg, 22, (U.S.) wins in men's singles at Wimbledon, Louise Brough in women's singles; Richard A. "Pancho" Gonzalez, 20, wins in men's singles at Forest Hills, Margaret Osborne duPont in women's singles.
Cambridge University cricketer Peter B. H. (Barker Howard) May, 18, begins a 15-year career in which he will score 85 centuries and 27,592 runs, serving as captain of the England team 41 times before ill health and the pressure of his work as a broker at Lloyd's forces him to retire from Test Match play.
The Olympic games are held for the first time since 1936, but German and Japanese athletes are banned. A record 6,005 contestants from 59 nations compete at London, with U.S. athletes taking the lion's share of medals. U.S. athlete Bob Mathias, 17, wins the decathlon. Dutch runner Fanny (Francina) Blankers-Koen, 30, wins the 100-meter in 11.9 seconds, the 200-meter in 24.4 seconds, and the 80-meter hurdles in 11.2 seconds (the mother of two, reporters call her the "flying Dutch housewife"); Albany, Ga.-born athlete Alice Coachman, 26, wins the running high jump (5 feet, 6 1/8 inches)he first black woman gold medalist. Canadian figure skater Barbara Ann Scott has won her event in the winter Olympics at St. Moritz.
Citation wins U.S. racing's Triple Crown with Eddie Arcaro up. It is Arcaro's second Triple Crown title (see 1941), and he sets a record by earning $645,145 with one horse in a single season; no horse will win the Triple Crown again until 1973.
Former Chicago Cubs player Joe Tinker dies of a respiratory ailment at Orlando, Fla., July 27 on his 68th birthday; baseball legend Babe Ruth of throat cancer at New York August 16 at age 53.
The Cleveland Indians win the World Series, defeating the Boston Braves 4 games to 2 with pitching from Bob Feller and Satchel Paige, now 42 (see 1934).
Soviet chess master Mikhail Botvinnik wins the world title that he will hold until 1957, regain the following year, and then hold until 1960 (see 1946).
Clue (initially Cluedo) is introduced by the British firm Waddington's, whose management has acquired the board game from Birmingham law clerk Anthony E. Pratt, now 48, who invented it 5 years ago (with some help from his wife, who designed the nine-room layout) while serving as a fire warden at Leeds. Pratt's Colonel Mustard, Dr. Black, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, and Mr. Green will have other names in some foreign versions of the game, which within 50 years will have sold 150 million copies.
Scrabble is copyrighted December 1 by Newtown, Conn., sheep raiser James Brunot, who has agreed to pay small royalties to the inventor of the "crossword game" played with wooden tiles on a board. His Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-born friend Alfred M. (Mosher) Butts, now 48, was an unemployed architect when he designed the game in 1931, calling it Lexiko (his wife, Nina, was better at it than he was). Butts found that other games depended basically on luck or, like chess, were too high-brow for most people; his Lexiko game had no board, players received scores based on the length of the words they formed, they got extra points for using the letters B, F, H, M, P, V, W, and Y, even more for using J, K, Q, X, or Z, and Butts reduced the number of S tiles to four because they made the game too easy. Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, and the publishing house Simon & Schuster all rejected his idea, and by August 1934 he had sold only 84 games, all by word of mouth. His $127.03 in receipts fell short of his $147.46 in expenses, but Butts kept at it, adding a board in 1938, assigning values to letters depending on their frequency of use, making certain squares on the board double- or triple-value squares, increasing the number of tiles from 100 to 110, and renaming the game Criss-Cross. Brunot has made some minor changes in Butts's game, registers the name Scrabble as a trademark December 16, retires from his day job with a New York City welfare agency, and begins manufacturing Scrabble sets at the rate of a few dozen per week (see 1952).
Velcro (from the French words velours and crochet) has its beginnings as Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral, 41, walks in the woods with his dog, is struck by the ability of burrs to fasten themselves to his wool clothing and his dog's coat, places a burr under a microscope, and sees that its barbed, hook-like seed pods mesh neatly with the looped fibers of his clothing. De Mestral will develop Velcro brand hook-and-loop fasteners that will be used for many items in lieu of buttons or slide fasteners.
Christian Dior's "New Look" catches on worldwide with women eager to abandon the square, mannish, waistless shapes of past decades, but some critics protest the profligate use of fabric in light of persistent world shortages (see 1947).
New York fashion designer Anne Klein (née Hannah Golofsky), 25, joins with her husband, Ben, to form Junior Sophisticates, a new Seventh Avenue firm for which she creates a dress plus jacket. Having won a scholarship to Traphagen School, she began her career as a freelance design sketcher at age 15, abhors frills, and will go on to design the A-line dress and long, pleated, plaid skirts with blazers (see 1968).
New York fashion designer Hannah Troy (née Stern), 47, introduces the short-waisted "petite" size. She has noticed in a California May Company store that women were pulling at their shoulders and waistlines because the dresses they were trying on did not fit properly. After studying measurements of women volunteers for the WACS and WAVES in World War II, she has concluded from the statistics that women are typically short-waisted, whereas most fashions are designed for long-waisted women.
Dial soap is the world's first deodorant soap; introduced by Chicago's Armour and Co., it employs the bacteria-killing chemical hexachlorophene discovered in World War II.
Kitty Litter is introduced by Cassopolis, Mich., coal, ice, and sawdust merchant Edward Lowe, 27, who has joined his family's business after a stint in the navy. His neighbor Kaye Draper has found her sandpile frozen solid in January; unable to fill her cat box, she has tried ashes, but they left paw prints all over her house. Lowe has been trying to sell Fuller's Earth (kiln-dried granulated clay) to local poultry raisers as nesting material but has had little success. He suggests that Draper try it, and she finds the clay granules even better than sand. Lowe arranges with a local pet shop to offer five-pound paper bags labeled "Kitty Litter" at 65¢, the shop finds no buyers (sand costs only a penny per pound), Lowe tells the retailer to give the product away, and when users come back asking for more he starts visiting other pet shops and attending cat shows nationwide to promote the product. Cats cover up their droppings in an instinctive effort to conceal them from possible predators; owners have provided them with sawdust, wood shavings, and sand, but most have left their pets out of doors because of their odors. Kitty Litter will help increase the popularity of cats as house pets and Lowe will build a company that he will sell for more than $200 million plus stock options in 1990 (see 1995).
Bank robber Willie Sutton makes good his second prison escape and resumes his criminal career (see 1932; 1950).
Architecture, Real Estate
The Equitable Building completed at Portland, Ore., to designs by Italian-born architect Pietro Belluschi, 49, is the first U.S. structure with a glass curtain wall.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act signed into law by President Truman June 30 authorizes the surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service to develop a program in cooperation with state and local agencies that will reduce pollution of interstate waters and improve the sanitary condition of both surface and underground water. Congress will amend the law many times in years to come (see 1972).
A yellowish killer smog on the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh in late October affects 43 percent of the 14,000 residents of Donora, Pa. Sulfur from burning coal in the blast furnaces and zinc works at the American Steel & Wire Co. combines with dampness in the air to produce sulfuric acid that causes headache, nausea, vomiting, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; 22 die within a few days, and United States Steel closes down its American Steel & Wire mills at Donora, turning the place into a virtual ghost town.
Our Plundered Planet by Princeton, N.J.-born New York Zoological Society president (Henry) Fairfield Osborn, 51, expresses concern about the growing use of DDT (see 1943; Carson, 1962).
Maine's Atlantic Sea-Run Salmon Commission begins a program to remove old dams that bar fish from migrating upstream to spawning grounds (see Columbia River, 1938). The Commission starts to restock the Aroostook, Dennys, Machias, East Machias, Narraguagus, Penobscot, Pleasant, Sheepscot, Union, and other rivers (see Anadromous Fish Act, 1965).
Lysenkoites opposed to hybridization take over the USSR's last remaining centers of pure biological research (see Lysenko, 1940). The centers were organized at the Lenin Academy of Agricultural Science and at the Institute of Genetics by the late Nikolai Vavilov (see 1954).
U.S. corn is now 75 percent hybrid (see Golden Cross Bantam, 1933).
The chlorinated insecticides aldrin, dieldrin, heptachlor, and toxaphene are introduced to help farmers control pests that may resist chlordane, DDT, or methoxychlor.
Britain ends bread rationing in July as wheat flour becomes more plentiful.
Italy ends food rationing and permits production of higher-quality pasta after years of restrictions, during which wartime black-market activities have doubled the nation's pasta factories from about 1,000 to 2,000. The Germans requisitioned Parma's Barilla bakery from 1943 to 1945 (see 1919), Riccardo Barilla's son Pietro returned from service on the Russian front to find his father ill, and Pietro has taken over management along with his brother Gianni (see 1952).
Food And Drink
The London Co-Operative Society opens Britain's first full-sized supermarket January 12 at Manor Park (see 1951).
U.S. sales of frozen orange juice concentrate leap to more than 12 million six-ounce cans (see 1947; Minute Maid, 1949).
"V-8" Cocktail Vegetable Juice, introduced by Campbell Soup Co., is a mixture of tomato, carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, and spinach juices (see Swanson, 1955).
Frank Perdue takes over management of his father's Perdue Farms. Now 28, he has 40 employees and is one of the largest egg producers on Maryland's Eastern Shore but will refocus on producing chickens for retail customers.
Gerber Products Co. sells 2 million cans and jars of baby food per week (see 1941; MSG, 1951).
Reynold Metals Co. introduces Reynolds Wrap, an aluminum foil that will find wide use in roasting and baking in U.S. kitchens. The product meets with such overwhelming success that the company is forced to seek new sources of bauxite.
G. F. Heublein promotes its Smirnoff Vodka by using the newly-introduced Polaroid Camera. A fad develops that helps to popularize the liquor that will soon be sold with the double-entendre advertising slogan, "It Leaves You Breathless." Beginning with the Moscow Mule developed 2 years ago, Heublein will develop a series of vodka drinks, including the vodka Martini, the Screwdriver (vodka and orange juice), and the Bloody Mary (vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce), and by the mid-1970s vodka will be outselling whiskey in the United States.
The McDonald's barbecue joint that opened in 1940 at San Bernardino, Calif., becomes a self-service restaurant. The McDonald brothers have shut down the operation that was earning them $100,000 per year, dismissed its carhops, streamlined its menu to include just nine items, mechanized its kitchen (infrared heat lamps keep the french fries warm), introduced efficiencies that save time, and soon have long lines waiting to buy 15¢ hamburgers, 19¢ cheeseburgers, 10¢ french fries, 10¢ soda pop, and 20¢ milkshakes. Adopting golden arches as their symbol, the McDonalds begin to franchise their name to other fast-food entrepreneurs; by 1954 they will have sold 21 franchises and opened nine outlets (see Kroc, 1954).
U.S. sales of oregano will increase by 5,200 percent in the next 8 years as demand is boosted by the growing popularity of pizza pies and other Italian specialties discovered by servicemen in Europe (see 1953).
The Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain begins its growth as Illinois-born California entrepreneur Burton "Butch" Baskin, now 32, and his brother-in-law Irvine Robbins, now 30, merge the small chains started 3 years ago with Burton's, opened at Pasadena, and the Snowbird Ice Cream stand opened by Robbins December 7, 1945, at Adams and Palmer streets in Glendale. Baskin has run a retail clothing store in Chicago; Robbins has helped his father operate a dairy-products business at Tacoma, Wash., and learned that there was more profit to be made from selling ice cream in the family's own small store in a local alley than in supplying products to grocers and druggists. The two men soon had eight stores, and sales were increasing, but they were not making money until they got the idea of selling the store to the managers. They will choose the locations and supply the ice cream and will soon begin manufacturing it themselves. Impressed by their marketing skills, the co-owner of a Phoenix ice cream maker will obtain a license to manufacture and sell product under the Baskin-Robbins name, and Baskin-Robbins will eventually have more than a dozen regional subcontractors making ice cream and handling local franchisees.
A Displaced Persons Act voted by Congress June 25 authorizes 400,000 homeless people to settle in the United States, but the DPs are charged to the quotas of their countries under the Johnson-Reed Law of 1924 (see McCarran-Walter Act, 1952).
Citizens of British Commonwealth nations gain the status of British subjects in the British Citizenship Act passed by Parliament July 30.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations predicts that the world will have 2.25 billion mouths to feed by 1960 (see 1960).