On November 23, 1946 the French navy bombarded the Vietnamese coastal city of Haiphong, killing 6,000 Vietnamese people overnight. The Haiphong shelling was the first in a series of armed clashes leading to the December Battle of Hanoi and the outbreak of the First Indochina War. On December 19, 1946, 30,000 Viet Minh initiated their first large-scale attack on the French in the Battle of Hanoi. War had begun again in Viet Nam. This (undated) pro-French propaganda film seems to capture the events of the times.
It’s A Wonderful Life
After a series of populist films in the 1930s (It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and You Can't Take It With You), Frank Capra read a forgotten story entitled The Greatest Gift written by Philip Van Doren Stern and turned into the script for It's A Wonderful Life. As the first production he made after returning from service in WWII, Capra intended the film to be a celebration of the lives and dreams of ordinary American citizens, who try to do their best for themselves and others. Though it has become a quintessential American classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, was not an immediate hit when first released in 1946. In fact, Capra lost $525,000 on the production. However, when the copyright expired and the film fell into the public domain, it was picked up by TV networks such as PBS and is now an enduring seasonal hit each year. Perhaps not so humorous (although clearly ridiculous) at this early phase of the Cold War, a 1947 FBI memo noted the film showed "potential Communist infiltration of the film industry with its attempt to discredit bankers - a common trick used by Communists.” Capra, a trained engineer and his special effects supervisor Russell Shearman engineered a new type of artificial snow for the film made of sugar, water and (fire extinguisher) Foamite. Up until that time, cornflakes painted white were the most common form of fake snow, but they were noisy. Sources: Roger Ebert - film review Jennifer M. Wood - 25 Wonderful facts about It's A Wonderful Life
On December 21, 1946 an 8.1-.4 magnitude undersea earthquake initiated a powerful tsunami in the Nankai Trough off Japan's largest island Honshū. When 20-foot waves hit shore, buildings were obliterated and ~2,000 ships were capsized. 60,000 square miles were flooded and 40,000 homes were completely destroyed. ~2,000 people were killed and half a million made homeless. ________________________________ In measuring the impact of this disaster, it is important to recall that this huge tsunami occurred only a year after a devastating air raid campaign of incendiary bombing directed against Japanese civilians in the final stages of the Pacific War. __________________________ Japan has such a large potential for earthquakes because the country sits on top of four tectonic plates. List of tsunamis in Japan. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, also known as The Great East Japan Earthquake (東日本大震災), was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan (fourth most powerful in the world) since modern record-keeping began in 1900.
Memorial Day 1946 - The ways of peace have not returned to us, and the results of war are still upon us. - Eleanor Roosevelt MAY 30, 1946 NEW YORK, Wednesday—This is the first Memorial Day since the end of the war in the Pacific and yet in spite of that fact, many people will say to themselves on Memorial Day: "The world does not seem to be at peace as yet." Everywhere there is restlessness. The ways of peace have not returned to us, and the results of war are still upon us. In this country there will be parades and we will visit graves and cemeteries where lie those who have died for their country in previous wars, and most of us will pray that these years of restlessness may pass and that peace may come again to the world as a whole. I hope, however, that we will do more than pray, because it is going to require a great deal of work on our part to make of our own country the kind of a country which can back the United Nations and lead the world in its struggles to a peaceful future. When we visit the graves of our soldiers in this country I hope we will think of the cemeteries all over the world where lie our men who died both in this world war and the last, and I hope the panorama of names representing every nation in the world will recall to us that in the United States, our citizens are citizens of the world. We have no room in this country for racial prejudice because our people come from every race and were brought together by an idea and are made strong as a nation by the fact that we believe in certain democratic ideals. There is no room in this nation for religious prejudices either. Men of all races and religions fought the war and died side by side. The men who came back and are now struggling together to make the peace, have a right to equal economic opportunity, to equal justice before the law and to equal participation in our government. We are all citizens of the United States and as such dedicate ourselves on Memorial Day to an effort to give to all our soldiers the returns that they are entitled to for the sacrifices which they have made. As far as possible, we must insist that our government try to give them the housing and the education which we promised them and then forgot to plan for. Our government must see to it that they have jobs, and above all, that medical care which they may need for many years to come, is available at all times. On this Memorial Day too, we might remember to shed a tear for the women in other lands who mourn their dead and their sacrifices, and who perhaps have less cause for hope of better things in...
William Carlos Williams
This is a scene from the charming 2016 film Paterson (96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) about a bus driver and erstwhile poet named Paterson who lives in Paterson, New Jersey with his wife who dreams of being a country music star and opening a cupcake business. This Is Just To Say By William Carlos Williams - 1938 I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and which you were probably saving for breakfast Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold In 1926, William Carlos Williams wrote an 85-line poem entitled Paterson referring to that city in New Jersey as James Joyce had to Dublin, Ireland in his book Ulysses. In 1946 he published the first book of his epic poem Paterson that consisted of five books published separately in 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951 and 1958. Williams won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1949. “We sit and talk, quietly, with long lapses of silence and I am aware of the stream that has no language, coursing beneath the quiet heaven of your eyes which has no speech” ― William Carlos Williams, Paterson
The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, ordered the establishment of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team in 1946. The Blue Angels team flew the Grumman F6F Hellcat in 1946, the more powerful Grumman F8F Bearcat (1946 to 1949), the Grumman F9F Panther Jet (1949 to 1955), the Grumman F9F-8 Cougar (1955 to 1957), the Grumman F11F-1 Tiger (1957 to 1968), the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II (1969 to 1974), the Douglas A-4J Skyhawk (1974 to 1986). Since 1986 the team has flown the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The Blue Angels is the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world, after the Patrouille de France formed in 1931.
Song of the South
Song of the South was produced by Walt Disney in 1946 as a live-action/animated musical based on African-American folktales compiled by Joel Chandler Harris in 1881 in the book Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings: The Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation. The story follows a 7-year-old boy as he visits his grandmother's southern plantation during the Reconstruction Era. Befriending a worker named Uncle Remus, the boy hears about the adventures of Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear. The Song of the South has received significant criticism for being insensitive in its portrayal of idyllic life on the plantation and offensive for its use of black stereotypes and vernacular The song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Song and James Baskett received an Honorary Academy Award for his performance as Uncle Remus.
The Mensa Society was created in 1946 as a group for people with IQ scores in the top 2% of the general population to share ideas and activities. The society's membership has reached > 120,000 global members. Mensa has three stated purposes: to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members. The Latin word "mensa" means table; "mens" means "mind;" and "mensis" means "month." "Mensa" therefore suggests a monthly meeting of minds around a table. The odds of having an IQ ≥ 140 are 1 in 261. The odds of having an IQ ≥160 are 1 in 31,560. People with the highest IQs ever recorded (in ascending order) Stephen Hawking (IQ – 160) Albert Einstein (IQ – 160 – 190) Judit Polgar (IQ – 170) Philip Emeagwali (IQ – 190) Garry Kasparov (IQ – 194) Christopher Michael Langan (IQ – 190 – 210) Edith Stern (IQ – 200+) Kim Ung-Yong (IQ – 210) Christopher Hirata (IQ – 225) Marilyn Vos Savant (IQ – 228) Terence Tao (IQ – 225 – 230) William James Sidis (IQ – 250-300)
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887–1986), a pioneer of American modernism, is renowned for her paintings of flowers, skyscrapers, animal skulls and southeastern landscapes. New York City with Moon (1925) Moving to New Mexico after the death of her photographer husband Alfred Stieglitz, she was inspired to create numerous landscape paintings. Some of her most famous artwork involved large-scale close-ups of flowers such as: Petunia No. 2 (1925) Black Iris (1926) Oriental Poppies (1928) Cow's skull (1931) Patio with black door (1945) In the 1940s, O’Keeffe’s work was displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the New York Museum of Modern Art, where it was the museum’s first retrospective of a female artist’s work.
20th Century Russian literature
In the late 19th century the Russian writer Anton Chekhov was famous for his short stories and plays. One of his best known short stories, The Lady with the Dog, told of two lovers who had an affair while both were married to other people. In the 19th century, the Golden Age of Russian literature included Romanticism which emphasized imagination and emotion in contrast to the primacy of reason during the Enlightenment. Examples of Russian Romantic novelists are Aleksandr Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov. The 19th century ended, with a dominance of Russian Realist novelists, such as Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy. The first two decades of the 20th century in Russian literature have been called the Silver Age. Famous for poets such as Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, Osip Mandelstam and Boris Pasternak, the Silver Age ended after the Russian Civil War. A land not mine, still by Anna Akhmatova English version by Jane Kenyon A land not mine, still forever memorable, the waters of its ocean chill and fresh. Sand on the bottom whiter than chalk, and the air drunk, like wine, late sun lays bare the rosy limbs of the pinetrees. Sunset in the ethereal waves: I cannot tell if the day is ending, or the world, or if the secret of secrets is inside me again After the 1917 Russian Revolution and subsequent founding of the Soviet Union in 1922, Russian literature was radically changed. During a period of relative openness in the 1920s, there was a brief proliferation of avant-garde literature groups such as the Oberiu Movement that included the famous Russian absurdist Daniil Kharms. By the late 1920s, the group was labeled "literary hooliganism" and in the early '30s, with all dissidence strongly repressed, many of its members were arrested. In the 1930s, Socialist realism became the only officially approved style of Russian literature. Novelists Maxim Gorky, Mikhail Sholokhov, Aleksei Nikolaevich Tolstoy and poets Konstantin Simonov and Aleksandr Tvardovsky were the most prominent representatives of the official Soviet literature. Some resident authors such as Mikhail Bulgakov and Boris Pasternak remained perilously non-compliant with official ideology. Émigrés including the poets Georgy Ivanov, Georgy Adamov and Vladislav Khodasevich as well as novelists Ivan Bunin, Gaito Gazdanov, Mark Aldanov and Vladimir Nabokov flourished in exile.
Post-WWII Labor Strikes
In 1946, a year after WWII ended, >5 million American workers went on prolonged strikes in numerous industries and public utilities. The American strike wave of 1945–1946 became the largest series of labor strikes in American history. During WWII, the National War Labor Board granted unions closed shop agreements in exchange for maintaining labor discipline throughout the war. Throughout the war, various wildcat strikes over work discipline, company policy or firings did occur, but they were not prolonged or massive. After the war, demand for increased wages (no longer frozen by the Stabilization Act of 1942) lead to the onset of larger strikes. American Labor Strikes in 1945 10,500 film crew workers 43,000 oil workers 225,000 United Auto Workers American Labor Strikes in 1946 174,000 electric workers 93,000 meatpackers 750,000 steel workers 340,000 coal miners 250,000 railroad engineers and trainmen nationwide 120,000 miners, rail and steel workers in the Pittsburgh region Other strikes included railroad workers and "general strikes across the country. ~4.3 million workers participated in the strike wave of 1945-46. In 1947, over President Truman's veto, Congress passed the Labor Management Relations Act (Taft-Hartley Act) that restricts powers and activities of labor unions. The act is still in effect today.
Man’s Search for Meaning
In 1946 the neuro-psychiatrist Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) chronicled his experience in Nazi concentration camps in his best-selling memoir Man's Search for Meaning. In this book, Frankl described how finding personal meaning allowed him to survive internment in Nazi concentration camps (Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and two camps affiliated with Dachau (Kaufering and Türkheim). After the war, Frankl established a new school of existential therapy known as logotherapy that maintained man’s underlying motivation, even in in life's most difficult circumstances, is a “will to meaning.” Logotherapy utilizes several techniques intended to enhance a patient's quality of life: (a) paradoxical Intention, where the therapist encourages the patient to briefly intend or wish for precisely what they fear (b) dereflection, where the therapist diverts the patients away from their problems towards something else meaningful in the world and (c) enlarging the patient's discernment of meaning in at least three ways: through creative, experiential or attitudinal values.
Race-Based Education USA
In 1946 A US district court case in Orange County, Ca., Mendez vs. Westminster, ruled that race-based public school enrollment was illegal. During the trial, the Mendez family's attorney presented social science evidence that segregation resulted in feelings of inferiority among Mexican-American children and could undermine their ability to be productive American citizens. The U.S. District Court agreed with the plaintiffs and ordered that the school districts cease their "discriminatory practices against the pupils of Mexican descent in the public schools." After review of an appeal by the school districts, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling. Two months later, California became the first state to officially desegregate its public schools.
Growing up in Mississippi, McKinley Morganfield (1913 – 1983) played Delta blues in the style of Son House and Robert Johnson. Later, performing as Muddy Waters, he was recognized as one of the original modern Chicago blues musicians of the late 1940s - early 1950s. Chicago blues augmented the basic Delta blues ensemble of acoustic guitar and harmonica with amplified guitar and bass, drums, piano, harmonica, and sometimes saxophone. Here is a list of Chicago blues musicians In 1956, as a young teen growing up in Connecticut, I listened to CKLW Windsor/Detroit late at night. My favorite song was Smokestack Lightning by Howlin' Wolf. A bit later, Buddy Guy was one of my favorites. And of course, although not from Chicago, my all-time blues favorite, BB King (1925-2015) There are so many great blues musicians. I just know you must have some favorites. Please post a link to a favorite musician in the comments.⬇︎
Postwar Hiroshima & Nagasaki
This home movie really took me there. Although grainy, watch this short film clip of 8mm home movies taken by U.S. Army Major Morris Hall during a 3-month tour of Japan less than a year after surrender. Filming with an 8mm home movie camera, Major Hall documented the every-day lives of citizens rebuilding their devastated city (probably Nagasaki) less than a year after the surrender of Imperial Japan. Here are some interesting posts about the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the A-bomb blasts of August 6 and 9, 1945: Read: SURVIVORS OF THE ATOMIC BLASTS IN HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI SHARE THEIR STORIES View: Hiroshima and Nagasaki before and after photos
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives was a 1946 film directed by William Wyler that starred Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, and Harold Russell. The film tells the story of three United States servicemen readjusting to civilian life after coming home from WWII to fictional "Boone City" (reportedly modeled after Cincinnati Ohio). The Best Years of Our Lives won seven 1946 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Fredric March), Best Supporting Actor (Harold Russell), Best Film Editing (Daniel Mandell), Best Adapted Screenplay (Robert E. Sherwood) and Best Original Score (Hugo Friedhofer). The movie sold ~55 million tickets in the USA and was the highest-grossing film in both the United States and UK since the 1939 release of Gone with the Wind.
U.S. Demobilizes Armed Forces
The USA had > 12 million men and women under arms at the end of WWII (7.6 million overseas). With increasing public demand for rapid demobilization, military personnel were returned to the U.S. on hundreds of transport ships and airplanes through Operation Magic Carpet. The European phase of demobilization concluded in February 1946; the Pacific phase lasted until September 1946. By June 1947, the number of active duty personnel in the U.S. armed forces was reduced to 1,566,000. The USA demobilized its military forces after the Civil War, WWI and WWII. Unfortunately, a retreat into isolationism, with the public reluctant to invest in the maintenance of a well-trained and equipped standing military force has resulted in significant losses for Americans in the early phases of past wars (e.g. Pearl Harbor and the invasion of South Korea).
Aug 1, 1946 President Truman signed the Fulbright Program into law, establishing the scholarships named for Arkansas Sen. William J. Fulbright. After WWII, Senator J. William Fulbright proposed that the U.S. government sell surplus war property to fund an international exchange program. In his bill, debts accrued by foreign governments during WWII would be discharged in return for funding an international educational program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program provides competitive scholarships for international educational exchange of students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists. Under the program, competitively selected American citizens can receive scholarships to study, conduct research, or pursue their special talents abroad. Additionally, foreigners may qualify to pursue the same activities in the U.S. Notable Fulbright scholars include: many heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, MacArthur Foundation fellows and Pulitzer Prize winners.
Eisenhower Appointed Army Chief of Staff
Dwight D. Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York In 1915 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. During WWI, Eisenhower commanded a tank training center in Pennsylvania. Quickly rising through the ranks after the war, he was promoted to major in 1920. Following an assignment in the Panama Canal Zone, he attended the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas and graduated first in his class of 1926. From 1935 to 1939, Eisenhower served on General Douglas MacArthur's staff in the Philippines. In 1941, on assignment to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, he was appointed chief of staff for the Third Army. After demonstrating excellent leadership skills during the large-scale Louisiana maneuvers of 1941, he was promoted to brigadier general and transferred to the War Plans division in Washington, D.C. In 1942, Eisenhower was promoted to major general and given command of the Allied Forces during Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa. In June 1944, Eisenhower commanded the Allied forces during the D-Day invasion of the coast of Normandy France. In December 1944 he was promoted to five-star general. After Germany's surrender in 1945, Eisenhower became the military governor of the U.S. Occupied Zone. Hailed as a major WWII hero, he returned to America and was appointed U.S. Army Chief of Staff in 1946.
The Great Glinka
The Great Glinka (Глинка) was a 1946 Soviet film directed by Lev Arnshtam. Awarded the Stalin Prize, the film depicts the life of Mikhail Glinka, a Russian composer of the 19th century. Incorporating Russian folk songs into his compositions, Glinka, despite his friendships with Alexander Pushkin and recognition by Czar Nicholas the First, reportedly never forgot his humble origins -- he was a "composer of the people." Soviet singing star Boris Chirkov played Glinka along with members of the Bolshoi Theatre in secondary roles. The film was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.
At the 1945 Potsdam conference, the four great Allied powers agreed to divide Germany into four administrative occupation zones. In 1946, with increased Cold War tension arising between the Allies, the agreement to govern Germany as a single unit through the Allied Control Council began to break down. The ultimate result in 1949 was the merger of zones controlled by the Western Allies into the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) and formation of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German...
From 1934-1963, Alcatraz was a high-security federal prison in San Francisco Bay. With a reputation of being escape-proof, it held notorious, high-profile prisoners, particularly those with a history of previous escape attempts. In May 1946, after a failed escape attempt, prisoners waged a 3-day siege at Alcatraz prison. Led by a bank robber, inmates took nine guards hostage. Two guards and three prisoners were killed. Eleven guards and one uninvolved convict were also injured. Two of the surviving convicts were later executed for their roles.
Annie Get Your Gun
Annie Get Your Gun, a 1946 Broadway show with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a book by the brother-sister team of Dorothy and Herbert Fields, was a fictionalized account of the life of Annie Oakley, a 19th and early 20th-century sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill's Wild West. The show starred Ethel Merman as Annie. Ethel Merman Annie Oakley in Cowgirl Magazine The 1946 Broadway production was a major hit in New York (1,147 performances) and London. Over the years there were revivals of the show and Film and TV versions. Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
Interstate Bus Segregation
In June 1946 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Virginia law requiring racial segregation on commercial interstate buses as a violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The appellant Irene Morgan, riding an interstate Greyhound bus in 1944 had been arrested and convicted when she refused to give up her seat to a white person. Most southern states refused to acknowledge the ruling and continued to practice segregation in almost all parts of society. In-state bus segregation continued well into the 1950s.
Chinese Civil War Resumes
The civil war between Chinese Nationalists and Communists, begun in 1927, was put on hold during the fight against Imperial Japan in WWII. After the Japanese surrender in August 1945, the Chinese Communist Party and the Nationalists agreed to peace talks and a ceasefire. In July of 1946, however, the Nationalist (Kuomintang) leader Chiang Kai-shek launched a large-scale assault on Communist territory in North China. The Nationalists controlled the most territory in China and received American and international support. The Communists (under the leadership of Mao Tse-Tung) were well-established in the north of the country, had lost fewer men in the war against Japan and received support from the Soviet Union. Hyperinflation during this civil war caused misery and starvation for millions of Chinese. Historian Michael Lynch wrote: “In 1940, 100 yuan bought a pig, in 1943 a chicken, in 1945 a fish, in 1946 an egg, and in 1947 one third of a box of matches.” Unemployment, crime and black markets emerged. Conscripted Nationalist army troops raped and looted the civilian population, and mutinied or deserted in large numbers. Chiang Kai-Shek's government appeared rife with corruption and dictatorial leadership. The Communist People's Liberation Army, on the other hand, appeared to be winning the propaganda war. Communist political philosophy (including anti-imperialism, raised proletarian consciousness and land reform) helped instill grassroots support among the Chinese populace. During the war, which continued until 1949, both the Nationalists and Communists carried out mass atrocities, killing millions of non-combatants. Estimated deaths in the Chinese Civil War 1927-1945 = 8,000,000–11,692,000
Life in Postwar America
Cost of Living 1946 Average Cost of new house $5,600.00 Average wages per year $2,500.00 Cost of a gallon of Gas 15 cents Average Cost of a new car $1,120.00 Worlds First Electric Blanket $39.50 Men's Ties $1.50 Watermans Pen $8.75 Chicken 41 cents per pound Coffee 85 cents for 2 pound bag Doughnuts 15 cents per dozen Eggs 64 cents per dozen
The Philippines was colonized by Spain in the 16th century. In 1898 Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo and U.S. troops ousted the Spanish in the Spanish-American War. However, Philippine independence was thwarted when the U.S. formally annexed the country as part of its peace treaty with Spain. In 1899 Filipino rebels fought with U.S. troops in Manila. Thereafter, the rebels, unable to win in open battle, pursued guerrilla warfare. >60,000 troops American troops were then sent to the Philippines to pacify the population. In 1901 U.S. forces captured Aguinaldo who promised allegiance to the United States and an end to the rebellion. Nevertheless, many rebels fought on. During the next year, U.S. forces gradually pacified the Philippines. In one infamous example of ruthless suppression, U.S. forces under the command of General Jacob Smith, retaliated against the rebel massacre of a U.S. garrison by killing every male older than 10 years of age (along with may women and young children) on the island of Samar. >4,000 Americans and >20,000 Philippino insurgents were killed along with an unknown number of civilians during the insurrection. In 1935, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established with U.S. approval, and Manuel Quezon was elected the Commonwealth’s first president. During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines from 1942-45, a highly effective guerilla campaign by resistance forces controlled sixty percent of the islands, mostly jungle and mountain areas. General Douglas MacArthur supplied them by submarine, and sent reinforcements and officers. On July 4, 1946, full independence was granted to the Republic of the Philippines by the United States.
Bikini Bathing Suit
In the 1930s, European women wore two-piece bathing suits consisting of a halter top and shorts with some midriff visible -- the navel was always hidden. On Jul 5,1946 the bikini bathing suit, created by former civil engineer Louis Reard, made its debut during a fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris. Model Micheline Bernardini wore the skimpy two-piece outfit, its name correlated with the July 1 American atom bomb test on Bikini Atoll.
Bikini Atoll Atomic Bomb
On 1 July 1946, the United States conducted Operation Crossroads Test Able, the first of a series of 67 American nuclear tests after WWII. The explosion took place at the Bikini Atoll lagoon, situated in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The bomb, almost identical to the weapon used against Nagasaki in August 1945, was detonated 158 meters above sea level with a yield of 23 kilotons. The blast sunk five of 78 vessels anchored in the lagoon and seriously damaged 14 others. Radiation danger at the time was seriously underestimated and U.S. Marines boarded the vessels shortly after the explosion to attempt decontamination by scrubbing the decks. Additionally, a third of 57 animals placed on the decks of the targeted ships died from the blast or lethal radiation. This animal sacrifice elicited public opinion against nuclear testing for the first time.
Dr. Benjamin Spock
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, sold over 50 million copies by the time of Spock's death in 1998. The book has also been translated into 39 languages. Prior to Spock's book, child care experts recommended rigid schedules for the feeding and toileting of infants and cautioned parents not to show excessive affection for their children. In contrast, Spock recommended flexibility in child-rearing and the recognition that each child was an individual. Influenced by his own psychoanalytic training, Spock emphasized that childhood behavior and motivation was variable at each stage of development, and parents should make their own decisions, rather than follow the authoritative advice of presumed experts regarding how to raise their children. Above all, he urged parents to have confidence in their abilities and trust their own common sense.
Cannes Film Festival
Although originally scheduled to be held in Cannes in 1939, the outbreak of WWII delayed the opening of the first International Film Festival until September 1946 when twenty-one countries presented their films. Held on the French Riviera, the festival was designed to preview and judge promising films from around the world. Although it has evolved into a pronounced commercial endeavor today, the Cannes Film Festival still gathers the most prominent international film makers. The official site of the Festival de Cannes states its "mission has remained faithful to its founding purpose: to draw attention and raise the profile of films, with the aim of contributing towards the development of cinema, boosting the film industry worldwide and celebrating cinema at an international level."
In April 1946 two large undersea earthquakes occurred off the Alaskan coast and a tidal wave, nearly 100 feet high, crashed onto the shore at Unimak Island, Alaska. A lighthouse located 30 feet above sea level, was smashed to pieces, killing five people. Five hours later, a Pacific-wide tsunami struck the Hawaiian islands, resulting in more than 170 deaths.
Japanese Women Vote
In the April 1946 Japanese elections, women had the right to vote for the first time. 39 women were elected to office. After WWII, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association caucus broke up and three major political parties emerged: Liberal Party - right-wing, founded in 1945 by former members of Seiyukai Party Progressive Party - founded in 1945 by 273 members of parliament (89 former Rikken Minseitō members and 46 former Rikken Seiyūkai); many had been elected with the backing of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association in the 1942 elections Socialist Party -organized in 1945 by three of the main non-communist, socialist groups from the prewar period 1946 Election Results
Hermes Rocket Project
The American Hermes Missile Project began in 1944 in response to Germany's rocket attacks in Europe. After the war, with the help of captured German rocket scientists, General Electric assembled V-2 rockets at the White Sands, New Mexico Proving Grounds. The first Project Hermes V-2 launch in April 1946 reached only 3.4 miles altitude. The maximum altitude reached by the project in 1946 was 114 miles.
The Iron Curtain
In March 1946, as the Green Lecturer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill delivered a lecture entitled the "Sinews of Peace" that became known as the "Iron Curtain Speech." "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow."
Chinese Civil War Resumes
The Chinese Civil War fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC) began in 1927. After a temporary truce to collaborate in the fight against Japanese aggression in China, the civil war resumed in 1946. The Chinese Civil War (1927-1937 & 1946-1949) Timeline created by hibbaawan
ENIAC – Fast Electronic Computer
During WWII, the U.S. Ballistics Research Laboratory was handling the complex calculations of range tables that were needed for new artillery. In 1942, physicist John Mauchly proposed an all-electronic calculating machine in a memorandum entitled "The Use of High Speed Vacuum Tube Devices for Calculating." ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer), developed from 1943 -1945, became the first large-scale computer to run at electronic speed without being slowed by any mechanical parts. Completed in 1946, ENIAC had 18,000 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors, 6,000 switches, and 10,000 capacitors. Able to perform 5000 additions per second, ENIAC was much faster than any existing device of the time. Thinking beyond its military applications, Mauchly realized the ENIAC technology could be applied to the private sector. In 1946, Mauchly and his chief engineer J. Presper Eckert designed the first general-purpose computer for commercial use: UNIVAC.
The Long Telegram
In 1946, the American Chargé d’Affaires in Moscow George F. Kennan proposed the concept of "containment" in his famous 8,000-word "long telegram" to the U.S. State Department. These suggestions became the foundation of U.S. Cold War policy in the 1940s. in 1947, under the pseudonym “Mr. X,” Kennan further outlined the concept in an article entitled The Sources of Soviet Conduct published in the highly-respected political journal Foreign Affairs. The Russians can't be trusted and they probably won't be changed. The main element of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union, Kennan declared, must be patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) conducted the Tokyo War Crimes Trials from May 1946 to November 1948. 28 Imperial Japanese military and government leaders were charged with Class A war crimes - participating in a joint conspiracy to start and wage war. Additionally, ~ 5,700 subordinate personnel were charged with conventional war crimes in separate trials convened by Australia, China, France, The Netherlands, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the USA. The charges included abuse of prisoners, rape, forced prostitution, torture, ill-treatment of laborers, summary executions without trial and inhumane medical experiments. To ensure a smooth occupation and various reforms in Japan, neither Emperor Hirohito nor any members of his family were charged with war crimes. 25 high-ranking officials completed the Tokyo Trials. Additionally, two died during the trial and a third defendant was declared mentally unfit to stand trial. All defendants were found guilty. The sentences were death by hanging for Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, Foreign Minister Koki Hirota and five generals (Kenji Doihara, Seishiro Itagaki, Hyoturo Kimura, Iwane Matsui and Akira Muto). Sixteen others received life sentences. Past foreign ministers, Shigenori Togo and Mamoru Shigemitsu were sentenced to several years imprisonment. Togo died in prison; but Shigemitsu later served as Japan's foreign minister.
From 1945-46, judges from Great Britain, France, USSR and USA presided over the Nuremberg trials of 24 prominent Nazis charged with war crimes. Charges included: crimes against peace—defined as participation in the planning and waging of a war of aggression in violation of numerous international treaties war crimes—defined as violations of the internationally agreed upon rules for waging war crimes against humanity—including murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecution on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated. LEADING NAZI OFFICIALS INDICTED FOR WAR CRIMES included: Hermann Goering (Hitler's heir designate) Rudolf Hess (deputy leader of the Nazi party) Joachim von Ribbentrop (foreign minister) Wilhelm Keitel (head of the armed forces) Wilhelm Frick (minister of the interior) Ernst Kaltenbrunner (head of security forces) Hans Frank (governor-general of occupied Poland) Konstantin von Neurath (governor of Bohemia and Moravia) Erich Raeder (head of the navy) Karl Doenitz (Raeder's successor) Alfred Jodl (armed forces command) Alfred Rosenberg (minister for occupied eastern territories) Baldur von Schirach (head of the Hitler Youth) Julius Streicher (radical Nazi antisemitic publisher) Fritz Sauckel (head of forced-labor allocation) Albert Speer (armaments minister) Arthur Seyss-Inquart (commissioner for the occupied Netherlands) Martin Bormann (Hitler's adjutant) was tried in absentia OCTOBER 1, 1946 VERDICTS AT NUREMBERG: death sentence for Goering, Ribbentrop, Keitel, Kaltenbrunner, Rosenberg, Frank, Frick, Streicher, Sauckel, Jodl, SeyssInquart, and Bormann life imprisonment for Hess, economics minister Walther Funk, and Raeder prison terms ranging from 10 to 20 years for Doenitz, Schirach, Speer, and Neurath acquitted were Hjalmar Schacht (economics minister), Franz von Papen (politician) and Hans Fritzsche (head of press and radio) The death sentences were carried out on October 16, 1946, with two exceptions: Goering (committed suicide in his cell) and Bormann (remained missing, but was later proven to have committed suicide to avoid capture) the seven major war criminals sentenced to prison terms were remanded to the Spandau Prison in Berlin Although the legality of the Nuremberg trials remains controversial, many feel they set an important precedent for dealing with genocide and other crimes against humanity.