September 24, 2018
  Miracle on 34th Street  was a 1947 film written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies. It stars Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, a very young Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn as the charming Kris Kringle. The heartwarming story, about a Macy’s department store Santa Claus who claims to be […]
September 20, 2018
Meet the Press has had the longest run of any television program in the United States. Although it began as a Saturday night program moderated by the charmingly Southern-accented Martha Rountree, it ultimately became a popular NBC Sunday morning show hosted by a series of male broadcasters. Martha Rountree 1947–1953 Ned Brooks 1953–1965 Lawrence E. Spivak […]
September 17, 2018
The largest wooden airplane ever constructed, the Spruce Goose was actually made from birch.  In the face of staggering losses to German U-boats in 1942, the steel magnate and shipbuilder Henry Kaiser asked Howard Hughes to design and build a massive flying transport. Specifications:    crew: 3  length 218 feet  wingspan 320 feet  height 79 feet  Pratt […]
September 13, 2018
  Brigadoon, a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe,  premiered on Broadway in 1947 and ran for 581 performances.  A 1954 film version starred Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, and a 1966 television version starred Robert Goulet and Peter Falk. In the show, the American tourist Tommy  falls in love with Fiona whom he discovers in a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every 100 years.  […]
September 10, 2018
  Inspired by reports from Spanish Conquistadors of Inca rafts, native legends and archaeological evidence suggesting contact between South America and Polynesia, the Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl. made a balsa wood raft journey across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to the Polynesian islands in 1947. The raft was named Kon-Tiki, another name for […]
September 6, 2018
In 1947 Allen Funt broadcast The Candid Microphone radio show, featuring practical jokes and situations, on ABC radio.   From 1948 -1954  CANDID MICROPHONE, hosted by Allen Funt, were produced by Ben and George Blake of the Columbia Movie Shorts Department.     As a hidden camera reality television series. Candid Camera appeared on television from 1948 […]
September 3, 2018
  In 1925, a Canadian patent was filed for the field-effect transistor principle by Austrian-Hungarian physicist Julius Edgar Lilienfeld –  but no research was published, and his work was ignored by industry. In 1934, another field-effect transistor was patented by the German physicist Oskar Heil.  While there was no evidence any of these devices were […]
August 30, 2018
In October 1947 the House Un-American Activities Committee (created in 1938) re-convened in Washington D.C. for public hearings on alleged communist infiltration within the American motion picture industry. 50 top Hollywood executives decided to suspend those who opposed the hearings (the “Hollywood Ten“) until their acquittal or declaration that they were not Communists. Artists and writers […]
August 27, 2018
  Here is an optimistic view of postwar relationships between Great Britain and the USSR.   To get a sense of life in the USSR in 1947 it’s worth fast forwarding through these interesting, rather upbeat color scenes of everyday life.   You don’t need to know Russian to understand this brief clip from the […]
August 23, 2018
 Joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American in major league baseball. CAREER BATTING STATISTICS YEAR TEAM GP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS WAR 1947 BKN 151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 74 36 29 0 .297 .383 .427 .810 3.0 […]
August 20, 2018
  In 1945 the unconditional surrender of Japan led to the division of Korea into two occupation zones.   The 1945 division of Korea was meant to be temporary. The stated Allied intention was to reunify the country once a single government could be established for the peninsula. However, throughout 1947, Soviet and American negotiators were […]
August 16, 2018
  William Franklin Graham Jr. (1918 –2018) was an American Southern Baptist evangelist who held huge rallies, broadcasting sermons on radio and television from 1947 until his retirement in 2005. Graham repudiated racial segregation and emphasized the relationship between the Bible and contemporary secular viewpoints. He particularly reiterated the message of John 3:16 in his sermons.   Graham claimed to have reached 185 […]
August 13, 2018
  The 1947  partition of India into Hindu and Muslim majorities divided three provinces: Assam, Bengal and the Punjab.     The division of >14 million people according to religious beliefs resulted in large-scale violence, with varying estimates between several hundred thousand and two million deaths.    
August 9, 2018
Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx  (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977) was an American comedian with a devilishly-quick wit and and somewhat off-color humor. Marx had a long stage and screen career, making 13 feature films with his brothers. Groucho walked with an exaggerated stoop, puffed on a cigar, and sported a grease-painted mustache and eyebrows, His […]
August 6, 2018
    Britain, which controlled Palestine since 1917, promoted the idea of establishing a Jewish state in the holy land. With sympathy for Jews greatly enhanced after the Holocaust, the Palestine issue was brought before the newly created United Nations In 1946. A UN plan to divide Palestine into three Jewish sections, four Arab sections and […]
August 2, 2018
Packaged in red, white and blue, Bazooka bubble gum was first marketed in 1947 by the Topps Company of New York.     In 1953 Bazooka packaging began to include small comic strips featuring a character known as Bazooka Joe (although I remember the boy named “Pud” from Fleers Dubble Bubble better) as well as premium offers and fortunes.  
July 30, 2018
The Doomsday Clock  represents the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe. Maintained since 1947 by the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board, the clock was originally meant to represent the threat of global nuclear war. Since 2007 it also reflects climate change and new developments in the life sciences and […]
July 26, 2018
In 1947 the highly-controversial East German author Hans Fallada published Jeder Stirbt für sich Allein (Every Man Dies Alone), a novel about an ordinary married couple who, after their son was killed in action in 1942, distributed dissident postcards and leaflets in post-boxes and stairwells around their home district in Berlin. After betrayal, they were arrested […]
July 23, 2018
In 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a Bedouin at the caves of Qumran in Jordan. Although written before the Christian gospels, the scrolls contained many similarities, but also some differences from the traditional Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible.   Scroll dates range from the third century BCE to the first century […]
July 19, 2018
    In October 1947, 24 year-old Air Force test pilot Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager flew an experimental Bell X-XS-1 rocket-propelled aircraft out of Edwards Air Force Base (then called Muroc Army Air Field) in California to break the sound barrier at a speed of Mach 1.07. At 10:25 AM, at an altitude 20,000 feet, […]
July 16, 2018
Established in 1942 for Allied propaganda broadcasts during WWII, the Voice of America (VOA) continued broadcasts after the war aimed mostly at Western Europe.     In September 1947, VOA began broadcasts aimed at the Soviet Union with: “Hello! This is New York calling.”     Initiation of programs directed at the USSR was intended to provide the […]
July 12, 2018
These images seem reflective of the sense of hope and prosperity of post-WWII middle-America. I was only five years old at the time – yet many of these images seem familiar to me. How about you?    
July 9, 2018
  In July1947, an unidentified disc-shaped object, apparently crashed from the air, was found near Roswell, New Mexico. Although there was initial widespread interest in the possibility it was an extra-terrestrial craft, the US military claimed it was merely a conventional weather balloon. After interest in unidentified flying objects (UFOs) was rekindled in the 1970s, and it was rumored […]
July 5, 2018
  This interesting War Department film from 1947, with anti-racist and anti-fascist themes, warns Americans not to let let fanaticism and hatred turn them into suckers.     However, with the emerging Cold War, this rhetoric seems oddly out of synch.. In August 2017, the film went viral on the internet in the aftermath of the violent Unite […]
July 4, 2018
Things were looking up in 1947 observationalism.com Cost of Living 1947 The People History Average Cost of new house $6,600.00  Average wages per year $2,850.00  Cost of a gallon of Gas 15 cents  Average Cost of a new car $1,300.00  Loaf of Bread 13 cents  United States Postage Stamp 3 cents  Men’s Sweater $8.50  Bulova Men’s Watch $52.50  Couple of examples of houses […]
June 28, 2018
Frank Morrison Spillane (March 9, 1918 – July 17, 2006), better known as Mickey Spillane, was an American cartoonist turned crime novelist, who wrote from the point of view of a private detective named Mike Hammer. “Bestselling writer of shoot-em-up crime novels” is how the Guardian described him in a 2006 obituary. “…The most popular […]
June 25, 2018
The purpose of the Truman Doctrine delineated in 1947 was to counter geopolitical expansion of the Soviet Union. Initially, in place of direct military action, the U.S. Congress appropriated financial aid to support the economies and militaries of Greece and Turkey. Eventually, the Truman Doctrine implied American support for all nations threatened by communism. THE […]
June 14, 2018
  Based on American models, the Supreme Allied Commander General Douglas MacArthur directed an effective restoration of the industry and society of occupied Japan. The majority of the Japanese people apparently welcomed his progressive reforms. Most important, after Japanese initial Japanese attempts were deemed too conservative, MacArthur and his staff essentially wrote a new Japanese […]
June 11, 2018
      Television shows in 1947  Series Debut Ended Picture Page (UK) October 8, 1936 1939 1946 1952 Starlight (UK) November 3, 1936 1939 1946 1949 For The Children (UK) April 24, 1937 1939 July 7, 1946 1950 The Voice of Firestone Televues 1943 1947 1949 1963 The World in Your Home 1944 1948 Boxing From St. […]
January 1, 2018
Named after United States Secretary of State George Marshall (U.S. Army Chief of Staff during WWII), the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program)  had bipartisan support in Washington. An American initiative to assist Western Europe with recovery after WWII, the Marshall Plan gave ~$13 billion in aid to promote reduction of  interstate barriers and excessive regulations […]
November 20, 2017
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 […]

Comments, contributions, corrections, and suggestions are always welcome:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *