In 1948 Christmas was a period of peace, productivity, and prosperity for Americans. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer first appeared in a 1939 booklet written by Robert L. May and published by the Montgomery Ward department store. Rudolph made his first screen appearance in 1948, in a cartoon short produced by Max Fleischer.
Casper, The Friendly Ghost, a fascinating post-WWII cartoon creation, first appeared in a 1939 children’s book and several animated cartoons in 1945. In 1950-59, he was serialized in theatrical shorts before Harvey Comics bought the rights to the character. Since the original Casper was depicted as a ghostly, mildly obese, little boy “living” by a gravestone, whether […]
Hideki Tojo, a general of the Imperial Japanese Army, was Minister for War from 1940 to 1941 and Prime Minister of Japan from October 1941 to July 1944. Tojo was best known for ordering the attack on Pearl Harbor (although planning for the action began in April 1941, long before he assumed office as Prime […]
Although New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey was fully expected to win the 1948 presidential election, Democratic incumbent Harry S. Truman defeated him by >2 million popular votes. Wikipedia Prior to the vote, political analysts, newspaper editorials and voter polls were so convinced of a Dewey win that on election night, long […]
US federal spending as a share of GDP Here is a conservative view of this epoch from the Mercatus Center/George Mason University (alternative comments would be most welcome) In the four years from peak World War II spending in 1944 to 1948, the U.S. government cut spending by $72 billion—a 75-percent reduction. It brought […]
The 1948 Japanese film Drunken Angel (醉いどれ天使), about and alcoholic physician and his yakuza patient, was the first collaboration between the director Akira Kurosawa and actor Toshiro Mifune. Released during the American occupation in Japan, the screenplay was supposed to comply with a U.S. censorship board that did not allow criticism of the occupation to be shown. Nevertheless, Kurosawa slipped several negative […]
In September 1948 members of the Lehi militant organization (AKA the Stern gang) assassinated the Swedish UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte in Palestine — presumably for proposing an Arab administration for Jerusalem. The Lehi (Hebrew for “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel”) was a Zionist paramilitary group founded by Avraham (“Yair”) Stern (1907-1942 ) with […]
Although a great proponent of demobilization after WWII, President Harry S. Truman re-instituted the military draft in July 1948 with a proclamation calling for conscription of ~10 million men. > 16 million men and women served in the U.S. military during WWII. When the war ended, many American citizens (just as after WWI) demanded […]
In May 1948 the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK) arrived in Seoul to set up supervised Korean elections, after which the country would become independent of U.S. and Soviet control. Rejecting U.N. supervision of elections, Northern Korea blocked UNTCOK from entering its part of the country and refused to participate in the UN-sanctioned election. […]
The 1948 Games of the XIV Olympiad were the first Summer Olympics held since the 1936 Games in Berlin. The 1940 Olympic Games, originally scheduled for Tokyo, then Helsinki, were canceled with the outbreak of World War II. The 1944 Olympic Games, provisionally planned for London, were also canceled during the war. London had […]
During WWII, the U.S. Army had become the nation’s largest minority employer. More than one million of 2.5 million African-American males were inducted into the armed forces by 1945. African Americans, ~11% of all registrants liable for military service, furnished approximately the same proportion of inductees in all branches of the service except the […]
In 1948 post-WWII prosperity was rising for most Americans. Consumerism was on the march. While cartoon humor often had a violent edge to it. And the Babe died.
In June 1948, in response to Allied currency change in West Berlin, the Soviet Union closed vehicular and railroad entry routes through East Germany into the Western sectors of Berlin. The Western allies responded with daily flights to transport goods to West Berliners. The Berlin airlift lasted until May 1949 when the Soviets lifted the […]
Land Cameras, instant cameras with self-developing film named after their inventor Edwin Land, were manufactured by Polaroid from 1947 to 1983. Instant cameras have made quite a comeback these days.
In May 1948, following the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the ongoing civil strife between Arabs and Israelis erupted into a full-scale war. Armed forces from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq entered Palestine (Jordan did not attack). Fighting continued for 10 months (with several truce periods) in the former territory of the British Mandate, the Sinai Peninsula […]
The Texaco Star Theatre with the comedian Milton Berle was first broadcast on radio (1938-1949) before it became an extremely popular American variety show on television (1948 -1956). LISTEN As star of tThe Texaco Star Theater, Milton […]
Jeju Island is a 40km x 90km island province of South Korea 120 km south of the Korean Peninsula The Jeju uprising, which began on April 3, 1948, resulted in extreme suppression by the South Korean Army, police and right-wing paramilitary groups. The rebellion included several hundred mutineers from the South Korean 11th Constabulary Regiment and […]
The first live-action Superman movie serial, released in 1948 was the most profitable movie serial in history. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, Superman first appeared in Action Comics in 1938. Paramount Pictures released a series of Superman animated short films between 1941 and 1943. Superman’s model was “Truth, justice and the […]
The concept of an international health organization was first suggested in 1945 by the Chinese United Nations delegate Dr. Szeming Sze. Although the initial resolution failed, at an international conference the following year, all 51 member countries of the U.N., as well as 10 other countries, signed the World Health Organization Constitution. On April […]
The Korean People’s Revolutionary Army was established in 1932 as a guerrilla force fighting against Imperial Japanese rule that had colonized the country since the turn-of-the-century. In 1939, the Korean Volunteer Army (KVA), was formed in China to fight alongside Chinese Communist forces against the Japanese. At the end of WWII the KVA was 2,500 […]
The type of plastic that would ultimately be used for food containers was developed by Earl Tupper in 1938. Marketed after WWII as a new lightweight, unbreakable and airtight alternative for food storage, initial hardware and retail store sales were slow. In 1948 the Tupperware company, realizing that many potential consumers didn’t fully […]
Summary of 1948 events in Czechoslovakia from MACROHISTORY Feb 8 – The Czechoslovakian Communist party, in cooperation with the General Confederation of Labor and left-wing Social Democrats, is preparing measures to nationalize apartment houses, office buildings and department stores. Feb 13 – Czechoslovakia’s parliament passes a resolution demanding a report from the Minister of the Interior […]
In April 1948 sixteen nations joined the Marshall Plan’s economic cooperation organization. In the Cold War atmosphere, Eastern European countries in the Soviet sphere that did not join were Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Albania. Finland also did not join, to avoid antagonizing the Soviet Union. MARSHALL PLAN EXPENDITURES
In 1948 James Michener won the Pulitzer Prize for his series of short stories entitled Tales of the South Pacific. Derived from his experience with the US Navy in the New Hebrides Islands during the Pacific Campaign of World War II, the fascinating stories focus on interactions between interconnected American characters and a variety of indigenous people, […]
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 –1948) led Indians in a nonviolent independence movement from British colonization. Known worldwide by his honorific Sanskrit title Mahātmā (high-souled, venerable) he was also called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for father) and Gandhiji, Gandhi was assassinated in January 1948 by right-wing conservative Hindu Nationalists who were outraged by Gandhi’s perceived appeasement of Muslims.
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro presents the viewpoint of an elderly artist Masuji Ono in postwar Japan. His wife and son have been killed in the war, and many young people blame their elders for leading the country into disaster. As Ono recalls his life during the peak of the Japanese […]
From the Korean Movie: 백두산 전편 (Mount Paektu – First part) The words in the film are from the North Korean poet Cho Ki-chon‘s epic poem Mt. Paektu written in 1947. The poem relates the (possibly exaggerated?) story of the guerilla fighter Kim Il sung in the 1937 Battle of Pochonbo against the Japanese. The poem […]