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1940 History, Trivia and Fun Facts
1940 80 Years Ago | History Snapshot
World Series Champions
Stanley Cup Champions
|New York Rangers|
US Open Golf
US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)
|Donald McNeill/Alice Marble|
NCAA Football Champions
NCAA Basketball Champions
|Orange Bowl: January 1, 1940 - Georgia Tech
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1940 - USC over Tennessee
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1940 - Texas A&M over Tulane
Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog
|My Own Brucie|
Time Magazine's Man of the Year
|Frances Burke (Philadelphia, PA)|
Fashion Icons and Movie Stars
|Ingrid Bergman, Lilian Bond, Claudette Colbert, Joan Fontaine, Betty Grable, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, Hedy Lamarr, Vivien Leigh, Myrna Loy, Brenda Marshall, Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Tierney, Lana Turner, Mae West|
|"Now I'm going to tell you something I've kept
to myself for years. None of you ever knew George Gipp. He was long
before your time, but you all know what a tradition he is at Notre
Dame. And the last thing he said to me, 'Rock,'he said, 'sometime
when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys,
tell them to go out there with all they've got and win just one for
the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be then, Rock,'he said, 'but I'll
know about it and I'll be happy' "
- Pat O'Brien in Knute Rocke All American
"I'll be all around in the dark, I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look, wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be there in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be there in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they built - I'll be there, too"
- Henry Fonda, in The Grapes of Wrath
During the thunderous applause following his famous 'We shall fight on the beaches' speech to the to the House of Commons in 1940, Winston Churchill whispered to a colleague, "And we'll fight them with the butt ends of broken beer bottles because that's bloody well all we've got!".
1940 Pop Culture History
|Hans and Margret Rey, both Jewish, fled Paris in 1940
on bicycles Hans had built. They escaped just hours before the Nazis
seized Paris. Among the few possessions they carried was the illustrated
manuscript of the first Curious George book, which they would later
get published in New York.
Bugs Bunny was born in in Brooklyn, New York, although a similar, unnamed rabbit was in several Warner Brothers cartoons in 1938 and 1939, his first actual appearnce is considered 'A Wild Hare' with long-time frienemy Elmer Fudd.
The term "hipster" originated in the 1940s, and was used to describe jazz aficionados, characterized by their "dress, slang, use of cannabis and other drugs, relaxed attitude, sarcastic humor, self-imposed poverty and relaxed sexual codes."
There is an airtight room in a University in Georgia (US), sealed in 1940, to be opened in the year 8113. The "Crypt of Civilization" contains a wealth of artifacts from literary works to everyday items.
Since 1940, 85% of those who have attempted to break the water speed record have died in the attempt.
The 1940 Winter Olympics were supposed to be held in Sapporo, Japan, but it was decided to move them following the Japanese invasion of China. The new location? Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, but the German invasion of Poland in 1939 forced the complete cancellation of the 1940 Games.
Actress Carole Lombard, who died in a plane crash in 1942, had agreed to fake her death in a plane crash, back in 1940, for publicity.
Irish Coffee was invented in the 1940s at Shannon Airport. On a rainy winter night, a local chef served the whiskey-spiked drink "to warm" up a group of Americans on a layover on a Pan Am transatlantic flight. Asked if the coffee was Brazilian, the chef told them the drink was "Irish Coffee."
Pachelbel's Canon was written in the 1690s but soon forgotten about. It survived in only two manuscripts, was first published in 1919, and first recorded in 1940.
The Nutcracker was relatively obscure outside of Russia until 1940 and it's inclusion in Disney's Fantasia.
The 'America First Committee' was founded, and had nearly 1,000,000 members. The peace organization was designed to keep the US out of World War II. They disbanded on December 11, 1941.
Jack Norworth first witnessed a Major League Baseball game in 1940. This was 32 years -after- he wrote the lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".
People yell 'Geronimo!' when jumping from things due to an army private who, when testing parachutes in 1940, claimed he wasn't scared. He yelled the name when he jumped to prove this. The rest of the platoon did not want to be shown up so they yelled it as well and it quickly caught on.
The Grapes of Wrath was banned in the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin in 1940 because of its showing that even the poorest Americans could afford a car.
Charlie Chaplain wrote, produced, directed, starred in and composed the music for the film The Great Dictator.
The first use of a proper Green Screen effect was in 1940 movie The Thief of Bagdad and its inventor, Larry Butler won an Oscar for it.
In 1940, scientists concluded that consumption of ice cream was the leading cause of the polio epidemic, solely based on the stats that there were more cases of polio in the summer, which was also when children ate the most ice cream.
Frank Mars and Bruce Murrie manufactured a candy-coated chocolate in six different colors - red, green, yellow, brown and violet. In 1949 violet was replaced by tan. M&Ms survived the red dye scare of 1976, and the rumored amourosity of the green ones.
World War II News and Information
UNSUNG HERO, Chiune Sugihara was the Japanese consul general in Lithuania. Against tradition, and specific orders, he gave thousands of visas to nearly anyone who asked for them, and many did ask, so they could escape from the Nazi regime. He was fired of course, and lost his entire career. Why? He later said "They were human beings, and they needed help. I'm glad I found the stregnth to give it to them."
The German army used a radar system called Wotan. The British scientist R.V. Jones figured out how the system worked by assuming that it used a single beam based on the fact that the Germanic god Wotan had only one eye.
When Paris fell to the Nazis in 1940, French soldiers cut the elevator
cables to the Eiffel Tower. German soldiers had to climb the tower
to hoist the swastika.
Portuguese consul Sousa Mendes issued 30,000 visas in Bordeaux
over a few days. This heroic feat was characterized as "the
largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust."
Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts
|Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock|
|Reading How Green Was My Valley by Richard
Reading Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
Reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Reading Native Son by Richard Wright
Watching The Great Dictator, Fantasia, The Grapes of Wrath, Pinocchio, The Philadelphia Story and Rebecca in theaters
United States 1940 Census
|Total US Population: 132,164,569
1. New York, New York - 7,457,995
2. Chicago, Illinois - 3,396,808
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 1,931,334
4. Detroit, Michigan - 1,623,452
5. Los Angeles, California - 1,504,277
6. Cleveland, Ohio - 878,336
7. Baltimore, Maryland - 859,100
8. St. Louis, Missouri - 816,048
9. Boston, Massachusetts - 770,816
10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - 671,659
Popular Music Artists
|The Biggest Pop Artists of 1940 include:
The Andrews Sisters, Mitchell Ayres and His Fashions in Music, Charlie Barnet and His Orchestra, Connee Boswell, Will Bradley and His Orchestra, Bing Crosby, Bob Crosby and His Orchestra, Xavier Cugat and His Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra, Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Eddy Duchin and His Orchestra, Duke Ellingon, Will Glahé, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra, The Ink Spots, Dick Jurgens and His Orchestra, Sammy Kaye, Gene Krupa and His Orchestra, Kay Kyser and His Orchestra, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Vaughn Monroe, Artie Shaw and His Orchestra, Kate Smith, Dick Todd, Orrin Tucker and His Orchestra, Fats Waller
Charts based on Billboard music charts.
|Abe Lincoln in Illinois, All This and Heaven Too, The Bank Dick, Charlie Chan in Panama, Dance Girl Dance, Fantasia, Foreign Correspondent, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Dictator, The Great McGinty, His Girl Friday, Kitty Foyle, Knute Rockne All American, The Letter, The Long Voyage Home, The Mark of Zorro, The Mortal Storm, My Favorite Wife, Our Town, The Philadelphia Story, Pinocchio, Pride and Prejudice, Rebecca, Sante Fe Trail, The Sea Hawk, The Shop Around the Corner, The Thief of Bagdad, Waterloo Bridge, The Westerner|
More Pop Culture History Resources
|Popular Music in 1940
# 1 Hits of 1940
|Pop Culture News|
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pop, as in 'popular' :(adjective) Pertaining to the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class.
Having characteristics attributed to the common people and intended for or suited to ordinary people.
culture:(noun) That which is excellent in the arts.
A particular stage of civilization. The behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group.
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