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1943 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1942

1943 History Snapshot

  • The Food: Nachos were invented in 1943 by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico.
  • Influential Songs include: Oklahoma! by the Broadway Cast and Artistry in Rhythm by Stan Kenton and Oh! What A Beautiful Mornin' by Bing Crosby and Trudy Erwin or Frank Sinatra
  • The Big Movies included This is the Army, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Song of Bernadette
  • Price of 1 Pond of Provolone Cheese in 1943: 50 cents
  • The World Population was ~ 2,419,000,000
  • US Life Expectancy: Males: 62.4 years, Females: 64.4 years
  • A Mexican farmer named Dionisio Pulido had a volcano start to form in his corn field. By the early 50s it was over 400 meters tall. Before being evacuated and leaving his home for the last time, he left a sign that read This volcano is owned and operated by Dionisio Pulido. It was the first volcano birth ever seen by man.
  • The first person ever diagnosed with autism was Donald Triplett, in 1943, in Mississippi, USA.
  • And... Thomson Island in the South Atlantic Ocean probably never existed, althout it appeared on maps published as late as 1943.

World Series Champions

New York Yankees

NFL Champions

Chicago Bears

Stanley Cup Champions

Detroit Red Wings

US Open Golf

Not played due to WWII

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Lt. Joseph R. Hunt/Pauline Betz

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

not held

NCAA Football Champions

Notre Dame

NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1943 - Alabama over Boston College
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1943 - Georgia over UCLA
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1943 - Tennessee over Tulsa

Kentucky Derby

Count Fleet

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Pitter Patter of Piperscroft

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

George Marshall

Miss America

Jean Bartel (Los Angeles, CA)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Ingrid Bergman, Cyd Charisse, Joan Fontaine, Ava Gardner, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Lena Horne, Jennifer Jones, Veronica Lake, Hedy Lamarr, Carole Landis, Brenda Marshall, Jane Russell, Alexis Smith, Gene Tierney, Lana Turner

"The Quotes"

"Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them"
- The Little Prince

David Niven was the only major British star in Hollywood to enlist during World War 2. When suspicious American guards asked during the Battle of the Bulge who had won the World Series in 1943, he answered "Haven't the foggiest idea ... but I did co-star with Ginger Rogers in Bachelor Mother!"

When Picasso was interrogated by an SS officer about his painting Guernica, "Did you do that?" Picasso replied, ""No, you did."

1943 Pop Culture History

Vesta Stoudt, the mother of two Navy Sailors wrote a letter to President Roosevelt explaing the way ammunition was packed often didn't work. She suggested a rippable cloth based tape, leading to the invention of duct tape.

During WWII, the NFL lost a lot of players because they left for military service. As a result, by the 1943 NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to merge into one team called the Pennsylvania Steagles.

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, said in 1943, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Alfred Hitchcock wrote a story for Look magazine in 1943 called The Murder of Monty Woolley. It was a sequence of captioned photographs inviting the reader to inspect the photos for clues to the murderer's identity.

The first person ever diagnosed with autism was named Donald; he lived in Mississippi and the year was 1943.

Philip Van Doren Stern was unable to find a publisher for his short story The Greatest Gift so he printed 200 copies and sent them out as Christmas gifts. A movie producer saw the story and bought the film rights, and it was adapted as It's a Wonderful Life.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci was nearly destroyed when a bomb dropped directly on the Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan in August of 1943. For three years afterwards it was exposed to the elements until building restoration.

Nachos were invented 1943 and were originally called "Nacho's Especiales" after the man who invented them: Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya.

"Zoot Suit Riot" was an actual event. In 1943, several thousand US servicemen with police escorts marched through LA to strip and beat young Latino men for wearing "extravagant" zoot suits during the somber war era.

Edward Noble, the guy who started ABC radio network in 1943 was also the co-founder of the Life Savers candy company.

Geraldine Doyle, the woman in the 1943 wartime poster "We Can Do It" didn't know she was the model for it until 1984, or that it existed.

On January 22, 1943, the temperature in Spearfish, South Dakota, changed from -4°F to 45°F in just two minutes, setting a world record. This was caused by a Chinook wind, which increased the temperature eventually up to 54°F before dying down, dropping the temperature back to -4°F.

In 1943 the US Mint produced steel pennies instead of copper because of the need for copper to be used in shell casings.

World War II News and Information

During WWII, the acronym BAM stood for "Broad-Assed Marines,"or women soldiers in the US Marine Corp. The women, however, called the men HAMs, for "Hairy-Assed Marines."

The Man Who Never Was. In 1943, a British Major's body was found with papers detailing an upcoming attack against the Nazis in Greece. However, the Major never existed. It was a homeless man's body planted with fake papers so the real attack on Sicily could take place with little resistance.

US officials banned sliced bread as a wartime conservation measure.

At the Allied Tehran Conference in 1943, Joseph Stalin proposed executing 50,000-100,000 German officers to prevent another war. While Churchill was infuriated, Roosevelt thought he was joking and said "maybe 49,000 would be enough."

Stalin's son, Yakov Dzhugashvili, was captured by the Germans during World War 2. The Germans proposed a prisoner-exchange: Stalin's son for a German Field Marshall. Stalin's response to this request was ''I will not trade a Marshall for a Lieutenant.'' His son died in 1943.

80% males born in the Soviet Union in 1923 did not survive World War II.

"Cheesehead" is a derogatory slur Germans called the Dutch during WWII; and was used as a slur by Illinois sports fans toward Wisconsin sport fans before a Wisconsinite appropriated the term with a Cheese Hat.

In lieu of payment, Walt Disney drew "Scoopy", the bee logo for McClatchy Newspapers for a $1200 donation to the Army Relief Fund.

James Stewart is the highest-ranking actor in military history (Brigadier General). He was World War II and Vietnam War Veteran and Licensed Commercial Pilot.

Due to both teams losing a large number of players to military service in World War II, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles merged for one season under the unofficial name "Pittsburgh-Philadelphia Steagles."

Disney released a movie during World War II called "Der Fuerer's Face" which depicted Donald Duck having a nightmarish time in the Nazi Regime. It is the only Donald Duck film to win an Academy Award.

USA and England agreed not to use nuclear weapons against someone without eachothers consent.

During World War II, roughly 3,860 kamikaze pilots died, but only about 19% of kamikaze attacks managed to hit a ship.

There was a bridge in southern Hungary that was found to still be rigged with dynamite from World War II... in October of 1999.

Lyudmila Pavlichenko: a Ukrainian Soviet sniper during World War II credited with 309 Nazi kills.

American soldier John R. Fox died when he deliberately called an artillery strike on himself. Realizing that German troops were overrunning his position, the strike delayed the enemy long enough for other American units to organize a counter attack.

Due to food rationing during the Second World War, people in the US were encouraged to stretch their sugar rations by sweetening foods with maple syrup and maple sugar, and recipe books were printed at that time to help housewives employ this alternative source to cane sugar.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Airplane Celebrity Death: Leslie Howard

Nikola Tesla once paid an overdue hotel bill with a 'working model' of his 'death beam'. He warned the management never to open it without taking proper precautions to avoid detonation. After his death in 1943, the box was pried open & they found nothing but a bunch of old lab components.

On August 13, 1943 J. Edgar Hoover received a letter alleging that the popularity of Frank Sinatra was being used to prepare the masses to accept a new "Hitler." This would incite an FBI surveillance operation of Sinatra for the next 40 years.

Congressman Andrew J. May (D) is alleged to have publicly revealed in 1943 that Japanese depth charges were incorrectly fuzed, allowing USN subs to escape. Vice Admiral Lockwood estimated that this this breach led to the loss of as many as ten submarines and 800 crewmen killed in action.

Philip Morris ran an ad acknowledging "smokers' cough"in 1943. They claimed it was caused by smoking brands other than Philip Morris.

The Conical Bra was made famous by Jane Russell.

Packard Motors promoted 3 blacks to work next to whites on the assembly line causing 25,000 workers to walk off the job.

July 1st, the US government started the payroll witholding tax.


Oklahoma! was the first great American Musical, but don't take the word of the poster for that. It was the first musical play that truly added a full story to the production. Older musicals primarlity had a loose plot revolving around songs and often major dance and stage productions. The show began on March 31, 1943 and ran for 2,212 performances through its initial run, ending in 1948. It has had many revivals as well.

It was also spoofed (at the end) in this Jerry Seinfeld American Express extended commercial

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Chutes and Ladders (based on Snakes and Ladders)

The Habits

Working your 'Victory Garden' so US troops would have more food for the war. (1942-1945)
Watching Oklahoma! on Broadway
Reading The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
Watching The Seventh Victim, The Outlaw, Sahara, The Ox-Bow Incident and For Whom The Bell Tolls in theaters

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1943 include:
The Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Xavier Cugat and His Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Duke Ellingon, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra, Dick Haymes, Woody Herman and His Orchestra, The Ink Spots, Harry James and His Orchestra, Kay Kyser and His Orchestra, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Vaughn Monroe, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

Popular Movies

A Guy Named Joe, Cabin in the Sky, Fires Were Started, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Forever and a Day, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Heaven Can Wait, The Human Comedy, I Walked With A Zombie, Jane Eyre, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Madame Curie, The Man in Grey, The More the Merrier, Obsession, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Seventh Victim, Shadow of a Doubt, The Song of Bernadette, This Is the Army, Watch the Rhine

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1943
# 1 Hits of 1943
Pop Culture News

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