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1947 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1946

1947 History Snapshot

  • Politics: The US Marshall Plan to reconstruct post-war western Europe was unveiled in June.
  • The Candy Strike: After the price of a chocolate bar increased from 5 cents to 8 cents, hubndreds of children marched and protested on the capitol building in British Columbia, literally shutting down the government for a day. It is known as " The Candy Bar Strike".
  • Influential Songs include: #1 chart hit Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) by Tex Williams
  • The Big Movies included The Road to Rio, To Live in Peace and Forever Amber
  • Price of 14 oz Heinz Ketchup in 1947: 24 cents
  • The World Population was ~ 2,513,000,000
  • John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, with William Shockley, demonstrated the transistor was invented in New Jersey. It was probably the most important invention of the last 100 years.
  • 1 once of gold value: $43.00
  • After Haiti defeated France to earn it's independence in 1804, France returned 20 years later with warships and demanded 150 million francs in gold to compensate for lost property. Haiti did not pay off this debt until 1947.
  • And... Pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seening a fleet on nine UFOs, flying at over 1,200 MPH near Mount Rainier, Washington, just a few weeks after the Roswell incident.

World Series Champions

New York Yankees

NFL Champions

Chicago Cardinals

National Basketball Association Champions

Philadelphia Warriors

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Toronto Maple Leafs

US Open Golf

Lew Worsham

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Jack Kramer/Pauline Betz

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Jack Kramer/Maragaret Osbourne

NCAA Football Champions

Notre Dame

NCAA Basketball Champions

Holy Cross

Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1947 - Rice over Tennessee
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1947 - Illinois over UCLA
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1947 - Georgia over North Carolina

Kentucky Derby

Jet Pilot

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Warlord of Maxelaine

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

George Marshall

Miss America

Barbara Walker (Memphis, TN)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Martine Carol, Cyd Charisse, Joan Crawford, Joan Fontaine, Ava Gardner, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Dorian Leigh, Jane Russell, Gene Tierney, Lana Turner

"The Quotes"

"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers" from A Streetcar Named Desire

On July 10, 1947, Senator Glen Taylor said: "I almost wish the flying saucers would turn out to be space ships from another planet, because the possibility of hostility would unify the people of the earth as nothing else could."

Randy Gardner, a teenager who in 1947, remained awake for 11 days and 24 minutes, at a press conference on the final day, Gardner said "I wanted to prove that bad things didn't happen if you went without sleep."

1947 Pop Culture History

The two-term limit for US Presidency only came into effect in 1947, following Franklin D. Roosevelt's four election wins. Before then, it was only a tradition to serve two terms, following the unofficial precedent set by George Washington.

The Transistor was invented by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley. It was later presented to the world in 1948.

The Howdy Doody Show was the first television show targeted towards children and appeared on NBC and ran until 1960. Host Buffalo Bob Smith was from Buffalo, New York. Howdy Doody had/has a freckle for every state in the United States. (that would be 50 today)

Since his creation in 1947 at the age of "only four years old", Charlie Brown has only aged twice. Once in 1957 when he turned six, and again in 1979 at "eight-and-a-half years old".

Edward Lowe invented Kitty Litter®

The 1947 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to all Quakers, making them the only religious group to win the prize as a group.

Curley's final appearance on The Three Stooges was in 1947. It was a cameo after his stroke and he had a full head of hair and it was the only time Moe, Larry, Shemp and Curley appeared together.

Wham-O introduced its first product - a slingshot. The company name came from the sound of a slingshot hitting a target.

The ZIKA virus was discovered in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947. From its discovery in 1947 until 2007, there were only 14 confirmed human cases of Zika infection worldwide. In the past two years there have been an estimated 1.5 million infections in Brazil alone.

Major League Baseball (MLB) allowed black players, starting with Jackie Robinson.

William Cimillo: a fed-up, longtime New York City bus driver, who in 1947 detoured his bus to Florida for two weeks to "get away from it all." He became a hero of the working man. Larceny charges for the incident were dropped, and he worked as an NYC bus driver again for 16 more years.

1947's Mickey and the Beanstalk was the last time Walt Disney voiced Mickey Mouse in an animated short.

Chuck Yeager became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound, piloting a Bell XS-1.

The Igloo portable cooler was introduced.

Japan passed a law in 1947 forbidding itself from declaring war. Japan's army can only be used for self defense and peacekeeping.

The first Cannes Film Festival was held in Cannes, France.

Jewish composer Irving Berlin struggled to pen a Christmas song for the film Holiday Inn. Finally finishing White Christmas, he supposedly said "Not only is it the best song I ever wrote, it's the best song anybody ever wrote!" Bing Crosby's recording of White Christmas was so popular that he had to re-record it in 1947 using the same musicians and backup singers in the 1942 original master because it had become damaged due to its frequent use

Extraterrestrials 'allegedly' crash-landed
near Roswell, New Mexico.

King George VI was appalled when the South African government instructed him to only shake hands with white people while on his visit there in 1947. He referred to his South African bodyguards as "the Gestapo".

Mikhail Kalashnikov presented his invention, the Avtomat Kalashnikova Obrazets 1947, better known as the AK-47.

Thor Heyerdahl stated that ancient people from South America could have settled in Polynesia, but most anthropologists didn't believe him. So he built a primitive raft and made the 101-day journey himself.

The Christmas tree in London's Trafalgar Square had been given by the country of Norway every year since 1947. It is a token of appreciation for the friendship of the British people during World War II.

After World War II, Americans craving a front yard and home of their own began moving out of the crowded cities and into the suburbs. The first and most famous suburb, Levittown, opened in New York this year and was named after Levitt and sons, the construction firm that built the suburb. Scientists theorize suburbanization caused Americans to become dependent on automobiles, an increase in air pollution, dependence on foreign oil, and a rising obesity rate.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Evelyn McHale’s note read, "He is much better off without me … I wouldn’t make a good wife for anybody," then she jumped to her death from atop the Empire State Building, landing on a United Nations vehicle. The photo was later used by visual artist Andy Warhol in one of his paintings entitled Suicide (Fallen Body).

For nearly four months in 1947 Howard Hughes sat fixated in a chair, often naked, continually watching movies.

The Texas City Disaster: a mishandled 1947 cargo ship fire that ignited 2300 tons of ammonium nitrate, causing a massive explosion, and killing 581 people. The explosion broke windows 40 miles away, blew 2 planes out of the sky, and caused a 15 foot tidal wave.

The CIA was formed by the National Security Act of 1947, two weeks after the Roswell UFO Incident. Coincidence?

A UFO may have crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico. The United States' Air Force and military have denied this ever happened, but have released several hole-filled stories about whatever actually did happen there.

A British South American Airways flight was flying normally over the Andes Mnts., 4 minutes from landing, but then it sent a morse code message 'STENDEC' three consecutive times, then vanished, the wreckage not to be found for 50 years. To this day, what 'STENDEC' meant is a mystery. THEORY: STENDEC (most likely) is a wrong interpretation of the radio operator.
The original message was STRDEC ("starting descent").
In Morse code:
... - . -. -.. . -.-. = STENDEC
... - .-. -.. . -.-. = STRDEC

John Stapp withstood 46.2 G forces in 1947, the most any human has ever been subject to and survive.

Boxer Sugar Ray Robinson backed out of his welterweight championship fight because he dreamt that he would kill his opponent, Jimmy Doyle. After a minister convinced Robinson to fight, Doyle died after never regaining consciousness from one of Robinson's punches.

Since Elizabeth Short's (The Black Dahlia) murder, over 500 people have confessed to being the killer. Her death remains unsolved.

The FBI issued a memo about It's a Wonderful Life stating that it was communist propaganda and that the "picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters."

On February 19, 1947, Admiral Byrd supposedly flew to the Antarctic, discovered an entrance to the center of the earth, was greeted by it's inhabitants, and wrote about it in his diary. Nazi UFO's and Anti-Gravity machines also make an appearance in this conspiracy theory.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Steel Pogo Sticks, John Deere Die-Cast Tractor, Lionel Trains Milk Car, Tonka Trucks

The first actual computer "bug" was a dead moth which was stuck in a Harvard Mark II computer in 1947.

The Habits

Reading The Miracle of the Bells by Russell Janney
Reading Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
Watching Out of the Past, Angel and the Badman, Daisy Kenyon, Miracle on 34th Street, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Odd Man Out in theaters

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1947 include:
The Andrews Sisters, Count Basie and His Orchestra, Tex Beneke, Les Brown and His Orchestra, Frankie Carle and His Orchestra, Buddy Clark, Nat 'King' Cole, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Vic Damone, Arthur Godfrey, Harmonicats, Phil Harris, Dick Haymes, Woody Herman and His Orchestra, Eddy Howard, Red Ingle and the Natural Seven, Harry James and His Orchestra, Louis Jordan, Sammy Kaye, Stan Kenton and His Orchestra, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, Johnny Mercer, Vaughn Monroe, Pied Pipers, Alvino Rey and His Orchestra , Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, The Three Suns, Martha Tilton, Ted Weems and His Orchestra, Margaret Whiting, Tex Williams

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

Popular Movies

A Double Life, The Bishop's Wife, Black Narcissus, Body and Soul, Boomerang!, Crossfire, Dark Passage, The Farmer's Daughter, Forever Amber, Gentleman's Agreement, The Ghost and Mrs, Muir, Miracle on 34th Street, Monsieur Verdoux, Odd Man Out, Out of the Past, The Paradine Case, Pursued, Road to Rio, Secret Beyond the Door..., The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Song of the Thin Man, They Won't Believe Me, Unconquered, Welcome Stranger

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1947
# 1 Hits of 1947
Pop Culture News

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