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1948 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1947

1948 History Snapshot

  • Most Successful Ad Campaign Ever: Prior to the DeBeers 1948 Ad Campaign, diamond rings were not synonymous to marriage or engagement.
  • Popular Songs include: I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by Les Brown, The Woody Woodpecker Song by Kay Kyser and It's Magic by Doris Day
  • The Big Movies included The Snake Pit, Easter Parade and The Pirate
  • Price of a dozen eggs in 1948: 79 cents
    In-N-Out cheeseburger: 30 cents
  • The World Population was ~ 2,538,000,000
  • US Life Expectancy: Males: 64.6 years, Females: 69.9 years
  • "Tupperware Parties" became a thing.
  • The first Jukeboxes were available.
  • Scientists at Bell Labs invented the transistor.
  • And... a man was found dead on a beach in in Adelaide, South Australia and the words "Taman Shud", torn from a book, in a hidden pocket. The rest of the book was found in a nearby car, with a mysterious code on a page only visible under UV Light. The code and the identity of the man has never been solved.

World Series Champions

Cleveland Indians

NFL Champions

Philadelphia Eagles

National Basketball Association Champions

Baltimore Bullets

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Toronto Maple Leafs

US Open Golf

Ben Hogan

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Richard A. Gonzales/Margaret

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Bob Falkenburg/Louis Brough

NCAA Football Champions


NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1948 - Georgia Tech over Kansas
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1948 - Michigan over USC
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1948 - Texas over Alabama

Kentucky Derby


Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Rock Ridge Night Rocket

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Harry S. Truman

Miss America

BeBe Shopp (Hopkins, MN)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Martine Carol, Cyd Charisse, Osborne duPont, Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Fontaine, Ava Gardner, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Jennifer Jones, Dorian Leigh, Jane Russell, Gene Tierney, Lana Turner

"The Quotes"

"Tonight, we have a really big show (pronounced shoe)"
- Ed Sullivan

"Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!"
- Alfonso Bedoya, as Gold Hat, in Treasure of the Sierra Madre

"A diamond is forever"
- DeBeers

1948 Pop Culture History

In 1927 Pez Candy was created to help people quit cigarettes. In 1948 the dispenser was created to mimic a lighter. It wasn't until the 50s that it was made into a children's toy.

In an alternate reality, Dewey defeated President Truman for the US Presidential election. In this reality Truman won.

Mentos were first produced in the Netherlands in 1948. They are now sold in almost every country.

Columbia Records introduced the first ever 12-inch microgroove disc which could hold up to twenty-three minutes of music per side, allowing for the rise of the Long Play (LP) album. One side of an 10" 78rpm is limited to about 3 minutes, so musicians did not publish long songs from the beginning of the 20th century onward. This limitation existed until 1948 with the invention of the LP, but pop songs are still usually under 4 minutes long.

Jimmy the Greek Snyder bet $10,000 at 17-1 odds on Harry Truman to defeat Thomas Dewey in the 1948 election, because Dewey had a mustache and "American women didn't trust men with a mustache".

The Ford F-series truck was introduced.

Muddy Waters'1948 hit Rollin' Stone was the inspiration for a 1960's band a few decades later. (Hint: It was NOT "The Beatles", "The Who" "The Kinks" or "Cream.")

Bar codes were invented by Bernard Silver and Norman Woodland.

Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 ordering the integration of the armed forces shortly after World War II, a major advance in civil rights.

Under § 501 of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, Voice of America was forbidden to broadcast directly to American citizens until July 2013. The intent of the legislation in 1948 was to protect the American public from propaganda actions by its own government.

Almost all chickens eaten today come from the winner of the 1948 'Chicken of Tomorrow' Contest whose genetics now dominate poultry farms worldwide.

When reviewing the film Isn't it Romantic, reviewer Leonard Maltin simply replied "No" which is the shortest review ever given to a motion picture.

1948 winter Olympic Game's athletes lacked the resources to compete post WWII, to the point where the Norwegian team had to borrow skis from the American team.

Japan and Germany were not invited to the Olympic games after WWII In 1948.

Before the NBA had any black players, the Harlem Globetrotters beat the NBA Champion Minneapolis Lakers in a straight up game.

The Philadelphia Eagles won the 1948 NFL Championship game despite their QB attaining a passer rating of zero.

Anne Antoinette Françoise Charlotte Zita Marquerite, a former Macy's salesperson, became Queen of Romania in 1948.

Candid Camera started in 1947 as Candid Microphone and became a TV show in 1948.

Formed in 1948, the Arlington Ladies are group of women who attend the funeral of every armed forces member who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

McCulloch chainsaws were introduced.

In 1948 the Ford Motor Company was offered the Volkswagen company free of charge and declined the offer because it "wasn't worth a damn".

It is estimated that Bing Crosby recordings filled more than half of the radio time allocated to recorded music in 1948. He is the biggest pop star of all time - no one else comes close. For perspective, Billboard magazine rates artists by a point system. The Beatles scored 5,230. Elvis got 9,029. Frank Sinatra scored about 13,000. Bing Crosby scored 35,150.

The Nobel Committee declined to award the Nobel Peace Prize in 1948 because "there was no suitable living candidate." This was meant as tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated earlier that year without receiving the Prize.

Denmark didn't have the letter "Å" until 1948. Before this, the letter å was written as simply "Aa". This is why you can see some signs using "Aa" and some other "Å" for the same town.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

A man named Cecil Harris wrote his last will and testament on a tractor fender while dying trapped underneath it.

Sadamichi Hirasawa robbed a bank by pretending to be a public health official and giving cyanide to every bank employee as a "dysentery inoculation."

The 1948 Nobel prize for Medicine and Physiology was awarded for the invention of DDT.

Actor Rex Harrison's mistress, Carole Landis, commited suicide. His career survived, and his marraige to Lilli Palmer survived untl 1957.

Between 1946 and 1948 the US Public Health Service hired infected prostitutes to give STDs to prisoners, soldiers and mental patients in Guatemala, all in the name of research. At least 83 people died.

Huang Yu was the sole survivor of an airplane crash in 1948. His survival is notable for three reasons: it was the world's first commercial aviation hijacking, he was a hijacker and he was the sole survivor of the crash he caused

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Scrabble invented, Slinky Jr.

The Habits

Playing the Card Game Canasta.
Hiding behind their newspapers and magazines, many people were actually reading the Kinsey Report on Sexuality on the Human Male.
Reading The Big Fisherman by Lloyd C. Douglas
Reading The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
Reading The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Watching Rope, The Red Shoes, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, Red River, Oliver Twist, Hamlet and Key Largo in theaters

1948 Biggest Television Shows


Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1948 include:
The Andrews Sisters, Tex Beneke, Frankie Carle and His Orchestra, Buddy Clark, Nat 'King' Cole, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Vic Damone, Ella Fitzgerald, Dick Haymes, Eddy Howard, Red Ingle and the Natural Seven, Spike Jones and His City Slickers, Sammy Kaye, Stan Kenton and His Orchestra, Evelyn Knight, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, Art Lund, Gordon MacRae, Vaughn Monroe, Art Mooney, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, The Three Suns, Jimmy Wakely, Margaret Whiting

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

Popular Movies

Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, An Act of Murder, The Bicycle Thief, Easter Parade, Force of Evil, Hamlet, I Remember Mama, Johnny Belinda, Key Largo, The Lady From Shanghai, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Louisiana Story, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, The Naked City, Oliver Twist, The Paleface, Red River, The Red Shoes, Rope, The Snake Pit, Sorry Wrong Number, Spring in a Small Town, State of the Union, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Unfaithfully Yours

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1948
# 1 Hits of 1948
Pop Culture News

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