1945 Trivia, History and Fun Facts
Quick Facts from 1945:
- World Changing Events: The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9th.
Horrors of the Nazi Holocaust and concentration camps were exposed.
- Popular Songs include: There I’ve Said It Again by Vaughn Monroe and Pop Standards I’m Beginning To See The Light and Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive
- The Movies to Watch include The Lost Weekend, Spellbound, They Were Expendable , State Fair, Back to Bataan, Anchors Aweigh, The Picture of Dorian Gray and And Then There Were None
- The Most Famous Person in America was probably Bob Hope
- US Life Expectancy: Males: 63.6 years, Females: 67.9 years
- Price of 1 pound of Ritz Crackers in 1945: 21 cents
- 1 once of gold value: $37.25
- The 1945 Food and Nutrition Board Paper often quoted statement “humans require roughly 2.5 liters (8 glasses) per day” is only 1/2 of the full statement. The other half was “we get most of the fluid we need from food and other beverages.”
- The Conversation: The term ‘cold war’ was coined by George Orwell in an October 1945 essay about the Atom Bomb.
Top Ten Baby Names of 1945:
Mary, Linda, Barbara, Patricia, Carol, James, Robert, John, William, Richard
Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on the island of Ie Shima off the coast of Okinawa. Extremely popular, especially with the average GI, whose life and death he reported on (American infantrymen braved enemy fire to recover Pyle’s body), Pyle had been at the London Blitz of 1941 and saw action in North Africa, Italy, France, and the Pacific. A monument exists to him to this day on Ie Shima, describing him simply as “a buddy.” Burgess Meredith portrayed him in the 1945 film The Story of GI Joe.
US Marines raised the flag on Iwo Jima, on February 23rd. There are six Flag Raisers on the famous Iwo Jima photo. Four in the front line and two in back. The front four are (left to right) Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Harlon Block. The back two are Michael Strank (behind Sousley) and Rene Gagnon (behind Bradley). One of the most famous photographs of all time, taken by Joe Rosenthal.
August 14th was V-J Day (Victory over Japan day) Japan surrendered unconditionally to end WW II (also August 15 depending on time zone)…
August 22nd – Vietnam conflict began as Ho Chi Minh lead a successful coup. The world keeps turning.
The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Gene Tierney, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, Betty Grable
“Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities”
– Aldous Huxley
“Who’s on First?”
– Bud Abbott, in ‘The Naughty Nineties’
“I’m Chiquita Banana and I’ve come to say – bananas have to ripen in a certain way…”
– Chiquita Bananas
“An iron curtain is drawn down upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind.”
– Winston Churchill, to Harry S. Truman, regarding the Democracies and the Russian-controlled Communist bloc.
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Harry S. Truman
Bess Myerson (New York, NY)
The Catholic Church, unofficially, but through some of it’s clergy, may have helped some Nazi’s escape Germany for Latin America. Escapees reputedly included Franz Stangl, Klaus Barbie, Heinrich Mueller and Adolf Eichmann.
On July 28th, a U.S. B-25 bomber accidentally hit the Empire State Building in New York. 14 people were killed.
Pop Culture History:
Pepe LePew debuted in Warner Bros cartoon Odor-able Kitty on January 5th.
Slinky is from a Swedish word meaning ‘stealthy, sleek and sinuous.’ Each slinky has about 67 feet of steel, and was first invented by Richard James while working for the military in his home. He dropped a spring and it ‘slinkied’ off a tabletop and some books. In 1960, he left the he founded (James Industries) and became an evangelical missionary in Bolivia.
October 5th – Meet the Press premiered on radio
FDR founded National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in 1938 to find a cure for polio, and believed that if everyone gave only a dime, polio would be eradicated. Because of this motto, after his death in 1945, FDR’s face was put on the dime, and his organization was renamed “The March of Dimes.”
Since 1945, all British tanks have come equipped with tea making facilities.
Three Musketeers originally came 3 pieces to a package, one chocolate, one strawberry, and one vanilla. Hence the name. This changed in when 1945 because WWII caused the strawberry and vanilla flavors to be too expensive.
In November, 1st issue of Ebony magazinew as published by John H Johnson.
An airplane crashed into the Empire State Building, injuring elevator operator Betty Oliver. When rescuers attempted to lower her on an elevator, the cable snapped, plunging her 75 stories down. She survived the fall, and still holds the record for longest survived elevator fall.
The last president to have a net worth under a million dollars was Harry Truman.
Abbott and Costello’s film The Naughty Nineties was released, featuring longest version their “Who’s on First” routine.
Percy Spencer was working in a lab testing magnetrons, the high-powered vacuum tubes inside radars that produced microwaves, where he noticed a peanut butter candy bar in his pocket had begun to melt, the basic concept behind microwave ovens, which he later invented.
America minted 500,000 Purple Hearts in anticipation of invading Japan. About 120,000 remain for future Purple Heart recipients.
July 16th – The first (and secret) test detonation of an atomic bomb took place,at Trinity Site, Alamogordo, New Mexico. Kodak accidentally discovered the U.S. was testing atomic bombs after customers complained of “foggy” film.
Prior to the first nuclear bomb detonation in July of 1945, isotopes such as strontium-90 and cesium-137 simply did not exist in nature.” Pieces of art and bottles of wine created before then can be tested for cesium, if they contain traces of cesium they would almost certainly be fake. Steel made after that date is not usable for much scientific research.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi is the only man on record to survive both nuclear bombs in Japan. He was in Hiroshima on business during the first bombing, and returned home to Nagasaki with burns to his upper body. He died in 2010.
March 15, 1945 – Billboard published its 1st album chart (King Cole Trio was #1)
Frank Sinatra cancelled a $10,000 (a lot of money in 1945) gig and traveled to Gary, Indiana to convince white high school students striking against integration to return to school. Sinatra called it “the most shameful incident in the history of American education.”
Reading Dr Benjamin Spock’s Baby and Child Care was a must for young parents.
Nobel Prize Winners:
Physics – Wolfgang Pauli
Chemistry – Artturi Ilmari Virtanen
Physiology or Medicine – Sir Alexander Fleming, Ernst Boris Chain, Sir Howard Florey
Literature – Gabriela Mistral
Peace – Cordell Hull
Popular and Notable Books From 1945:
A Lion Is in the Streets by Adria Locke Langley
A Street in Bronzeville by Gwendolyn Brooks
The Black Rose by Thomas B. Costain
Captain from Castile by Samuel Shellabarger
Cass Timberlane by Sinclair Lewis
Earth and High Heaven by Gwethalyn Graham
Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor
The Green Years by A.J. Cronin
Immortal Wife by Irving Stone
The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
Tootle by Gertrude Crampton
So Well Remembered by James Hilton
The White Tower by James Ramsey Ullman
1st appearances & 1945’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Best Film Oscar Winner:
Going My Way (presented in 1945)
World Series Champions: Detroit Tigers
NFL Champions: Cleveland Rams
Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
U.S. Open Golf Not played due to WWII
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Sgt. Frank Parker/Sarah Palfrey Cooke
Wimbledon (Men/Women): not held
NCAA Football Champions: Army
NCAA Basketball Champions: Oklahoma A&M
Kentucky Derby: Hoop Jr