1947 History, Fun Facts and Trivia
Quick Facts from 1947:
- World Changing Event: The first general-purpose computer, the almost 30-ton ENIAC ), contained 18,000 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors and 10,000 capacitors.
- Influential Songs include: Heartaches by Ted Weems and This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
- The Movies to Watch include Miracle on 34th Street, Gentleman’s Agreement, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty , My Favorite Brunette, Possessed, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
- The Most Famous Person in the World was probably
- Notable books include: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
- Price of Flexible Flyer Sled in 1947: $8.95
- The Funny Guy was: Bob Hope
- The Conversation: Was it aliens or a government weather balloon that
crashed in Roswell, New Mexico?
Top Ten Baby Names of 1947:
Linda, Mary, Patricia, Barbara, Sandra, James, Robert, John, William, Richard
The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Ava Gardner, Gene Tierney, Dorothy Dandridge, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, Betty Grable
“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” from A Streetcar Named Desire
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Barbara Walker (Memphis, TN)
Pop Culture History:
The two-term limit for U.S. 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.
Suicide: 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.
Chung Ju-yung, the founder of Hyundai, originally wanted to become a school teacher, but his family’s dire financial situation made him unable to get higher education. Instead, he ran away from his family to Seoul, where he started a construction company, Hyundai, in 1947.
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.
The CIA was formed by the National Security Act of 1947, two weeks after the Roswell Incident.
On July 10 1947, Idaho 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.”
A British South American Airways flight was flying normally over the Andes Mountains, about 4 minutes from landing, but then it sent a Morse Code message ‘STENDEC’ three consecutive times, then vanished, the wreckage was found in 1998 on Mount Tupungato. To this day, what ‘STENDEC’ meant is a mystery.
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 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) The Howdy Doody Show was the first television show targeted towards children.
Edward Lowe invented Kitty Litter®
After the murder of Elizabeth Short (better known as the Black Dahlia), reporters from the Los Angeles Examiner called her mother, telling her that her daughter had won a beauty contest, once they pried enough personal information for their story, they informed her that her daughter had been murdered.
Wham-O introduced its first product – a slingshot. The company name came from the sound of a slingshot hitting a target.
Major League Baseball allowed black players, starting with Jackie Robinson.
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. There was no digital recording in the 1940s.
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.
Meredith Baxter Birney and Michael Gross, who played the parents on Family Ties, were born on the same day, June 21, 1947.
The first Cannes Film Festival was held in Cannes, France.
The term “bug” for a software malfunction was traced back to a moth stuck in the system at Harvard. The term had been used for errors in products before that as well.
Extraterrestrials ‘allegedly’ crash-landed near Roswell, New Mexico.
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.
Mikhail Kalashnikov presented his invention, the Avtomat Kalashnikova Obrazets 1947, better known as the AK-47.
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.
1st appearances & 1947’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Steel Pogo Sticks, John Deere Die-Cast Tractor, Lionel Trains Milk Car, Tonka Trucks
Nobel Prize Winners:
Physics – Edward Victor Appleton
Chemistry – Sir Robert Robinson
Medicine – Carl Ferdinand Cori, Gerty Cori, Bernardo Houssay
Literature – André Gide
Peace – The Friends Service Council (UK) and The American Friends Service Committee (USA), on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends
Popular and Notable Books From 1947:
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
B.F.’s Daughter by John P. Marquand
The Diary of a Young Girl (aka The Diary of Anne Frank) by Anne Frank
East Side, West Side by Marcia Davenport
Gentleman’s Agreement by Laura Z. Hobson
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
House Divided by Ben Ames Williams
Kingsblood Royal by Sinclair Lewis
Lydia Bailey by Kenneth Roberts
The Miracle of the Bells by Russell Janney
The Moneyman by Thomas B. Costain
Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger
The Vixens by Frank Yerby
The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck
Best Film Oscar Winner:
The Best Year’s of Our Lives (presented in 1947)
World Series Champions: New York Yankees
NFL Champions: Chicago Cardinals
NBA Champions: Philadelphia Warriors
Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
U.S. Open Golf Lew Worsham
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Jack Kramer/Pauline Betz
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Jack Kramer/Margaret Osbourne
NCAA Football Champions: Notre Dame
NCAA Basketball Champions: Holy Cross
Kentucky Derby: Jet Pilot