1941 Facts, Fun Trivia and History
Quick Facts from 1941
Top Ten Baby Names of 1941
Mary, Barbara, Patricia, Carol, Linda, James, Robert, John, William, Richard
US Life Expectancy
1941 Males: 63.1 years, Females: 66.8 years
Ingrid Bergman, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, Lena Horne, Veronica Lake, Hedy Lamarr, Carole Landis, Vivien Leigh, Brenda Marshall, Alexis Smith, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Tierney, Lana Turner
Entertainment History: The Oscars
The 13th Academy Awards unfolded on February 27, 1941, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Bob Hope reprised his role as host. Rebecca snagged Best Picture, but it was a rarity because it was the only film to win It without receiving the Best Director Award; Alfred Hitchcock didn’t win. The Grapes of Wrath fetched both Best Director for John Ford and Best Actor for Henry Fonda. Ginger Rogers won the Best Actress trophy for her role in Kitty Foyle. A monumental moment came when Walt Disney received a special Oscar for creating Fantasia, a significant accomplishment in sound design. The eligibility year for the awards was the calendar year of 1940. One piece of trivia: This was the last year the Best Picture winner was not also nominated for Best Director.
Rosemary LaPlanche (Los Angeles, CA)
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Firsts, Inventions, and Wonders
M&Ms were invented in 1941 to allow soldiers to enjoy chocolate without it melting. During the war, the candy was sold exclusively to the military.
Captain America Comics #1, the first appearance of Captain America and Bucky. (cover-dated March 1941)
Aquaman and Green Arrow debuted in More Fun Comics, issue number 73. (cover date November)
The first superhero comic book movie was Adventures of Captain Marvel.
Classic Comics series launched in the United States with illustrated versions of The Three Musketeers, followed by Ivanhoe and The Count of Monte Cristo.
The breakfast cereal Cheerios was introduced as CheeriOats by General Mills.
Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr invented the basis for modern WiFi and Bluetooth in 1941.
All persons born in Puerto Rico as of January 13, 1941, were declared US citizens by birth, through federal law.
“If we see that Germany is winning, we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning, we ought to help Germany, and that way, let them kill as many as possible, although I don’t want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances.” – Harry S Truman
January 20, 1941 (Monday): Third inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt
During WWII, Chiune Sugihara served as a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. He and his wife worked 18-hour days to handwrite unlawful travel visas, which allowed an estimated 4,500-6,000 Jews to escape the Holocaust. On the day the consulate was forcibly closed, and he and his wife had to evacuate, they were still handwriting travel visas and throwing them from the train. When asked why he did it, he said: “I told the Ministry of Foreign Affairs it was a matter of humanity. I did not care if I lost my job. Anyone else would have done the same thing if they were in my place.”
Pop Culture History
Fantasia and Citizen Kane both bombed at the box office. Disney’s Dumbo, released on October 23, was a hit.
The phrase “You can run but can’t hide” dates back to a taunt by boxer Joe Louis during his fight against Billy Conn in 1941.
Coach bags, introduced in 1941, were based on a baseball glove’s design and surface wear.
Time Magazine’s Person (Mammal) of the Year for 1941 was to be Dumbo the Elephant, but when the Pearl Harbor attack occurred, they changed their minds and gave it to Franklin Roosevelt.
The term ‘Genocide’ was coined by Polish writer and attorney, Raphael Lemkin, in 1941 by combining the Greek word ‘genos’ (race) with the Latin word ‘cide’ (killing).
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov coined the term “robotics” in 1941.
December 7th was ‘a date which will live in infamy.’ Today, many Americans believe President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew about the Japanese “sneak attack” on Pearl Harbor. They say he let it happen because it was the only way he could get Americans involved in the war.
Regis Toomey and Jane Wyman held the longest screen kiss at 3 minutes and 5 seconds in You’re In The Army Now.
1941, more than three million cars were manufactured in the United States. Only 139 more were made for the duration of the war. Ford turned out one B-24 bomber every 63 minutes for 24 hours daily.
Using Dr. Charles Drew’s idea, the American Red Cross set up blood donor stations to collect plasma for the U.S. Armed Forces.
Glenn Miller’s Chattanooga Choo-Choo was awarded the first Gold record.
Plutonium was officially chemically identified on February 23rd by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg’s team.
NBC aired a ten-second ad for Bulova watches. This was the first television commercial and cost $7.
According to the Guinness World Records, Elaine Esposito holds the record for the most extended coma, losing consciousness in 1941 and eventually dying in that condition in 1978.
John Huston made his directorial debut in the gritty detective movie The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart. Many historians consider this film to be the first example of film noir.
Physics – not awarded
Popular and Best-selling Books From 1941
Curious George by H.A. and Margret Ray
World Series Champions: New York Yankees
More 1941 Facts & History Resources:
Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)