1946 Trivia, Information, History and Fun Facts

1946 Trivia, Information, History and Fun Facts

Quick Facts from 1946

  • World Changing Event: ‘ENIAC’ became the world’s first computer as we know it today.
  • Influential Songs include The Christmas Song by Nat ‘King’ Cole. Also, Zip a Dee Do Dah by various artists.
  • The Movies to Watch include Duel in the Sun, It’s A Wonderful Life, Angel on My Shoulder, Notorious, The Best Years of Our Lives, and A Night in Casablanca.
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Bing Crosby.
  • Notable books include The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock.
  • US Life Expectancy: Males: 64.4 years, Females: 69.4 years
  • Price to enter a teen dance/mixer in 1946: 25 cents
  • The Funny Trio Was Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour
  • The Movie Flop?: It’s a Wonderful Life was considered a box office failure upon release in 1946. A clerical error placed the film in the public domain in 1974, causing many local TV networks to play it for free, popularizing it as a Christmas Classic.

Top Ten Baby Names of 1946

Mary, Linda, Patricia, Barbara, Carol, James, Robert, John, William, Richard

Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols

Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, Gene Tierney, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, Betty Grable

Entertainment History: The Oscars

The 18th Academy Awards unfolded on March 7, 1946, at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Jimmy Stewart, fresh from his military service in World War II, served as the host. The Lost Weekend was the night’s major winner, claiming four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Billy Wilder. This film was groundbreaking for its unflinching look at alcoholism, a topic Hollywood typically shied away from. Joan Crawford won Best Actress for her role in Mildred Pierce, solidifying her comeback in Hollywood. She accepted her award in bed due to illness, making for an unforgettable photo op. Interestingly, the documentary categories were introduced this year, reflecting the genre’s significance during wartime. The eligibility period ran from January 1 to December 31, 1945. Miklós Rózsa won for Best Original Score for Spellbound, a psychological thriller that also featured a dream sequence designed by Salvador Dalí.

“The Quote”

“The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe” – Albert Einstein

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year

James F. Byrnes

Miss America

Marilyn Buferd (Los Angeles, CA)

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1946 include

The Andrews Sisters, Count Basie and His Orchestra, Tex Beneke, Connee Boswell, Les Brown and His Orchestra, Frankie Carle and His Orchestra, Hoagy Carmichael, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Helen Forrest, Arthur Godfrey, Dick Haymes, Phil Harris, Woody Herman, and His Orchestra, Eddy Howard, The Ink Spots, Harry James and His Orchestra, Louis Jordan, Sammy Kaye, Stan Kenton, and His Orchestra, Peggy Lee, Guy Lombardo, and His Royal Canadians, Tony Martin, Johnny Mercer, Vaughn Monroe, Pied Pipers, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Margaret Whiting

1946 Pop Culture Facts & History

Jacques Heim and Louis Reard designed the first bikini for public consumption, named after the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini became the first American Saint.

April 8th is Draw A Bird Day. It is observed to honor a 10-year-old girl who was killed when hit by a car in 1946. The Cozy Dog Drive-In is now a restaurant at 2935 South Sixth Street in Springfield, Illinois.

Ed Waldmire Jr. invented The Cozy Dog, the first corn dog on a stick in 1946. He had wanted to name his creation the “Crusty Cur,” but his wife convinced him that people wouldn’t want to eat something described as “crusty.”

The Adventures of Superman radio show revealed the ‘secret’ codes and rituals of the KKK, making it a laughingstock and drying up Klan membership within weeks.

The Misfits’ famous skull mascot is originally from a 1946 film serial titled The Crimson Ghost—the titular character plots to steal a device that can short out any electronic. The Crimson Ghost has also been featured in an Iron Maiden music video.

The BBC broadcast its first multi-episode television show, a crime drama called Telecrime, in 1938. After five episodes, the show went on a seven-year hiatus due to WWII and resumed in 146,  when the remaining 12 episodes were broadcast.

7-Eleven changed its name from Tote’m to empathizing with the company’s new extended hours, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

The fastest typing speed on an IBM electric typewriter is 216 words per minute, achieved by Stella Pajunas-Garnand. The average typist reaches 50 to 80 words per minute.

A tidal wave hit Hawaii on April 1. Many ignored the tidal warnings, thinking them an April Fools Prank. The disaster killed 159 people and caused $26 million in damages.

The United States tried to purchase Greenland from Denmark for $100 million.

Song of the South is a 1946 Disney film that has never been released on video in the United States due to controversial racial overtones.

Tom and Jerry’s episode where Tom performed Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2  won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 1946.

Fidelity Investments was founded in Boston, Massachusettes.

United Business Company, basically an accounting firm, was founded by Henry and Richard Bloch. The company was renamed H & R Block in 1955 and specialized in taxes for businesses nationwide.

Walt Disney himself voiced Mickey Mouse from his premiere in 1928 until 1946, when Jimmy MacDonald took over.

The highest I.Q. ever recorded was 228 by Marilyn Vos Savant, an American writer born on August 11, 1946. She solved the Monty Hall Problem.

The modern concept of a diamond engagement ring is largely due to a marketing campaign from the De Beers company from 1946… possibly the most successful ad campaign of all time.

When Louis Rèard introduced the bikini in France, no respectable models were willing to wear the revealing swimwear, so Rèard had to hire a stripper, Micheline Bernardini, to model it.

Spook Busters is a 1946 comedy film about a group of recent graduates (The Bowery Boys) who set up a company to exterminate ghosts in New York. Sound familiar?

During the production of the noir classic The Big Sleep, neither the director nor the screenwriters knew if a character was supposed to have committed suicide or been murdered, so they contacted the book’s author, Raymond Chandler, and he didn’t know either.

After losing both hands, WWII Veteran Howard Russell was cast in the film The Best Years of Our Lives. For his portrayal of an injured veteran coming home from war, he went on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

The Los Angeles Rams signed Kenny Washington, the first African-American player in the NFL.

Sept 1, 1946, The first Formula One race took place in Turin, Italy, and was won by Achille Varzi.

The Habit

Reading Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock

1st Appearances & 1946’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents

Magic 8 Ball (Syco Seer), Lionel Trains with ‘steam,’ Streater Steam Shovel truck

Nobel Prize Winners

Physics – Percy Williams Bridgman
Chemistry – James B. Sumner, John Howard Northrop, Wendell Meredith Stanley
Physiology or Medicine – Hermann Joseph Muller
Literature – Hermann Hesse
Peace – Emily Greene Balch, John Mott

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1946

Arch of Triumph by Erich Maria Remarque
B.F.’s Daughter by John P. Marquand
The Black Rose by Thomas B. Costain
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock
East River by Sholem Asch
The Foxes of Harrow by Frank Yerby
The Hucksters by Frederic Wakeman, Sr.
The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill
The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier
The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell
The Miracle of the Bells by Russell Janney
The River Road by Frances Parkinson Keyes
This Side of Innocence by Taylor Caldwell
The Snake Pit by Mary Jane Ward

Best Film Oscar Winner

The Lost Weekend (presented in 1946)

Broadway Shows

Born Yesterday (Play) Opened on February 4, 1946, and closed on December 31, 1949
Annie Get Your Gun (Musical) Opened on May 16, 1946, and Closed on February 12, 1949


World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
NFL Champions: Chicago Bears
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens
U.S. Open Golf Lloyd Mangrum
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Jack Kramer/Pauline Betz
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Yvon Petra/Pauline Betz
NCAA Football Champions: Notre Dame
NCAA Basketball Champions: Oklahoma A&M
Kentucky Derby: Assault (Triple Crown Winner: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes)
World Cup (Soccer): not held

More 1946 Facts & History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us)
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1946
1946 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com
Fact Monster
Forties Nostalgia
1940s, Infoplease.com World History
1946 in Movies (according to IMDB)
Retrowaste Vintage Culture
1940s Slang
Wikipedia 1946
The Cold War