1941 Pop Culture History, Fun Facts and Trivia

1941 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Quick Facts from 1941:

  • World Changing Event: December 7, 1941 – Imperial Japanese fighter planes attacked the Pearl Harbor navel base, bringing the United States into WWII. On December 8, 1941 over 81% of American households tuned in to FDR’s “a date which will live in infamy” speech.
  • Influential Songs include: God Bless The Child by Billie Holiday
  • The Movies to Watch include The Maltese Falcon, Dumbo, Suspicion, Citizen Kane, Road to Zanzibar, The Wolf Man, Here Comes Mr. Jordan and Buck Privates
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Mickey Rooney
  • Notable books include: Curious George by H.A. and Margret Ray
  • Price of six 12 oz Pepsi cans in 1941: 23 cents
    Price of a movie ticket: 25 cents
  • The Funny Duo were: Abbott and Costello
  • The Funny Trio Were: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour
  • The Escapes: Maps and other escape aids were smuggled to Allied POWs in Monopoly sets during World War II. Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWs who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets.

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

The Stars: 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

Miss America: Rosemary LaPlanche (Los Angeles, CA)

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Firsts, Inventions and Wonders:
M&Ms were invented in 1941 as a means for soldiers to enjoy chocolate without it melting. During the war the candy was sold exclusively to the military.

Captain America Comics #1, 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 to be made 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.

The Quote:
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

US Politics:
January 20, 1941 (Monday) Third inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Hero:
During WWII, Chiune Sugihara served as a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. He and his wife worked 18 hour days to hand write 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 News:
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 you can’t hide” dates back to a taunt made by boxer Joe Louis during his fight against Billy Conn in 1941.

Coach bags, introduced in 1941, were based on the design and surface wear on a baseball glove.

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).

The term “robotics”was coined by science fiction author Isaac Asimov in 1941.

December 7th was ‘a date which will live in infamy.’ Many Americans believe that 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.

In 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 a day.

Mrs. Japp’s Potato Chips (1927 to 2007, Chicago) changed their name to Jays Potato Chips, due to the negative connotation associated with the word ‘Jap’

Using Dr. Charles Drew’s idea, the American Red Cross decided to 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.

A ten second ad for Bulova watches was aired by NBC. This was the first television commercial, and cost $7.

Elaine Esposito holds the record for longest coma according to the Guinness World Records, having lost 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.

Broadway ShowArsenic and Old Lace (Play) Opened on January 10, 1941 and Closed: June 17, 1944

Broadway ShowAngel Street (Play) Opened on December 5, 1941 and Closed: December 30, 1944

Nobel Prizes:

Physics – not awarded
Chemistry – not awarded
Medicine – not awarded
Literature – not awarded
Peace – not awarded

Popular and Notable Books From 1941:
Curious George by H.A. and Margret Ray
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
H. M. Pulham, Esquire by John P. Marquand
The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin
Oliver Wiswell by Kenneth Roberts
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Mr. and Mrs. Cugat by Isabel Scott Rorick
Random Harvest by James Hilton
Saratoga Trunk by Edna Ferber
The Sun Is My Undoing by Marguerite Steen
This Above All by Eric Knight
Windswept by Mary Ellen Chase

Sports:
World Series Champions: New York Yankees
NFL Champs: Chicago Bears
Stanley Cup Champs: Boston Bruins
U.S. Open Golf: Craig Wood
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): Robert Riggs/Sarah Palfrey Cooke
Wimbledon (Men/Women): not held
NCAA Football Champions: Minnesota
NCAA Basketball Champions: Wisconsin
Kentucky Derby Winner: Whirlaway
Boston Marathon Winner: Leslie S. Pawson Time: 2:30:38