1949 Trivia, History and Fun Facts
Quick Facts from 1949:
- World Changing Event: On April 4, 1949 The North Atlantic Treaty was signed, making the United States closer with our European allies.
- Influential Songs include: Some Enchanted Evening from the musical, South Pacific and the now-controversial Baby It’s Cold Outside by various duos.
- The Movies to Watch include Mighty Joe Young, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, White Heat, Twelve O’Clock High, Samson and Delilah, The Third Man, Adam’s Rib and A Letter to Three Wives
- The Most Famous Person in America was probably Bob Hope
- Notable books include: 1984 by George Orwell
- Price of 1 pound of bacon in 1949: 49 cents
- US Life Expectancy: Males: 65.2 years, Females: 70.7 years
- The Funny Duo were: Abbott and Costello
The Funny Guy was: Milton Berle
- The First: The first science fiction television series was Captain Video and His Video Rangers, airing 1949 to 1955.
Top Ten Baby Names of 1949:
Linda, Mary, Patricia, Barbara, Susan, James, Robert, John, William, Michael
The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Martine Carol, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamarr, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Lana Turner
– The Road-runner
“Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”
– James Cagney, in ‘White Heat’
“What a dump.”
– Bette Davis, in ‘Beyond the Forest’
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Jacque Mercer (Litchfield, AZ)
The biggest Pop Artists of 1949 include:
The Andrews Sisters, Buddy Clark, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Vic Damone, Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra, Dick Haymes, Eddy Howard, Sammy Kaye, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, Tony Martin, Art Mooney, Russ Morgan, Vaughn Monroe, Gordon MacRae, Tony Martin, Art Mooney, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Kay Starr, Mel Torme, Jimmy Wakely, Margaret Whiting
Charts based on Billboard music charts.
January 20, 1949 (Thursday) Second inauguration of Harry S. Truman
Pop Culture News:
Charles Lubin’s small chain of ‘Community Bake Shops’ became the Kitchens of Sara Lee, named after his daughter.
Fast and Furry-ous (cartoon) was released, with the debut of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. It was directed by Chuck Jones (credited as Charles M. Jones).
The first “network” television broadcast took place, as The Dumont Network’s KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania went on the air, connecting the east coast and mid-west programming.
Minimum wage jumped from 40 to 75 cents on October 26.
Airplane Celebrity Death: Buddy Clark
The first credit card, Diners Club, was issued in 1949 and made out of cardboard. Co-founder Frank McNamara was dining with clients and realized he forgot his wallet (his wife paid the tab).
Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merge to form National Basketball Association (NBA).
The Ladies Pro Golf Association of America formed in New York.
The first VolksWagon (Type 1) car to arrive in the United States, a 1948 model, was brought to New York by Dutch businessman Ben Pon. There was little interest, and only two were sold that year.
On March 2, the B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II, under Captain James Gallagher, landed in Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight, refueling four times in flight.
Dragnet premiered on NBC radio; later it was a TV series.
At Wimbledon, “Gorgeous Gussie” Moran wore a skirt that exposed her knees, causing Wimbledon officials to complain that she was “bringing vulgarity and sin into tennis”.
The first automatic street light went on in New Milford, CT.
The “Hollywood” sign by Mulholland drive used to say “Hollywoodland” when it was constructed in 1923, up until 1949.
The first Emmy Awards were presented, at the Hollywood Athletic Club.
Jockey Bill Shoemaker won his 1st race, in Albany, California.
Grady the Cow, a 1,200-pound cow, got stuck inside a silo on a farm in Yukon, Oklahoma and captured national media attention. After a few days, Grady was freed and lived until 1961.
On January 19, The cognac-bearing Poe Toaster first appeared at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe.
ON January 11, Los Angeles received its first recorded snowfall.
António Egas Moniz was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his role in perfecting the lobotomy.
Red Byron won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup.
The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, Act No 55 prohibiting marriage or any sexual relationship between White people and people of other races was passed in South Africa.
The 45 RPM record was introduced. DJ’s got a pressing of Texarkana Baby/Bouquet Of Roses by Eddy Arnold, The Tennessee Plowboy And His Guitar. The first large commercial release was You’re Adorable by Perry Como. There were several samples produced before them.
Siam renamed itself Thailand
By a vote of 37-12, Israel became the 59th member of United Nations.
Between 1949 and 1952, The White House was completely gutted, leaving only the outer walls around a shell. The mansion was then rebuilt using concrete and steel beams in place of its original wooden joists.
Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America incorporated in New York.
George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in London.
Arthur Miller’s tragedy Death of a Salesman opens at the Morosco Theatre in New York City, for 742 performances.
Kathy Fiscus, 3½ years old, died from falling down an abandoned well in San Marino, California.
3 minutes to midnight, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
1949: The Soviet Union denies it, but in the fall, President Harry Truman tells the American public that the Soviets tested their first nuclear device, officially starting the arms race. “We do not advise Americans that doomsday is near and that they can expect atomic bombs to start falling on their heads a month or year from now,” the Bulletin explains. “But we think they have reason to be deeply alarmed and to be prepared for grave decisions.”
On January 10, The Goldbergs premiered on CBS
On January 12, Arthur Godfrey & his Friends premiered on CBS TV
On January 31, Daytime soap opera These Are My Children premiered on NBC in Chicago
On June 24, Hopalong Cassidy became the first network western, on NBC.
On June 27, Captain Video & His Video Rangers” debuted on DUMONT-TV
Men started wearing argyle socks, thanks to Brooks Brothers.
Watching Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ on Broadway
1st appearances & 1949’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Silly Putty, Candy Land, Kewpie dolls, Cootie*, Clue** (1948 in the U.K.), Bouncing Putty, Wind-up Clacking “Talking Teeth”
Nobel Prize Winners:
Physics – Yukawa Hideki
Chemistry – William Francis Giauque
Medicine – Walter Rudolf Hess and António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz
Literature – William Faulkner
Peace – John Boyd Orr
Popular and Notable Books From 1949:
A Rage to Live by John O’Hara
The Big Fisherman by Lloyd C. Douglas
Cutlass Empire by Van Wyck Mason
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Dinner at Antoine’s by Frances Parkinson Keyes
The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
Father of the Bride by Edward Streeter
High Towers by Thomas B. Costain
Mary by Sholem Asch
1984 by George Orwell
Point of No Return by John P. Marquand
Pride’s Castle by Frank Yerby
Best Film Oscar Winner:
Hamlet (presented in 1949)
World Series Champions: New York Yankees
NFL Champions: Philadelphia Eagles
NBA Champions: Minneapolis Lakers
Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
U.S. Open Golf Cary Middlecoff
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Richard A. Gonzales/Margaret Osborne duPont
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Ted Schroeder/Louis Brough
NCAA Football Champions: Notre Dame
NCAA Basketball Champions: Kentucky
Kentucky Derby: Ponder