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Major events, sports highlights and Nobel Prizes of 1940 - History

Major events, sports highlights and Nobel Prizes of 1940 - History


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Sports

NCAA Football: Minnesota Record: 8-0-0
Heisman Trophy: Tom Harmon, michigan, HB points: 1,303
Stanley Cup: N.Y. Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Series: 4-2
US Open Golf: Lawson Little Score: 287 Course: Canterbury GC Location: Cleveland, OH
World Series: Cincinnati Reds vs. Detroit Red Skins Series: 4-3

Nobel Prizes

Chemistry
The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

Literature
The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

Peace
The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.

Physiology or Medicine
The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.

Physics
The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

Popular Movies

1. Aloma of the South Seas
2. Blood and Sand
3. Boom Town
4. The Bride Came C.O.D.
5. Caught in the Draft
6. Charley's Aunt
7. Dive Bomber
8. The Great Dictator - Charlie Chaplin
9. Hold That Ghost
10. I Wanted Wings

Best Picture: "Rebecca"
Best Director: John Ford ... "The Grapes of Wrath"
Best Actor: James Stewart ... "The Philadelphia Story"
Best Actress: Ginger Rogers ... "Kitty Foyle"


World War II Major Events and Battles

Series of trials held in Nürnberg, Germany, in 1945–46, in which former Nazi leaders were indicted and tried as war criminals by the International Military Tribunal.

Recovery and the Marshall Plan

U.S.-sponsored program designed to rehabilitate the economies of 17 western and southern European countries in order to create stable conditions in which democratic institutions could survive.

The Rutherford atomic model

Description of the structure of atoms proposed (1911) by the New Zealand-born physicist Ernest Rutherford.

The Bohr atomic model

The Bohr model of the atom, a radical departure from earlier, classical descriptions, was the first that incorporated quantum theory and was the predecessor of wholly quantum-mechanical models.

The Holocaust

The systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of others by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II.

BATAAN DEATH MARCH​

March in the Philippines of some 66 miles (106 km) that 76,000 prisoners of war (66,000 Filipinos, 10,000 Americans) were forced by the Japanese military to endure in April 1942, during the early stages of World War II.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Atomic Bomb)

Throughout July 1945 the Japanese mainlands, from the latitude of Tokyo on Honshu northward to the coast of Hokkaido, were bombed just as if an invasion was about to be launched. In fact, something far more sinister was in hand, as the Americans were telling Stalin at Potsdam.

The Yalta Conference

Major World War II conference of the three chief Allied leaders—Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Premier Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union—which met at Yalta in Crimea to plan the final defeat and occupation of Nazi Germany.

Featured Demystified

Were the Nazis Socialists?

Were the Nazis socialists? No, not in any meaningful way, and certainly not after 1934. But to address this canard fully, one must begin with the birth of the party.


In 1990, the Colorado Buffaloes were pitted against the Missouri Tigers and trailed late in the game. On their final drive, the Buffaloes marched down inside the Tigers' five-yard-line. After a fourth down run attempt failed, the ball should have gone to the Tigers. However, the Buffaloes quickly lined up, snapped the ball and scored the game-winning touchdown.

Later it was revealed the down card was never flipped while the officials discussed whether the Buffaloes had scored on the previous play.

The game is now called the "Fifth Down" game for obvious reasons.


Historical Events in 1940

Jan 19 The Three Stooges film "You Nazty Spy!" about the Nazis released with the disclaimer "Any resemblance between the characters in this picture and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle."

    LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Helen Hicks wins by 1 stroke ahead of Helen Dettweiler Foreign correspondents in Netherlands subjected to censorship 1st radio broadcast of "Road to Happiness" on CBS Pianist Ignaz Paderewski becomes premier of Polish government in exile

Film Release

Jan 24 "The Grapes of Wrath", directed by John Ford and based on John Steinbeck's novel of the same name, starring Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell, is released

    Nazi decrees establishment of Jewish ghetto in Lodz Poland Nazis forbid Polish Jews to travel on trains -17°F (-27°C), CCC Camp F-16, Georgia (state record) Chicago's Les Cunningham scores 5 points in one period to set an NHL record that stands until 1978 records 2 goals & 3 assists in a 10:04 span during the 3d period of an 8-1 win over Montreal Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Nancye Wynne Bolton wins her 2nd Australian singles titles beats Thelma Coyne 5-7, 6-4, 6-0

Australian Men's Tennis Open

Jan 29 Australian Championships men's Tennis: Australian Adrian Quist beats countryman Jack Crawford 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 for his 2nd Australian title


The 1940’s Decade Timeline

•German dictator Adolf Hitler invades Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands , Belgium, Luxembourg, and then France. He devastates opposing forces with “blitzkrieg,” a strategy that stresses surprise, speed, and overwhelming force using air planes and mechanized ground forces. The USSR annexes Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain and vows Britain will never surrender. The German Luftwaffe far outnumber the Royal Air Force (RAF) as Hitler bombs London for months.

•The US government publicly opposes Hitler’s aggression in Europe but refuses to get involved. President Roosevelt says he will not send troops into any foreign wars. The government promotes hemispheric defense through a Good Neighbor Policy in Latin America. The dictators of Germany, Japan and Italy join forces. The US advocates peace but starts supplying Britain aid to help that country defend itself.

•High unemployment carries over from the Great Depression, but agriculture and industry begin to rebound. Normal rainfall returns and farmers harvest a big crop of corn, wheat, soybeans, and other crops. Production increases and prices rise. European countries are cut off by German blockades, so exports go down, but America’s demand for agricultural goods goes up. The Social Security Administration, created by 1930s New Deal legislation, sends out its first checks. Banking and credit industries become stronger after the 1930s.

•Congress passes several laws related to national defense, including the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, which provides drafting and training men for the army and navy, marines and national guard. More than 16 million men register for the draft, which also allows for conscientious objectors to be employed in non-combat work. Congress authorizes money to build planes and ships, housing for soldiers, and establishes new military bases across the country. The Alien Registration Act requires that all aliens register with the government.

•Scientists learn that plasma can be substituted for whole blood transfusions the Rh factor of blood is discovered. Food is freeze dried for the first time.

•CBS demonstrates the first color television in New York City, and WNBT in New York City becomes the country’s first regular television station, broadcasting to about 10,000 viewers.

•Transportation expands. The first multi-lane superhighway, the Pennsylvania Turnpike opens and the first Los Angeles freeway opens. Burma Shave roadside ads are set up along the highways, and the first MacDonald’s hamburger stand opens in Pasadena, California.

•People enjoy an array of popular books, movies and dances. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is popular, and the movie Gone with the Wind wins an Academy Award. Walt Disney releases “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia.” Other movies include “The Great Dictator,” “The Philadelphia Story,” and “The Grapes of Wrath,” staring former Nebraskan Henry Fonda. Americans enjoy “Bugs Bunny” cartoons and hear the “Superman” radio show for the first time. Big band music is popular and the Swing Era is in full swing.

•Following the 1940 election, Franklin Roosevelt is inaugurated for a third term as president and urges that the US become an arsenal of democracy. Iowan Henry Wallace is vice president. The Lend-Lease Act gives the President power to sell or lend war supplies to other countries. Roosevelt sends emergency food aid to the Soviet Union.

•US General Leslie R. Groves is appointed to direct the Manhattan Project, a top secret effort to build an atomic weapon before Germany or Japan. General Groves starts engineering and production centers at Los Alamos, New Mexico, directed by physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer Oak Ridge, Tennessee and at the Hanford Engineer Works in eastern Washington. At the University of Chicago, physicist Enrico Fermi, who had fled the Fascist regime in Italy, supervised related experiments. Under university’s football stadium stands in 1942, the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction occurs. At Los Alamos a team of international engineers and scientists races to create atomic weapons for the US.

•In Europe, Germany forces 5,000 Jewish people in Paris to labor camps and isolates Jews in Warsaw, Poland, into a walled ghetto. Jews are prohibited from appearing in public without wearing a star and they cannot leave residential areas without police permission. Hitler ignores the German-Soviet nonaggression pact and invades the Soviet Union. Slowed by the bitter Russian winter, the German war machine fails to conquer Moscow.

•The Japanese attack the US base at Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941. In the surprise attack, more than 350 Japanese airplanes sink 12 US ships and destroy or damage more than 300 aircraft. More than 2,300 military personnel are killed and 1,100 wounded. More than 1,100 men on the battleship Arizona die and the ship sinks. The Japanese attack nearby Hickam Air Field and destroy nearly 20 bombers and fighters. A few US fighters manage to get into the air during the attack. Twenty-nine Japanese aircraft are shot down by US pilots and by ground fire. The next day, President Roosevelt says that December 7, 1941 is date which “will live in infamy” and declares war against Japan. Japan’s allies Italy and Germany declare war on the US.

•A presidential warrant gives the US attorney general power to have the FBI arrest dangerous enemy aliens, including German, Italian and Japanese nationals. Within weeks, more than 1,300 people are detained.

•The United Service Organizations (USO) is started. The USO provides recreation for armed forces personnel. During World War II, more than 730,000 volunteers operate more than 3,000 recreational clubs wherever they could find space in churches, museums, barns, railroad cars, or stores. The USO gives soldiers a place to talk, dance, see movies, or write letters home. Bob Hope is the most famous member of touring USO shows. During his career, he brought laughter to millions of homesick soldiers fighting in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

•Popular movies this year: “Citizen Kane,” “How Green was My Valley,” “Sergeant York,” “The Maltese Falcon,” “Dumbo.” Popular comic book characters: Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Pogo, and Sad Sack. The year’s most popular song is “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller, who spent time as a child in North Platte, Nebraska. New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio sets a record with hits in 56 consecutive games, and baseball legend Lou Gehrig dies of the disease that today bears his name. One of the first World War II patriotic songs is “Remember Pearl Harbor,” soon followed by “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.”

•The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers start off the decade of the 1940s by playing in the Rose Bowl New Year’s Day 1941, losing to Stanford University.

•Nazi leaders call a conference to coordinate the final solution to the Jewish question – what comes to be known as The Holocaust, the systematic genocide of Jews and other minorities that do not fall within Hitler’s concept of a master Aryan race.

•More than 120,000 Japanese Americans (Nisei) living on the West Coast are moved inland to internment camps, some for the duration of the war. Although most were born in this country, the Nisei are designated enemy aliens who must obey travel restrictions, curfew, and contraband regulations. Many lose their homes, farms and property during this time of internment.

•President Roosevelt urges Americans to support the war effort, and the country shifts into a wartime economy. Industry accelerates production, automakers produce tanks and planes and new industries are created when items such as rubber are cut off by war in Asia. Employment jumps. Unions gain new members. Farmers prosper as yields and crop prices go up. The US creates the Office of War Information (OWI), which creates Uncle Sam wants you, posters. The OWI’s goal is to inspire patriotism and attract workers to jobs fueling the war effort.

•Dozens of everyday items such as gasoline and sugar are rationed. At the end of 1941 the government halts the production of cars to save steel, glass and rubber for war industries. In 1942 the government stops manufacture of refrigerators, radios, sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, and phonographs.

•The work force changes as millions of men leave their jobs for military service. To fill the labor shortage, women work in factories, earning the nickname Rosie the Riveter. Hundreds of thousands of African Americans leave farms in the South to take defense-related factory jobs in the North. Prison inmates help harvest beets and potatoes in western states. Nearly 400,000 Mexican Americans serve in the military during the war others work in industry. To meet the demand for field workers, the US establishes the work hands program thousands of Mexican immigrants come to farms in the Southwest to work.

•Radar is put to general use. The first nuclear reactor was built. The first electronic digital computer is built in Iowa. The 1,522-mile Alcan Highway opens, connecting Dawson Creek, British Columbia with Fairbanks, Alaska. The concern about a Japanese invasion through Alaska makes construction of the Alcan a military priority. Thousands of US and Canadian soldiers build the highway in a little over eight months. They work through the heat, mosquitoes in the summer, and winter temperatures near 40 degrees below zero.

•”Casablanca” premieres in theatres about the same time the Allied Expeditionary Forces landed and started bombing the real Casablanca in Morocco, North Africa, an area occupied by the Nazis. Also at the movies: “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “Pride of the Yankees.”

•The Allies try to stop German munitions and aircraft production centers by bombing key German cities. In Eastern Europe, 200,000 German troops surrender to Soviet forces after months of savage fighting and heavy losses on both sides. On the Pacific front, Japan conquers the Philippines, Malaysia, the Dutch East Indies and Burma. In the battles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, US forces take heavy casualties. Even after a major defeat at the Battle of Midway in 1942, Japan refuses to surrender.

•The US Army activates the 442nd Regimental Combat Team made up of the 100th Battalion from Hawaii and Japanese American volunteers from mainland concentration camps. Nearly 10,000 Hawaiian Nisei volunteer for military service. The 100th Battalion fights in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. They rescue the “lost battalion” in 1944 and liberate the survivors at the Dachau Nazi concentration camp.

•Americans continue their hard work, cooperation, and patriotism. Citizens buy war bonds and planted victory gardens to grow their own food. School enrollment goes down as teenagers took jobs or join the military. Families continue to cope with rationing and, in some areas, housing shortages. As cities grew with defense workers, house shortages added to racial tensions. A riot in a federally sponsored Detroit housing project left 35 blacks and 9 whites dead.

•The Pentagon in Washington D.C. is completed and becomes the largest office building in the world. President Roosevelt freezes prices, and wages to prevent inflation. Wage-earners have a 20 percent flat income tax taken out of their paychecks. Because copper is needed for war material, 1943 US pennies are made from steel and zinc. War industries boost the growth of cities as farm-dwellers move to the cities and work in defense industries.

•Selman Waksman discovers streptomycin and coins the term “antibiotic.”

•The jitterbug is a hot dance craze. “Oklahoma” is a popular musical on stage, and people go to see “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Ox-Bow Incident” and “Desert Victory” at the movies. Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore are America’s most popular singers.

•At the University of Nebraska, football coach Biff Jones leaves for military service, as do many of the region’s athletes. Like other schools, Nebraska fields some rag-tag teams during the war years. Tom “Train Wreck” Novak earns 1949 All-America honors on a team with a 4-5 record. In the 1940s Nebraska has a string of losing seasons that doesn’t end until 1950.

•President Franklin Roosevelt is elected to a fourth term. The GI Bill of Rights is passed, providing a variety of benefits for military veterans. The Supreme Court rules that internment of Japanese Americans is constitutional.

•The morning of June 6, 1944, (known as D-Day) 3,000 warships carry 200,000 American and British soldiers cross the stormy English Channel and land on the heavily fortified beaches of Normandy, France, to begin a vicious battle with the German army. The Battle of the Bulge begins in December as Hitler musters 500,000 troops along the Allied front from southern Belgium into Luxembourg. In bitter cold, they push ahead 50 miles, creating a bulge in the Allied lines. By the end of January, 1945, more than 76,000 Americans have been killed, wounded or captured.

•Nearly one million men, women, and children in the Leningrad, Russia, die from starvation and cold during a two-and-a-half-year siege and blockade by German troops. In China, the war begins its seventh year and Japanese troops occupying China were given orders to make the land uninhabitable. In Japan, children are taken out of school to work in factories producing bombs and other war equipment.

•DDT is developed to wipe out lice, a carrier of typhus, a disease which is infecting soldiers. DNA is isolated by Oswald Avery. The Germans develop the V-2, the first missile.

•In 1946, the first digital computer is introduced at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering in Philadelphia. The machine is huge – 30 by 60 feet – and weighs 60,000 pounds. A little different than today’s hand-held computers!

•Movies: “Going My Way,” with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman, “Gaslight,” “Lifeboat,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” and “The Fighting Lady.” Favorite books include The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham and A Bell for Adano by John Hersey. NBC airs the first US television network newscast.

•In March, US General George Patton’s Third Army crosses the Rhine River and invades Germany. Allied forces liberate Paris after four years of Nazi occupation. That same month, the US bombs Tokyo with incendiary bombs, creating a firestorm and killing 120,000 people in a few hours. black and Japanese American troops are among those who liberate concentration camps and expose German atrocities.

•On May 7, 1945, Germany surrenders. The war in Europe is over. As Germany falls, Adolf Hitler commits suicide.

•In the Pacific, the Philippine Islands are recaptured. Marines land at Iwo Jima. After 36 days of vicious fighting that kills 20,000 Japanese and 4,000 Americans, the Japanese retreat from the island.

•Women are in the workforce and in uniform. By 1945 more than 250,000 women serve in the Women’s Army Corps (WACS), Army Nurses Corps, the Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES), the Navy Nurses Corps, the U.S. Marines, and the Coast Guard. Most servicewomen are nurses or replace men in non-combat roles. During the war, the marines excluded black Americans, the navy used them as servants, the army created separate black regiments.

•President Franklin Roosevelt dies of a brain hemorrhage, and Missouri native Harry S. Truman becomes president. After considering all options, Truman gives the order and on August 6, 1945, the US drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. In minutes, half of the city vanishes and about 200,000 people are killed or missing. Radiation reaches more than 100,000 people. On August 9, the US drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. In September, Japan surrenders unconditionally on board the USS Missouri.

•”Carousel” opens on Broadway in New York City. Big band swing and “zoot” suits become popular. Popular songs include music from “Carousel,” “At Mail Call Today” by Gene Autry “Aren’t You Glad You’re You” by Bing Crosby and “This Heart of Mine,” by Judy Garland, as well a songs by Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. Gwendolyn Brooks, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck are popular authors. Richard Wright’s book Black Boy has an impact on the awareness of racial discrimination in the US.

•Grand Rapids, Michigan, is the first US city to fluoridate its water supply, improving dental health for the entire community. Raymond Libby develops oral penicillin.

•By the time World War II was over, nearly 300,000 Americans had been killed. In all countries bout 55 million people lost their lives. And more civilians lost their lives than soldiers.

•After World War II, the US and the USSR emerged as world powers. Although they fought as allies during World War II, the relationship between the two nations and the two political systems (democracy and capitalism vs. Communism) entered a new era of mutual hostility and conflict. As the two superpowers launched plans to construct and control nuclear arms, the world entered the Cold War.

•The first meeting of the United Nation’s general assembly is held in London. Winston Churchill gives a speech cautioning the world of the Soviet Union’s expansion ambitions. He uses the term “Iron Curtain.” Twelve Nazi leaders are sentenced to hang after war trials at Nuremberg, Germany.

•The 1945 War Brides Act allows foreign-born wives of US citizens who served in the US military to enter the US A year later, another law permits fiancés of American soldiers to enter the US legally

•Jukeboxes go into mass production. One-story, split-level houses, called ranch style homes, become a trend in post-war housing construction.

•Dr. Benjamin Spock writes a best-selling book called Baby and Child Care, the famous how-to book for parents. A nationwide telephone numbering plan begins. Soap operas air on television for the first time with “Faraway Hill.” On Broadway, Irving Berlin’s musical “Annie Get your Gun” is a hit. People read John Hersey’s book Hiroshima and Robert Penn Warren’s novel All the King’s Men. At the movies, people see “The Best Years of Our Lives,” a story about the readjustment families face when loved ones return from war. “The Yearling,” “The Razor’s Edge,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” are also popular.

•George C. Marshall, Army chief of staff during World War II and US secretary of state from 1947-1949, developed the European Recovery Program, known as the Marshall Plan, designed to rebuild the devastated cities of Europe. The Marshall Plan was a $13 billion effort to boost European economies, as well as to halt the spread of Communism.

•Industry booms as the pent-up demand for big and small appliances, cars, farm equipment, radios, and other household items that had been rationed or had ceased production during the war. Innovations from war equipment make their way into consumer goods. Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier in an X-1 rocket-powered research plane. African-American Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers and breaks the color barrier in baseball. The transistor and microwave oven are invented.

•Television grows. President Harry Truman’s State of the Union address and the Baseball World Series are televised. “Meet the Press,” television’s longest running program begins. “Howdy Doody” begins its 13 years on television. With television programming comes the start of commercials. By the end of the year, America had 139 commercial broadcast TV stations, but there were only an estimated 9,000 households with televisions.

•Weather grabs the headlines as a blizzard drops 70 inches of snow in New England and 170 people die and 10,000 homes are destroyed in a series of tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma. A freighter carrying nitrate sets off an explosion at the Monsanto chemical plant in Texas City, Texas. The tragedy destroys the entire city. More than 500 people are killed, 2,100 injured.

•The musical “Brigadoon” and the play “A Streetcar Named Desire” launch on Broadway. Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl is published. At the movies: “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “The Farmer’s Daughter,” “The Egg and I.”

•People across the country become fascinated by the reports of flying saucers (unidentified flying objects, UFOs) during the summer. The government confirms to a New Mexico newspaper that a flying saucer has crashed near Roswell and alien bodies were recovered from the site but the source later cancels all accounts of the crash, saying the object was a government weather balloon.

•The Soviet Union blockades Berlin, Germany, trying to force the Allies out of West Berlin. The Allies respond with a huge effort to supply the 2 million residents of West Berlin by airdrop. From June 1948 through September, 1949, huge cargo planes bring in more than 2 million tons of frozen American beef, flour, sugar, dehydrated foods, soap and medical supplies, newspapers, coal for fuel and equipment. The pilots also bring in candy for children. Food and supplies are packaged at the US Army Transport Terminal in Bremerhaven, Germany. By the end of the airlift, pilots log more than 277,000 flights.

•By executive order, President Harry Truman abolishes racial segregation in the US armed forces. The government upheld segregation during World War II, creating the first all-black military aviation program at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The 99th Fighter Squadron fights battles in North Africa, Sicily and Anzio and was joined by three all-Black squadrons. Together, they are known as the 332nd Fighter group and come home with 150 medals.

•The Displaced Persons Act permits people from Europe who were displaced by the war to enter the US outside of existing immigration quotas.

•A group of movie and television writers, producers, and directors are called as witnesses by the House Un-American Activities Committee. The group is put in jail for contempt of Congress when they refuse to state if they are or are not Communists.

•”The Ed Sullivan Show” premieres on television. People are reading The Naked and the Dead The Age of Anxiety Cry, the Beloved Country and Intruder in the Dust. Leo Fender invents the electric guitar. Western Union manufactures Deskfax machines. “Kiss Me Kate,” is on Broadway. “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” “Johnny Belinda,” “The Snake Pit,” and “Red River” are at the movies. Baseball player Babe Ruth dies soon after the release of the movie “The Babe Ruth Story.” The Polaroid camera develops pictures in one minute, and the Bic ballpoint pen is on the market. Long playing (LP) records (25 minutes per side) are introduced.

•The US joins in forming the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a pact for mutual defense of Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the US. The USSR’s leader Joseph Stalin signs an alliance with the People’s Republic of China, a Communist nation formed in 1949. The Soviet Union conducts its first atomic test.

•Germany is split into the German Democratic Republic (East Germany under Soviet Communist rule and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany).

•The US Air Force begins Operation Haylift, an emergency effort to get food to 2 million cattle and sheep stranded by heavy snow on the Great Plains.

•The musicals “South Pacific” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and the play “Death of Salesman” are popular. Influential books include: The Second Sex, presenting the idea of male oppression of women 1984, describing a bleak, fascist future and Norman Vincent Peale’s upbeat Guide to Confident Living. RCA markets 45 rpm records and record player. Milton Berle hosts the first telethon, and the Emmy Awards for television begin. Movies: “Twelve O’Clock High,” “Sands of Iwo Jima,” “Battleground,” and “The Third Man.”

•The popularity of big band music declines. A faster style based on improvisation, called bebop or bop, emerges. Popular jazz musicians are saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeter Miles Davis, pianist Earl Powell, drummer Max Roach, pianist-composer Thelonious Monk, and composer-arranger Gil Evans. Modern jazz bands led by Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton are popular.


Breaking the Color Line: 1940 to 1946

By the 1940s, organized baseball had been racially segregated for many years. The black press and some of their white colleagues had long campaigned for the integration of baseball. Wendell Smith of The Pittsburgh Courier was especially vocal. World War II experiences prompted more people to question segregation practices.

Although several people in major league baseball tried to end segregation in the sport, no one succeeded until Brooklyn Dodger's general manager Branch Rickey set his "great experiment" (See Jules Tygiel's Baseball's Great Experiment in the bibliography) into motion. In 1945, the Jim Crow policies of baseball changed forever when Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson of the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs agreed to a contract that would bring Robinson into the major leagues in 1947.

In addition to racial intolerance, economic and other complex factors contributed to segregation in baseball. For example, many owners of major league teams rented their stadiums to Negro League teams when their own teams were on the road. Team owners knew that if baseball were integrated, the Negro Leagues would probably not survive losing their best players to the majors, major league owners would lose significant rental revenue, and many Negro League players would lose their livelihoods. Some owners also thought that a white audience would be reluctant to attend games with black players. Others saw the addition of black players as a way to attract larger white as well as black audiences and sell more tickets. Looking back on this time, Rickey described the problems he faced and the events that influenced his decision in a speech to the One Hundred Percent Wrong Club in 1956.

Branch Rickey (1881-1965) was involved with baseball in a variety of capacities -- as a player, coach, manager, and owner -- for more than sixty years. His Hall of Fame plaque mentions both his creation of baseball's farm system in the 1920s and his signing of Jackie Robinson. Rickey's interest in integrating baseball began early in his career. He had been particularly troubled by the policy of barring African Americans from grandstand seating in St. Louis, when he worked for the Cardinals.

The noted sportswriter Red Smith fondly summed up Rickey's multi-faceted persona: "player, manager, executive, lawyer, preacher, horse-trader, spellbinder, innovator, husband and father and grandfather, farmer, logician, obscurantist, reformer, financier, sociologist, crusader, sharper, father confessor, checker shark, friend and fighter." (Editorial page, St. Louis Post- Dispatch, Monday, October 31, 1955)

In 1942, Rickey joined the Dodgers and quietly began plans to bring black players to the team. The first black baseball player to cross the "color line" would be subjected to intense public scrutiny, and Rickey knew that the player would have to be more than a talented athlete to succeed. He would also have to be a strong person who could agree to avoid open confrontation when subjected to hostility and insults, at least for a few years. In 1945, when Rickey approached Jackie Robinson, baseball was being proposed as one of the first areas of American society to integrate. Not until 1948 did a presidential order desegregate the armed forces the Supreme Court forbid segregated public schools in 1954.

The player who would break the color line, Jack (John) Roosevelt Robinson, was born in Cairo, Georgia, on January 31, 1919. His mother moved the family to Pasadena, California, in 1920, and Robinson attended John Muir Technical High School and Pasadena Community College before transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles. An outstanding athlete, he lettered in four sports at UCLA -- baseball, football, basketball, and track -- and excelled in others, such as swimming and tennis. Consequently, he had experience playing integrated sports.

Robinson showed an early interest in civil rights in the Army. He was drafted in 1942 and served on bases in Kansas and Texas. With help from boxer Joe Louis, he succeeded in opening an Officer Candidate School to black soldiers. Soon after, Robinson became a second lieutenant. At Fort Hood, Texas, Robinson faced a court martial for refusing to obey an order to move to the back of a bus. The order was a violation of Army regulations, and he was exonerated. Shortly after leaving the Army in 1944, Robinson joined the Kansas City Monarchs, a leading team in the Negro Leagues.

After scouting many players from the Negro Leagues, Branch Rickey met with Jackie Robinson at the Brooklyn Dodgers office in August, 1945. Clyde Sukeforth, the Dodgers scout, had told Robinson that Rickey was scouting for players because he was starting his own black team to be called the Brown Dodgers. At the meeting, Rickey revealed that he wanted Robinson to play for the major league Dodgers. Rickey then acted out scenes Robinson might face to see how Robinson would respond. Robinson kept his composure and agreed to a contract with Brooklyn's Triple-A minor league farm club, the Montreal Royals.

On October 23, 1945, Jackie Robinson officially signed the contract. Rickey soon put other black players under contract, but the spotlight stayed on Robinson. Rickey publicized Robinson's signing nationally through Look magazine, and in the black press through his connections to Wendell Smith at the Pittsburgh Courier. In response to allegations that Negro League contracts had been broken, Rickey sought assurances that Robinson had not been under formal contract with the Monarchs. Robinson responded to Rickey in a letter preserved in the Branch Rickey Papers.

After a successful season with the minor league Montreal Royals in 1946, Robinson officially broke the major league color line when he put on a Dodgers uniform, number 42, in April 1947.

    Branch Rickey, Brooklyn Dodger manager and owner. Photograph by Harold Rhodenbaugh (Look staff photographer). Photomechanical print in: "A Branch Grows in Brooklyn," Look, March 19, 1946, p. 70. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction #: LC-USZ62-119888) Jackie Robinson, in Kansas City Monarchs uniform. Photograph from The Call (Kansas City), 1945. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduced with permission from The Call. Reproduction number: on order)
    In 1945, Robinson played 47 games for the Monarchs of the Negro American League as well as the East-West All-Star game.
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. Vol. 3, plates 334 and 335, edition copyrighted in 1937 (updated 1951). Published by Sanborn Map Company. (Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division). Reproduced with permission from EDR Sanborn, Inc.
    Blues Stadium was home to both the American Association Kansas City Blues, and the Negro League Kansas City Monarchs. Formerly a frog pond, swimming hole, and ash heap, the site opened as a baseball field in 1923. J. Leslie Wilkinson, the field's first owner, had a portable lighting system built to illuminate the field at night for Negro League games. This innovation took two hours to set up, made it difficult for fielders to see fly balls, batters to see pitches, and made so much noise that the center fielders couldn't hear the infielders. Despite the poor conditions the night-lighting system created for the players, it generated ticket sales and saved the Monarchs during the Depression years. Between 1923 and 1972, when the last game was played there, the dimensions and fence height in Blues Stadium changed more often than in any other ballpark. Jackie Robinson played for the Monarchs in Blues Stadium briefly in 1945, before Branch Rickey bought his contract. Lobby card for The Jackie Robinson Story. Copyright by Pathe Industries, 1950. (Library of Congress, Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Reproduction number: LC-USZC4-6146.)
    Scene in which Branch Rickey interviews Jackie Robinson.

1940s: TV and Radio

Radio proved its importance during World War II (1939–45) with almost immediate coverage of events. Between 1941 and 1945, Americans tuned in to listen to breaking news from Europe, hearing about major battles and the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii just moments after the actual events. News reporters such as Edward R. Murrow (1908–1965) and William Shirer (1904–1993) offered insightful commentary and straight, hard news. Their example would influence the news anchors on the new media—television, commonly called TV—for decades. Radio's golden age ended with the war.

The 1940s were the true beginning of the TV era. Although sets had been available as early as the late 1930s, the widespread distribution and sale of TV sets did not really take off until after the war. Broadcasting stations neglected many of their radio stations and poured money into TV after the war. Soon many radio dramas, variety shows, and comedy programs were available on TV and radio was left with mostly music. For children, new shows like Kukla, Fran, and Ollie and The Howdy Doody Show offered laughs. One of the most popular early TV programs was a variety show called Texaco Star Theater, starring comedian Milton Berle (1908–2002), that started in 1948.

As the decade continued, more and more people bought TV sets. Instead of circling around their radios, people would settle in front of their TVs for news and entertainment. As TV became more popular, the government set up regulations to ensure competition between stations, channels, and programs. The 1950s would see the new medium change dramatically with the introduction of color and other technological advances.

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Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

Jean-Marie Gustave le Clézio was born in Nice, France, but grew up on Mauritius, where his relatives had worked as bankers for generations. His father, a doctor, was of British heritage, and his family was bilingual. Le Clézio lived among indigenous peoples in Panama for several years during the 1970s an experience that fundamentally changed his view of life, art, and people. He has also worked at several universities in different parts of the world. He and his wife, Jemia, divide their time between Nice, Mauritius, and Albuquerque, USA.

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio's literary career highlights different cultures in different times and challenges Western civilization's dominance. He questions modern society's materialistic superficiality, which chokes what is genuine in people's relationships with others, with nature, and with the past. Le Clézio, who writes in prose, has published over 40 works since his 1963 début. His major breakthrough came with 'Desert' in 1980. With its flowing prose, 'Desert' stands in contrast to his earlier works' more experimental style.

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MLA style: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2021. Fri. 18 Jun 2021. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2008/clezio/facts/>

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Nobel Prizes 2020

Twelve laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2020, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.

Their work and discoveries range from the formation of black holes and genetic scissors to efforts to combat hunger and develop new auction formats.


Internationally Acclaimed Activist

Maathai remained a vocal opponent of the Kenyan government until Moi&aposs political party lost control in 2002. After several failed attempts, she finally earned a seat in the country&aposs parliament that same year. Maathai soon was appointed assistant minister of environment, natural resources and wildlife. In 2004, she received a remarkable honor. Maathai was given the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace," according to the Nobel Foundation website.

In her Nobel speech, Maathai said that picking her for the renowned peace prize "challenged the world to broaden the understanding of peace: There can be no peace without equitable development and there can be no development without sustainable management of the environment in a democratic and peaceful space." She also called for the release of fellow activist Aung San Suu Kyi in her talk.


Most Famous Harvard Students of All Time

33. Mira Sorvino

Award winning movie star, Mira Sorvino is a Harvard alumnus. She is best known for her works in films such as Aphrodite, Mimic, The Replacement Killers, Like Dandelion Dust, Human Trafficking, Norma Jean & Marilyn, and many more.

32. Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is a billionaire, COO of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), and a businesswoman. Sandberg is also the patron of LeanIn.Org, a non-profit organization working for the betterment of women. In 1995, Sandberg attained her MBA degree from Harvard and started working with a prestigious management firm, McKinsey & Company.

31. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a popular poet, essayist, orator, philosopher, lecturer, and abolitionist. In 1817, He attended Harvard College as an undergraduate. Because of his literary services, he was titled the Sage of Concord by his contemporaries.

30. Amy Brenneman

Amy Brenneman is a television and film artist and producer. She is best known for her works in films such as, Daylight, Heat, and Fear. Brenneman majored in religion from Harvard University in 1987 before joining Hollywood.

29. Charles Thomas Munger

Charles Munger is also a billionaire investor, architect, ex-real estate attorney, and ex-vice president of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A). Munger also chaired two of the most reputed financial institutions, Wesco Financial Corporation and the Daily Journal Corporation (NASDAQ: DJCO).

His admission story at Harvard is interesting to share. The Harvard Law School administration initially rejected Munger’s application because he was still an undergraduate. A family friend and the former dean of the school talked the school administration into accepting him as their student. Munger took it as a challenge and showed distinction among his schoolmates in 1948.

28. Robert Lee Frost

Robert Frost was an American poet known for his philosophical themes and depth. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize thirty-one times and won the Pulitzer Prize four times in his life. He also won the Poet Laureate for Vermont title in 1961.

27. James Rupert Jacob Murdoch

James Murdoch is an award-winning businessman who had remained associated with well-known media organizations like 21 st Century Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOXA) and News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWSA), Sky Plc. and News Dotcom.

Murdoch was interested in History and Film during his Harvard days. But before finishing his degree, he established a company, Independent Hip Hop in 1995 and dropped out. The enterprise (Independent Hip Hop) was acquired by News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWSA) after three years.

26. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a note-worthy planetary scientist, astrophysics, researcher, TV host, science communicator, and author with tons of awards and honors to his name. Some of the awards he won are NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, Medal of Excellence, Columbia University, NY, Klopsteg Memorial Award, and Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication, Starmus, among others.

He attained his B.S Physics degree from Harvard in 1980.

25. Tommy Lee Jones

Another Hollywood celebrity, Tommy Lee Jones studied in Harvard on scholarship. His roommate at that time was the future Vice President of America, Al Gore. Jones is best known for his award-winning role as the American Marshal Samuel Gerard from the movie, The Fugitive.

Jones ranks 25th in our list of the most famous Harvard students of all time.

24. Natalie Portman

The Star Wars actor, Natalie Portman has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard (1999-2003). She is the winner of two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award for her superb performance in different Hollywood movies. Natalie is especially applauded for her work in movies like Closer, Black Swan, Annihilation, Jackie, and many more.

23. John E. Mack

John Mack was a famous author, psychiatrist, and Harvard faculty member. In 1955, he received his doctorate in psychiatry from the Harvard Medical School. Mack won the Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for his book, A Prince of Our Disorder on T.E. Lawrence.

22. Stanley Kunitz (1905 – 2006)

Stanley Kunitz was a Poet Laureate, translator, and editor. He attained his degree from Harvard in 1927. Some notable works of Stanley Kunitz include The Coat without a Seam, The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden, The Testing Tree, and many more.

21. John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy aka JFK was a journalist, politician, author, and the 35 th President of the United States who attended Harvard in 1940. He was a young and highly popular president in media. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his book Profiles in Courage in which JFK praised some US senators for their courage and bravery in defying popular opinions and doing what they thought was right and ethical.

20. Robert Coles

Robert Coles is a Harvard University professor, child psychiatrist, and author. As a resident, he spent a lot of time at the Harvard University and other affiliated institutions of the university. In 1973, Coles received Pulitzer Prize for his non-fictional works. Coles ranks 20th in our list of the most famous Harvard students of all time.

19. Joseph E. Murray

A famous plastic surgeon and winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Murray received his degree from Harvard in 1943. He performed the first-ever kidney transplant on twins brothers in 1954. He earned the Nobel Prize of his brilliant discoveries related to “Organ and cell transplantation in the treatment of human disease.”

18. Henry Kissinger

A diplomat, politician and geopolitical expert, Henry Kissinger earned his doctorate in government from Harvard. He also served as a faculty member for the university from 1951-1971. Kissinger played an active role in helping end the hostilities in the Vietnam War. For these services, he got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.

17. Al Gore

Albert Arnold Gore is the 45 th Vice President of the United States. By profession, he is an environmentalist, author, and politician. Al Gore attended Harvard College in 1965. Gore was greatly influenced by the global warming theorist and oceanographer, Roger Revelle during his Harvard days. Later in life, he worked diligently as an environmentalist which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2007.

16. T. S. Eliot

Thomas Stearns Eliot is a well-known literary figure of the 20 th century. His modernist poetry is included in academic books. He studied at Harvard in 1909 – 1914. Eliot received several awards and honors for his writings including the Order of Merit (1948), Presidential Medal of Freedom (1948), Officier de la Légion d'honneur (1951), and more. Eliot ranks 16th in our list of the most famous Harvard students of all time.

15. Mark Zuckerberg

The popular social media platform Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) was the brainchild of Zuckerberg. He co-created the website while studying at Harvard for team interactions. Today, Facebook has 2.85 billion users. There are many other social media platform founders but they could not receive as much popularity as Zuckerberg earned. The world regarded him as the youngest self-made billionaire in 2007.

Ironically, Zuckerberg could never finish his studies at Harvard.

14. Barack Obama

Well, Obama does not need any introduction. He is the forty-fourth President of the country. He went to Harvard in 1988 and became the 1 st black president of the Harvard Law Review. Because of his services, Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

13. Damien Chazelle

An Academy Award Winner for the famous movie, La La Land, Chazelle studied at Harvard. He is one of the most popular directors and screenwriters of his time. His dream project, La La Land was nominated for 14 awards and won 6 of them. Other marvels of Chazelle include movies like Whiplash, First Man among others. Chazelle ranks 13th in our list of the most famous Harvard students of all time.

12. William McPherson Allen

Willian McPherson Allen was the head of the world-famous aviation company, The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA). A Harvard graduate, Allen had a vast experience in the aviation sector. This experience proved highly beneficial for Boeing as he made the popular plan “Bet the Company” in 1952 and authorized the production of the The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)'s 367-80. He also launched other famous planes like Boeing 707, Boeing 727, Boeing 737, and Boeing 747.

11. J. Paul Austin

Ex-president, chairperson, and CEO of the Coca Cola Company (NYSE: KO), John Paul Austin was the driving force behind the success of the world-famous beverage. In 1940, he went to Harvard to complete his graduation in Law and joined Coca Cola Company (NYSE: KO) in 1950. During his tenure, Austin expanded the company exports to territories that did not even have good relations with America. Austin ranks 11th in our list of the most famous Harvard students of all time.

10. Matt Damon

The Academy Award Winner, producer, and actor, Matt Damon is also a Harvardian. Ranked as the ‘Most Bankable Star’, Damon films have almost never flopped on the box office. This Good Will Hunting star went to Harvard but left his degree incomplete to complete his movie Geronimo: An American Legend.

9. Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is a novelist, poet, critic, inventor, teacher, and essayist who graduated from Harvard in 1962. She has produced 18 books on poetry, 18 novels, 11 non-fiction books, 9 short story collections, and two graphic novellas since her university days. Atwood ranks 7th in our list of the most famous Harvard students of all time.

Atwood has achieved several awards and prizes including the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Princess of Asturias Awards, and two Booker Prizes. Many of her masterpieces have been adapted for television, theatre, and movies.

8. Harold Stanley Marcus

Harold S. Marcus was the chairperson and CEO of the famous luxury retail departmental store, Neiman Marcus in Texas. After earning his MBA degree in 1926, he started working as a floorman of his departmental store.

Marcus holds great importance in the retail merchandising and marketing history of America. He wrote many notable books on retailing. He also served as a columnist with The Dallas Morning News.

7. Theodore Roosevelt

The 26 th President of America, Theodore Roosevelt was also a Harvard alumnus. Before becoming a President in September 1901, he took charge as the Vice President of the country for a brief period of time (from March to September 1901). He also served as an active colonel of the country’s army in 1898.

Theodore was the driving force behind the Panama Canal completion. He graduated from Harvard in 1880 and served as The Harvard Magazine editor. As a student, Roosevelt also showed a keen interest in boxing and rowing. He became a runner-up boxer in a boxing completion held at Harvard. Roosevelt ranks 7th in our list of the most famous Harvard students of all time.

6. Bill Gates

Although a Harvard University dropout, Bill Gates still earned an international reputation for his breakthroughs in the field of technology. A software developer, author, business tycoon, Gates is highly famous for his aggressive business approaches and strategies that made him one of the wealthiest people in the world. Gates ranks 6th in our list of the most famous Harvard students of all time.

Today, Harvard graduates continue to build companies like Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB), The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA), Coca Cola Company (NYSE: KO) and Daily Journal Corporation (NASDAQ: DJCO) and steer the world towards new technologies, just like Gates did decades ago.

The co-founder of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Bill Gates is regarded as the pioneer of the computer revolution in the 1970s.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Most Famous Harvard Students of All Time.

Disclosure: No stakes in Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB), 21 st Century Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOXA), News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWSA), The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA), Coca Cola Company (NYSE: KO) and Daily Journal Corporation (NASDAQ: DJCO). 33 Most Famous Harvard Students of All Timeis originally published on Insider Monkey.


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