The World at War

The United States of America 1942 - 1949

The United States of America Timeline

1942January 1 Oregon State University defeats Duke University 20-16 in the Rose Bowl. The football game is played in Durham, North Carolina rather than Pasadena, California.
January 24 The Office of Price Administration is authorized to implement rationing.
January 25 The Roberts Commission report on Pearl Harbor cites General Short and Admiral Kimmel for taking inadequate precautions against the attack.
January 30 Congress approves the Emergency Price Control Act.
January Arthur Compton organizes the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory to conduct research in nuclear fission.
February 2 Registration of enemy aliens begins.
February 9 The USS Lafayette burns at a Hudson River pier in New York. The former French luxury liner Normandie is undergoing conversion to a troopship when sparks from a welding torch ignite the fire.
February 10 Production of automobiles for sale to civilians ends.
February 16 The Justice Department arrests 1,266 Japanese aliens on the West Coast.
February 19 President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 authorizing the military to establishes areas from which they may exclude any or all persons. 
February 23 The Japanese submarine I-17 fires a dozen shells at an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.
February 25 Several thousand anti-aircraft rounds are fired near Santa Monica, California at an unidentified object later reported to be a lost weather balloon.
February 26 USS Maryland battleship BB-46 is re-commissioned at Puget Sound Navy Yard; Bremerton, Washington following repair of damages sustained when the vessel capsized during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
February 28 A White mob attacks Black workers attempting to move into a public housing complex in Detroit.
March 19 Congress passed Public Law 503 authorizing the evacuation of person of Japanese ancestry from military zones.
March 20 USS South Dakota battleship BB-57 is commissioned at New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey.  
March 27 The head of the Western Defense Command, General DeWitt, orders the evacuation of all persons of Japanese ancestry from California and parts of Oregon, Washington and Arizona by May 9th.
The FBI arrests 139 members of the Japanese Black Dragon Society in California's Central Valley.
April 18 Sixteen B-25 bombers under command of General Jimmy Doolittle take off from USS Hornet for first bombing raid on Tokyo.
April 30 USS Indiana battleship BB-58 is commissioned at Newport News Shipbuilding,Virginia.
May 12 USS Massachusetts battleship BB-59 is commissioned at Bethlehem Steel Shipbuilding Company;Quincy, Massachusetts.
May The first Sherman M4 tank is assembled at Ford Motor Company, Grand Blanc, Michigan.
June 3 & 4 Japanese dive bombers attack U.S. military bases at Dutch Harbor, Alaska killing 42 soldiers and sailors and 1 civilian.
June 6 Japanese forces occupy Attu and Kiska the western most islands in the Aleutians.
June 7 USS Yorktown aircraft carrier CV-5 is sunk during the Battle of Midway. 
June 13 Operation Pastorius - U202 lands a four man party of German saboteurs at Amagansett on Long Island, New York.
June 17 U584 lands a second four man German sabotage team near Jacksonville, Florida.
June 18 Georg Dasch, one of the German agents who landed on Long Island, surrenders himself to the FBI at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Dasch informs on the other agents who are quickly arrested before they can carryout any acts of sabotage.
June 18 Responsibility for development of the atomic bomb transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps organizes a Manhattan District to oversee the project.
June 21 The Japanese submarine I-25 fires several shells on Fort Stevens, Oregon and Fort Canby, Washington at the mouth of the Columbia River. No damage was sustained and the fire was not returned.
June Robert Oppenheimer leaves the University of California to head the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory's research in fast neutron physics.
July 20 A joint American and Canadian commando team, the First Special Service Force "The Devil's Brigade" is activated at Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana.
July 22 Gasoline rationing begins.
August 8 Six of the eight German agents arrested in the Operation Pastorious case are executed. George Dasch is sentenced to 30 years in prison and Ernest Berger is given a given life sentences.
August 11 The War Production Board orders the entire crop of California wine grapes diverted into production of raisins for the armed forces.
August 16 USS Alabama battleship BB-60 is commissioned at Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia.
August The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers organizes the Manhattan Engineering District to coordinate development of the atomic bomb.
September 9 - 10 A Japanese plane launched from the submarine I-25 drops incendiaries on Mount Emily in the Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon igniting a small forest fire and still more bombs near the town of Brookings. The raid comes in retaliation for the Doolittle attacks.
September 14 USS Wasp aircraft carrier CV-7 is sunk by the Japanese submarine I-19 while en route to Guadalcanal in the British Solomon Islands.  
September 17 Colonel Leslie Groves is appointed director of the Manhattan Engineering District.
September 19 The Manhattan Project acquires 52,000 acres on the Clinch River in Tennessee. The Oak Ridge site will study the separation of U235 from U238 by gaseous diffusion and electromagnetic methods.
September 21 The first flight of a B-29 Super Fortress, the bomber eventually chosen for dropping the atomic bomb.
September 29 The Japanese submarines I-25 launches its floatplane for another bombing run on Mount Emily, Oregon and then sinks two tankers off the coast.
October 1 The first of 8,685 B-24 Liberator bombers built at Ford Aircraft's Willow Run, Michigan assembly plant rolls off the production line.
October 15 General Groves selects Robert Oppenheimer to head the Manhattan Project's Project Y (the central laboratory to be built for design of the atomic bomb).
October 26 USS Hornet aircraft carrier CV-8 is scuttled after sustaining severe damage in Battle of Guadalcanal.
November 12 The Liberty ship SS Robert E. Peary is launched at Permanente Metals Corporation's Richmond, California shipyard 4 days, 15 hours and 29 minutes after the keel was laid.
November 20 Ceremonies marking the completion of the Alaska – Canada Military Highway are held at Soldiers Summit, Yukon Territory in –35° weather. The 1,522 mile road linking Fairbanks, Alaska with Dawson Creek, British Columbia was built by 10,000 U.S. troops and civilians in 8 months and 12 days.  
November 26 General Groves and Robert Oppenheimer select the Los Alamos Ranch School in Espanola, New Mexico to be the site of the Project Y laboratory.
November 28 A fire at the Coconut Grove nightclub in Boston kills 492 people and injures 166.
December 1 Secretary of War Stimson informs the director of the Los Alamos Ranch School that Army will be taking over its property in February 1943.
December 2 At 3:30 p.m. the world’s first controlled self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction begins in the CP- 1 pile, the reactor designed and built by Enrico Fermi under the west stands of Stagg Field, the University of Chicago’s football stadium.
December 6 Construction of the Manhattan Project laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico begins.
December 20 American planes begin bombing harbor installations on the Japanese held island of Kiska in the Aleutians.
Notable Books Published during the Year
Dragon Seed – Pearl Buck
The Robe – Lloyd C. Douglas
Go Down, Moses – William Faulkner
Men at War – Ernest Hemingway
The Last Time I Saw Paris – Elliot Paul
The Moon is Down – John Steinbeck
Notable Films of the Year
Mrs. Miniver – Greer Garson, Dame May Whitty: William Wyler, director
Yankee Doodle Dandy – James Cagney, Walter Huston: Micheal Curtiz, director
Wake Island – William Bendix, Brian Donlevy, Robert Preston
The Magnificent Ambersons – Anne Baxter, Joseph Cotton: Orson Welles, director
Notable Songs of the Year
White Christmas - Irving Berlin
Deep in the Heart of Texas - June Hershey & Don Swander
I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo - Mack Gordon & Harry Warren
Jingle, Jangle, Jingle - Frank Loesser & Joseph Lilley
Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree - Lew Brown & Charles Tobias
Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition - Frank Loesser
Tangerine - Johnny Mercer
Manhattan Serenade - Harold Adamson & Louis Alter
1943January 18 The Secretary of Agriculture bans the sale of sliced bread.
January 26 Japanese aircraft bomb Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
February Ration coupon books are introduced.
February 4 American fighters strafe Japanese positions on Kiska in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Japanese bombers attack Amchitka.
February 22 USS Iowa battleship BB-61 is commissioned at New York Navy Yard; Brooklyn, New York.  
February 23 The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington issues an order of possession granting 586 square miles including the towns of Hanford, White Bluffs and Richland to the U.S. Army  Corps of Engineers for construction of the Hanford Engineering Works.
March 29 Rationing of meat, butter and cheese begins.
March 31 Oklahoma!, a musical by Rodgers & Hammerstein, premiers on Broadway.
May 7 USS Tennessee battleship BB-43 is re-commissioned at Puget Sound Navy Yard; Bremerton, Washington following repair of damages sustained during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
May 22 American forces retake Attu in the Aleutian Islands after two weeks of fighting. 2,350 Japanese are killed and only 24 survive to be taken prisoner. American casualties total 1,700 killed and wounded.
May 23 USS New Jersey battleship BB-62 is commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
June 3 - 7 Sailors attack Mexican American youths in East Los Angeles. The "Zoot Suit" riots end when the military authorities declare the city of Los Angeles off limits to all personnel.
June 5 Count Fleet ridden by Johnny Longden wins the Belmont Stakes by 25 lengths to capture horse racing’s Triple Crown.  
The United States Army signs a contract with the University of Pennsylvania for, "research and development of an electronic numerical integrator and computer (ENIAC) and delivery of a report thereon."
June 9 A federal law requiring the withholding of income tax payments from paychecks goes into effect.
June 20 - 21 A race riot in Detroit leaves 34 people dead and 1,182 under arrest. The Governor of Michigan declares martial law and federal troops are sent to the city to maintain order.
July 13 The U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division is organized at Camp Hale, Colorado.
August 1 - 2 The shooting of a Black serviceman by a White policeman sets off a riot in New York City's Harlem ghetto. Six people are killed, over a thousand arrested or injured and damages amount to $5 million.
August 15 30,000 American and 5,300 Canadian troops land on Kiska in the Aleutian Islands to find that the Japanese have already withdrawn.
August Construction of B-pile, the first nuclear production reactor, begins at Hanford Engineering Works.
November 29 Modification of B 29 Superfortresses to carry the atomic bomb begins at Wright Field near Dayton, Ohio.
December 17 Congress repeals the Chinese Exclusion Act allowing legal immigration of Chinese to the United States for the first time since 1882.
During the Year The U.S. Mint begins producing zinc coated steel pennies due to a copper shortage.
Nobel Prize in Physiology
Edward Adelbert Doisy of Saint Louis University “for his discovery of the chemical nature of vitamin K”.
Nobel Prize in Physics
Otto Stern of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, “for his contribution to the development of the molecular ray method and his discovery of the magnetic moment of the proton”.
Notable Books Published during the Year
The Promise – Pearl Buck
The Way Some People Live – John Cheever
Bound for Glory – Woody Guthrie
McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon – Joseph Mitchell
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
The Human Comedy – William Saroyan
Notable Films of the Year
Casablanca – Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Paul Henried: Micheal Curtiz, director.
For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ingrid Bergman, Gary Cooper
Watch on the Rhine – Bette Davis, Paul Lukas
Notable Songs of the Year
You'll Never Know - Mack Gordon & Harry Warren
Comin' in on A Wing and A Prayer - Harold Adamson & Jimmy McHugh
Paper Doll - Johnny Black
People Will Say We're in Love - Rodgers & Hammerstein
As Time Goes By - Herman Hupfield
Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Duke Ellington & Bob Russell
Moonlight Becomes You - Johnny Burke & James Van Heusen
They're Either Too Young or Too Old - Frank Loesser & Arthur Schwartz
Oh, What A Beautiful Morning - Rodgers & Hammerstein
That Old Black Magic - Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer
1944January 31 USS California battleship BB-44 is re-commissioned at Puget Sound Navy Yard; Bremerton, Washington following repair of damages incurred when the ship was sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.
February 28 The first of 534 Victory ships built for the U.S. Maritime Commission, SS United Victory, is launched.
April 16 USS Wisconsin battleship BB-64 is commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
May 6 A paper incendiary bomb floated from Japan via the jet stream in the upper atmosphere lands near Lakeview, Oregon killing six civilians.
June 11 The last American battleship BB-63 USS Missouri is commissioned at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York.
June 22 Congress approves the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, "GI Bill of Rights", providing educational, housing and unemployment insurance benefits for returning servicemen.
July 17 An explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Ammunition Deport near San Francisco kills 322 sailors. A month later some 300 Black sailors are arrested for mutiny when they refuse to return to their jobs on the ordnance loading pier.  
September 26 B-pile, the first reactor completed at the Hanford Engineering Works, achieves initial criticality.
September USS West Virginia battleship BB-48 is re-commissioned at Puget Sound Navy Yard; Bremerton, Washington following repairs to damages sustained when the ship was sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.
October 1 The Saint Louis Browns win the American League baseball championship for the only time in their 52 history.
October 9 The Saint Louis Cardinals defeat the Saint Louis Browns to win the 41st Baseball World Series 4 games to 2. All games of the series are played on the same field for the last time.
November 7 President Roosevelt re-elected to fourth term defeating the Republican candidate, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. The President garners 25,602,505 popular and 432 electoral votes to Dewey’s 22,006,278 popular and 99 electoral votes in the first wartime presidential election since the Civil War.
December 18 The Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066 and other laws used to exclude persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast military zone by a 6 to 3 decision in the case of Korematsu v. the United States.
December 24 Twenty five German prisoners escape by tunnel from a POW camp at Papago Park, Phoenix, Arizona. All the escapees are captured or surrender within a month including to who are rescued by the Americans from Mexican authorities who are about to shoot them as spies. 
Nobel Prize in Physics
Isidor Isaac Rabi of Columbia University, “for his resonance method for recording the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei”.
Nobel Prize in Physiology
Joseph Erlanger of Washington University and Herbert S. Gasser of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, “for their discoveries relating to the highly differentiated functions of single nerve fibres.”
Pulitzer Prize for Correspondence 
Ernest Taylor Pyle of the Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance for distinguished war correspondence during the year 1943.
Pulitzer Committee Special Award
Presented to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein for their musical drama Oklahoma.
Notable Books Published during the Year
Dangling Man – Saul Bellow
A Bell for Adano – John Hersey
The Lost Weekend – Charles Jackson
Cannery Row – John Steinbeck
Forever Amber – Kathleen Winsor
Notable Films of the Year
National Velvet – Elizabeth Taylor, Donald Crisp, Angela Landsbury, Arthur Treacher, Mickey Rooney
Going My Way – Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald: Leo McCarey, director
Gaslight – Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Angela Landsbury, Joseph Cotton: George Cukor, director
Laura – Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Vincent Price: Otto Preminger, director
Double Indemnity – Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Edward G. Robinson: Billy Wilder, director
Since You Went Away – Lionel Barrymore, Claudette Colbert, Joseph Cotton
Notable Songs of the Year
I'll Be Seeing You - Irving Kahal & Sammy Fain
I'll Walk Alone - Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne
Don't Fence Me In - Cole Porter
The Trolley Song - Ralph Blane & Hugh Martin
Is You Is, or Is You Ain't, Ma Baby - Louis Jordan & Billy Austin
I'll Get By - Roy Turk & Fred Ahlert
I'll Be Home for Christmas - Walter Kent, Buck Ram & Kim Gannon
Easter Parade - Irving Berlin
1945January 16 A chemical processing plant at the Hanford Engineering Works begins separating plutonium from uranium.
January 20 Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated for a fourth and final term as President.
January 28 Captain Jurgen Wattenberg, the last of the at large escapees from the Papago POW camp, surrenders to police in Phoenix, Arizona.
April 12 President Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at his vacation retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia. Vice President Harry S Truman is sworn is as President of the United States.
April 19 Carousel, a musical by Rodgers & Hammerstein, premiers on Broadway.
April 25 President Truman presides at the opening of the United Nations Conference on International Organization at San Francisco
June 26 Fifty one nations sign the United Nations Charter at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.
June 27 The Federal Communications Commission allocates 13 channel frequencies for commercial television stations.
June 28 The last of 8,685 B-24 Liberator bombers constructed at Ford Aircraft's Willow Run, Michigan assembly plant rolls off the production line.
July 16 At 6:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time the world’s first atomic bomb, a Pu-239 device codenamed “the Gadget”, explodes at Trinity Site near Alamagordo, New Mexico.The USS Indianapolis leaves San Francisco for Tinian with a cargo of two atomic bombs.
July 28 A B-25 Mitchell bomber crashes into the Empire State Building killing 13 people and injuring 26.
July 30 The USS Indianapolis (after delivering the atomic bombs) is sunk 450 miles of Leyete by a Japanese submarine. 883 sailors perish in the worst American naval disaster of the war.
August 15 Gasoline rationing ends.
August 18 Victory celebrations leave eleven people dead and over a thousand injured in San Francisco.
September 4 United States forces reclaim Wake Island from surrendering Japanese troops.
December 28 Congress passes the War Brides Act allowing the foreign born wives of U.S. servicemen to enter the United States.
Nobel Peace Prize   Former Secretary of State Cordell Hull for his work in organizing the United Nations.
Nobel Prize in Physics
Wolfgang Pauli of Princeton University, “for the discovery of the Exclusion Principle, also called the Pauli Principle”.
Pulitzer Prize for Photography  
Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Presss for his photograph of the Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan.
Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning  
Sergeant Bill Mauldin for distinguished service as a cartoonist, as exemplified by the cartoon entitled, "Fresh, spirited American troops, flushed with victory, are bringing in thousands of hungry, ragged, battle-weary prisoners," in the series entitled, "Up Front With Mauldin."
Pulitzer Prize for best Novel
John Hersey for A Bell for Adano.
Notable Books Published during the Year
Surrender on Demand – Varian Fry
The Egg & I – Betty MacDonald
Black Boy – Richard Wright
Notable Films of the Year
The Lost Weekend – Ray Milland, Jane Wyman: Billy Wilder, director
The Story of GI Joe – Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum: William Wellman, director
The Bells of St. Mary’s – Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman: Leo McCarey, director
Mildred Pierce – Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth: Micheal Curtiz, director
Notable Songs of the Year
Accentuate the Positive - Johnny Mercer & Harold Arlen
Dream - Johnny Mercer
It Might As Well Be Spring - Rodgers & Hammerstein
If I Loved You - Rodgers & Hammerstein
Its Been A Long Long Time - Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne
The More I See You - Mack Gordon & Harry Warren
I'm Beginning to See the Light - Duke Ellington & Harry James
1946February 15 ENIAC, the world's first electronic computer, is dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania. Its thirty separate units, plus power supply and forced-air cooling, weigh over thirty tons. Its 19,000 vacuum tubes, 1,500 relays, and hundreds of thousands of resistors, capacitors, and inductors consume almost 200 kilowatts of electrical power.
April 1 Control of the Canadian portion of the Alaska - Canada Military Highway is turned over to Canada.
April 22 The Chief Justice of the United States Harlan Fiske Stone dies in Washington at age 73.
May 16 Annie Get Your Gun, a musical by Irving Berlin starring Ethel Merman, premiers on Broadway.
June 11 The National Basketball Association is formed at meeting in New York’s Hotel Commodore. The original teams are the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Providence Steamrollers, Washington Capitols, New York Knickerbockers, Toronto Huskies in the Eastern Division and the Pittsburgh Ironmen, Chicago Stags, Detroit Falcons, St. Louis Bombers and Cleveland Rebels in the Western Division.
June 24 Fred M. Vinson of Kentucky is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
July 2 Congress passes the Luce-Cellar Act allowing Filipinos and Asian Indians to become naturalized American citizens.
July 4 The Commonwealth of the Philippines gains independence after 48 years of American rule.
November 5 The Republican Party wins control of both houses of the Congress for the first time since 1930.
December 11 John D. Rockefeller Jr. donates an $8.5 million real estate parcel in Manhattan to be used as site of the United Nations permanent headquarters.
Nobel Peace Prize Emily Blach, Honorary President of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and John Mott, President of the World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations.
Nobel Prize in Physics 
Percy Bridgman of Harvard University, “for the invention of an apparatus to produce extremely high pressures, and for the discoveries he made therewith in the field of high pressure physics”.
Nobel Prize in Medicine  
Herman Joseph Muller of Indiana University, “for the discovery of the production of mutations by means of X-ray irradiation.”
Nobel Prize in Chemistry  
James Sumner of Cornell University, “for his discovery that enzymes can be crystallized”, and John Northrop & Wendell Stanley of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, “for their preparation of enzymes and virus proteins in a pure form”.
Pulitzer Prize for Reporting  
William Leonard Laurence of the New York Times for his eye-witness account of the atom-bombing of Nagasaki and his subsequent ten articles on the development, production, and significance of the atomic bomb.
Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing  
Hodding Carter of The Delta Democrat-Times, Greenville, Mississippi for a group of editorials published during the year 1945 on the subject of racial, religious and economic intolerance, as exemplified by the editorial "Go for Broke."
Pulitzer Prize for Telegraphic Reporting (International)  
Homer William Bigart of the New York Herald Tribune for his distinguished reporting during the year 1945 from the Pacific war theatre.
Notable Books Published during the Year
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care - Benjamin Spock
Mister Roberts – Thomas Heggen
The Hucksters – Frederic Wakeman
All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren
Notable Films of the Year
The Best Years of Our Lives – Frederick March, Dana Andrews, Myra Loy: William Wyler, director
It’s A Wonderful Life – James Stewart, Donna Reed: Frank Capra, director
The Big Sleep – Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall: Howard Hawks, director
Notable Songs of the Year
Laura - Johnny Mercer & David Raksin
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne
You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To - Cole Porter
Zip A Dee Doo Dah - Ray Gilber & Allie Wrubel
1947January 1 Responsibility for development of atomic energy including weapons transferred from the Army Corps of Engineers to the civilian controlled Atomic Energy Commission.
February 21 Edwin Land demonstrates instant film at a meeting of the American Optical Society in New York.
March 12 President Truman calls for aid to Greece and Turkey in an address to Congress outlining the Truman Doctrine for fighting Communist expansion.
March 24 The 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution limiting presidents to two terms in office is approved by the Republican controlled 80th Congress and sent to the states for ratification.
April 2 The United Nations Security Council places the Marshall, Caroline and Mariana Islands under trusteeship of the United States replacing the Japanese League of Nations mandate.
April 15 Jack Roosevelt Robinson plays 2nd base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He is the first African American allowed to play baseball in the major leagues since the late 1880s.
June 5 Secretary of State, George C. Marshall proposes his plan to aid the economic recovery of Europe in a speech at Harvard University.
June 11 Sugar rationing ends.
June 23 Congress overrides President Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Labor Relations Act. The Act allows individual states to adopt “Right to Work” laws prohibiting compulsory union membership as a condition of employment in union shops.
July 26 President Truman signs the National Security Act; civilian control of the armed forces is vested in a Department of Defense with combines the War and Navy Departments, the United States Air Force is established as a separate branch of the military services. The Act also creates the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency.
August 11 Construction of the first nuclear reactor designed for civilian research purposes begins at Brookhaven, New York.
September 20 Fiorello La Guardia former Mayor of New York City dies at age 64.
November 2 Howard Hughes pilots the HK-1 flying boat on its first and only flight. The Spruce Goose with eight engines, a 320’ wingspan and weighing 200 tons, rises to an altitude of 70’ and flies just under a mile across Long Beach harbor in California.
December 3 A Streetcar Named Desire, a play by Tennessee Williams, premiers on Broadway.  
Nobel Peace Prize The American Friends Service Committee and the Friends Service Council of Great Britain (Quakers).
Nobel Prize in Physiology
Carl and Gerty Cori of Washington University, “for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen.”
Pulitzer Prize for best Novel  
Robert Penn Warren for All the King's Men
Notable Books Published during the Year
Gentleman’s Agreement – Laura Hulson
The Big Sky – A.B. Guthrie
Knock at Any Door – Willard Motley
The War as I Knew It – George S. Patton
The Pearl – John Steinbeck
Notable Films of the Year
Gentleman’s Agreement – Gregory Peck, Dorothy Maguire: Elia Kazan, director
Miracle on 34th Street – Edmund Gwenn, William Frawley, Maureen O’Hara
The Farmer’s Daughter – Loretta Young, Joseph Cotton
Notable Songs of the Year
Buttons and Bows - Jay Livingston & Ray Evans
How Are Things in Glocca Morra - Yip Harburg & Burton Lane
1948April President Truman grants clemency Georg Dasch and Ernest Berger, two German agents arrested in the 1942 Operation Pastorious case, and allows their repatriation to Germany.
May 14 The United States recognizes the State of Israel.
June 8 Milton Berle makes his television debut on the Texaco Star Theatre.
June 12 Citation ridden by Eddie Arcaro wins the Belmont Stakes by 8 lengths to capture horse racing’s Triple Crown.
June 13 Babe Ruth makes his final appearance at Yankee Stadium to mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of “the house that Ruth built”.
June 30 The transistor, invented by William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brittain, is demonstrated for the first time at Bell Laboratories.
July 13 The Democratic Party National Convention adopts a strongly worded platform resolution proposed by Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey calling for new laws to protect the civil rights of Negroes. The delegates from the states of Mississippi and Alabama walk out.
July 17 Democratic Party dissidents from 13 southern states “Dixiecrats” form the States Rights Party and nominate South Carolina Governor J. Strom Thurmond as their candidate for President.
July 25 The Progressive Party nominates former Vice President Henry A. Wallace as its candidate for President on a platform calling for negotiations with Russia to secure the peace, repeal of conscription, destruction of all atomic bombs, an end to the Marshall Plan and abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
July 26 President Truman signs Executive Order 9981 ending racial segregation in the Armed Forces.
August 6 The Communist Party endorses the presidential candidacy of Progressive Party nominee Henry A. Wallace.
August 16 Babe Ruth dies of throat cancer at age 53.
September 14 Ground breaking ceremonies for the United Nations Headquarters building are held in New York City.
September 24 Mildred Gillars aka Axis Sally pleads innocent to treason charges in a Washington court.
October 1 The California Supreme Court declares that state's statute prohibiting interracial marriages unconstitutional.
October 26 - 31 A temperature inversion traps a thick layer of smog in the Monongahela Valley. Twenty people die of asphyxiation and 7,000 are treated for related sickness in the town of Donora, Pennsylvania.
November 2 Harry S Truman is elected to a full term as President defeating the Republican candidate, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, in a closely contested election. The States Rights Party candidate Strom Thurmond carries four southern states and 39 electoral votes. Progressive Party standard bearer, Henry A. Wallace, receives nearly a million popular votes but carries no states.
Luis Munoz Marin becomes the first popularly elected Governor of Puerto Rico under United States rule.
November 25 The first instant camera, the Polaroid 95, goes on sale at the Jordan Marsh department store in Boston.
December Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts premiers on CBS television.
Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning   
Reuben L. Goldberg of the New York Sun for his work entitled, "Peace Today."
Pulitzer Prize for best work of Ficton  
James A. Michner for Tales of the South Pacific.
Pulitzer Prize for Drama  
Tennessee Williams for A Streetcar Named Desire.
Notable Books Published during the Year
Crusade in Europe – Dwight D. Eisenhower
The United States and China – John K. Fairbank
The Young Lions – Irwin Shaw
The Naked and the Dead – Norman Mailer  
Notable Films of the Year
The Babe Ruth Story - William Bendix, Claire Trevor,
Charles Bickford A Foreign Affair - Marlene Dietrich, Jean Arthur - William Wyler, director
Joan of Arc - Ingrid Bergman, Jose Ferrer, J. Carroll Naish
Johnny Belinda - Jane Wyman, Lew Ayers, Charles Bickford
Key Largo - Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson - John Huston, director
Treasure of Sierra Madre - Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston - John Huston, director
The Snake Pit - Olivia de Havilland - Anatole Litvak, director
Notable Songs of the Year
On A Slow Boat to China - Frank Loesser
Manana Is Soon Enough For Me - Peggy Lee
1949April 4 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is established in Washington.
April 7 South Pacific, a musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, premiers on Broadway.
August 28 - September 1
The Grand Army of the Republic, Union veterans of the Civil War, holds its 83rd and final encampment at Indianapolis.
September 29 Iva Toguri Aquino aka Tokyo Rose is found guilty of treason by a jury in San Francisco.
October 5 Iva Toguri Aquino is sentenced to ten years in prison and $100,000 fine for treason.
October 24 The United Nations headquarters building is dedicated in New York.

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