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BOOMERNET Chronicle: 1947

1947

Gen. George C. Marhsall The United States commits to its role of super power, both militarily and economically. President Truman declares that Communism must be "contained," offering U.S. forces to assist in Greece and Turkey, but then also backs the proposal of Secretary of State George Marshall to provide economic aid to the nations of western Europe to help them recover. The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan thus become the twin foundation of America's new world view.

At home, several significant laws are passed, from ones establishing a unified Department of Defense and a new Central Intelligence Agency to those limiting the strength of labor unions and placing the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tem of the Senate ahead of cabinet officers in the order of presidential succession. Congressional hunts for Communists in government and the entertainment industry lead to major debates on the limits of individual rights in a democracy.

Commercial television begins its reign as both the NBC and DuMont networks expand their programming. The first mass audience, estimated at 3.9 million viewers, watches the New York Yankees win the World Series in 7 games. 90% of those viewers are in bars, however, since the home TV is still rare. Only 14,000 TV sets are in use in America by the end of the year.


U.S. Facts

  • President: Harry S Truman (D)
  • Population: 144,126,000
  • Life Expectancy: 66.8 years
  • Unemployment: 3.9%
  • Average Annual Salary: $3,500
  • Minimum Wage: $0.40 per hour
  • Inflation Rate: 14.4%

What Things Cost

  • Automobile: $1,500
  • Gasoline: $0.23 per gallon
  • House: $13,000
  • Bread: $0.12 per loaf
  • Milk: $0.80 per gallon
  • Postage Stamp: $0.03

Major U.S. Events

  • Truman Doctrine proposes "containment" of Communist expansion
  • Americans purchase first new cars made since start of World War II
  • Truman signs Natl. Security Act w/CIA, DoD, Joint Chiefs, and NSC

Major World Events

  • Soviet Union rejects U.S. plan for U.N. atomic energy control
  • Marshall Plan proposed to help Europe recover from war

January

  • Int' Monetary Fund begins opns.

February

  • Voice of America broadcasts to Soviet-controlled areas

April

  • Jackie Robinson 1st negro in major league baseball in 20th century

May

  • Levitt & Sons starts Levittown, NY, first mass-produced housing

June

  • Congress overrides veto of Taft-Hartley Act, limiting labor union power

July

  • Congress passes Presidential Succession Act, placing Speaker of House after V.P.

August

  • India and Pakistan gain independence from British Empire

September

  • U.S. Air Force established as separate branch of service

October

  • Truman first president to make TV address
  • World Series televised for first time
  • Chuck Yeager first to break sound barrier

November

  • Movie Industry blacklists "The Hollywood Ten," in response to House Un-American Activities Committee
  • Republicans gain control of Congress
  • Howard Hughes flies Spruce Goose, plane w/longest wing span, 320 ft

Top Songs

  • Near You by Francis Craig
  • Peg O' My Heart by Buddy Clark (or) the Harmonicats
  • Heartaches by Ted Weems
  • Linda by Ray Noble Orchestra w/Buddy Clark
  • Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) by Tex Williams

Other New Songs

  • Anniversary Song by Dinah Shore
  • Ballerina by Vaughn Monroe
  • Whiffenpoof Song by Bing Crosby & Fred Waring
  • Manaqua, Nicaragua by Guy Lombardo (or) Freddy Martin
  • One O'Clock Jump by Count Basie

Top Movies

  • Gentleman's Agreement
  • Life With Father
  • The Farmer's Daughter
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Body and Soul

Top Books

  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  • Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener
  • Under the Volcano by Malcom Lowry
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Top Radio Shows (1946-47)

  • Fibber McGee & Molly
  • The Bob Hope Show
  • Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy
  • The Jack Benny Show
  • The Red Skelton Show

Top TV Shows (1946-47)

  • Cavalcade Of Sports (Boxing)
  • Faraway Hills, first TV soap opera
  • Hour Glass, first TV variety hour

Major League Baseball: World Series

  • New York Yankees d. Brooklyn Dodgers

Pro Football: Championships

  • NFL: Chicago Cardinals d. Philadelphia Eagles
  • AAFC: Cleveland Browns d. New York Yankees

Ice Hockey: Stanley Cup

  • Toronto Maple Leafs d. Montreal Canadiens

Pro Basketball: Championship:

  • Philadelphia Warriors d. Chicago Stags

NCAA Champions

  • Football: Michigan Wolverines
  • Basketball: Holy Cross Crusaders

Other Champions

  • Boxing: Joe Louis defends heavyweight title
  • Golf: Jimmy Demaret wins PGA Tour
  • Tennis: Jack Kramer and Louise Brough win U.S. Open
  • Horse Racing: Jet Pilot wins Kentucky Derby
  • Auto Racing: Mauri Rose wins Indianapolis 500

Note: You may click on the images above to visit Amazon.com for souvenirs of the era


Inventions, Fads, & Fashion
  • First new cars are manufactured since start of World War II
  • Raytheon produces first commercial microwave
  • Fabrics of blended rayon and polyester are used in clothing to limit need for ironing
  • Transistor is invented by Bell Laboratories
  • Earl Tupper begins marketing Tupperware, which leads to Tupperware parties across America
  • Magic 8-Balls sweep the country as the latest fad
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