Tuesday, May 4, 2010
1946 First Meeting of UN General Assembly- (1/10/46) The first meeting of the UN General Assembly took place in London. Trygve Lie, a Norwegian diplomat, was elected the first Secretary General of the UN.
1946 Bank of England Nationalized - (2/14/46) The Bank of England was nationalized by the Labor government. The bank had been privately owned since its founding in 1694.
1946 DC-6 Introduced - (2/15/46) Douglas Aircraft introduced the DC-6 airplane. The DC-6 was a derivative of the DC-4. It used the same wings as the DC-4, but had more powerful engines and a longer fuselage. The DC-6 could seat 52 passengers. A total of 702 DC-6 were produced in three civilian and two military versions of the aircraft.
1946 Peron becomes Dictator of Argentina - (2/24/46) Colonel Juan Perón was elected President of Argentina. His supporters won absolute control of both houses of the legislature. In 1948, he was granted unlimited power, thereby transforming him into an absolute dictator.
1946 Iron Curtain Descends on Europe - (3/12/46) Prime Minister Churchill, at an address in Fulton, Missouri, on March 12, stated: "From Stettin in the Baltics, to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent." Thus, Churchill put forth the concept that Europe had been divided between East and West.
1946 Chinese Civil War Resumes - (4/14/46) Upon the surrender of Japan, which concluded World War II, war once again broke out between the Communists and the Nationalists in China. Attempts were made to come to an agreement, but all efforts failed. By the beginning of 1946, full-scale fighting had developed between the two sides. Initially, the war went well for the Nationalists.
1946 Republican Government Organized in Italy - (6/2/46)The Italian people voted in a referendum to abolish the Monarchy and establish a Republic. Victor Emmanuel III had abdicated in 1944, in favor of his son, Umberto. Umberto now went into exile in Portugal. Enrico de Nicola became the provisional president and served until the new constitution went into effect, on January 1, 1948.
1946 Republic of the Philippines Inauguration - On the 4th of July, 1946, the independent Republic of the Philippines was officially declared. In order to help the Philippines rebuild the country after the ravages of World War II, the US Congress had passed the Rehabilitation Act, providing for payment of war claims.
1946 Atomic Test At Bikini Atoll - (6/30/46) The United States began a series of tests at Bikini Islands in the Pacific. The tests included the first underwater test of the atomic bomb.
1946 Congress Party Dominates Indian Assembly - (7/25/46) Congress Party, led by Jawaharlal Nehru, won 201 of the 210 seats put aside for the Hindus. The Muslim League, who favored Muslim separation, won 73 of the 78 seats reserved for Muslims.
1946 Greeks Vote For Return of Monarchy - (9/1/46) In a special referendum, seventy percent of Greeks voted in favor of returning King George II to power. This return resulted in the outbreak of a civil war between Monarchists and Communist opponents of the government.
1946 Vietnamese Resist, French Try To Regain Control - In September 1946, Ho Chi Minh, leader of the Nationalist opposition to the Japanese, declared Vietnam independent. France was not willing to grant full independence. Attempts were made to reach an agreement with Ho Chi Minh for Vietnam to be a Free State within the French Union. When talks broke down, the French Navy bombarded Haiphong, killing 6,000 people. The French did reach an agreement with Boa Dai, the former emperor of Annan, who agreed to the French plan of an independent state within the French Union. The result was a war that lasted for 30 years.
1946 Meteor Sets World Speed Record - (9/7/46) The Meteor, Britain's jet fighter, attained a speed of 611 mph, setting a new world speed record.
1946 Spock Publishes Book on Baby Care - Benjamin Spock published "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care." The book went on to sell 25,000,000 copies and revolutionize childcare.
1946 First Electronic Computer - The first all-electronic computer was designed by John William Mauchly. The computer, called the ENIAC, weighed 30 tons.
1946 Baruch Plan For Atomic Control - The United States Representative to the UN Atomic Energy Commission unveiled a plan under which the US would surrender its monopoly of atomic weapons to an international body. The Soviets refused the proposal, and proceeded to develop their own weapons.
1946 Verdicts at Nuremberg - (10/16/46) Nine of Nazi Germany's top leaders were hung at the end of their trials. They were accused of crimes "so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated." The crimes included the murder of at least six million European Jews.
1947 Truman Doctrine- (3/12/47) In 1946, Communist guerrillas had begun a civil war against the government of Greece. The Communist government of Yugoslavia gave substantial support to the guerrillas, while the British had provided the Greek government with aid. Eventually, the British informed the United States that Britain could no longer help support the regime in Greece.
The Greeks officially requested American aid and, on March 12th, President Truman went before Congress and requested support for Greece as well as for Turkey. A total of $400 million was requested. Truman stated: "I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressure."
The Senate approved his request, 67 to 23, and the House approved it, 287 to 107.
1947 Revolt Against French Rule Madagascar- (3/29/47)A nationalist rebellion broke out in Madagascar. White settlers were assaulted, plantations burned and French garrisons attacked. It took the French more than a year to put down the revolt.
1947 Marshall Plan Unvieled - (6/5/47) On June 5th, Marshall gave a commencement address at Harvard. He stated: "It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is directed, not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desertion and chaos."
1947 Taft-Hartley Act -(6/23/47) The Taft-Hartley Act provided the President with the power to obtain an 80–day injunction against any strike. It also gave him the power of appointing a board of inquiry to oversee collective bargaining. It also banned closed shops. The bill was passed, over the veto of the President, in response to a wave of strikes.
1947 India/Pakistan Gain Independence - (8/15/47) In 1942, Indian Nationalists had spurned the British offer of autonomy within the British Empire. They demanded complete independence. After the Second World War, the British agreed to independence. However, no agreement could be reached between the Hindus and Moslems. Large scale rioting ensued, in which thousands died. An accord was finally reached to establish two states: Hindu India and Moslem Pakistan. On August 15th, the two new states achieved independence. Millions of refugees were created in both countries.
1947 Yaeger Breaks Sound Barrier -(10/14/47) American test pilot Captain Charles Yaeger broke the sound barrier on October 14. He flew a Bell X-1 test plane, that was dropped from a specially modified B-29. Yaeger reached a speed of 670 miles per hour, at an altitude of 42,000 feet.
1947 Unrest In Palestine - Britain Turns Problem Over To UN -On November 29, 1947, the U.N. General Assembly met to vote on the proposal to partition Palestine. All of Zionist foreign policy was tied to this one moment. Members of the Zionist delegation lobbied continually to ensure that the partition motion was passed. The members of the American Zionist Movement were especially instrumental in influencing many wavering delegations to vote for the partition. The final results were as follows:
Supporting the partition:
Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussia (part of the Soviet Union), Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, Union of South Africa, U.S.S.R., U.S.A., Uruguay and Venezuela.
Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq,Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and Yemen.
Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom.
After the vote, Abba Hillel Silver spoke on behalf of the Jewish Agency, saying, "The Jewish people will be forever grateful to the nations which contributed to the decision; we're especially appreciative of the leadership provided by the United States and the Soviet Union, and are happy that, in the solution of the Palestine problem, these two great powers worked harmoniously together."
1947 Gigantic Spruce Goose Flies -(11/2/47)In May 1942, Howard Hughes began to build the world's largest airplane, or what he called at the time "an unsinkable liberty ship." The aircraft was designed to carry 700 troops. Initially, it was a joint venture between Hughes and Kaiser shipping, but Kaiser pulled out. Ultimately, Hughes spent $7 million of his own money on the project, while the US Government spent $17 million. Many people said that it would never get off the ground. On November 2, they were proved wrong. The giant Spruce Goose, whose wing span was 320 feet, lifted off for a one mile flight across the harbor. The plane was never to fly again.
1947 B - 47 Enters Service -(12/17/47) On December 17, the first Boeing B-47 flew. It was the first all-jet bomber. It carried a crew of three. The B-47 had a revolutionary design. It was the first bomber built with a swept wing. A total of 2,040 B-47s were delivered to the Airforce.
1948 Communists Take Over Czechoslavakia - (2/25/48) In a bloodless coup, the Communists seized control of Czechoslovakia. Threatening violence, they created a majority Communist government under Klement Gottwald. Czechoslovakian President Benes resigned, and Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk was found dead a week later, as a reported suicide.
1948 Civil War In Costa Rica - (3/1/48) After incumbent President Teodora Picado attempted to annul the election won by Otilio Ulate, a civil war broke out. The forces of José Figueras, which opposed Ulate, were victorious.
1948 Soviets Recall Advisors From Yugoslavia - Significant differences developed between Soviet leader Stalin and Yugoslav leader Tito. When compared to other Easter European leaders, Tito was largely independent. He was primarily concerned with the interests of Yugoslavia. Tito was able to maintain this independence, since Russian forces had not been the liberators of Yugoslavia. Rather, the Yugoslav partisans, under Tito, had forced the Germans out.
As Tito did not follow the Soviet line, Stalin recalled all Soviet advisors from Yugoslavia and canceled all economic agreements. Tito responded by reaching economic agreements with the West. It became clear that Communism in Europe was not monolithic.
1948 Berlin Blockaded- (4/1/48) No agreement could be reached with the Soviets on continued control of Germany. When the Allies decided to introduce a new currency into West Germany to counter inflation, the Soviets opposed the move. As a response, and as a means of stopping the reunification of Western Germany, the Soviets imposed a blockade on Berlin, which had been and remained under four-power control.
The American Commander in Germany, General Clay, stated that if the Soviets managed to push the US out of Berlin; the next step could be the expulsion of the US from Germany, and then from Europe altogether. He suggested that the US break the blockade by force. President Truman decided on an airlift. The airlift was very successful, and the Soviets lifted the blockade eleven months after it was imposed.
1948 Organization of American States (OAS) Created - (4/30/48) The Pan American Conference, held in Bogotá, established the OAS as the United Nations' regional grouping for North and South America.
1948 State of Israel Declared- On May 14, as the British Mandate was ending, the Jews of Palestine declared themselves independent. They created the State of Israel, with David Ben-Gurion as the Prime Minister. Immediately, the neighboring Arab nations attacked. Israel succeeded in repulsing the attacks. By the end of the war, the Jewish State was larger than the territory originally assigned to it under the partition plan. In the course of the war, hundreds of thousand of Palestinian Arabs were displaced, some under their own volition and some by force.
1948 US Recognizes Israel - (5/14/48) After being a supporter of the rights of the Jews to create an independent state, President Truman extended American recognition 14 minutes after the State had been declared in Tel Aviv. Immediately after the State's independence was declared, it was attacked by the surrounding Arab States.
1948 South Africa Embraces Apartheid - (5/26/48)In a general election, the coalition of United and Labor Parties, under Prime Minister Smuts, was defeated by a Nationalist Afrikaaner bloc, led by Daniel Malan. Malan's new government had been elected on a platform of racial segregation (apartheid), and soon this policy was implemented. The government outlawed marriages between whites and non-whites. It also passed the Group Areas Bill that divided the country into zones for separate ethnic groups.
1948 Soviets Introduce MIG - 15- The Soviets introduced their first modern jet fighter: the MIG-15. The plane, borrowing heavily on German designs, was the first in a long series of "MIG" planes developed by the Soviets.
1948 Polaroid Camera On Sale - Edwin Land developed the first instant camera that developed photos on the spot. The camera became known as the Polaroid Land Camera.
1948 Improved Quantum Dynamics Theory Developed - The improved Theory of Quantum Dynamics was developed by Richard Feynman. The theory predicted the effect that electrically charged particles would have on one another.
1948 Major Nationalist Defeat in Manchuria- (10/30/48) On October 30th, Nationalist troops were defeated in Manchuria after the Communists captured the city of Mukden. Three hundred thousand Nationalist troops were captured. The defeat in Mukden marked the beginning of the end for the Nationalist forces.
1949 NATO Founded -(4/4/49) The Berlin Blockade provided compelling evidence that, in order to deter the Soviets from further aggression, an alliance was necessary between nations of Western Europe and the United States. On April 4, 1949, the foreign ministers of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States formally signed the North Atlantic Treaty. The key paragraph was Article 5. It stated that "an armed attack against one or more of the European signatories or the North American signatories would be considered an attack against all of them."
1949 Ireland Becomes Independent - (4/18/49) The Republic of Ireland proclaimed its complete independence from Britain, and left the Commonwealth of Nations.
1949 Federal Republic of Germany Created - (5/21/49) The zones of Germany occupied by the US, Great Britain and France were transformed into the Federal Republic of Germany. A new constitution was adopted, and elections were held. The Christian Democratic Party and its ally, the Christian Socialist Party, won a plurality in the first election. Konrad Adenauer became the first Chancellor.
1949 "Comet"- First Commercial Jet Unveiled -(7/27/49) On July 27, De Havilland unveiled the DH-106 Comet aircraft. The plane was a 36-passenger jet aircraft. Its cruising speed was 490 mph. The Comet's service was to be cut short after a number of them crashed in the late 1950's.
1949 Soviets Detonate A-Bomb -(9/23/49) America's monopoly on atomic weapons ended when President Truman announced, on September 23, that the Soviets had successfully detonated an atomic bomb. As a result, the nuclear arms race, that was to last until 1990, was born.
1949 Communist Victory in China- (10/1/49) The Nationalist Army essentially disintegrated after the fall of Tientsin and Peking. By July, the Nationalists announced that they would begin to withdraw to Taiwan. On October 1st, the People's Republic of China was officially proclaimed, with Peking as its capital.
1949 Stratocruiser Goes into Service -The Boeing "Stratocruiser" made its commercial debut on April 1, 1949, when Pan Am began using it on its service between San Francisco and Honolulu.
1949 Non-Stop Around The World Flight - A US Army Boeing 50-A made a flight around the world. It flew for a total of 94 hours and one minute. It was refueled in the air four times. The plane carried its full crew of 13.
1950 USSR and China Sign a Thirty Year Pact Mao Tse-Tung signed a 30-year Treaty of Friendship with the Soviet Union. The treaty was one of alliance and mutual assistance. A series of economic agreements followed.
1950 North Korea Invades the South The Korean War began with an attack made by North Korean forces across the 38th parallel dividing North and South Korea. The attack took place on June 24, 1950, and was a complete surprise to the American administration. It was feared that this attack heralded the beginning of World War III.
1950 Super Contellation Tested Lockheed unveiled its new "Super Constellation" on October 13. The "Super Constellation" was a stretched version of the C-69. The Tourist Class section grew from 69 to 92.
1950 Truman Announces National Emergency To respond to the strain on economic and military resources caused by the Korean War, President Truman announced a National Emergency. This gave him broad economic powers.
1950 Aramco Gives Half Oil Income Saudi Arabia and Arabian-American Oil Company reached an agreement under which the government was to receive 50% of the income from oil.