1948

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And so now we move into a New Year: 1948 and as in previous years, many events which continue to have their effects on our world to this day.

January 30 – Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated.

February 23-25 – Communists seize Czechoslovakia

Apr. 30, 1948:  Organization of American States (OAS), international organization, created , at Bogotá, Colombia, by agreement of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Another 15 nations have subsequently joined.  The OAS is a regional agency designed to work with the United Nations to promote peace, justice, and hemispheric solidarity; to foster economic development (especially during the 1960s; see Alliance for Progress); and to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the signatory nations. The general secretariat, formerly the Pan-American Union, located in Washington, D.C, is the permanent body of the OAS.

May 14, 1948  Israel becomes a recognized country and the State of Israel is born.  The next day, Arab forces from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded the new nation. By the cease-fire on Jan. 7, 1949, Israel had increased its original territory by 50%, taking western Galilee, a broad corridor through central Palestine to Jerusalem, and part of modern Jerusalem. Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first president and prime minister. The new government was admitted to the UN on May 11, 1949.

Berlin airlift, 1948–49, supply of vital necessities to West Berlin by air transport primarily under U.S. auspices. It was initiated in response to a land and water blockade of the city that had been instituted by the Soviet Union in the hope that the Allies would be forced to abandon West Berlin. The massive effort to supply the 2 million West Berliners with food and fuel for heating began in June, 1948, and lasted until Sept., 1949, although the Russians lifted the blockade in May of that year.

June 28:  Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia breaks relations with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union.

December 27:  United States of Indonesia established as Dutch and Indonesians settle conflict.

Summer Olympics 1948: First summer Olympics in a dozen years and following World War II.  In London.

Winter Olympics 1948: Also the first Olympics after World War II receded from the landscape.  In St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The Hollywood Ten, a group of writers, producers and directors called as witnesses in the House Committee’s Investigation of Un-American Activities, are jailed for contempt of Congress when they refuse to disclose if they were or were not Communists.

Harry S. Truman ends racial segregation in the U.S. military.

Alger Hiss, former U.S. State Department official, indicted on perjury charges after denying passing secret documents to communist spy ring; convicted in second trial (1950) and sentenced to five-year prison term.

Read more: 1940 – 1949 World History | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005249.html#ixzz2n6pZldN8

Margaret Sanger founds the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Alfred Kinsey publishes Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.

Columbia Records introduces the 33 1/3 LP (“long playing”) record at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It allows listeners to enjoy an unprecedented 25 minutes of music per side, compared to the four minutes per side of the standard 78 rpm record.

It was a year of a lot of good literature as seen in the following publications:

And  a lot of breakthroughs in science and technology:

and the Nobel Prizes in Science went to the following individuals:

Chemistry: Arne Tiselius (Sweden), for biochemical discoveries and isolation of mouse paralysis virus

Physics: Patrick M. S. Blackett (UK), for improvement on Wilson chamber and discoveries in cosmic radiation

Physiology or Medicine: Paul Mueller (Switzerland), for discovery of insect-killing properties of DDT

This last entry, on hindsight, may have done more to harm our planet and us than to benefit it.  Certainly we learned twenty years later of the devastating affects DDT had on our environment and ourselves.  But back in the late ’40′s and early ’50′s this was a miracle element and children used to chase the mosquito spraying trucks on hot summer days.

Some years ago, I came across an article that my father had written for a travel magazine lauding the miracle of DDT and its effectiveness in killing mosquitoes.  He wrote: “If you are in a tent and those pesky mosquitoes start to attack, take that can of DD&T and spray them into oblivion.”  My father died of complications from Parkinson’s Disease.  Since finding that article, I have wondered whether my father’s apparent enthusiastic spraying of DDT as a young man may have played a role.  I also have a friend whose father was an avid gardner who died from complications of Parkinson’s.  I asked her if he sprayed his garden against insects.  She replied, “liberally.”

Tennessee Williams‘s A Streetcar Named Desire wins Pulitzer.

And that’s it, folks, for 1948.  I am sure there is much not included, but hopefully this catches most of the major events.

Read more: Top News Stories from 1948 | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/year/1948.html#ixzz2n6k4teh2