Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Year 1949

Filling in with some background information during a letter-writing hiatus from October 6 to November 9, 1949, as June recuperates at the hospital from a ruptured appendix…

While June and Art were romancing, the world was changing.

World War II dominates the decade of the 1940s, with its repercussions still being felt three years after its conclusion.  Political concerns were rapidly shifting toward Soviet Union anxieties and the burgeoning Cold War.  No one could predict how hot the simmering Cold War might become.

President Harry S. Truman,
drawing by Art Price
Movies and radio were still going strong, but television was beginning to change the paradigm for nightly entertainment.  Art’s family didn’t have a television yet, but he would frequently watch televised events – like the popular boxing matches – at the local Southampton bars with the boys.

Harry S. Truman was president, NATO was created by a treaty signed in April, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear bomb testing, “Tokyo Rose” was sentenced to six years in prison for treason, the United Nations building opened in New York, a 31-year-old North Carolina evangelist named Billy Graham led a major tent crusade in Los Angeles, Harvard Law School opened its doors to women, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell was published, Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone With the Wind) died at the age of 49, Ingrid Bergman divorced her husband and entered into a scandalous relationship with Italian director Roberto Rossellini, “The Hokey Pokey” and “The Harry Lime Theme” were unexpected novelty song hits, the New York Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series, a rocket testing ground was established in Cape Canaveral, Silly Putty was successfully marketed, Pillsbury introduced its “bake-offs,” and Sara Lee offered its first baked goods.

Meanwhile, June and Art were dating.

(Tomorrow, life on 83rd Street…)

Countdown:  Correspondence resumes in 2 days.

© 2010 Lee Price

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