1940's New York Skyline 

By the 1940's Chestnut Blight has destroyed over 3.5 billion American Chestnut trees.

1940s: World War II brings railroads the highest ridership in American history, as soldiers are being sent to fight overseas in the Pacific Theater and the European Theater. However, automobile travel causes ridership to decline after the war ends.

After the Soviet Union invaded Poland in September 1939, in 1940 Members of the Soviet politburo signed an order for the execution of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia, including 14,700 Polish POWs. The action is known as the Katyn massacre.

1940: Book: "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" by Carson McCullers

1940: Film: "The Grapes of Wrath" 1940: British troops evacuate Dunkirk

Bob Wills Breakdown - Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys 2:35 date?

I Aint Got NObody - Mills Brothers undated

Globe scene from The Great Dictator - Oct 15, 1940

Everything is Jumpin' - Artie Shaw 1940 date?

Begin the Beguine - Artie Shaw year?

Kid pitches to babe ruth? date?

The Dream - Matisse

Three Horses - Xu Beihong

Akai Suiren 紅い睡蓮 (李香蘭) a Mandarin song 2:22

三年(San Nien - Three Years) - Sung by Li Xiang Lan (李香兰)

Stone Age Cave Paintings Found in France

Sister Rosetta Tharpe performing at Café Society in New
York City's Greenwich Village, Dec. 11, 1940.


July 10, 1941 Jelly roll Morton dies.

Day That Will Live In Infamy: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor

Manhattan Project Begins

Film: "Citizen Kane"

1941 - Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov first used the word "robotics" to describe the technology of robots and predicted the rise of a powerful robot industry.

In 1941 the American Humanist Association was organized. Noted members of The AHA include Isaac Asimov, who was the president before his death, and writer Kurt Vonnegut, who followed as honorary president until his death in 2007.

The Maltese Falcon"

Amadee Ardoin dies at the Pineville State Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana on November 4, 1941, of a common disease untreatable at that time.


1942, Enrico Fermi demonstrated the first controlled nuclear chain reaction in a uranium pile on a tennis court at the University of Chicago.

The first nuclear chain reaction

1942 Discussion on the need for unity between labor and management as the U.S. mobilizes for World War II.

The Battle of Midway

military-industrial complex hinted at in this clip faith in technology to save

Feb 19, 1942 Executive Order No. 9066 Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas.

    On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. This gave General DeWitt authority to order the mass evacuation of Issei and Nisei from the West Coast and other military areas. This order affected about 120,000 citizens and non-citizens of Japanese origin. The stated purpose of removing this entire ethnic group was for “protection against espionage and against sabotage.” Congress made it a crime to refuse to leave a military area when ordered to do so.

    Starting on March 2, 1942, General DeWitt issued orders requiring all persons of Japanese ancestry in eight Western states to report to temporary assembly centers. When they reported, the government transported them to permanent “relocation centers,” the guarded prison camps where they would remain for up to four years.

    When ordered to evacuate, Issei and Nisei families usually had only a few days to sell their homes, businesses, vehicles, and other property. Even so, almost all cooperated with General DeWitt’s orders, believing that by doing so they proved their loyalty.

    Although more than 60 percent of those ordered to evacuate were U.S. citizens, none had a hearing or trial before the government locked them up in relocation camps. Once in the camps, however, the government asked them to sign a loyalty oath to the United States. Most did, but about 4 percent refused, protesting how they had been treated. The government classified these individuals as “disloyal.”

    The Supreme Court hears Korematsu v. United States On December 18, 1944, the Supreme Court decided, 6–3, to uphold the conviction of Korematsu. The majority ruled only on his refusal to leave a prohibited military area and did not consider the constitutionality of the relocation camps. Justice Hugo Black, writing for the majority, fully accepted the views of General DeWitt. Justice Black also said that Korematsu had not been forced from his home because of his race, but because of “the military urgency of the situation.”

    Three of the justices vigorously dissented from the majority opinion. Justice Robert H. Jackson denied that the government could simply declare all members of a racial group guilty and imprison them. He wrote that “guilt is personal and not inheritable.” Justice Owen J. Roberts condemned the imprisonment of a citizen “without evidence or inquiry concerning his loyalty.” Justice Frank Murphy called the majority opinion “this legalization of racism.”

    The Court sided with the government and held that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Korematsu's rights. Justice Black argued that compulsory exclusion, though constitutionally suspect, is justified during circumstances of "emergency and peril."

    When the Supreme Court made its Korematsu decision, the justices also decided another case that resulted in finally closing down the prison camps. The Supreme Court ruled that President Roosevelt’s executive order and the enforcement law passed by Congress only authorized the removal of the Issei and Nisei from military areas, not their imprisonment. The court never squarely decided whether the government could have legally issued orders and passed laws to establish a prison camp system. [Ex parte Endo,323 U.S. 283 (1944)

    T-shirt Introduced

      On April 10, Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American in the major leagues. Robinson went on to win the Rookie of the Year award in 1947.

      The Marshall Plan

      Chuck Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier

      Dead Sea Scrolls Discovered

      Jewish Refugees Aboard the Exodus Turned Back by British

      Marshall Plan

      Polaroid Cameras Invented

      "Flying saucer" -- the term -- was coined, when salesman and pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine objects flying in a "V" formation over Mount Rainier, Washington. Arnold told a reporter on June 24, 1947, that the UFOs flew erratically, fluttering and tipping their wings, like "a saucer if you skip it across water" -- and a worldwide subculture was born.

      1947: Play: "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams

      Katherine Hepburn's speech against HUAC

      The Blues are Brewin'- Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong 2:09

      Do You Know What It Means - Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong

      Farewell to Storyville - Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong 4:56


      LSD was introduced into the United States in 1948

      Berlin Airlift

      "Big Bang" Theory Formulated

      "Dewey Defeats Truman" in the Paper

      Gandhi Assassinated

      Policy of Apartheid Begun

      State of Israel Founded

      December 10, 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN General Assembly Resolution 217A)


      In 1948 Columbia introduced the 33 1/3 rpm LP records, followed soon after by the 45 rpm records from RCA Victor.

      first recordings?

      1948: Painting: "Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth

      Large Red Interior - Matisse


      In 1949, as the Dodgers' second baseman, Jackie Robinson led the National League in batting and stolen bases and was voted the league's Most Valuable Player.

      China Becomes Communist

      First Non-Stop Flight Around the World

      George Orwell Publishes Nineteen Eighty-Four

      NATO Established

      Soviet Union Has Atomic Bomb

      Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

      Wildwood Flower - Carter Family

      Fleur De Fougere Ladislaw Starewicz 1/3 8:43

      Fleur De Fougere Ladislaw Starewicz 2/3 6:40

      Fleur De Fougere Ladislaw Starewicz 3/3 7:19