1949

Baby Linda

Baby Linda

 

What was life like in 1949, the year that I was born? Here are some facts that provide perspective:

Item

Cost

Unit of Measure

House

$7,450.00

new

Gasoline

$.17

gallon

Bacon

$.50

pound

Kitchen table & chairs

$100.00

set

Flour

$.49

5 pounds

Cereal

$.16

11 ounces

Bread

$.14

pound

Hamburger

$.56

pound

Ham

$.68

pound

Butter

$.87

pound

Cheese

$.66

pound

Eggs

$.72

dozen

Coffee

$.51

pound

Sugar

$.09

pound

Women's Fashion

Women’s Fashion

The 1949 Ford

The 1949 Ford

Minimum wage was 70 cents an hour and the annual inflation rate in the US was -.95%. After the misery of the Great Depression and the horrors and losses of WWII, economic prosperity was around the corner for most Americans. Consumerism was the watch word as families bought homes, cars, TVs (first time in history), and anything else advertising could assist. From 1946 into the early 1950’s, America had a population spurt called the post-war Baby Boom.

World Events: the Berlin Blockade ended as well as Allied efforts to reunify Germany. The Soviet Union forcibly retained East Germany as ‘reparation’ for the war and attempted to create a massive Communist empire, beginning the Cold War. Traitors leaked nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, enabling the Russians to develop atomic bombs. China turned Communist under Mao Tse Tung as followers of Chiang Kai Chek retreated to Taiwan on Formosa. The fourth Geneva Convention created international law regarding treatment of prisoners and outlawing murder, torture, and executions without court proceedings. Nuremberg trials against Nazi war criminals ended.

In the UK, the first commercial passenger jet airplane took its first test flight. South Africa established ‘Apartheid,’ and black vs Indian race riots occurred. Ireland became a republic. The Muslim Brotherhood made headlines for terrorist activities. The State of Israel was formally recognized by the US and many other countries; Israel, Jordan, and Egypt signed an armistice agreement. Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis retired. NATO signed agreements, and the CIA was created. The first 12 women graduated from Harvard Medical School, and the first black man graduated from the US Naval Academy.

Harry Truman, 33rd President

Harry Truman, 33rd President

In America, President Harry S Truman sent $16 million to aid Palestinian refugees, and gave his ‘Fair Deal Speech’ explaining that all Americans deserved a ‘fair deal’ from the US government. RCA perfected the 1st system for broadcasting color on televisions, the first Polaroid cameras were sold, and Emmy Awards were presented that year as well. The first automatic street lights were installed in Connecticut and the 45 rpm record debuted as well as the Ferranti Mark 1, the first commercially available computer. Howdy Doody merchandising topped $11 million. The New York Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series.

Inventions: the Zamboni, atomic clock, Holter heart monitor, crash test dummy, cable TV, a compiler, aerosol paint, cake mixes.

Category of Pop Culture Item
Books George Orwell, 1984Pulitzer: James G Cozzens, Guard of Honor

Nobel: William Faulkner

Music ‘A’ You’re Adorable”Mule Train”

“Some Enchanted Evening”

“Ghost Riders in the Sky”

“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

“Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”

Movies Gregory Peck in Twelve O’Clock High,Frank Sinatra & Gene Kelly, On the Town

Oscar: Hamlet, Sir Laurence Olivier

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