Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.
What Happened in the Year 1948?
What are some fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1948? What were the top news stories in the U.S. and around the world? What happened in the business and financial sectors, in science, technology, sports, the entertainment industry, and in everyday life? What about famous birthdays, marriages, and deaths that year?
- President Truman raised taxes to finance the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan—also known as the European Recovery Program—provided aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. The plan “provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent, and to reconstruct cities, industries and infrastructure heavily damaged during the war.”
- In his “Special Message to Congress on Civil Rights,” here were some of President Truman’s proposals: Establishing a permanent Commission on Civil Rights, settling claims of Japanese-Americans who had been relocated after the attack on Pearl Harbor, protecting the right to vote, and granting statehood for Alaska and Hawaii.
- The president also signed Executive Order 9981, which ended racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces.
- In McCollum v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional.
- A dike along the Columbia River in Oregon broke, and destroyed Vanport, Oregon within minutes. Fifteen people died in the catastrophe and tens of thousands more were left homeless.
- An 11-month recession—the Recession of 1949—began in November 1948 and lasted until October 1949. The downturn followed President Truman's "Fair Deal" economic reforms as well as "a period of monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve."
- The 200" Hale telescope was dedicated at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego.
- The Hells Angels motorcycle club was founded in California.
- On June 24, the Soviet Union blockaded West Berlin, primarily because of the Cold War—which was just getting started.
- Two days after the Soviet blockade, the United States and Great Britain began a “massive airlift of food, water, and medicine to the citizens of West Berlin.”
- The Honda Motor Company was founded in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan.
- The Philadelphia Eagles were the NFL champs, the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched the Stanley Cup, and the Cleveland Indians won the World Series.
- MLB legend Babe Ruth passed away, and Casey Stengel took over as the New York Yankees manager.
- NASCAR, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, was founded in Daytona Beach, Florida by Bill France Sr.
- At the 20th Academy Awards, which honored the best films of 1947, Gentlemen’s Agreement won an Oscar for Best Picture, and Elia Kazan (Gentlemen’s Agreement) won an Oscar for Best Director. Likewise, Ronald Colman (A Double Life) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Loretta Young (The Farmer’s Daughter) won an Oscar for Best Actress.
- Columbia Records unveiled the 12-inch, 33⅓ LP (long playing) at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The LP allowed listeners “to enjoy an unprecedented 25 minutes of music per side, compared to the four minutes per side for a standard 78 rpm record.”
- The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) began broadcasting on its first affiliate, WFIL-TV in Philadelphia.
- the CBS Evening News premiered. The 15-minute broadcast at 7:30 PM EST was anchored by Douglas Edwards.
- By the end of 1948, there were two million television sets in American homes, including 720,000 in New York City alone. (At the end of 1946, however, only 44,000 American homes had a TV.)
- Future U.S. President Gerald Ford married department store fashion consultant Elizabeth (Betty) Bloomer Warren. Likewise, KFC founder Colonel Sanders tied the knot with his long-time employee Claudia Price.
- Consumer products that were introduced in 1948 include Cheetos, Dial soap, the Frisbee, L’Air du Temps perfume, LP records, Mentos, Nesquik, the Polaroid camera, Reddi-Wip, Ruffles potato chips, and Tupperware.
- In 1948, Al Gore, Bernadette Peters, Billy Crystal, Donna Summer, Grace Jones, Kathy Bates, Olivia Newton-John, Prince Charles, Rhea Perlman, Richard Simmons, and Terry Bradshaw were all born.
- Companies and brands that were founded in 1948 include American Signature, Atlas Van Lines, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dillard's, In-N-Out Burgers, Marie Callender’s, Miracle-Ear, Rural Metro Fire, Shurfine, Tom Thumb Food & Pharmacy, the True Value Company, and Wham-O.
- In the 1940s, “cooking with gas” meant making good progress, “hot diggity dog” was an expression of excitement, and “cheesy” meant cheap or poorly made.
- At the 21st Scripps National Spelling Bee, the winner was 14-year-old Jean Chappelear of Ohio, who correctly spelled the word “psychiatry.”
This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1948. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, famous birthdays, and other cool pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1940s-themed trivia game.
Table of Contents
For easier reading and referencing, I have divided this article into the following categories:
- Grocery Prices in the Year 1948
- History Facts From the USA and World
- Sports Trivia
- 1940s Slang Words and Expressions
- Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
- Entertainment News
- Nobel Prize Winners
- Best-Selling Fiction and Non-Fiction Books
- 1948 in American Television
- 1948 in American Radio
- Most Popular Movies
- Ten Best Horror Films
- Animated Films Released in 1948
- Biggest Pop Music Artists
- Top 25 Songs for the Year
- Food and Beverage Trivia
- Famous Birthdays
- Notable Weddings
- Famous People Who Died
- U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year
- American Companies and Brands Established During 1948
1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1948
These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library.
- Apples (western Winesap): 15 cents a pound
- Bacon (Armour Star): 69 cents for a one-pound package
- Bananas: 11 cents a pound
- Blueberries: 39 cents a pint
- Bread: 14 cents for a one-pound loaf
- Cake (Virginia Lee brand, angel food): 45 cents apiece
- Cake mix (Gold Seal): 23 cents a box
- Cereal (Kellogg’s Rice Krispies): 14 cents for a 5.5-ounce package
- Coca-Cola: Five cents a bottle
- Coca-Cola: 25 cents for a six-bottle carton
- Coca-Cola: $1.00 for a 24-bottle carton
- Coffee (Nescafe, instant): 39 cents for a four-ounce jar
- Cookies (Nabisco, Fig Newtons): 18 cents for an eight-ounce package
- Crackers (Nabisco, Ritz): 31 cents for a 16-ounce box
- Eggs: 79 cents a dozen
- Fish (tuna, Chicken of the Sea): 45 cents a can
- Ham (smoked): 57 cents a pound
- Hot dogs (Armour Star): 55 cents for a one-pound package
- Jelly (grape): 15 cents for a 12-ounce jar
- Juice (Del Monte, orange): 25 cents for a 56-ounce can
- Juice (Welch’s, grape): 39 cents for a 32-ounce bottle
- Leg of lamb: 69 cents a pound
- Margarine: 41 cents for a one-pound package
- Marshmallows (Campfire): 31 cents for a one-pound package
- Mayonnaise (Hellmann’s): 49 cents for a pint jar
- Milk: 34 cents a gallon
- Olives (Ideal, stuffed): 25 cents for a three-ounce jar
- Onions (yellow): Two pounds for 17 cents
- Oranges: 19 cents a dozen
- Peanut butter: 31 cents for a one-pound jar
- Pickles (kosher, dill): 35 cents for a quart jar
- Plums (red): 19 cents a pound
- Pork & beans: Two 16-ounce cans for 27 cents
- Potato chips: 23 cents for a five-ounce bag
- SPAM: 47 cents for a 12-ounce can
- Soup (Campbell’s, tomato): Three cans for 29 cents
- Spaghetti (Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, with meatballs): 21 cents for a six-ounce can
- String beans (fresh): Two pounds for 23 cents
- Sugar (Jack Frost): 42 cents for a five-pound bag
- Watermelon: Five cents a pound
2. History Facts From the USA and World
- On January 1, the Transport Act of 1947 came into force in the United Kingdom, which nationalized the British rail system.
- On January 7, President Truman raised taxes to finance the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan—also known as the European Recovery Program—provided aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. The plan “provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent, and to reconstruct cities, industries and infrastructure heavily damaged during the war.”
- On January 12, the London Co-operative Society opened the UK’s first fully self-service grocery store in Manor Park, London.
- On January 12, pacifist and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi began his final fast.
- On January 27, the electronics company Ampex began selling the first audio tape recorder—the Ampex Model 200.
- On January 30, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse.
- On January 30, the Winter Olympics opened in St. Moritz, Switzerland. A total of 69 athletes (59 men and 10 women) participated in nine sporting events. (By the way, it had been 12 years since the last Winter Games in 1936.)
- On February 2, in his “Special Message to Congress on Civil Rights,” President Truman recommended “the establishment of a permanent Commission on Civil Rights; federal protection against lynching; protection of the right to vote; settling claims of Japanese-Americans who had been relocated after the attack on Pearl Harbor; statehood for Alaska and Hawaii; suffrage and self-government for the District of Columbia; and ‘prohibiting discrimination in interstate transportation facilities.’”
- On February 21, NASCAR, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, was founded in Daytona Beach, Florida by Bill France Sr.
- On February 25, Communist rule was established in Czechoslovakia “after a nearly bloodless coup took place.” Up until that time, Czechoslovakia had been the last democracy in Eastern Europe.
- On March 8, in McCollum v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional.
- On March 12, the temperature plunged to -5°F in Cleveland, which was the lowest temperature ever recorded in C-town during March.
- On April 7, the United Nations established the World Health Organization (WHO).
- On April 14, New York City subway fares increased from five cents to ten cents.
- On April 19, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) began broadcasting on its first primary affiliate, WFIL-TV in Philadelphia.
- On May 3, the CBS Evening News premiered. The 15-minute broadcast at 7:30 PM EST was anchored by Douglas Edwards.
- On June 3, the 200" Hale telescope was dedicated at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego.
- On June 18, Columbia Records unveiled the 12-inch, 33⅓ LP (long playing) at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The LP allowed listeners “to enjoy an unprecedented 25 minutes of music per side, compared to the four minutes per side for a standard 78 rpm record.”
- On June 19, the first NASCAR race was held at the Charlotte Speedway in North Carolina before a crowd of 13,000.
- On June 24, at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York was nominated as the 1948 Republican presidential candidate.
- On June 24, the Soviet Union blockaded West Berlin. Johndclare.net tells us that “The main cause of the Berlin Blockade was the Cold War, which was just getting started. Stalin was taking over eastern Europe by salami tactics and Czechoslovakia had just turned Communist (March 1948). Stalin wanted to destroy Germany, and the USSR had been stripping East Germany of its wealth and machinery.”
- On June 26, the United States and Great Britain began a “massive airlift of food, water, and medicine ... to the citizens of West Berlin following the Soviet Blockade.”
- On July 15, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, President Harry Truman was nominated as the 1948 Democratic presidential candidate.
- On July 25, Italian cyclist Gino Bartali won the 35th Tour de France.
- On July 26, President Truman issued Executive Order No. 9981, “to desegregate the U.S. armed forces."
- On July 29, the Summer Olympics opened at Wembley Stadium in London. A total of 33 athletic events were contested, 24 for men and 9 for women.
- On August 16, MLB legend Babe Ruth died of cancer at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. History.com tells us that "For two days following, his body lay in state at the main entrance to Yankee Stadium, and tens of thousands of people stood in line to pay their last respects. He was buried in Hawthorne, New York."
- On August 27, the thermometer soared to 102°F in Cleveland, which was the highest temperature ever recorded in C-town during August.
- On September 24, the Honda Motor Company was founded in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan.
- On October 11, the Cleveland Indians beat the Boston Braves, 4 games to 2, to win the 45th World Series title.
- On October 12, Casey Stengel took over as the New York Yankees manager.
- On November 2, President Truman was re-elected president of the United States by defeating Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey.
- In December, MLB legend Stan Musial was named the National League’s MVP, and MLB player Lou Boudreau became the American League’s MVP.
- On December 19, New York City received 15.3” inches of snow, the eighth largest snowfall in the City’s history.
- By the end of 1948, there were two million television sets in American homes, including 720,000 in New York City alone. (At the end of 1946, only 44,000 American homes had a TV. By the end of 1949, however, there were 4.2 million TV homes.)
3. Sports Trivia
Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.
- Kentucky Derby: Citation
- NBA Champions: Baltimore Bullets
- NCAA Basketball: Kentucky
- NCAA Football Champs: Michigan
- NFL Champions: Philadelphia Eagles
- Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech over Kansas
- Rose Bowl: Michigan over USC
- Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
- Sugar Bowl: Texas over Alabama
- U.S. Open Golf: Ben Hogan
- U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Richard A. Gonzales/Margaret
- Wimbledon (men/women): Bob Falkenburg/Louis Brough
- World Series Champions: Cleveland Indians
4. 1940s Slang Words and Expressions
Grammar.YourDictionary.com tells us that “The 1940s slang came out of a unique time when the United States was rebounding from the Great Depression and becoming embroiled in World War II. Many new slang words became part of everyday dialogue during this decade.”
Here are some of the most popular slang words and expressions from the 1940s. Many of them are still being used today.
- Ace: A person with a high level of expertise
- All decked out: To be dressed in an attractive way
- Bender: A drinking binge
- Cheesy: Cheap or poorly made
- Chicken: A person who is a coward.
- Cooking with gas: Making good progress
- Crack up: To burst out laughing
- Crummy: Something that is no good
- Dame: A woman
- Dreamboat: A very handsome man
- Drip: Someone who is boring
- Eager beaver: A person who is an enthusiastic helper
- Geezer: An old person
- Gobbledgook: Talking nonsense
- Hipster: Someone who is very tuned to popular culture.
- Holy mackerel: An expression of excitement
- Hot diggity dog: An expression of excitement
- Knucklehead: A foolish or stupid person
- Pain in the neck: Bothersome, annoying
- Pass the buck: Not taking responsibility
- Rookie: A new recruit
- Sauced: A drunken state
- Schnook: Someone who is gullible
- Swigger: Someone who drinks alcohol
- Unmentionables: A woman’s undergarments
5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
- In 1948, the most popular baby names for boys were James, Robert, John, William, and Michael. Today, the most popular names include Liam, Noah, Oliver, Elijah, and William.
- In 1948, the most popular baby names for girls were Linda, Mary, Barbara, Patricia, and Susan. Today, the most popular names include Olivia, Emma, Amelia, Ava, and Sophia.
- The average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 64.6 years for men and 69.9 years for women.
- Macy's 18 most popular holiday gifts included handkerchiefs, Christmas card sets, nylons, white cotton shirts, striped pajamas, Macy's brand of Scotch, "Suzy" perfume, leatherette handbags, canisters of candy, ballpoint pens, men's blue shorts, men's wool socks, simulated pearls, children's blue underwear, rayon ties, rayon slippers, leather jewel boxes, and Strauss waltz albums.
- Fashion icons in 1948 were Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, and Lana Turner.
- BeBe Shopp (Minnesota) was crowned Miss America.
- Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” was President Harry Truman, the president of the United States.
- Tupperware home parties were all the rage.
- Popcorn became a popular snack food.
- Coca-Cola was still five cents a bottle.
- A daily newspaper also cost a nickel.
- Milk was 34 cents a gallon, a 16-ounce loaf of bread was 14 cents, and bananas were 11 cents a pound.
- House paint cost $4.25 a gallon.
- Cannon percale sheets (42’ x 72’) were $1.37-$1.98 each.
- Ipana toothpaste was 43 cents a tube.
- Two pounds of charcoal briquettes cost 39 cents.
- A movie ticket was 36 cents.
- Bread rationing ended in Great Britain.
- The word game Scrabble was invented.
- Columbia Records unveiled the 12-inch, 33⅓ LP (long playing) at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It allowed listeners “to enjoy an unprecedented 25 minutes of music per side, compared to the four minutes per side for a standard 78 rpm record.”
- On November 26, the first Polaroid camera sold for $89.75 at Boston’s Jordan Marsh department store.
- Food critic Duncan Hines founded a company that manufactured boxed cake mixes.
- Homicide rate per 100,000: 5.9
- Unemployment peaked at 4.0% in December.
- Inflation rate: 7.74%
- GDP: $269.7 billion
- Federal spending: $29.76 billion
- Federal debt: $252.0 billion
- Consumer Price Index: $24.1
- Average income per year: $2,950
- Average cost of a new house: $7,700
- Average monthly rent: $50
- Average cost of a new car: $1,250
- Average cost of a gallon of gas: 16 cents
- The price of gold averaged $34.71 per troy ounce.
6. Entertainment News
- On January 10, the musical, Call Me Mister, closed at the National Theater in NYC after 734 performances.
- On January 15, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a film based on B. Traven's novel and starring Humphrey Bogart, was released.
- On January 31, J. D. Salinger's short story, A Perfect Day for Banana Fish, appeared in the New Yorker magazine.
- On February 5, the science show, Nature of Things, premiered on NBC.
- On February 6, KNXT-TV (now KCBS-TV) (CBS) began broadcasting in Los Angeles, CA.
- On March 4, the first American TV ratings were released by C. E. Hooper. (Please note that the Nielsen ratings for television did not begin until 1950.)
- On March 8, the 2nd Tony Awards were held at the Waldorf-Astoria grand ballroom in NYC, and were also broadcast on radio station WOR. At the ceremonies, Paul Hartman (Angel in the Wings) won a Tony for Best Actor (Musical), and Henry Fonda (Mister Roberts) won a Tony for Best Actor (Play). Likewise, Grace Hartman (Angel in the Wings) won a Tony for Best Actress (Musical), and Judith Anderson (Medea) won a Tony for Best Actress (Play). Finally, Jerome Robbins (High Button Shoes) won a Tony for Best Choreographer, and Max Meth (Finian’s Rainbow) won a Tony for Best Conductor and Musical Director.
- On March 11, WBAL-TV (CBS) began broadcasting in Baltimore, MD.
- On March 15, actor Laurence Olivier appeared on the front cover of Life magazine.
- On March 15, WCAU-TV (CBS) began broadcasting in Philadelphia, PA.
- On March 16, jazz musician Billie Holiday was released from prison for good behavior.
- On March 19, the 5th Golden Globe Awards—which honored the best films of 1947—were held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. At the ceremonies, Gentlemen’s Agreement won a Golden Globe for Best Picture, Ronald Colman (A Double Life) won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Rosalind Russel (Mourning Becomes Electra) won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Likewise, Elia Kazan (Gentlemen’s Agreement) won a Golden Globe for Best Director, and Miracle on 34th Street won a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay.
- On March 20, at the 20th Academy Awards, which honored the best films of 1947, Gentlemen’s Agreement won an Oscar for Best Picture, and Elia Kazan (Gentlemen’s Agreement) won an Oscar for Best Director. Likewise, Ronald Colman (A Double Life) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Loretta Young (The Farmer’s Daughter) won an Oscar for Best Actress. Finally, Miracle on 34th Street won an Oscar for Best Motion Picture Story, and Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (Song of the South) won an Oscar for Best Original Song.
- On March 20, acclaimed Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini made his television debut. He conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra on a program that featured the works of Richard Wagner.
- On March 27, just 11 days after being released from prison, Billie Holiday performed in front of a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall.
- On April 4, WGN-TV (IND) began broadcasting in Chicago, IL.
- On April 19, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) began broadcasting on its first primary affiliate, WFIL-TV in Philadelphia.
- On April 23, KSTP-TV (ABC) began broadcasting in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.
- On May 3, the CBS Evening News premiered. The 15-minute broadcast at 7:30 PM EST was anchored by Douglas Edwards.
- On May 3, Pulitzer Prizes was awarded to author James Michener (Tales of the South Pacific) and playwright Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire).
- On May 14, WBEN-TV (now WIVB-TV) (CBS) began broadcasting in Buffalo, NY.
- On June 3, the musical, Sleepy Hollow, based on Washington Irving's novel, opened at the St. James Theater in NYC for 12 performances.
- On June 21, the Republican National Convention was televised from Philadelphia.
- On June 21, WNAC-TV (now WHDH-TV) (CBS) began broadcasting in Boston, MA.
- On July 26, The Babe Ruth Story, a film biography of Babe Ruth—the New York Yankees slugger—was released. It starred William Bendix as Babe Ruth and Claire Trevor as his wife. (On August 16, 1948, Babe Ruth died of cancer at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He was 53 years old.)
- On July 29, the BBC began coverage of the 1948 Summer Olympics, which took place at Wembley Stadium in London.
- On July 31, the musical, Brigadoon, closed at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC after 581 performances.
- On August 10, Alan Funt’s Candid Camera premiered on ABC.
- On September 21, Milton Berle became the permanent host of NBC’s Texaco Star Theater.
- On September 29, the film, Hamlet, starring Laurence Olivier, opened at the Park Avenue Cinema in NYC.
- On September 29, WSB-TV (ABC) began broadcasting in Atlanta, GA.
- On October 2, the musical, Finian's Rainbow, closed at the 46th Street Theater in NYC after 725 performances.
- On October 6, Polonaise, a musical featuring the works of Frederic Chopin, opened at the Alvin Theater in NYC for 113 performances.
- On October 16, the musical, Red Mill, opened at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC for 831 performances.
- On November 4, author and poet T. S. Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
- On November 28, the western, Hopalong Cassidy, premiered on NBC, and ran for two seasons.
- On December 11, WMC-TV (NBC) began broadcasting in Memphis, TN.
- On December 18, WDSU-TV (NBC) began broadcasting in New Orleans, LA, and also became the first television station in the deep south.
- On December 22, KPIX-TV (CBS) began broadcasting in San Francisco, CA.
- On December 30, the musical, Kiss Me Kate, opened at the New Century Theater in NYC for 1,077 performances.
7. Nobel Prize Winners
Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.
This Nobel Prize information from 1948 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.
- Chemistry: Arne Tiselius
- Literature: T. S. Elliot
- Physics: Patrick Blackett
- Physiology or medicine: Paul Hermann Müller
8. Best-Selling Fiction and Non-Fiction Books
This book trivia from 1948 has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.
1. The Big Fisherman by Lloyd C. Douglas
2. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
3. Dinner at Antoine's by Frances Parkinson Keyes
4. The Bishop's Mantle by Agnes Sligh Turnbull
5. Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith
6. The Golden Hawk by Frank Yerby
7. Raintree County by Ross Lockridge Jr
8. Shannon's Way by A.J. Cronin
9. Pilgrim's Inn by Elizabeth Goudge
10. The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
1. Crusade in Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower
2. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
3. Peace of Mind by Joshua L. Liebman
4. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male by A.C. Kinsey et al.
5. Wine, Women and Words by Billy Rose
6. The Life and Times of the Shmoo by Al Capp
7. The Gathering Storm by Winston Churchill
8. Roosevelt and Hopkins by Robert E. Sherwood
9. A Guide to Confident Living by Norman Vincent Peale
10. The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald
9. 1948 in American Television
Encyclopedia.com tells us that “Television was introduced to Americans in 1939 and began to gain a foothold after World War II (1939–45). In the 1950s, the sale of TV sets and the boom in programming made TV America's favorite source of entertainment. Consider the numbers: in 1946, 7,000 TV sets were sold; in 1948, 172,000 sets were sold; and in 1950, 5 million sets were sold. In 1950, just under 20 percent of American homes contained a TV set. Ten years later, nearly 90 percent of homes contained a TV—and some even had color TVs.”
Here are 15 TV programs that premiered during the 1948-49 season:
- The Ed Sullivan Show: Variety
- Studio One: Drama
- Superman: Sci-fi, action
- The Milton Berle Show: Comedy, family
- Actor’s Studio: Drama
- Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall: Music
- The Philco Television Playhouse: Drama
- The Life of Riley: Comedy
- The Ford Theatre Hour: Drama
- Ted Mack & the Original Amateur Hour
- Candid Camera: Comedy, family, reality TV
- Lamp Unto My Feet: Religion
- The Morey Amsterdam Show: Comedy, music, family
- The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre
- The Hoffman Hayride
10. 1948 in American Radio
Encyclopedia.com tells us that “Television changed the American entertainment landscape. In towns where TV was introduced, movie attendance and book sales dropped off dramatically. Radio, which had been America's favorite form of at-home amusement, declined in importance in the 1950s. Variety, comedy, and dramatic shows left the airwaves for TV. Radio increasingly focused on news, talk shows, and sports broadcasting.”
Here are 25 of the most popular radio programs from 1948:
- Adventures of Ellery Queen
- Adventures of Sam Spade
- Adventures of the Thin Man
- Amos ‘n’ Andy
- Bing Crosby
- Captain Midnight
- Duffy’s Tavern
- Edgar Bergen - Charlie McCarthy
- Fibber McGee & Molly
- Green Hornet
- Jeff Regan, Investigator
- Lone Ranger
- Molle Mystery Theater
- Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons
- Mysterious Traveler
- Pat Novak for Hire
- Sherlock Holmes
- Straight Arrow
- The Inner Sanctum
- This Is Your FBI
11. Most Popular Movies
This movie trivia has been made available courtesy of The-Numbers.com.
- The Snake Pit
- The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
- Johnny Belinda
- Key Largo
- The Red Shoes
- Red River
- I Remember Mama
- Easter Parade
- Fort Apache
- Sitting Pretty
- The Paleface
- State of the Union
- Joan of Arc
- The Three Musketeers
12. Ten Best Horror Films
This film trivia from 1948 has been made available courtesy of IMDB.com.
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
- The Amazing Mr. X
- Daughter of Darkness
- Scaredy Cat
- Who Killed ‘Doc’ Robbin?
- Unknown Island
- The Creeper
- The Monkey’s Paw
- Horror Maniacs
- The Fatal Night
13. Animated Films Released in 1948
- A Feather in His Hare (Warner Bros.)
- A-Lad-In His Lamp (Warner Bros.)
- Back Alley Oproar (Warner Bros.)
- Banquet Busters (Woody Woodpecker series)
- Bugs Bunny Rides Again (Warner Bros.)
- Daddy Duck (Walt Disney Productions)
- Daffy Dilly (Warner Bros.)
- Hare Splitter (Warner Bros.)
- Hot Cross Bunny (Warner Bros.)
- I Taw a Putty Tat (Warner Bros.)
- Inferior Decorator (Donald Duck short)
- Melody Time (Walt Disney Productions)
- Odor of the Day (Warner Bros.)
- Professor Tom (Tom and Jerry series)
- Rabbit Punch (Warner Bros.)
- Scaredy Cat (Warner Bros.)
- Soup’s On (Walt Disney Productions)
- Tea for Two Hundred (Donald Duck series)
- The Foghorn Leghorn (Warner Bros.)
- The Mad Hatter (Woody Woodpecker series)
- The Rattled Rooster (Warner Bros.)
- The Shell Shocked Egg (Warner Bros.)
- Three for Breakfast (Donald Duck series)
- Wild and Woody (Woody Woodpecker series)
- You Were Never Duckier (Warner Bros.)
14. Biggest Pop Music Artists
Popular music artists and groups from 1948 included the Andrews Sisters, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Vic Damone, Ella Fitzgerald, Dick Haymes, Mahalia Jackson, Spike Jones and His City Slickers, Sammy Kaye, Evelyn Knight, Kay Kyser, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, Gordon MacRae, Art Mooney, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, and Margaret Whiting.
15. Top 25 Songs for the Year
This music trivia has been made available courtesy of Playback.fm.
- Buttons & Bows: Dinah Shore
- Nature Boy: Nat King Cole
- I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover: Art Mooney
- Twelfth Street Rag: Pee Wee Hunt
- Manana (Is Soon Enough for Me): Peggy Lee
- The Woody Woodpecker Song: Kay Kyser
- Now Is the Hour: Bing Crosby
- You Call Everybody Darlin’: Al Trace
- A Tree in the Meadow: Margaret Whiting
- All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth: Spike Jones
- On a Slow Boat to China: Kay Kyser
- It’s Magic: Doris Day
- Move on Up a Little Higher: Mahalia Jackson
- Good Rockin’ Tonight: Wyonie Harris
- Love Somebody: Doris Day and Buddy Clark
- Boogie Chillun: John Lee Hooker
- You Can’t Be True, Dear: Ken Griffin
- Powder Your Face with Sunshine: Evelyn Knight
- My Happiness: Ella Fitzgerald
- Little White Lies: Dick Haymes
- Now Is the Hour: Gracie Fields
- Just Because: Frankie Yankovic
- Ramblin’ Rose: Perry Como
- Bouquet of Roses: Eddy Arnold
- So Tired: Russ Morgan
16. Food and Beverage Trivia
SoYummy.com tells us that “The second World War ended in 1945, so people needed to ration supplies and make substitutions for pricier ingredients. Even if you had the money, you might not be able to get the items you wanted from the market. Consequently, certain meals were improvised, and a little had to go a long way. People got creative, though. And foods from the 1940s turned out to be unique and innovative."
Here are 30 of the most popular foods from the 1940s:
- Betty Crocker’s cake mixes
- Bread pudding
- Cape Cod Bay brown bread
- Cheese, potato, and onion pie
- Chicken a la King
- Chiffon cake
- Coconut cream pie
- Concentrated orange juice
- Cornmeal pancakes
- Deviled ham
- Egg salad
- Gold nugget cake
- Green bean casserole
- Homemade applesauce
- Irish soda bread
- Jell-O salads
- Ketchup (During the 1940s, ketchup was the most-used flavoring ingredient.)
- Lord Woolton pie
- Mashed potatoes
- Molasses cookies
- Olive loaf
- Plum Charlotte
- Potato and hot dog salad
- Tuna noodle casserole
- Vegetable soup
- York peppermint patties
17. Famous Birthdays
Here are some of the famous people who were born in 1948:
- Al Gore: Vice President
- Alice Cooper: Rock singer
- Andrew Lloyd Webber: Composer
- Bernadette Peters: Stage actress
- Billy Crystal: Movie actor
- Bobby Orr: Hockey player
- Carl Weathers: Movie actor
- Donna Summer (1948-2012): Pop singer
- George RR Martin: Novelist
- Grace Jones: Pop singer
- Ina Garten: Chef
- John Carpenter: Director
- John Ritter (1948-2003): TV actor
- Kathy Bates: Movie actress
- Kenny Loggins: Rock singer
- Nate Archibald: Basketball player
- Olivia Newton-John: Pop singer
- Pam Ferris: Movie actress
- Prince Charles
- Rhea Perlman: TV actress
- Richard Simmons: Entrepreneur
- S. E. Hinton: Young adult author
- Samuel L. Jackson: Movie actor
- Stevie Nicks: Rock singer
- Terry Bradshaw: Football player
18. Notable Weddings
These marriage facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.
- On February 16, American baseball player and manager Leo Durocher married actress Laraine Day.
- On March 28, musician Nat King Cole married jazz singer Maria Hawkins.
- On April 26, actress Lana Turner married Henry J. Topping, Jr.
- On May 15, dancer and actress Cyd Charisse married singer Tony Martin.
- On May 28, film director Stanley Kubrick married high school sweetheart Toba Metz.
- On June 19, actor José Ferrer married actress Phyllis Hill.
- On September 24, MLB outfielder Ty Cobb married Frances Cass.
- On October 15, future U.S. President Gerald Ford married department store fashion consultant Elizabeth (Betty) Bloomer Warren.
- On November 18, KFC founder Colonel Sanders married his long-time employee Claudia Price.
- On December 26, MLB player Gil Hodges married Joan Lombardi.
19. Famous People Who Died
This information has been made available courtesy of TheFamousPeople.com.
- Alice Brown: Novelist
- Babe Ruth: MLB legend
- Carole Landis: Movie actress
- Charles Evans Hughes: Supreme Court Justice
- Claude McKay: Poet
- D. W. Griffith: Director
- Edith Roosevelt: First Lady
- Hank Wilson: Baseball player
- Henry Dexter White: Economist
- Herb Pennock: Baseball player
- Hugo Boss: Fashion designer
- Jake Powell: Baseball player
- James Baskett: Actor
- John J. Pershing: War hero
- Louis Lumiere: Film producer
- May Whitty: Actress
- Orville Wright: Inventor
- Samuel S. Hinds: Actor and lawyer
- Susan Glaspell: Playwright
- Warren William: Actor
20. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year
Here are the U.S. automobile production figures for 1948:
- Chevrolet: 696,449
- Ford: 430,198
- Plymouth: 412,540
- Dodge: 243,340
- Pontiac: 235,419
- Buick: 213,599
- Studebaker: 184,993
- Oldsmobile: 172,852
- Chrysler: 130,110
- Hudson: 117,200
- Nash: 110,000
- DeSoto: 98,890
- Packard: 92,251
- Kaiser: 91,851
- Cadillac: 52,706
- Mercury: 50,268
- Frazer: 48,071
- Crosley: 26,239
- Lincoln: 7,769
21. American Companies and Brands Established During 1948
- American Signature is a privately-held furniture company that is based in Columbus, Ohio. It is the parent company of Value City Furniture.
- Atlas Van Lines is an agent-owned moving company.
- Bowser Manufacturing is a manufacturer of model railroad equipment that is located in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.
- Buckle is a fashion retailer selling clothing, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and children. The company operates 451 stores in 42 states.
- Corvus Airlines d.b.a. Ravn Alaska is an Anchorage-based regional airline that serves the small communities of Alaska.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods is a sporting goods retailer that is based in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Currently, Dick’s operates 854 stores and has over 50,000 employees, and is also the largest sporting goods retailer in the U.S.
- Dillard's is an upscale department store chain that operates 299 stores in 28 states.
- Follett Products “manufactures nugget ice makers for the healthcare, foodservice, hospitality, and supermarket industries as well as refrigerators for the medical industry.” The company is located in Easton, Pennsylvania and has three manufacturing facilities.
- Foodland Hawaii is a supermarket chain that is based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Foodland operates 32 stores throughout Hawaii under the names "Foodland," "Foodland Farms," and "Sack 'N Save.”
- In-N-Out Burgers is a regional chain of fast food restaurants. It was founded in Baldwin Park, California by Harry and Esther Snyder.
- Manpower is a human resources consulting firm based in Milwaukee.
- Marie Callender’s is a restaurant chain with 29 locations in California, Nevada, and Utah.
- Miracle-Ear “is a hearing aid company consisting of a network of franchised and corporately-owned retail outlets.”
- Rada Manufacturing, based in Waverly, Iowa, is a company that produces cutlery and kitchen utensils.
- Robert Half is a global human resources consulting firm located in Menlo Park, California.
- Rural Metro Fire is “a private fire department that provides fire protection and emergency medical services to individual homeowners and commercial businesses in unincorporated locations throughout the United States, primarily under a subscription-based model.”
- Screen Gems is a film production and distribution studio that is a division of Sony Pictures.
- Service Electric is a group of affiliated television companies serving eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey.
- True Value Company is a wholesaler with over 4,500 independent retail locations worldwide.
- Windstream North Carolina is a telephone company operating in the state of North Carolina.
- Winners | The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards®
List of the top or longest running businesses/companies/firms founded, started or launched in 1948; incl. corporations and public/private enterprises.
- 1940s Slang
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Discover the most famous people who died in 1948. The list includes people like Mahatma Gandhi, Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Zelda Fitzgerald, Hideki Tojo and many more.
- Food Timeline: 1946 to 1950 - Food History Events
1946 to 1950 Food Timeline - Events in the History of Food & the Culinary Arts: Births and Deaths, Inventions and Patents, Discoveries, etc
- The Numbers - Top-Grossing Movies of 1948
Top-Grossing Movies of 1948
- What Happened in 1948 including Pop Culture, Significant Events, Key Technology and Inventions
1948 Prices including Wages, Houses and Gas, Events inc. Mahatma Gandhi is murdered, Porsche is founded, technology advances include Random Access Storage Device, Long Playing Record, Velcro and Transistor Radio, Apartheid begins in South Africa, NAS
- Famous Weekly Old Time Radio Shows
Short Soundbytes and histories of famous weekly Old Time Radio Shows
- US Economic Recessions Since WWII—And How They Ended - HISTORY
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- 1948 | Morris County Library
Historic prices in Morristown, as printed in the Daily Record, for the year 1948.
- 10 Best Horror Films of 1948 - IMDb
10 Best Horror Films of 1948
- Born in 1948 | Famous Birthdays
Famous people born in 1948 including Samuel L. Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, Prince Charles, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks and many more.
- 50 Vintage Recipes from the '40s Worth Trying Today
The 1940s were full of swing music, victory gardens and the invention of the microwave. Get a taste of the 40s with these vintage recipes that will take you back!
- These Curious Foods From The 1940s Might Make You Long For A Forgotten Era
Things were rough during WWII, but the foods from the 1940s seemed surprisingly good. You won't believe how creative they got, despite the war rations.
- Historical Events in 1948 - On This Day
Historical events from year 1948. Learn about 541 famous, scandalous and important events that happened in 1948 or search by date or keyword.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Gregory DeVictor
Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on October 13, 2021:
Mary, thank you for the comment. Up to now, I've written 70 of these nostalgia articles, and my favorite period has been the post-war era through the 1950s.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 13, 2021:
Love this trivia as it brings me back to what people valued then. I wasn't born yet at that time but many of those things continued to be favourites of so many older folks.
Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on October 12, 2021:
Liz, thanks for the comment. I guess that 1948 was just a continuation of 1949. Yes, it is a lot of data to deal with.
Liz Westwood from UK on October 12, 2021:
I can see a post-war theme with these articles. Did you find some of this information whilst researching 1949? I was especially struck by the taxation to pay for the Marshall plan. I wonder how that went down then and how a similar taxation plan would work these days? This is a fascinating snapshot of the post -war era.