Timeline – 1943 to 1947

Back to previous TIMELINE page (1934 to 1942)



Top stars: Betty Grable, Bob Hope, Abbott & Costello (21/164)
Top grossing films of 1943:

  1. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  2. The Song of Bernadette
  3. This is the Army
  4. Stage Door Canteen
  5. Star Spangled Rhythm
  6. Casablanca
  7. Journey Into Fear
  8. Hit the ice
  9. The Ape Man

1943 SONGS: (71/243)

  • You’ll never know
  • As time goes by
  • Don’t get around much anymore
  • Paper Doll
  • People will say we’re in love
  • It’s magic
  • Moonlight becomes you
  • That old black magic
  • You’d be so nice to come home to
  • Oh what a beautiful morning

1943 BOOKS: (71/237)

  • A tree grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • 30 Seconds over Tokyo by Capt Ted Lawson
  • Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis
  • The Human Comedy by William Saroyan

By 1943                   It is estimated that nearly 1 in 10 city residents was involved in some sort of civilian volunteer defense. (82/15)

By 1943                   Women are even becoming streetcar conductors. (L. A. Times database) (82/23)

During WWII          To confuse any high flying bomber overhead, Hollywood set-designers in Southern California carefully camouflaged the region’s aircraft plants, going to so far as to put fake grass and wooden cows on the roofs where workers below continued to busily the fighters and bombers that were intended to bring the war to the enemy. (82/16)

During WWII          The government spends more than 1 in every 11 wartime dollars in California. 100s of 1000s of Americans rushed to the state to take advantage of what one historian called California’s Second Gold Rush.” (82/18)

During WWII          Where women had earlier been made to feel guilty for working, they were no made to feel guilty for not working, either for pay in a war job or as a volunteer. (82/40)

JAN1943                 After starting to ration gasoline in DEC1942, the government goes even further and bans “pleasure driving” altogether. Drives with A stickers caught going anywhere for ‘pleasure’ were penalized by losing their gas rations. However enforcement was almost impossible, and the ban was lifted in SEP1943. (71/83)
Gasoline ration coupons were extremely valuable. They were not all equivalent. Five levels of gasoline rationing existed, and coupons were labeled from A to E. The A coupons, which could be used to buy gasoline for driving for pleasure, entitled the bearer to purchase three to five gallons per week. However, A tickets were discontinued in 1943. B tickets were reserved for commuters, who were allowed the most purchases per week. Gasoline rationing did cut down on driving and meant that Americans had to carpool, or share rides. One dramatic poster from the OWI stated, “When you die alone, you ride with Hitler! Join a car-sharing club today!” Other posters urged every American to consider, “Is you trip necessary?” (79/60)

15JAN1943             The Pentagon, building in Washington DC is dedicated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pentagon

JAN-MAY1943        Tyrone Power is involved in an illicit affair with Judy Garland that ends when he would not leave his wife, Annabella, for her. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000061/bio

JAN1943                 The crowds stood in line for hours in JAN of 43 for a chance to see Flynn defend himself in Los Angeles Superior Court. (42/174)

14-24JAN1943        The “Casablanca Conference” – World War II meeting of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Casablanca, French Morocco. A joint declaration pledged that the war would end only with the unconditional surrender of the Axis states. http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0810672.html

Early 1943              Rent controls are extended nationally and rationing is expanded to not only gasoline, tires and fuel oil, but sugar, coffee, meats, butter and a variety of processed food. (64/86)

JAN1943                 By the beginning of 1943, 215 members of the Screen Writers Guild were serving in the armed forces. (72/181)

FEB1943                 The Golden Globe Awards are presented for the first time, voted by the 80 or so active members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. (p67/114)

05FEB1943             Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, Grauman’s ceremony

14FEB1943             February 14, 1943 – The United States encounters its first major defeat in the European theater of World War II at the Battle for Kasserine Pass in Tunisia. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

15FEB1943             Betty Grable, Grauman’s ceremony http://www.amug.org/~scrnsrc/chinese_theater.html

FEB1943                 Sale of canned meats and fish are frozen, which like many other restricted items, produced a panicked run on supermarkets throughout the U.S. (71/82& 255)

05FEB1943             ‘The Outlaw’ has its first premiere at the Geary Theater, San Francisco. After an 8-week record breaking run Hughes, strangely, pulls it from distribution and it sits on the shelf for 3 years. (78/166)

06FEB1943             Errol Flynn is acquitted of statutory rape charges. (21/170)

FEB1943                 The last of the Japanese defenses are driven from Guadalcanal. (79/53)

12MAR1943            A 12MAR1943 OWI/BMP bulletin urged: “Particular efforts should be made to break down all known resistances (among men and women both) attached to the idea of women working. It should be stressed that women should apply for jobs, and not wait to be called.” (82/40)

31MAR1943            The first performance of ‘Oklahoma’ at the St James in New York. (79/54)

08APR1943             Roosevelt freezes all wages, salaries and prices. (70/117)

29MAY1943             Norman Rockwell’s now-famous painting of Rosie the Riveter appears on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. (79/59)

MAY1943                 “Mission to Moscow” released (76/225)

MAY1943                The Allies have driven the Germans out of North Africa and began their assault on Europe. (70/50)

27MAY1943            Roosevelt forbids racial discrimination in any industry accepting government war contracts. (70/117)

05-08JUN1943       “Zoot Suit” riots break out directed primarily at Mexican-American youths in Los Angeles. 44 injured Mexican-Americans are arrested. Police do little to stops attacks by white servicemen. “Zoot suits” become the uniform of hep cats and young male Negroes. (23/341) (42/141)

20JUN1943             Detroit race riot begins, one of several that hit major cities through the summer. (70/118)

27JUN1943             Fire guts Ciro’s. (21/171)

10JUL1943             150,000 American and British forces land in Sicily. The successful invasion toppled the government of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini who had ruled Italy for 20 years. (70/50) He officially left office on 25JUL1943. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini) The Allies conquer Sicily on 16AUG1943 (79/67)

July 10, 1943 – The United States Army’s 45th Infantry Division lands on the island of Sicily, starting the campaign of Allied invasion into Ax-s-controlled Europe.  Nine days later, Rome is bombed by Allied forces.  The conquest of Sicily would be completed on August 17 when U.S. forces under General Patton and British forces under Field Marshall Montgomery arrive. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

26JUL1943             Los Angeles experiences its first smog attack. http://www.laalmanac.com/history/hi01g.htm

13AUG1943            Gary Cooper, Grauman’s ceremony http://www.amug.org/~scrnsrc/chinese_theater.html

15SEP1943             The one millionth guest walks through the door of the Hollywood Canteen. The lucky soldier, Sgt. Carl Bell, received a kiss from Betty Grable. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Canteen

SEP1943                 After banning “pleasure driving” altogether in JAN1943, the government realizes that enforcement is almost impossible, and the ban is lifted. (71/83)

28NOV-01DEC1943 Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin meet in Tehran, Iran and pledge their cooperation in the war effort. (70/118)

LATE1943               In late 1943, Clark Gable sadly returned to the Encino ranch he had shared with Carole Lombard. Officially he was still in the Air Force, he was still receiving $7500 a week from MGM even tough he told Mayer he would film nothing until the war ended. The publicity Strickling milked from their patriotic star was worth much more than what they were paying him. He had time to date, and drink. He was drunk most of the time, downing a quart of scotch every day. Even so, friends said the only way to tell that Gable was drunk was that when he walked through doorways drunks, he turned sideways. (214/96)

24DEC1943            Dwight Eisenhower appointed Supreme Commander of Allied forces for the invasion of Europe. (71/234)

DEC1943                Sinatra’s first Hollywood movie – RKO’s Higher and Higher – is released. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036919/releaseinfo

Winter 1943/44       Double Indemnity is filmed on the Paramount lot. (p213/118)

1943                        20th Century Fox began distributing pinups of leggy actress Betty Grable who is getting 4000 fan letters a week after only 2 movies. http://www.filmsite.org/milestones1940s.html (21/170)

12OCT1943            Edward Noble, owner of Life Savers candy and the Rexall drugstore chain, buys Blue Network from NBC which he renames American Broadcasting Company in MID 1944. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Broadcasting_Company

07DEC1943            Meet Me in St. Louis goes into production at MGM with a 58-day schedule and a $1.5 million budget that would eventually swell to $1.8 million and earn $6.5 million, making it the studio’s biggest moneymaker of the year. (p372/129)

1943                        The government starts urging people to start saving all fats in order to convert it to glycerin needed to make explosives. (71/86)

1943                        New York businessman comes up with the idea of a withholding fax or pay-as-you-go system where taxes would be automatically taken out of a worker’s paycheck, making it now up to the employer not the employee to send the correct amount of tax to the government. (7956)

1943                        After 1942 a new automobile, or refrigerator, or radio was simply not to be had. Furniture, appliances, clothing, and scores of other necessities, all under prescribed “ceiling prices” were scarce and often shoddy. You stood in long lines to get your books of red and blue ration stamps, without which you could not buy tires and gasoline, or fuel for heating, or leather shoes, or meats, sugar, and many kinds of processed foods – and then stood in other lines hoping the supply of whatever it was you wanted would not run out before your turn came. (64/104)

1943                        Only a small number of civilians can purchase new cars after 1942. even police forces could not purchase any new patrol car without providing that it would replace  a re-1937 model that had mor Ethan 100,000 miles on it. (79/60)

1943                        Olivia de Havilland challenges Warner Bros. right to extend her contract for every week she is on suspension and wins her case. (41/66)

1943                        The wartime income tax has accelerated the move by top Hollywood talent to set–up independent production companies, often as a corporation to produce a single feature film. By doing this, highly paid producers, directors and stars can be taxed at the capital gains rate of 25%, rather than at the personal income tax rate which can be as high as 80–90%. http://www.pictureshowman.com/timeline_1940_1949.cfm

1943                        As the motion picture exhibition industry loses more and more of its male employees to the armed services, women begin to fill the vacancies. In March, Warner Bros. reports that it now has the first theater in the U.S. to be staffed entirely by women. Three months later Loew’s reports that 62 of its theaters, roughly half, are being run by women. http://www.pictureshowman.com/timeline_1940_1949.cfm

1943                        The War Production Board ordered theaters to dim their marquee lights at 10 p.m. http://www.filmsite.org/milestones1940s.html

1943                        Hedda Hopper hints that (the married) Joseph Cotton and (the underage) Dianna Durbin are having an affair while making Hers To Hold. (17/116)

1943                        Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann discovers the hallucinogenic properties of LSD by accidentally swallowing some. (23/341)

1943                        Jitterbug becomes the most popular dance. (23/341)

1943                        Emile Gagnan and Jacques Cousteau invent the aqualung.

1943                        The Pentagon is completed and becomes the largest office building in the world. http://www.infoplease.com/year/1943.html

1943                        Large scale production of penicillin begins. (23/341)

1943                        Jacques Cousteau invents the aqualung. (23/341)

1943                        Official acknowledgement of what is called “smog,” a contraction of the words “smoke” and “fog.”



Top stars: Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, Bob Hope (21/173)

Top grossing films of 1944

  1. Going My Way
  2. Meet Me in St. Louis
  3. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
  4. Hollywood Canteen
  5. A Guy Named Joe
  6. The White Cliffs of Dover

1944 SONGS (71/244)

  • I’ll be seeing you
  • Don’t fence me in
  • I’ll walk alone
  • The Trolley song
  • Besame Mucho
  • Mairzy Doats
  • Swinging on a star
  • Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?

1944 BOOKS: (71/247)

  • Brave Men by Ernie Pyle
  • Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor

18-27JAN1944        During WWII, Leningrad (now St Petersburg) was besieged by Nazi Germany and co-belligerent Finland. The siege lasted 872 days from SEP1941 to JAN1944. The siege lasted from September 9, 1941, to January 18, 1943, when a narrow land corridor to the city was established by the Soviets. The total lifting of the siege occurred on January 27, 1944.  The Siege of Leningrad was one of the longest, most destructive, and most lethal sieges of major cities in modern history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leningrad#History & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Leningrad

04FEB1944              The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals is established in Hollywood. (16/248) Director Sam Wood was elected President, chairman of the executive committee was MGM executive producer James Kevin McGuinness; first vice President was Walt Disney. Other supporters that the Alliance claimed to have were Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Irene Dunne and Spencer Tracy. (72/205) The only satisfactory coverage the Alliance found was in the Hearst press (no surprise since Hearst was one of their biggest backers, in terms of money and publicity) which devoted columns of quote and editorials speculating that the Alliance would root out such progressive sentiments in films as those inspired by the Hollywood Writers Mobilization Writers Congress at UCLA the previous October. (72/207)

http://www.nndb.com/org/441/000355373/ says it was established 04FEB1944


See also: http://www.cobbles.com/simpp_archive/huac_alliance.htm

And http://www.cobbles.com/simpp_archive/huac_into.htm

02MAR1944            Oscars broadcast on TV for the first time (carried only by 2 local channels) (21/174)

07MAR1944               The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals sent a letter to the arch-conservative North Carolina Democrat Robert R. Reynolds inviting a congressional investigation of Communism in Hollywood. (p213/118)

23MAR1944            Myron Selznick – David O. Selznick’s brother – who had become one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood, defining the profession for those that followed, dies following complications from severe alcoholism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myron_Selznick

01AUG1944            Esther Williams, Grauman’s ceremony http://www.amug.org/~scrnsrc/chinese_theater.html

21APR1944             Dies Committee sleuths appears in Hollywood in response to charges made by the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. (72/209)

MID1944                 In mid-1944, Edward Noble, owner of Life Savers candy and the Rexall drugstore chain, who had bought Blue Network from NBC on 12OCT1943, renamed his network American Broadcasting Company. This set off a flurry of re-naming; to avoid confusion, CBS changed the call-letters of its New York flagship, WABC-AM 880, to WCBS-AM in 1946. In 1953, WJZ in New York took on the abandoned call-letters WABC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Broadcasting_Company

05JUN1944             Rome falls to the Allies. (79/67)

06JUN1944             D-Day – 70,000 US troops and 84,000 Allied troops establish beachheads at Omaha and Utah Beaches in Operation Overlord. http://www.britannica.com/dday (64/218) (70/118)

June 6, 1944 – The Normandy Invasion, D-Day, occurs when one hundred and fifty-five thousand Allied troops, including American forces and those of eleven other Allied nations (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, and the United Kingdom).  Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of France to begin the World War II invasion of Europe that would lead to the liberation of Paris.  Operation Overlord gained footing quickly, pushing through the Atlantic Wall in the largest amphibious military operation in history.  http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

13JUN1944             Germans launch the first V-1 rockets against London; the V-1 nicknamed the “buzz bomb”, is a jet-propelled missile that flies at 350 miles per hour and carries a ton of explosive. (70/118)

22JUN1944             The G.I. Bill of Rights is signed into law, providing benefits to veterans. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

Summer 1944        Filming of Warner Bros. “Hollywood Canteen” took place 06JUN1944 to 31AUG1944 and the west coast premiere was 20DEC1944. (p162/119)

Summer 1944        LBM leaves his wife and begins a decade of debauchery. (P220/42)

JUN1944                Louis B. Mayer leaves his suicidal wife and is courting Ann Miller. (21/175) (51/263)

06JUL1944             On “free movie” day more than half the theaters in America change no admission to anyone buying a war bond. (21/176)

JUL1944                 By JUL1944, Billy Wilkerson’s loses at the tables and horses total nearly $750,000 for the year so far. His income from La Rue, Ciro’s and the Hollywood Reporter grosses just over $1 million a year. Once expenses and operating costs have been taken away, it leaves him with about $250,000. (39/21)

25AUG1944            The US troops liberate Paris in WWII.


17SEP1944             Fanny Brice’s “Baby Snooks Show” The series begins on CBS airing on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm as Toasties Time. The title soon changed to The Baby Snooks Show, and the series was sometimes called Baby Snooks and Daddy, and continued to 1943(?) (79/27) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Snooks

27SEP1944             Aimee Semple McPherson dies from an overdose of sleeping pills at 53yo. (2/76) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aimee_Semple_McPherson

SEP 1944                Billy Wilkerson’s associates’ prediction comes true: Wilkerson’s gambling debts pass the $1 million mark. … By SEP he can’t afford to pay important business bills and one after another, major vendors halt shipments of paper, ink, etc, or sent them COD. … If unable to pay his markers at the weekly high-stakes, no-limit poker games with Hollywood’s movie brass, he’d barter away advertising. Debts to Joe Schenck, however, were forgiven by the movie tycoon. (39/25)

OCT1944                                Zanuck takes Betty Grable, Tyrone Power, Joan Fontaine and Gene Tierney along with the press to his home town of Wahoo, Nebraska for the premiere of his pet project “Wilson”, about President Woodrow Wilson. But the next day the theater was embarrassingly empty. (42/180)

08OCT1944            The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet radio show premieres on CBS. (71/180) (80/3)

OCT1944                                Gen Douglas MacArthur carries out his promise to return to the Philippines, starting with a landing at Leyte Gulf.

12OCT1944            Frank Sinatra touches off bobbysoxer hysteria in NY. (21/172) (70/86)

12OCT1944            The only truly bitter note during that exhilarating autumn of the Roosevelt campaign was the two days of Tenney Committee hearings on the Hollywood Writers Mobilization Congress. On 12OCT1944, a meeting was called by John Howard Lawson at the home of writer Paul Trivers for those subpoenaed by Tenney. Included were Lawson, Trivers, Marc Connelly, Francis Faragoh, Albert Maltz, Ralph Freud, Waldo Salt, Pauline Lauber Finn, and Mischa Altman of the musicians’ union. (72/217)

06NOV1944            Presidential election of Roosevelt versus Dewey. (64/241) The last campaign speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt, seeking his fourth term in office, is broadcast from his Hyde Park, New York home.  Two days later, Roosevelt would gain that fourth term by a significant, but smaller margin than any of his previous elections, especially in the popular vote where Dewey lost by only three and one half million votes.  The Electoral College margin, however, at 432 to 99, insured Roosevelt good footing in prosecution of World War II. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

06NOV1944            On the evening before the election, in Hollywood, Bette Davis takes part on a pro-Roosevelt radio broadcast along with Tallulah Bankhead, Judy Garland, Paulette Goddard, Bogart and Olivia de Havilland. (94/244)

22 & 28NOV1944     Meet Me in St. Louis has its St Louis and New York premieres and would go on to earn $6.5 million, making it the studio’s biggest moneymaker of the year. (p378/129)

NOV1944                 Liberace makes his Las Vegas debut. http://www.lasvegassun.com/history/timeline/

NOV1944                 With gambling debts too high to ignore, Billy Wilkerson faces the monstrosity of his gambling addiction. He pours his heart out to Joe Schenck who points out that it’s better to be on the other side of the table from those losses, and advises him to build a casino; own the house.” (39/26)

DEC1944                  Hollywood Reporter reports that Bogie and Bacall have been seen “cheek-to-cheeking”. (21/176)

07DEC1944              Production at Warner Bros. commences on Mildred Pierce, with a 54-day schedule and a $1,342,000 budget. It closes in late February 1945, but isn’t previewed until September, a few weeks after VJ day as Jerry Wald and Jack Warner feel it would play better in a postwar market. (p418-421/129)

16DEC1944 – 25JAN1945     The Battle of the Bulge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_bulge (64/232) 70/118 says that the dates for Battle the Bulge was 16DEC to 26DEC

20DEC1944            West coast premiere of Warner Bros. “Hollywood Canteen.” (p162/119)

LATE 1944              Then, in late 1944, the whole Japanese relocation program began to collapse when the Supreme Court upheld that citizens could not be held indefinitely be denied the right of due process. (64/113)

LATE 1944              Future Hollywood Reporter columnist, Mike Connolly, is hired by Variety, working out of their Chicago office. (p83/17)

1944                        By 1944, 12 million Americans were in uniform. (p176/119)

1944                        Due to poor health, Martin Dies resigns from the HUAC chairmanship and is replaced by Democrat John Rankin of Mississippi. (76/355)

1944                        Inspired by FDR’s “Four Freedoms” State of the Union speech of 1941, Normal Rockwell paints his Four Freedoms paintings which are reproduced in the Saturday Evening Post in 1943 and proved so popular that they were commandeered for a national tour that raised $133 million in war bonds. (Vanity Fair, April 2009)

1944                        HUAC publishes a bulky report listing the names of approx 22,000 persons and organizations whom it adjudged to be subversive. … While this “Red Index” was technically withdrawn a few months after publication, 100s of copies remained in circulation and a number of digests and extracts from it were printed and published under private labels. And for well over a decade it was used as a sort of standard litmus test for civic purity and the employability of 1000s of govt workers, school teachers, entertainers, and even Hollywood script writers. (64/364)

1944                         Every month in 1944 and through the next few years, the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals met in the Hollywood Legion Hall on Highland Ave. This powerful group lobbied the HUAC to investigate Communist influence in Hollywood. Members at these meetings included Robert Taylor, Ginger Rogers, Walt Disney, Barbara Stanwyck, John Ford, Irene Dunne, and John Wayne. (p282/113)

1944                        The Hollywood Victory Committee now has 80 entertainment units touring overseas, with 38 of these being in the British Isles. http://www.pictureshowman.com/timeline_1940_1949.cfm

1944                        It is becoming common for studios to finance and distribute films made by independent production companies. Paramount signs a contract with the freelance producer–director, Leo McCarey, who has an idea for a picture about two priests, but the studio is sufficiently leery of the project to require that McCarey waive his salary in lieu of a share of the profits. McCarey produces the film “Going My Way” starring Bing Crosby, and it becomes the biggest box–office hit of the year. McCarey makes over $1 million. When McCarey makes the sequel, “Bells of St. Mary’s”, he makes it at RKO instead of Paramount. http://www.pictureshowman.com/timeline_1940_1949.cfm

1944                        Howard Hughes wins a government contract to design a large, flying boat that could carry both people and supplies to the war in Europe. (He doesn’t fly the Spruce Goose until 1947.) http://history1900s.about.com/od/people/p/hughes.htm

1944                        Producer Hal Wallis leaves Warner Bros. and opens his own independent unit at Paramount. (47/45)

1944                        San Bernardino Freeway (the 10) opens. http://www.socalhistory.org/LA%20Chronology0001.html

1944                        Meat rationing ends, except for steak and choice cuts of beef. (23/343)

1944                        GI Bill of Rights is passed, providing benefits for armed-service veterans. http://www.infoplease.com/year/1944.html

The G.I. Bill (officially titled Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, PL346, 58 Statutes at Large 284) provided for college or vocational education for returning WWII veterans (commonly referred to as G.I.s) as well as one year of unemployment compensation. It also provided many different types of loans for returning veterans to buy homes and start businesses. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Bill

1944                        Kidney dialysis machine invented by Willem Kolff.



Top stars: Bing Crosby, Van Johnson, Greer Garson (21/178)

Top grossing films of 1945:

  1. The Bells of St. Mary’s
  2. Mom and Dad
  3. Leave Her to Heaven
  4. The Lost Weekend
  5. State Fair (musical remake of 1933 film)
  6. The Dolly Sisters
  7. The Valley of Decision
  8. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
  9. Spellbound
  10. Anchors Aweigh
  11. Thrill of a Romance
  12. Dillinger
  13. Mildred Pierce
  14. The Clock

1945 SONGS: (71/244)

  • Till the end of time
  • Sentimental Journey
  • Accentuate the positive
  • If I loved you
  • It might as well be spring
  • I’m beginning to see the light
  • On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe
  • Laura
  • There, I’ve said it again

27JAN1945             Auschwitz liberated. (Chronicle) The Auschwitz main camp, the Birkenau death camp and the Monowitz labor camp were liberated by soldiers of the Soviet Union in the First Army of the Ukrainian Front, under the command of Marshal Koniev, on January 27, 1945. http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/Liberation.html

JAN1945                 The last of the Japanese internees are released. (71/85)

02JAN1945             Americans of Japanese ancestry are no longer excluded from the West Coast. (70/118)

15JAN1945             The War Production Board orders outdoor display lights “browned out” as of Feb 1st because of the fuel shortage. By the end of the month the shortage will temporarily close more than 100 theaters in the Northeast. (21/178)

15JAN1945              Art Linkletter’s House Party premieres on CBS radio, later making Edith Head, one of its regular guests, a household name. (p100/122)

20JAN1945             Franklin Roosevelt’s 4th inauguration. He’s 63, no overcoat, no hat and looking unwell.

4-11FEB1945          Yalta conference (officially known as the Crimea Conference) between The Big Three (British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin) is held. (64/222) http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0852937.html

19FEB-16MAR1945      U.S. troops capture Iwo Jima putting them within 750 miles from Tokyo – medium range bombers. (70/119)      Thirty thousand United States Marines land on Iwo Jima.  http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

FEB1945                In February, Western Allied forces entered Germany and closed to the Rhine river, while the Soviets invaded Pomerania and Silesia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II#Allies_close_in

MID FEB1945         In 1945, Wilkerson purchased 33 acres on the west side of U.S. Route 91, about one mile (1.6 km) south of the Last Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas in preparation for his vision. Wilkerson then hired George Vernon Russell (who had remodeled Café Trocadero in 1936 and designed Ciro’s) to design a hotel that was more in the European style and something other than the “sawdust joints” on Fremont Street. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamingo_Hotel#A_Hollywood_Beginning

Assisting Russell was Tom Douglas (who assisted Russell on Ciro’s), who was a decorator to the stars whose clients included among others, Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, and Clark Gable. (39/43)

Wilkerson, who regarded the El Rancho and Last Frontier as little more than rustic, desert motels, wanted his resort to emulate expensive European hotels, with amenities such as a spa, health club, expensive jewelry stores, and Parisian-style bathrooms with bidets. He envisioned a high-class casino designed after those in Monte Carlo. He also intended to have the first Las Vegas hotel with air conditioning and a golf course.  Wilkerson named his project the Flamingo Club. But while working on it, with costs estimated at $1.2 million, Wilkerson needed to raise additional funds. The Bank of America, along with Hughes, granted him building loans, but he remained short by about $400,000. He scaled back the project, but finally ran out of funds in early 1946, and halted construction. http://www.onlinenevada.org/billy_wilkerson

In MID-FEB Wilkerson dispatches Greg Bautzer to negotiate a deal to buy the 33 acre lot from Margaret Folsom. After an entire day of a tough negotiating, Folsom sold Bautzer the property for $84,000. (39/39)

Wilkerson calls his new project Club Flamingo after his liking for exotic birds, and after having seen flamingoes in Florida. (39/49)

MAR1945                In March, the Western Allies crossed the Rhine north and south of the Ruhr, encircling a large number of German troops, while the Soviets advanced to Vienna. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II#Allies_close_in

09-10MAR1945       Bombing of Tokyo – American B-29 bombers attack Tokyo, Japan with incendiary bombs. The resulting fire storm kills over 100,000 people. The attack begins March 9 and continues into March 10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_9

07MAR1945            U.S. troops cross the Rhine River at Remagen to enter Germany. (70/119)

12MAR1945            The beating of a grip outside Columbia Studios is turning point in the fight for reform waged by the Society of Motion Picture Interior Decorators. (10/291) (21/178)

18MAR1945            Twelve hundred and fifty U.S. bombers attack Berlin, causing Adolf Hitler to announce the destruction of his own industries and military installations one day later. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

18MAR-23JUN1945               The battle of Okinawa. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa) which cost 13,000 American lives and more than 100,000 Japanese lives. (70/51) On April 1, American troops invade Okinawa, beginning the Battle of Okinawa, which would continue until June 21. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

24MAR1945            At about 4 o’clock in the morning, Strickling received a call from MCA talent agent Harry Friedman, who lived next door to the Bristol Drive traffic circle at Sunset. He was awakened by a loud crash in the trees in the middle of the circle. Lying next to the still-smoking wreckage he found a drunken and bloody Clark Gable. He had been at a party at the home of Paulette Goddard celebrating the U.S. victory at Iwo Jima, and was probably on his way to Joan Crawford’s house up the block for his almost nightly visit…Strickling called Whitey Hendry who go there before the police…got Gable to Cedars of Lebanon hospital where they removed his clothes and let him dry out for 3 days. In a statement the next morning Strickling says that Gable was on his way to visit him. (215/96)

EARLY APR1945    In early April the Western Allies finally pushed forward in Italy and swept across western Germany, while in late April Soviet forces stormed Berlin; the two forces linked up on Elbe river on April 25. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II#Allies_close_in

12APR1945             President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies. Because he meant so much to the film industry, almost every one of America’s 16,000 theaters stayed closed until 6pm on the following Saturday 14th April. (28/172) (64/226) Harry Truman is made President in a hasty, impromptu ceremony at the White House in the early evening. (64/253)

14APR1945             Out of respect for Roosevelt, most of the country’s 116,000 theaters are closed until 6pm on the Saturday following his death. (213/107)

APR1945                 The German concentration camps across Europe are opened to the media, confirming earlier reports of gas chambers, mass torture and systematic genocide. (76/308)

20APR1945             Son of Lassie is released today. It is the 2nd Lassie film and becomes the first movie ever to be filmed using the Technicolor Monobook method, where a single magazine of film was used to record all of the primary colors. Prior to this method, the most popular recording method was 3-Strip Technicolor, which simultaneously used 3 individual film magazines to record the primary colors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1945_in_film

28APR1945             Mussolini and his mistress are both summarily executed, along with most of the members of their 15-man train, primarily ministers and officials of the Italian Social Republic. The shootings took place in the small village of Giulino di Mezzegra. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini#Death

29APR1945             German forces surrendered in Italy on April 29 and in Western Europe on May 7. However, fighting continued on the Eastern Front until the Germans surrendered specifically to the Soviets on May 8. In Prague, resistance of remnants of German Army continued until May 11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II#Allies_close_in

30APR1945             Hitler commits suicide. (19/394) The world learns of it 01MAY. (64/264)

APR1945                 By April Billy Wilkerson is still $400,000 short on his budget for the Flamingo Club in Vegas so he hopes to come up with it by parleying $200,000 at the gaming tables. But he loses the lot and is forced to ask his design team to scale down the plans to accommodate a smaller budget. (39/54)

08MAY1945            V-E Day in Europe. Germany surrenders, ending the war in Europe.

09MAY1945            Russian V-E Day – Hermann Göring is captured by the United States Army; Norway arrests Vidkun Quisling; Soviet Union marks V-E Day. Red Army enters Prague (capitulation of German occupation troops). General Alexander Löhr Commander of German Army Group E near Topolšica, Slovenia, signs capitulation of German occupation troops. Occupation of the Channel Islands ends with the liberation by British troops. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1945

MAY1945                 First atomic test bomb detonated in the New Mexico desert. (64/96)

21MAY1945            Bogie and Bacall marry. (21/179)

09JUN1945                In 1945, General George S. Patton visited Los Angeles and the grateful locals gave him a parade on June 9th. Six months later, the WWII hero would be dead from injuries sustained an unfortunate motor accident in Germany.

15JUN1945             Judy Garland marries Vincent Minnelli.

26JUN1945             The 50 nations represented at the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco sign the Charter of the United Nations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_nations#History (64/226)

13JUL1945             Alla Nazimova dies. (20/376)

16JUL1945             The first atomic bomb – code-named Trinity – is exploded near Alamogordo, NM. (23/343) (70/52)

JUL1945                 During a month-long, Pentagon-sponsored junket thru the ruins of Europe that July, a dozen industry leaders including Jack Warner, Zanuck and Cohn finally saw the horror firsthand. (76/308)

11JUL1945             On July 11, the Allied leaders met in Potsdam, Germany. They confirmed earlier agreements about Germany, and reiterated the demand for unconditional surrender by Japan, specifically stating that “the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction”.During this conference the United Kingdom held its general election and Clement Attlee replaced Churchill as Prime Minister. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II#Allies_close_in

17JUL-02AUG1945                Potsdam Conference (Truman, Churchill, Stalin) establishes basis of German reconstruction. http://www.infoplease.com/year/1945.html

06AUG1945            Atomic bomb dropped from a B-29 bomber called the Enola Gay on Hiroshima at 9.15am. (64/269)

09AUG1945            A second atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki. (70/119)

10AUG1945            Japan offers to surrender. (64/268)

14AUG1945            President Truman announces the official end of the war. The epicenter of L.A.’s impromptu celebration was the corner of Hollywood and Vine, not far from Hollywood canteen. (6/180) (19/394) The singer Carmen Miranda and her band set up a bandstand in front of the Roosevelt Hotel on the boulevard, and for a shining moment, the promise of peacetime in America resulted in one of the most amazing street parties ever given.

According to p276/113, the news hit the west coast at 4pm. It also says that Carmen Miranda’s impromptu concert was outside the Hollywood Canteen.

02SEP1945             The Japanese surrender to Allied Forces, ending the war in the Pacific. (70/119)
Auto Club phone lines are jammed with customers asking when gas rationing will end.

15SEP1945             By early SEP, Billy Wilkerson had gambled away his remaining ownership in the Flamingo Club, and on SEP 15, 1945, deeded the land to Moe Sedway. (39/56) Within days he was back at the casino tables in Las Vegas. (39/57)

19SEP1945             Eric A. Johnston (President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerc) replaces Will H. Hays as head administrator of the Production Code (aka ‘the Hays Office’) in 1945 and remained until his death in 1963. http://productioncode.dhwritings.com/index.php (77/226)

05OCT1945            100s of stikers mass outside the gates of WB studio. (76/315) and ends up being known as the Battle of Burbank. (76/316)

OCT1945                 Violent confrontations between unions and Warner Bros & Paramount. (21/179) (47/8) In the Fall of 1945, with the no-strike pledge of the war no longer in effect, the Conference of Studio Unions called a strike of Hollywood’s painters, carpenters, office workers, readers and other members of the craft unions. The strike turned quickly turned angry, led by Herb Sorrell of the Painters Union; Sorrell was known to have strong left-wing leanings and was widely recognized as a Communist. As the strike wore on, Sorrell decided to concentrate on Warner Bros. for mass picketing in an effort to break the united resistance of the studios. Picketing began on OCT 5 and within 3 days goons squads from the Los Angeles sheriff’s office met the strikers on open combat. (47/343)
05OCT1945            A strike between the set decorators’ union and the studios boils over and became what is now considered Hollywood Black Friday. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1945_in_film

Within weeks of the October 1945 filming start, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers was caught in a vicious labor dispute that set the stage for heightened ideological struggle and turned Standwuck in a scab. During the war, the American Federation of Labor had pledged there would be no strikes before V-J Day. Japan’s surrender in August brought a rising tide of strikes, shutdowns and threats of strikes in oil, automobiles, coal, textiles, and many other industries. Enough of sacrifices was the word, time to concentrate on making money. (p234/118)

OCT1945                  The first issue of Hollywood Quarterly, in October 1945, marked the appearance of the most significant, successful, and regularly published journal of its kind in the United States. For its entire life, the Quarterly held to the leftist utopianism of its founders, several of whom would later be blacklisted. The journal attracted a collection of writers unmatched in North American film studies for the heterogeneity of their intellectual and practical concerns: from film, radio, and television industry workers to academics; from Sam Goldwyn, Edith Head, and Chuck Jones to Theodor Adorno and Siegfried Kracauer. http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9175.php

According to 75/220 it was the publication of the Hollywood Writers Mobilization.

14(18?)OCT1945   The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials starts. (Goes through until 01OCT1946) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Trials#The_main_trial )

24OCT1945            The United Nations comes into existence on 24 October 1945, after the Charter had been ratified by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the Republic of China, France, the Soviet Union, the UK, and the US — and by a majority of the other 46 signatories. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_nations#History (64/227)

30OCT1945            Shoe rationing ends. (71/236)

OCT1945                While angry strikers turned over cars, metropolitan police armed with automatic rifles arranged themselves along the street opposite the Warner Bros. autogate. A picture of the scene there in OCT1945 looks like something nobody expected ever to see in Hollywood, except possibly on the screen. Milling police wearing hard hats watch strikers sitting at the Warner Bros. gates carrying posters like “We demand our jobs and contracts.” (72/228)

AUTUMN1945        While the CSU strike raged in Hollywood, HUAC committee chairman John Rankin, who had replaced Martin Dies, called for the scripts of several well-known liberal radio commentators which he chose to analyze. Shortly thereafter, two of thos commentators – Hans Jacob and William Gailmor – were dismissed by their stations. (72/231)

02NOV1945            Three months after the end of the war, the Hollywood Canteen is closed having been open 3 years, 1 month and 28 days, and having fed nearly 4 million servicemen, giving out nearly 3 million packs of cigarettes, six million pieces of cake, 125,000 gallons of milk and nine million cups of coffee. (6/181) (14/203) 66/44 says it closed on 22NOV1945

20NOV1945            War crimes trials open in Nuremburg, Germany. (70/119)

NOV1945                180,000 United Auto Workers walk off the assembly line at General Motors, the first of a wave of post war strikes that hits steel mills, railroads, coal mines and other major industries and put millions of workers on the picket lines. (70/73)

21NOV1945            Under Joe Schenck’s advice, Billy Wilkerson does an about-face and re-purchases the Folson land (on which the Flamingo Club is to be built) and Wilkerson forges ahead with renewed vigor. (39/57)

23NOV1945            Meat and butter rationing ends. (71/236)

23NOV1945            The Christmas parade down Hollywood Boulevard resumes after a 3-year absence (caused, largely, by war rationing) attracting a record crowd. (p279/113)

12DEC1945            Newly installed president of the MPPAD (Motion Picture Producers and Distributors) – Eric Johnston – changed the name to the MPAA – Motion Picture Association of America. (77/226)

20DEC1945            Tire rationing ends. (71/236)

1945                        By 1945 a Publicist Guild had been formed in Hollywood. (47/138)

1945                        Ben Siegel meets Virginia Hill. (39/72)

1945                        The Friendly Ghost, the first Noveltoon to feature Casper, was released by Paramount. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casper_the_friendly_ghost

1945                        Distinguished refugees from the war in Europe come to Los Angeles. They include Thomas Mann, Bertold Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, Franz Werfel and Max Reinhardt. They join others in the European intellectual and artist community including Igor Stravinsky, Aldous Huxley, Jascha Heifetz and Arthur Rubenstein.

1945                        Bob Mizer founds the Athletic Model Guild and soon had a 5000-name mailing list. (10/244) http://www.athleticmodelguild.com

1945                        The first modern FM station – W47MV in Nashville TN, begins broadcasting. (79/103)

1945                        Paramount Studios anti-trust case is tried. (47/358)

1945                        The Screen Extras Guild (SEG), a union representing the interests of persons regularly cast as extras, is organized. http://www.filmsite.org/milestones1940s.html

1945                        Rationing of butter, shoes and tires ends. (23/345)

1945                        The “land” portion of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign is removed.

1945                        In 1941, the Vegas boom kicks of with the building of Tom Hull’s El Rancho Vegas. By 1945 there are 10 hotels and 13 casinos lit with neon. (39/33)

1945                        Trocadero owner – Billy Wilkinson, who also owned the Hollywood Reporter – opens La Rue.

1945                        By the end of WWII the number of TV sets in the entire country stands at about 6500, mostly in barrooms. By 1948 that figure has jumped to well beyond 1,000,000 and by 1950 TV was in 11 million homes. (45/13). Fewer than half of all U.S. houses have telephones, while electricity is nearly universal. (56/70) It’s not until after WWII that car radio technology would improve sufficiently (making them less bulky with improved reception) to make car radios widely popular. (56/75)



Top stars: Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Van Johnson (21/181)

Top grossing movies of 1946

  1. The Bells of St. Mary’s
  2. Leave Her to Heaven
  3. tie Blue Skies, Road to Utopia
  4. Spellbound


  • Zorba the Greek
  • The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Benjamin Spock
  • All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
  • Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

1946 SONGS

  • South America, Take it Away
  • The Old Lamp-Lighter
  • Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
  • Aren’t You Glad You’re You
  • You Keep Coming Back Like a Song
  • I Don’t Know Enough About You
  • The Gypsy
  • Rumors are Flying
  • Oh What it Seemed to Be
  • They Say It’s Wonderful
  • To Each His Own
  • Laura
  • All Through the Day
  • Laughing on the Outside
  • Five Minutes More
  • A Gal in Calico
  • All Through the Day
  • For Sentimental Reasons
  • Personality
  • Day By Day
  • Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly
  • One-zy Two-zy
  • You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To
  • Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
  • Shoofly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy


10JAN1946             First meeting of United Nations General Assembly opens in London. League of Nations in dissolved in April. http://www.infoplease.com/year/1946.html

EARLY JAN1946    By early JAN, Wilkerson’s Flamingo Club project grinds to a halt, through a lack of funds (mostly gambled away) and lack of post-war building materials. Moe Sedway brings the project to the attention of Meyer Lansky, who isn’t impressed at first but then comes around. (39/58)

FEB1946                 Ads for The Outlaw emphasize Jane Russell’s breasts. On 27NOV, the movie loses MPAA seal. (21/181)

26FEB1946             Billy Wilkerson signs first agreement with G. Harry Rothberg for funding to complete his newly renamed Flamingo Hotel project (39/130) and he gets a $1 million check in early March. Within a month Wilkerson is introduced by Sedway and Greenbaum to his new partner: Ben Siegel. (39/62) Wilkerson is shocked to find that his new partner is Siegel. (39/74)

14FEB1946             Howard Hughes pilots the first TWA Constellation flight from NYC to LAX. Aboard are Cary Grant, Lana Turner, Alfred Hitchcock, Bugsy Seigel, Edward G. Robinson and Paulette Goddard. (21/182)) Also William Powell and his wife Diana (aka “Mousie”), Burgess Meredith. Also aboard was Dave Chasen. About 10 minutes before landing, the plane dropped 20,000 feet because of inclement weather and flailing winds. When Hughes asked for a drink, his passengers grew even more alarmed because Hughes was a teetotaler. Dave brought out an 85yo bottle of vodka. To Dave’s horror, Hughes poured the entire bottle on a piece of cloth and used it to wipe the condensation from the windshield. (48/36)

Hughes spends $250,000 to coax Virginia Mayo into the cockpit of the official, coast-to-coast launch of the Constellation. The pax list included Cary Grant, William Powell, Veronica Lake, Paulette Goddard and Celeste Holm…with Dave Chasen offering a buffet which began with beluga caviar and Dominic Perignon and ended with baked Alaska. (78/205)

14FEB1946             In February 1946, Wilkerson accepts an offer from an associate of East Coast organized crime chieftain Meyer Lansky to invest $1 million to complete construction of the Flamingo, with Wilkerson retaining a one-third interest in the resort. Within weeks, Lansky associates Gus Greenbaum and Moe Sedway, who were operating the El Cortez Hotel-Casino in downtown Las Vegas, came to the Flamingo site with Siegel, who would represent Lansky and become a new partner. Wilkerson had known Siegel in Hollywood since the 1930s. He arranged for Siegel, who had no experience in building or operating hotels or clubs, to meet with the Flamingo’s architect and contractors. But Siegel soon resented that Wilkerson was calling the shots. The pair agreed to split the project, with Wilkerson overseeing the building of the casino, restaurant and shops and Siegel overseeing the hotel side, with his own design team. In discussions with others, the temperamental Siegel often took credit for Wilkerson’s elaborate vision of the Flamingo. In 1946, Wilkerson agreed to give up design control over the entire project to Siegel in exchange for stock in Siegel’s hotel company, which was to run the hotel-casino. Months later, Wilkerson sold the hotel’s land to Siegel for more stock, and then owned nearly half of Siegel’s company. http://www.onlinenevada.org/billy_wilkerson

14FEB1946             The premiere of Columbia’s Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth. (IMDB)

05MAR1946            Churchill delivers a speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri during which he coins the term “iron curtain” marking the start of the Cold War. (23/346) (70/119)

20MAR1946            Starting with a gathering of 50 execs from MGM, Joseph Breen begins a 10-day series of “refresher courses covering all points of the Production Code and censorship in various parts of the world.” (77/213)

Spring 1946           A small skywriting plane soared high above the streets of Pasadena. Zipping across the sky, it left behind the words THE OUTLAW, followed by two giant circle, each dotted in the center. Jane Russell’s breasts were back in the news… In April Hughes filed a daring lawsuit against the Motion Picture Association, charging restraint of trade. He then did the unthinkable: he made the movie available to those theaters that would run it without the seal. The movie becomes a box office bonanza. (78/207)

Spring 1946           Throughout the spring of 1946, Wilkerson and Siegel met almost daily at the publisher’s office working on the Flamingo building project. (39/75) However the teacher/student relationship started to sour when it wore thin for Siegel and Siegel’s long-festering jealousy began to infect his relationship with the publisher, resulting Siegel countering Wilkerson’s orders and taking credit boasting that the Flamingo Hotel idea had been his. (39/77)

MAY1946                The Simonov Affair – John Garfield and Charlie Chaplin attends a party sponsored by the Soviet Consul, Konstantin Simonov aboard a Soviet ship in Long Beach. (16/264)

MAY1946                “The Wisdom of Eve” appears in Cosmopolitan magazine and will become the basis for All About Eve. (131)

03MAY1946            War crimes trials open of Tokyo. (70/119)

JUN1946                 Italy abolishes monarchy. http://www.infoplease.com/year/1946.html

JUN1946                 Over 5 headline-making days, the massive hull and two wing sections of the Hercules, the biggest plane in the world, traveled the 26 miles from Hughes’s Culver City plant to Long Beach’s Terminal Island where it was reassembled. The move cost $60,000, and took the efforts of 2000 people and 23 different groups. (78/209)

20JUN1946             Ben Siegel forms the Nevada Project Corporation of California naming himself as President and ws the largest stockholder. Although Wilkerson is stockholding is sizeable and he still owned the land, the Nevada Project Corp heralded the end of Wilkerson’s creative participation and the beginning of Siegel’s absolute autonomy and he wasted no time in firing and replacing all Wilkerson’s onsite associates. As time went on, the original budget for the Flamingo became a distant memory. (39/82) Siegel’s failed actress girlfriend, Virginia Hill, became the interior decorator for which she was totally unqualified and helped Siegel run up his costs enormously. (39/83)

26JUN1946             Ben Siegel buys first parcel of Wilkerson’s Flamingo land (50% of what Wilkerson owned in return for an additional 5% stake in the Nevada Project.. (39/85, 130)

01JUL1946             The atom bomb is tested at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands has been named “Gilda” and is decorated with Rita Hayworth’s picture, but Rita is not pleased. (21/183)

04JUL1946             The Philippines becomes an independent nation after nearly 50 years of U.S. rule and Japanese occupation during WWII. (79/98)

07JUL1946             Howard Hughes is seriously injured when a plane he is test-flying crashes near Beverly Hills. (21/183) (42/122) On 07JUL1946 Dennis O’Keefe was looking out the window of his Beverly Hills home at 802 North Linden Dive and saw an experimental Army photographic plane go out of control and plunge downward. It tore off more than half the roof from 803 North Linden Drive, and its right wing sliced through the upstairs bedroom of #805.  See also 78/211 He is released from hospital 35 days later on 12AUG.

17JUL1946             Now living in a small apartment at 1583 Altivo Way in Hollywood, Busby Berkeley got drunk and tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists and throat. His houseboy called police who rushed him to hospital.

JUL1946                 Joseph Breen travels to the UK and meets with J Arthur Rank to expound upon the Production Code for the British Film Producers’ Association. (77/264)

JUL1946                 An increasingly restless and angry IATSE labor force, including carpenters, painters, set designers and screen story analysis went on strike against all the studios causing the studios to shut down. On 2nd July police squads aimed hoses at the picketers and arrested several demonstrators. Mayer ordered everything at MGM brought to a standstill. The strike was settled after a few days. (19/403)

JUL1946                 J. Edgar Hoover orders that all of Bugsy Siegel’s domiciles and offices are wiretapped resulting in the Civilian Production Administration shutting down construction of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and starting an investigation into fraud against the government in connection with the hotel’s construction. As a result, Siegel spend much of August 1946 at hearings in San Francisco. (115/p77)

AUG1946                    As the war boom was peaking, J. Cheever Cowdi and Nate Blumberg merge Universal with International Pictures, a modest independent company that specialized in prestige productions. The merger gave the studio a new management team in Leo Spitz and William Goetz. (p464/129)

06AUG1946                Local radio station (Warner Bros. owned) KFWB unveils the first moving news ribbon sign in the west. Mounted on the Taft Building on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, the Trans Lux Flashcast with a premiere befitting Hollywood. A large platform stage was erected with bleacher seating for 1500 across the street. Luminaries in attendance were: Governor Warren, Mayor Bowron, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Tom Breneman, the Earl Carroll Showgirls, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Trigger, Hedda Hopper, Leo Carillo, Ken Murray, Marie Wilson, The Slim Galliard Trio, and a score of big film stars. Over 25,000 jammed the intersection. (Facebook)

07AUG1946            After three years entertaining the troops, Marlene Dietrich is so happy to be back in Hollywood that she was willing to kiss anybody — including Los Angeles Times reporter Clark Roberts. http://framework.latimes.com/2011/08/19/dietrich-arrives-home-kisses-reporter/

14AUG1946            The world’s first practical electronic high-speed computer was unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania. (64/380)

21AUG1946            Bogart lays his hand and foot prints outside Grauman’s http://www.amug.org/~scrnsrc/chinese_theater.html

22AUG1946            Ben Siegel buys remaining parcel of Wilkerson’s Flamingo land in which Wilkerson gets another 5% shareholding in the Nevada Project, bringing him to 48%, making Wilkerson the largest single shareholder in the Flamingo. (39/130)

30AUG1946            The Golden Nugget opens downtown. http://www.lasvegassun.com/history/timeline/

11SEP1946             In response to personal intervention of HJ Anslinger, U.S. Commissioner of Narcotics, the MPAA Board votes to revise the ban against the drug trade in the 1930 Code to smooth the production of an opium-themed thriller from Columbia titled ‘Assigned to Treasury’, later released as ‘To the Ends of the Earth’ (1948)

12SEP1946             On September 12, 1946, Wilkerson printed “the list” of names that would be plucked by The House Committee on Un-American Activities for their 1947 hearings. Wilkerson used two different colors to identify two different levels of participation in Communism. “Red” indicated that the individual was a card-carrying communist. “Pink” meant that an individual simply had communist sympathies.

It included:

  • Edward Dmytryk
  • John Howard Lawson
  • Guy Endore
  • Lester Cole
  • Dalton Trumbo
  • Albert Maltz
  • Henry Myers
  • Marian Spitzer
  • Ring Lardner Jr.
  • Jay Gorney
  • E. Y. Harburg
  • Boris Ingster
  • Harold Buchman
  • Gordon Kahn
  • Howard Koch
  • Alvah Bessie
  • John Bright
  • Howard Dimsdale
  • Paul Jarrico
  • Francis E. Faragoh
  • Frank Tuttle
  • Alvin Wilder
  • Martin Berkeley

Known in the beginning as “Billy’s List”, it quickly became “Billy’s Blacklist”, referring to the color of the publisher’s magazine ink. Wilkerson’s “list” would eventually evolve into the infamous “Blacklist” that became the backbone of the May 8th, October 20 and October 27 hearings. These hearings led to citations for contempt being issued by Congress on November 24, 1947. Wilkerson would do what no other publisher in America had dared to do prior to August 1946 – publish the identities of card-carrying communists, their party member numbers and pseudonyms on his front page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wilkerson

20SEP1946             The first Cannes Film Festival is held. Its debut, scheduled for SEP1939 was delayed by WWII. (21/183)

30SEP1946             Non members of IATSE go on strike, charging that IATSE and the studio bosses had entered into a collective-bargaining conspiracy when the July strike ended. Several MGM pictures closed down. There was a riot at the studio, with police aiming hoses at the picketers. The next day there was another fight on the lot, with IATSE and studio union conference members clashing and 37 left badly injured. (19/404) Right wingers like Hedda Hopper are referring to “Metro-Goldwyn-Moscow”. (51/377)

30SEP1946             Louella Parsons lays her hands and feet outside Graumans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grauman%27s_Chinese_Theatre#1940s

01OCT1946            The International Military War Tribunal at Nuremberg announces its verdict. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERchron.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Trials#The_main_trial

16OCT1946            Philco Radio Time, starring Bing Crosby, made its debut on Oct. 16, 1946, with Bob Hope as Bing’s first guest. The show was first recorded on standard large wax transcription disks, but Crosby was already working with engineers, studying German WWII confiscated tape recorder technology. Bing used the tape recorder to tape, and then delay broadcast his show on American radio in 1947, which was a great success. The recorders were manufactured for the public by Ampex and revolutionized the recording industry. Bing’s sponsor from 1949 through 1952 was Chesterfield cigarettes, and then GE took the sponsorship. http://otrcat.com/bingcrosby-p-1101.html

OCT1946                By OCT1946, the Flamingo’s costs had soared above $4 million. (39/86)

NOV1946                The 1946 election returned control of the House of Reps to the Republican Party, and from this point on, there was only token opposition to the activities of the HUAC. (72/242)

NOV1946                The liberals’ 1946 election debacle severely weakened the Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professionals (HICCASP) (76/358)

12NOV1946            Universal Studios and International Pictures merge. (21/183)

18NOV1946            Ingrid Bergman commences an enormously successful 6-month Broadway run of Maxwell Anderson’s ‘Joan of Lorraine’. (77/283)

29NOV1946            Wilkerson signs a load with the Valley National Bank of Phoenix for $600,000 to prevent the collapse of the Flamingo into bankruptcy – but it was only a drop in the ocean. At this point the syndicate is refusing to help Siegel out. (39/88)

Late 1946                The LAPD forms a secret intelligence unit, known by the brass as the Gangster Squad, and led by Willie Burns. (115/p97)

Late 1946                Jack Warner tears up Humphrey Bogart’s 1942 seven-year contract and offers him a 15-year deal at $200,000 per picture, with approval over story, screenplay, and director. (p428/129)

03DEC1946            Members of HUAC, after meeting in closed session in L.A., and hearing testimony from Hollywood labor leaders, decide that the full Committee will reconvene here next Spring to look into Communism in the film industry. (21/184)

LATE 1946              Following the mid-term elections, the Chicago Tribune launches an incendiary 2 week-long series alleging a Communist takeover of Hollywood, with FDR as the instigator. (76/3??)

EARLY DEC1946    J. Edgar Hoover warns  Billy Wilkerson about Ben Siegel. (39/91)

EARLY DEC1946    Ben Siegel threatens Billy Wilkerson’s life. Wilkerson leaves L.A. on a flight to New York and then takes the Ile de France to Europe and hides out in Paris. (39/98,130)

DEC1946                From Paris, Billy Wilkerson tries to accelerate the process of the syndicate understanding Ben Siegel’s lavish spending and expenses on the Flamingo and thus help get Siegel ousted from the mob by placing full-page ads in the Hollywood Reporter publicizing the hotel’s true cost. (39/99)

25DEC1946            W.C. Fields dies. (5/61)

26DEC1946             Siegel finally opened The Flamingo, at a total cost of $6 million on December 26, 1946. Billed as The West’s Greatest Resort Hotel the 105-room property and first luxury hotel on the strip,was built seven miles from Downtown Las Vegas. The splashy opening with entertainment including Cuban band leader Xavier Cugat (whose band provided the music), George Jessel, Rose Marie, and Jimmy Durante — was a flop. While locals jammed the opening, the masses of celebrities Siegel has been counting on never materialized. A handful of celebrities did motor in from Los Angeles despite the appalling weather. Some of the celebrities present were June Haver, Vivian Blaine, George Raft, Sonny Tufts, Brian Donlevy and Charles Coburn. They were welcomed by a cacophony of construction noise and a lobby draped with decorators’ drop cloths. The desert’s first air-conditioning system collapsed at regular intervals, leaving guests cursing the heat. While visitors did find gambling tables in operation at the Flamingo, the luxury rooms that would have served as the lure for them to stay and gamble longer were not ready. Siegel had decided to rely on the kitchen staff, chefs, waiters and bartenders. Unfortunately, these new recruits had yet to complete their training. They were thrown into an unfamiliar, unfinished building, prompting numerous complaints about poor service. Wilkerson’s original idea of formal attire for the opening was abandoned at the last minute. As a result, the gala event was awash with curious locals who stared in amazement at croupiers and dealers in white tie and tails. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamingo_Hotel#Flamingo_Opening

31DEC1946            There was looming a grim and imponderable peril – the consequence of a court order handing down on the last day of 1946. the Dept of Justice had finally, after more than 20 years, got the courts to find that the “vertical” structure of motion picture companies as producing-distributing-exhibiting combines put them in the category of monopolies in restraint of trade. A federal court ordered that the operations of productions and exhibition would have to be “divorced”. Thus the great and characteristic amalgamations engineered by Zukor, Loew and their lesser contemporaries and successors were to be undone. (34/285) (47/358)

31DEC1946            The Los Angeles premiere of David O. Selznick’s Duel in the Sun – the most expensive motion picture ever – made at a cost of $5,019,770 (108/203)

1946                         There are approximately 400 TV sets in Los Angeles in 1946. By 1949, there were 90,000 and at the end of the year, 300,000. (p290/113)

1946                        Combined net studio profits rise to $90 million (they would rise to over $100 million in 1947 then plummet to $45 million in 1948). (31/118)

1946                        In 1946, French film critic Nino Frank gave this style of filmmaking a name: film noir. (book 124)

1946                        In 1946 Capone lieutenant Jack Guzic and Bugsy Siegel set up a rival horse-racing wire service called Trans America Wire. In CA alone 2300 bookies succumbed to Bugsy’s ungentle persuasion. (99/330)

1946                        Hearst sells his Santa Monica beach house at 415 Palisades Beach Rd (built in 1928 at a cost of several million dollars) and he and Marion Davies move into Beverly Hills. It was turned into the Ocean House Hotel. When the hotel failed, the main house was torn down in 1956 leaving only the servants’ wing. (67/106)

1946                        The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revises its rules for Academy Awards voting. Instead of allowing members of the entire film community to select nominees and winners, only members of the Academy will be allowed to vote. The Academy’s rolls immediately increase from 700 to over 1,600. http://www.pictureshowman.com/timeline_1940_1949.cfm

1946                        Universal City Studios becomes Universal-International (2/70) (47/55) In Hollywood the English producer, J. Arthur Rank, orchestrates a merger between “Universal Pictures” and the independent production company “International Pictures”. The new studio will be known as Universal–International. http://www.pictureshowman.com/timeline_1940_1949.cfm

1946                        William Randolph Hearst leaves his beloved San Simeon estate to be closer to his L.A. doctors. Marion Davies found a 30-room gated estate at 1011 Beverly Drive and they moved in with his nurses and Marion’s dogs.

1946                        Dory Schary becomes head of RKO (until 1948, when he become chief of production at MGM.) (p404/129)

1946                        The Bickersons was a radio comedy sketch series that began in 1946 on NBC with Don Ameche and Frances Langford, moving the following year to CBS where it continued until 1951. (79/27) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bickersons

1946                        Richard Nixon win a seat in Congress as a Republican, and then rises to prominence in 1949 by pushing the treason case of Alger Hiss. (80/209)

1946                        In 1946 an RCA TV set costs $350, more than a month’s salary for the average U.S. worker. (79/115)

1946                        The Cinerama Corporation is formed by its inventor Fred Waller, partnered with broadcaster Lowell Thomas and King Kong producer Merriam C. Cooper and, later, LBM. (19/468)

1946                        The Los Angeles Air Pollution Control Board is established to fight the worsening smog. http://www.laalmanac.com/history/hi01h.htm

1946                        Commercial airlines move their operations from Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank to Los Angeles Airport. http://www.laalmanac.com/history/hi01h.htm

1946                        President Truman sets up the Commission on Civil Rights which calls for fairness in hiring African Americans for employment by the federal government. The commission also demanded an end to the poll tax which was a special local tax, levied in several southern states, which made it impossible for many African Americans to vote because they were too poor to pay it. Unfortunately the Commission of Civil Rights did not have the power to put these ideas into practice. (79/99)

1946                        The Trocadero on Sunset closes (2/33)

1946                        Mother Frances X. Cabrini becomes the first US citizen to be made a Catholic saint. (23/347)

1946                        Microwave oven invented by Percy Spencer, while working for the Raytheon Company. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html



Top stars: Bing Crosby, Betty Grable, Ingrid Bergman (21/185)

Top grossing films of 1947

  1. The Best Years Of Our Lives
  2. Duel in the Sun
  3. tie: Jolson Story & Forever Amber
  4. Unconquered


Early 1947              Paramount, Warner and 20th Century-Fox start to out-gross MGM. (19/406)

JAN1947                 The HUAC promises that a “top priority” of the new Congress in JAN1947 would be an investigation of Communist influence in Hollywood. (76/355)

15JAN1947             Approx 10.30am two LAPD officers find a mutilated body of a young woman is found in an empty lot near the corner of 39th and Norton. Her name was Elizabeth Short, 22 years old from Medford, MA. Her unsolved murder is dubbed “The Black Dahlia” case. (7/188)

22JAN1947             KTLA becomes the first commercially licensed television station in the western United States. (p289/113)

LATE JAN1947       Ben Siegel shuts down the Flamingo Hotel after its disastrous Boxing Day opening. (39/130)

MID FEB1947         Starting to realize that the Flamingo would never be his, Billy Wilkerson sets his sell out price at $2 million, which Siegel’s lawyers counter with $300,000. Through his lawyer Greg Bautzer, Wilkerson counters that with $1 million and the lawyers counter that with $600,000, which Wilkerson accepts, but getting the money out of Siegel proves impossible. (39/106)

01MAR1947            Ben Siegel reopens the Flamingo Hotel. (39/130)

04MAR1947            The Three Stooges’ Fright Night, in which Shemp Howard replaces Jerry “Curly” Howard, is released. (21/186)

19MAR1947            Billy Wilkerson receives Release of All Demands from Nevada Project Corporation and Ben Siegel, and is to receive the first payment of $300,000 in May and the second in AUG. (39/130)

12MAR1947            Truman announces what became known as the Truman Doctrine: “It must be the policy of the U.S. to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities.” This policy pledged the nation to the cold war – a reliance on maintaining military superiority in a world picture as irreconcilably divided into camps of good and evil. Less than two weeks later the President launched his domestic war against Communism…Executive Order 9835 initiating a loyalty review program…(89/26)
March 15, 1947 – The Truman Doctrine is passed by the U.S. Congress, granting $400 million in aid to Greece and Turkey to battle Communist terrorism.  President Harry S. Truman implements the act on May 22. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

21MAR1947            In response to public fears and Congressional investigations into communism in the United States, President Harry S. Truman issues an executive decree establishing a sweeping loyalty investigation of federal employees… The basic elements of Truman’s order established the framework for a wide-ranging and powerful government apparatus to perform loyalty checks. Loyalty boards were to be set up in every department and agency of the federal government. Using lists of “totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive” organizations provided by the attorney general, and relying on investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, these boards were to review every employee. If there existed “reasonable grounds” to doubt an employee’s loyalty, he or she would be dismissed. A Loyalty Review Board was set up under the Civil Service Commission to deal with employees’ appeals. Truman’s loyalty program resulted in the discovery of only a few employees whose loyalty could be “reasonably” doubted. Nevertheless, for a time his order did quiet some of the criticism that his administration was “soft” on communism. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2614

LAST WEEK OF MAR1947    With the deal signed with Siegel, Billy Wilkerson returns to Los Angeles but after receiving an anonymous, frantic phone call from a woman whose newly paroled husband had been given the contract to kill him, Wilkerson hurries back to Paris. (39/109)

Spring 1947           A traveling HUAC is back at the Biltmore Hotel (where Bogart had been summoned to appear before the Dies Committee in 1940) (76/355)

Spring 1947           The more persistent topic of conversation at MGM becomes communism. (19/411)

APR1947                 In the spring of 1947, the Flamingo would clock in at $6 million, Siegel’s senseless extravagances were becoming all too apparent. … Wilkerson tried to warn Siegel about his spending but his advice fell on deaf ears. (39/86,105)

APR1947                 The New York premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux. The next day, Chaplin holds a press conference in which he’s asked if he’s a communist. The conference does not go well for Chaplin. (42/p286)

08APR1947             Sinatra, at Ciro’s, punched syndicated columnist Lee Mortimer, who, says Sinatra, “called me a dago”. Arrested for his action tomorrow, he will settle Mortimer’s subsequent lawsuit for $9000. (21/186)

28APR1947             Louis B. Mayer’s divorce to Margaret becomes final. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0562454/bio

11APR1947             Jackie Robinson signs with the Dodgers becoming the first black baseball player. (70/76) http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

01MAY1947            Bette Davis gives birth to daughter, BD. (131)

MAY1947                The State of Israel comes into existence. (Chronicle.)

09MAY1947            Doris Day signs with Warner Bros. (21/186)

MAY1947                Ben Siegel surprises his mobster bosses but starting to show a profit, but it’s too little, too late. (39/110)

MAY1947                By 1947 the HUAC chairmanship passes from John Rankin to J. Parnell Thomas. In May 1947, Thomas traveled to Hollywood to meet with film industry executives with a view to exposing what he believed was Communist infiltration of motion pictures content by members of the Screen Writers Guild. Returning to Washington, he shifted the focus of the committee to what he called the “subversives” working in the film business. Under Thomas, in October of 1947, HUAC summoned suspected Communists to appear for questioning. These summonses led to the conviction and imprisonment for contempt of Congress of the “Hollywood Ten” who had refused to answer the Committee’s questions, citing the First Amendment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Parnell_Thomas#Anti-communism_and_HUAC

MAY1947(?)            At the Federal Building, in downtown LA, Richard Nixon, the freshman congressman who was the committee’s newest, brightest member, announced that the subpoenas were ready to be served. Two months later, he told the Associated Press that the “red network” was about to be uncovered and promised to name names. “It will be sensational,” he said. (76/357)

14MAY1947            See 21/189 for HUAC HITS HOLLYWOOD.

In May 1947, J. Parnell Thomas traveled to Hollywood to meet with film industry executives with a view to exposing what he believed was Communist infiltration of motion pictures content by members of the Screen Writers Guild. Returning to Washington, he shifted the focus of the committee to what he called the “subversives” working in the film business. Under Thomas, in October of 1947, HUAC summoned suspected Communists to appear for questioning. These summonses led to the conviction and imprisonment for contempt of Congress of the “Hollywood Ten” who had refused to answer the Committee’s questions, citing the First Amendment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Parnell_Thomas#Anti-communism_and_HUAC

A former insurance salesman, Thomas was short and round and an aide had helpfully placed a telephone directory and a red sink pillow on his chair, thus putting him in full view of a chamber packed with reporters, photographers, radio commentators, newsreel crews and spectators, and affording him physical parity, at least with a publicity-conscious lineup of felling probers who included the young Richard Nixon. (74/1)

LATE MAY1947      Billy Wilkerson is thinking of returning from Paris until his general manager George Kennedy receives an anonymous phone call warning Wilkerson to stay in Paris until “it was over”. (39/110)

05JUN1947             The Marshall Plan for rebuilding and creating a stronger foundation for the allied countries of Europe, and repelling communism after World War II is formally announced. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_plan (64/312)

Secretary of State George C. Marshall proposes aid extension to European nations for war recovery, known as the Marshall Plan, which would lead to Congressional approval of $12 billion over the following four years. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

In a speech at Harvard, George C. Marshall proposes a plan to assist European economic recovery, thereafter known as the Marshall Plan. (70/120) (79/104) 08APR1948 – Truman signs the Economic Cooperation Act which funds the Marshall Plan to the tune of $5.6 billion for 16 countries in 15 months.

Not everybody was ready to be branded Communist of fascist. Dory Schary, the new production head at MGM, called the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals members a bunch of “yahoos.” Hopper went after him and almost got herself fired for writing that the Schary appointment meant “the studio will be known as Metro-Goldwyn-Moscow.” A threat of a lawsuit brought abject apologies from the columnist and, to smooth things out, a personal call on Schary by L.A. Times owner and publisher Norman Chandler. (p247/118)

20JUN1947             Bugsy Seigel murdered in Beverly Hills. (21/47) Mobster Bugsy Siegel, credited for establishing Las Vegas as a gambling and entertainment center, is gunned down in the Los Angeles home of his girlfriend, actress Virginia Hill. http://www.nndb.com/people/479/000094197/

23JUN1947             Billy Wilkerson returns to California from Paris now that Siegel is dead. (39/131)

23JUN1947             The Taft-Hartley Act, which reduces the power of labor union, is passed over Truman’s veto. (70/120)

June 20, 1947 – President Harry S. Truman vetoes the Taft-Hartley Labor Act that would have curbed strikes, only to be overridden by Congress on June 23. http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimeline1940.html

25JUN1947             Police detectives visit Billy Wilkerson at his office for the police inquiry into Ben Siegel’s death. (39/114)

28JUN1947             Final broadcast of “This is Hollywood, The Hedda Hopper Show” (radio) http://www.physics.purdue.edu/~schneppn/hedda.html

JUL1947                 Senator Brewster sets hearings for Howard Hughes’ XF-11 “financial irregularities” for late JUL / early AUG 1947. During JUL1947 U.S. Marshalls attempt and hand to hand Howard Hughes with a subpoena, including a well-publicized tour of the hot night spots on the Strip, the Mocambo, Ciro’s and the Palladium. (78/229)

Summer 1947         Hedda Hopper spent the summer of 1947 traveling across the country urging members of women’s clubs to boycott films that featured “Communist” actors. (p246/118)

25JUL1947               Large advertisements appeared in Daily Variet and the Hollywood Reporter announcing 3 daily chartered plane flights free of charge for anyone coming to Las Vegas from Los Angeles, “inaugurated by Sandord Adler, the owner of The Hotel El Rancho Vegas and the Flamingo Hotel.” To enhance the publicity stunt, Adler hired the object of Sinatra’s unbridled flirtations, Ave Gardner, to christen the first flight. … According to Jerry Lewis, “every important nightclub of the 1940s was own by the Mob. I’ll maintain to the end of my days…that in the 1940s and ‘50s before th Mon lost its hold on nightclubs and Vegas, it was literally impossible for an entertainer not to deal with them.” (157/111)

26JUL1947             The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA C.I.A.) was created by Congress with National Security Act of 1947, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. It is the descendant of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) of WWII, which was dissolved in October 1945 and its functions transferred to the State and War Departments. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cia#Organizational_history

07AUG1947            The Lux, Tony Cornero’s luxury gambling ship, opened for business on August 7th, 1947 with immense fanfare. A vivid billboard graced the Sunset Strip. Skywriting planes etched the ship’s name into Southland skies, and full-page newspaper ads announced its debut. Days later, it was a hit. Governor Earl Warren, Cornero’s longtime nemesis, commanded the Long Beach Port Authority to shut down water taxi service to Cornero’s ship. Without means to transport the gamblers to the Lux, the era of California’s offshore party boats abruptly ended. (115/p75)

16SEP1947             In his Sept. 16, 1947, Tradeviews column, one month before the House Un-American Activities Committee held its historic hearings, Wilkerson blamed the “Soviet-dominated” unions for the strikes and labor strife that were then plaguing the industry. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/about_us/history.jsp

20&21SEP1947       HUAC issues 43 subpoenas to members of the film industry requiring they appear as witnesses at hearings in Washington scheduled in OCT. In response, screenwriter Philip Dunne and Directors William Wyler and John Huston started the Committee for the First Amendment, a group of Hollywood liberals organized to protect HUAC. The CFA eventually drew over 500 members, chartered a plane to fly 50 people to attend the hearings, including Bogart, Bacall, Garfield, Jane Wyatt, Sterling Hayden, Paul Henreid and Gene Kelly. (16/265) (21/185)

The HUAC subpoenaed 2 groups of witnesses to hearings in Washington. The “friendly”…were keen to appear…the “unfriendly” consisted of 19 writers, producers, directors, actors suspected of Communist sympathies …The Committee had the support of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Prelim hearings were held in L.A. in the spring, producing a climate of anxiety; the subpoenas arrived in SEP 1947. (47/345)

The Hollywood Reporter dubbed us “the unfriendly nineteen” to distinguish us from the “friendly” witnesses who had appeared at closed hearings the previous spring. (74/117)

SEP1947                 The Committee for the First Amendment was an action group formed in September 1947 by actors in support of the Hollywood Ten during the hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee. It was founded by screenwriter Philip Dunne and film directors John Huston and William Wyler. Other members included Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Gene Kelly, John Garfield, Edward G. Robinson, Katharine Hepburn, Jane Wyatt, Marsha Hunt, Danny Kaye, and Frank Sinatra. On October 27, 1947, the group flew to Washington, D.C. to protest HUAC hearings. Bogart, Garfield, and Robinson later wrote articles stating that they were “duped” into supporting the Hollywood Ten. In the March 1948 issue of Photoplay “I’m no communist” in the March 1948 edition of Photoplay Bogart wrote an article claiming that he and other members of the Committee did not realize some of the Hollywood Ten were really communists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_the_First_Amendment. The first meeting was held at Ira Gershwin’s house.

05OCT1947            Truman makes the first televised speech by a president. He appeals to Americans to save food so that aid shipments to war-ravaged Europe and Asia could be increased. (79/102)

09OCT1947            So many people wanted to come to the Committee for the First Amendment meetings that the gatherings had to be held in the largest homes available; lyricist Ira Gershwin’s huge living room was a favorite meeting place. The crowd on 09OCT at William Wyler’s house on Summit Dr in BH contained an all-star cast: Bogart and Bacall, Danny Kaye, Judy Garland, Rita Hayworth, Edward G Robinson, and Gene Kelly hobbling around on an injured ankle. (Other supporters included Groucho Marx, Frank Sinatra, Paulette Goddard, Fredric March, George S. Kaufman, Archibald MacLeish, Jerry Walk and Walter Wanger.) (76/360)

OCT1947                After refusing to testify about their political affiliations at hearings in Washington, D.C., the “purge” of the Hollywood Ten, writers accused of being Communists, begins.

In Washington, D.C., the HUAC subpoenas 41 witnesses in an investigation of alleged communist influence in the Hollywood movie industry. Witnesses include the ‘unfriendly’ “Hollywood 19” (13 of the 19 were writers). In 1948, the “Hollywood 10” (Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, and Dalton Trumbo) were charged with contempt of Congress and jailed for refusing to cooperate with its inquiries and answer the question, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” 84 of 204 supporters of the Hollywood 19 or 10 who signed an amici curiae Supreme Court brief were blacklisted. Many promising and established careers were destroyed by anti-Communist blacklisting – reflected in the growth of sci-films showing paranoia of aliens and anything foreign in the 50s decade. http://www.filmsite.org/milestones1940s.html

Other members of the Unfriendly Nineteen were: Lewis Milestone, Robert Rossen, Irving Pichel, Larry Parks, Bertolt Brecht, Richard Collins, Gordon Kahn, Howard Koch, and Waldo Salt. (72/257)
The Hollywood Nineteen stayed at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington with their attorney’s. (73/267)

The members of the subcommittee under Presiding Chairman J. Parnell Thomas, were John McDowell, Richard B. Vail, Richard Nixon and John S. Wood, with Chief Investigator Robert E. Stripling, who had clerked for Martin Dies. First witness Jack Warner, then Sam Wood (president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Walt Disney, Cedric Gibbons and Norman Taurog were VPs), then Louis B. Mayer who mentioned Lester Cole, Dalton Trumbo and Donald Ogden Stewart were Communists. Then Ayn Randolph, then Adolphe Menjou, the Robert Taylor, Morrie Ryskind, Ronald Reagan, Robert Montgomery, George Murphy. Then Ginger Rogers’ mother Lela, then Walt Disney. In the second phase, the unfriendly witnesses were called. (73/267 & 268 & 269)

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist, (72/261)

LATE OCT 1947     A full-page ad appeared in the industry trades and in several of the LA papers, 140 signers on record in their opposition to the hearings. Bacall and Bogar, given the alphabetical order, were near the top: We the undersigned, as American Citizens who believe in constitutional democratic government, are disgust and outraged by the continuing attempt of the House Committee on Un-American Activities to smear the Motion Picture Industry. We hold that these hearings are morral wrong because: Any investigation into the political beliefs of the individual is contrary to the basic principles of our democracy. Any attempt to curb the freedom of expression and to set arbitrary standard of Americanism is in itself disloyal to both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution. (76/359)

25/26OCT1947       The roster for the flight to Washington was released. The list included Danny Kaye, Gene Kelly, Paul Henreid, Evelyn Keyes, Jane Wyatt, Marsha Hunt, June Havoc, Geraldine Brooks, Richard Conte, and Ira Gershwin, as well as the Bogarts, Dunne and Huston. A number of independent producers, notably David O. Selznick and Walter Wanger worked quietly behind the scenes to back the effort; Charles Einfeld put his personal assistant at the CFA’s disposal. … Howard Hughes (now head of TWA) chartered a plane for them at the knockdown fee of $6300. The departure was set for 7am on Sunday 26OCT (76/3??)

AUTUMN1947        A major split – Left v. Right – erupts in the Screen Writers Guild…partly over the Taft-Hartley Act (72/263)

14OCT1947            Charles Yeager becomes a national hero when he becomes the first person to break the sound barrier in an X-1. (70/78) (79/107)

3rd WEEK OCT1947               The Committee for the First Amendment arrived in Washington just as the ten were going on trial (72/277)

NOV1947                Princess Elizabeth marries Philip Mountbatten, her cousin. (Chronicle)

02NOV1947            During a break in the Senate hearings, Hughes returned to California to run taxi tests on the H-4.On 2 November 1947, a series of taxi tests was begun with Hughes at the controls. His crew included Dave Grant as co-pilot, and a crew of two flight engineers, 16 mechanics and two other flight crew. In addition, the H-4 carried seven invited guests from the press corps plus an additional seven industry representatives, for a total of 32 on board. After the first two uneventful taxi runs, four reporters left to file stories but the remaining press stayed for the final test run of the day. After picking up speed on the channel facing Cabrillo Beach near Long Beach, the Hercules lifted off, remaining airborne 70 feet (21 m) off the water at a speed of 135 mph (217 km/h or 117 knots) for around a mile (1.6 km). At this altitude, the aircraft was still experiencing ground effect. Hughes had answered his critics and the hearings ended. The aircraft never flew again. It was carefully maintained in flying condition until Hughes’ death in 1976. (78/234) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spruce_goose#Maiden_flight

12NOV1947            William Randolph Hearst weighs into, and raises the stakes of, the Communist debate by condemning Hollywood. (76/390)

15DEC1947           Howard Hawks and Bogie and Bacall begin work on Key Largo. (p430/129)

17NOV1947            Under SAG President Ronald Reagan, the Screen Actors Guild voted to force its officers take a “non-communist” pledge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_Actors_Guild

24NOV1947            The United States House of Representatives of the 80th Congress voted 346 to 17 to approve citations for contempt of Congress against the “Hollywood Ten.” (16/269) (47/350)                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947_in_film
42/p332 – On November 24th, J. Parnell Thomas asked Congress to sit the Hollywood Ten for contempt, Nixon made of the main speeches in support of the move, and Congress voted in favor by a lopsided 347 to 17.

LATE1947               In late 1947, Dore Schary appears before the HUAC to defend RKO against charges of harboring Communists largely over the RKO movie Crossfire. (259/107)

NOV1947                    “A policy of nonemployment for known Communists,” as it was characterized by The New York Times when it was implemented in November 1947, following the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings on Communist influence in the movie industry, began with the contractual termination of the “unfriendly witnesses” ­ eight writers, one director and one producer ­ known as the Hollywood 10. Political theater of the highest order, the hearings directly involved and furthered the careers of two future presidents, Nixon and Reagan, even as nonemployment accelerated in Hollywood with additional committee hearings in the early 1950s.

MON 24NOV1947  The Waldorf Conference is held in NY attended by LBM (MGM), Harry Warner (Warner Bros), Barney Balaban & Y. Frank Freeman (Paramount), Harry Cohn (Columbia), Sam Goldwyn, Darryl F. Zanuck (20thC-F), William Goetz, Dore Schary (RKO)


The statement is officially released on 25NOV1947

72/278 – On that same afternoon, the Motion Picture Association, let by Eric Johnston, reversed it position of a month earlier. The producers had been lockied in conference all day at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, waiting on the word from Congress. Among the men gathered at the hotel were studio executives Barney Balaban, Nicholas Schenck, Harry Cohn, Joseph Schenck, J. Cheever Cowdin, Walter Wanger, Sam Goldwyn, Y. Frank Freeman, Louis B. Mayer, Dore Schary, Spyros Skouras, William Goetz. The statement they made to the press became known as the Waldorf Statement. See 72/279 for the full statement.

30NOV1947           Ernst Lubitsch dies of a heart attack. (IMDB)

02DEC1947           Humphrey Bogart issues a statement calling his participation in the plane trip to Washington to protest HUAC “ill-advised and even foolish.”

27DEC1947            Howdy Doody begins its 13-year run. (70/91)

DEC1947                The Screen Writers Guild engages the prestigious Washington law firm of Arnold, Fortas and Porter to represent it in a suit against the Waldorf Declaration, which they considered a breach of contract, and to ask for an injunction against the blacklist. (72/283

1947                         …in 1947, Mickey Cohen had become Los Angeles’ most prominent underworld figure. (115/1)

1947                        Frederick’s of Fifth Ave, established in New York in 1946, comes to Hollywood in 1947. (p296/113)

1947                        Telephone area codes are introduced. “Rotary pulse dialing was time consuming, and the larger the numbers used, the longer it would take. Therefore, when area codes were introduced in 1947, the cities with the highest incoming call volume were assigned the lowest area codes, making them faster to dial.” http://brokensecrets.com/2013/06/14/phone-area-codes-based-on-dialing-speed/#more-7493

1947                        The Actors Studio, a rehearsal group for professional actors, was established in New York City by Elia Kazan, Robert Lewis, and Cheryl Crawford. It soon became the epicenter for advancing “the Method” – a technique of acting that was inspired by Konstantin Stanislavski’s teachings. It later gained fame through the leadership of Lee Strasberg in the 1950s, whose clients included Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean. http://www.filmsite.org/milestones1940s.html

1947                        Zenith’s “Phonevision” (a pay TV system) was introduced using telephone lines to unscramble a broadcast signal. After 1954 the company shifted to using a coin box or punch card system, but was having problems obtaining programming. (95/132)

1947                        There are only 17 TV stations in America transmitting to 136,000 sets. (31/147)

1947                        Dietrich is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the US in 1947. She said that this was her proudest accomplishment.She is also awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French government as recognition for her wartime work. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlene_Dietrich

1947                        Combined net studio profits rise to over $100 million (up from $90 million in 1946 then plummet to $45 million in 1948). (31/118)

1947                        The State of California designates $55 million for building funds for the construction on the Hollywood Freeway. 1st phase opens October 1951, 2nd in March 1953, completed 1954. (14/217) (66/48)

1947                        Earl Silas Tupper patented the Tupperware seal. http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa122299a.htm      But it did not become a commercial success until Brownie Wise, a Florida housewife, began throwing Tupperware parties in 1951 in order to demonstrate the product and explain the features.

1947                        Land introduces the Polaroid camera. (23/349) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_camera

Go to next TIMELINE page – 1948 to 1953 →

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