United States and American History: 1948

About the history of the United States in 1948, the Supreme Court banned religion in public schools, the Marshall Plan, Israel is recognized by the U.S., the first lp records, Dewey Beats Truman kinda.


Mar. 8 The U.S. Supreme Court abolished religion in the public schoolroom, declaring it to be a violation of the 1st Amendment.

Apr. 3 The Foreign Assistance Act was passed. Popularly called the Marshall Plan-named after Secretary of State George Marshall, who 1st proposed the aid in a 1947 speech at a Harvard College Commencement--the law initiated a program that eventually was funded with over $100 billion.

May The U.S. formally recognized the new republic of Israel, homeland for thousands of European and Asiatic Jews.

June 21 Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3-rpm, "long-playing" record at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. Each side played for 23 minutes, compared to 4 minutes for the standard 78-rpm record.

June 24 The U.S.S.R.'s Joseph Stalin set up blockades on all road and rail approaches to the noncommunist areas of Berlin. With his military squeeze, he hoped to force out the Allies and take over the entire city for East Germany. The U.S. and British air forces organized an extensive air lift, using transport planes to supply 100% of West Berlin's needs. In 321 days, until the blockade ended in May, 1949, they brought in over 2 1/2 million tons of cargo, and took out the city's exports.

Nov. 3 Making the century's worst political prediction, the Chicago Tribune prematurely "elected" Thomas Dewey to the Presidency with its morning-after headline. Dewey's "give 'em hell" opponent, Harry S Truman, scored a stunning upset due to voter acceptance of his "Fair Deal" program.

Dec. Pumpkin Patch Day in Maryland. Leading 2 men from the House Un-American Activities Committee into his pumpkin field, Whittaker Chambers produced the film evidence, concealed inside a pumpkin which documented a communist conspiracy in Washington. Chambers later swore that his "rather romantic communist" friend, Alger Hiss, had given him the State Dept. documents which were photographed on the film. Hiss denied it under oath and claimed he had been framed. The jury believed Chambers and sent Hiss to prison for perjury, indirectly labeling him a spy for the U.S.S.R. The man who forced the confrontation between Hiss and Chambers, leading to the perjury charge: Richard M. Nixon.

Dec. 24 A solar heating system developed by Dr. Maria Telkes was incorporated into a house built in Dover, Mass.

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