1947 Events & Facts

What Happened in 1947?


  • President Truman formulates "Truman Doctrine" of providing aid to countries whose governments are threatened with overthrow
  • U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall calls for a European recovery effort, popularly called the "Marshall Plan."
  • India and Pakistan proclaimed independent nations
  • Britain nationalizes its coal industry
  • Britain’s Princess Elizabeth marries Phillip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh


  • Congress passes Taft-Hartley Act, restricting labor unions
  • Henry Ford dies, leaving behind a fortune of over $600 million
  • Americans are able to purchase the first new cars manufactured since the beginning of World War II


  • First airplane to break the speed of sound
  • Thor Heyerdahl sails from Peru to Polynesia on a raft to prove theory of human migration
  • Transistor invented at Bell Laboratories
  • Holography invented
  • "Broad spectrum" antibiotic introduced to fight typhus


  • World Series:New York Yankees over Brooklyn, 4-3 (first televised World Series)
  • Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American player in a major league baseball team (Brooklyn Dodgers)


  • Movies: Gentleman’s Agreement, Miracle on 34th Street
  • TV Shows: Kraft Television Theatre, Small Fry Club (programming limited to approximately 18 hours per week)
  • Books:Doktur Faustus, Thomas Mann; The Diary of Anne Frank; I, the Jury, Mickey Spillaine
  • House Un-American Activities Committee begins investigating alleged Hollywood ties to communism
  • Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire wins Pulitzer Prize


  • The "New Look" of long, full skirts becomes the rage of female fashion
  • Over 1 million veterans enroll in college through the G.I. Bill
  • First food processors
  • The average cost of a loaf of bread was 13 cents


  • North America and Europe both experience severe winters. New York is hit with 28 inches of snow (Dec. 17), while Britain has its harshest winter in over 50 years
  • First documented sightings of "flying saucers"
  • Drive-in theatres become a booming industry
  • Hillary Clinton, David Bowie, Elton John, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were born


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