1948 in the United States
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|1948 in the United States|
|Years:||1945 1946 1947 – 1948 – 1949 1950 1951|
48 stars (1912–59)
Events from the year 1948 in the United States.
- President: Harry S. Truman (D–Missouri)
- Vice President: vacant
- Chief Justice: Fred M. Vinson (Kentucky)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Joseph William Martin, Jr. (R–Massachusetts)
- Senate Majority Leader: Wallace H. White, Jr. (R–Maine)
- Congress: 80th
- January 1 – The latest New Jersey State Constitution goes into effect.
- January 29 – Plane crash at Los Gatos Creek, California kills 4 US citizens and 28 deportees, commemorated in a song by Woody Guthrie.
- February 1 – The Soviet Union begins to listen Voice of America broadcasts.
- March 8 – McCollum v. Board of Education: The United States Supreme Court rules that religious instruction in public schools violates the U.S. Constitution.
- March 17 – The Hells Angels motorcycle gang is founded in California.
- March 20 – Renowned Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini makes his television debut, conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra in an all-Wagner program.
- April 3
- President Harry Truman signs the Marshall Plan, which authorizes $15 billion in aid for 16 countries.
- Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is played on television in its entirety for the first time, in a concert featuring Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The chorus is conducted by Robert Shaw.
- April 30 – 21 American countries sign the Charter of the Organization of American States establishing the Organization of American States (in effect December 1, 1951).
- May 14 – The United States recognizes Israel as a country.
- May 26 – The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 557, which permanently establishes the Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
- May 30 – A dike along the Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes: 15 people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.
- June 3 – The Palomar Observatory telescope is finished in California.
- June 11 – The first monkey astronaut, Albert I, is launched into space from White Sands, New Mexico.
- June 12
- June 17 – A Douglas DC-6 carrying United Air Lines Flight 624 crashes near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, killing all 43 people on board.
- June 20 – The U.S. Congress recesses for the remainder of 1948, after an overtime session closes at 7:00 a.m. D.C. time (to be shortly interrupted by Truman's recall from Congressional recess for July 20, 1948).
- June 24 – The Berlin Blockade begins; in response, the U.S. orders the launch of Operation Vittles, the U.S. action of the Berlin Airlift.
- June 28 – David Lean's Oliver Twist, based on Charles Dickens's famous novel, premieres in the UK. It is banned for 3 years in the U.S. because of alleged anti-Semitism in depicting master criminal Fagin, played by Alec Guinness.
- July 20 – Cold War: President Harry S. Truman issues the second peacetime military draft in the United States, amid increasing tensions with the Soviet Union (the first peacetime draft occurred in 1940 under President Roosevelt).
- July 26 – U.S. President Truman signs Executive Order 9981, ending racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces.
- July 31 – At Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) is dedicated.
- August 1 – The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations is founded.
- August 3 – In an appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), Whittaker Chambers, a senior editor at Time magazine and a former Communist, accuses Alger Hiss of having been a member of "an underground organization of the United States Communist Party".
- August 25 – The House Un-American Activities Committee holds its first-ever televised congressional hearing, featuring "Confrontation Day" between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss.
- October 1 – National Guard Bureau made a Bureau of the Depart. of the Army and an Agency of the Dept. of the Air Force.
- October 11 – The Cleveland Indians defeat the Boston Braves to win the World Series, 4 games to 2.
- October 16 – The 57th Street Art Fair, the oldest juried art fair in the American Midwest, is founded.
- October 26 – Killer smog settles into Donora, Pennsylvania.
- November 2 – United States presidential election, 1948: Democratic incumbent Harry S. Truman defeats Republican Thomas E. Dewey and 'Dixiecrat' Strom Thurmond.
- December 10 – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.
- December 15 – The United States Department of Justice indicts Alger Hiss on two counts of perjury.
- The Fresh Kills Landfill, the world's largest, opens in Staten Island, New York.
- The first of the Kinsey Reports, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, is published.
- Charles Lazarus starts Children's Supermart, the predecessor of Toys "R" Us, in Washington, D.C. as a baby-furniture retailer.
- The Rhode Island Highlanders Pipe Band is founded.
- January 23 – Anita Pointer, singer-songwriter (The Pointer Sisters)
- January 24 – Elliott Abrams, attorney and conservative policy analyst.
- February 4 – Rod Grams, United States Senator from Minnesota from 1995 till 2001. (d. 2013)
- February 7 – Jimmy Greenspoon, singer-songwriter and keyboard player (Three Dog Night) (d. 2015)
- March 11 – Kent Conrad, United States Senator from North Dakota from 1987 till 2013.
- March 14 – Tom Coburn, United States Senator from Oklahoma from 2005 till 2015.
- March 31 – Al Gore, 45th Vice President of the United States from 1993 till 2001.
- May 8 – Steve Braun, baseball player and coach
- May 18 – Tom Udall, United States Senator from New Mexico since 2009.
- June 2 – Jack Pierce, baseball player and coach (d. 2012)
- June 23 – Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991.
- November 12 – Cliff Harris, American football player
- December 6 – Don Nickles, United States Senator from Oklahoma from 1981 till 2005.
- December 12 – David K. Karnes, United States Senator from Nebraska from 1987 till 1988.
- December 21 – Samuel L. Jackson, actor and producer
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- July 5 – Carole Landis, American actress (born 1919)
- July 11 – Franz Weidenreich, German-born American anatomist (born 1873)
- August 16 – Babe Ruth, baseball player (born 1895)
- "On This Day", New York Times, retrieved November 2014
- Media related to 1948 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons