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World War and Cold War

Joe the Hero

In 1941, Joe the Hero made his big speech. To read about him >>

1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949

January 20
Nazi leaders meet in Berlin to plan the mass killing of Jews within Germany's empire.

February 15
The Japanese capture Singapore.

March 3
The U.S. sends about 100,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

March 26
Organized labor vows not to strike during the war.

June 7
Admiral Nimitz defeats the Japanese navy at Midway Island.

September 25
The Maritime Commission says it has built 488 U.S. ships in the past year.

November 11
Eisenhower's forces have seized French North Africa.

December 2
Scientists at the University of Chicago achieve atomic fission.

1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949

After a strike led by John L. Lewis, coal workers win $1.50 more per day.

Movies in 1942
John Ford, the director of many Westerns, is wounded while filming his documentary The Battle of Midway.

Gary Cooper is baseball great Lou Gehrig in Pride of the Yankees

Americans watch as Walt Disney's Bambi grows from a helpless fawn to a tough buck.

Books in 1942
John Steinbeck writes about German soldiers and the village they occupy in The Moon is Down. Even soldiers for an evil cause are human, the book suggests.

Music in 1942

Aaron Copland's patriotic Rodeo

Bluesman "Leadbelly" Ledbetter plays at festivals and hootenannies in New York.

Irving Berlin's White Christmas