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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 27
The U.S. says thousands of American prisoners died during a "death march" at the hands of Japanese in the Philipines.

American troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur invade islands of the South Pacific.

A report says 42% of West Coast aircraft plant workers are women.

June 6
The Allies land a huge force at Normandy, on the northern coast of France.

July 31
Allies, advancing from northern France, begin the liberation of France from the Germans. By August, they have taken back Paris.

August 27
Reporters view a concentration camp at Maidanek, Poland. The Nazis killed about 1,500,000 people here, Soviets estimate.

September 8
German V-2 rockets strike London and Antwerp.

October 9
Roosevelt praises the proposed idea of a United Nations, an international group meant to "maintain or restore international peace and security."

November 24
General Patton's tanks advance into the Saar Basin, one of Germany's most important mining and industrial areas.

General Anthony McAuliffe, pinned down by the German counterstrike in the Ardennes, is asked to surrender and tells the Germans "Nuts!" -- as in "Nuts to you!" -- which becomes an Allied rallying cry.

Oswald Avery, a bacteriologist, demonstrates that deoxyribonucleic acid -- or DNA -- is the building block of all life.

1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949

Joe the hero's big speech

Jane the hero's last stand

Movies in 1944
"You know how to whistle, don't you?" Lauren Bacall tells Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not. "You just put your lips together and blow." Bogart plays another reluctant ally to the Allies.

Gene Tierney plays a mysterious murder victim in Laura. Dana Andrews is the man who becomes obsessed with her.

Drama in 1944
In Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie, a mother desperately tries to find a "gentleman caller" for her daughter.

Music in 1944
Spike Jones and his City Slickers perform "Cocktails for Two" with unusual instruments, including police whistles, gunshots, hiccups.

Big bands play "Sentimental Journey" and "Swinging on a Star."