In 1941, World War II had overshadowed many of the events that were taking place. Despite the horrors of the war, life was going on in other parts of the world.
As Adolf Hitler waged war across Europe, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane debuted at the RKO Palace Theater on May 1st, in what is considered the greatest motion picture of all time. The film was to debut at the Radio City Theater, but controversy forced it to a change of venue to the smaller Palace Theater. While a preview of the movie garnered huge acclaim, Hedda Hopper, a film critic not amused by the film and with help from other Hollywood big shots then suppressed the film.Citizen Kane was a failure at the Box Office but managed to get nine Academy Award nominations, attendees booed Orson during the Academy awards ceremony.
Orson Welles was not the only one facing big troubles; Henry Ford was having a long and bitter struggle with the United Automobile Workers of America and Congress of Industrial Organizations (UAW-CIO). This was after President Roosevelt ascended to the Wagner Act that established collective bargaining to workers’ rights an attempt to regulate unfair practices from employers, employees and workers unions. On 20th of June, Ford bowed to the pressure and amended his signature to the contract.
The Wagner Act brought about a new dawn to labor rights and today almost every group of employees is unionized.
Come December 7, a surprise attack on a US naval base in Hawaii by over 300 Japanese warplanes dropped bombs at will, started the war between USA and Japan. Deterioration of diplomatic relations between the two nations caught in the madness of the raging World War was the reason for the attack. By sun down on the 7 December 1941, over 2,000 Americans had lost their lives with 1,200 wounded. The USA retaliated six months later in the Battle of Midway.
Time holds the answers to the uncertainty of the present. Despite the unfortunate circumstances that led to the war, other parts of the world continued with their lives and it was not any rosier than the battlefronts as other forms of war were raging.
Discover how USA looked like in 1941
Have a look at the old newspapers from 1941 and get them!
Which were the most popular movies released this year ?
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Starring: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oskar Homolka, Henry Travers
Country: United States
Directed by: Preston Sturges
Starring: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest
Directed by: John Ford
Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp
Directed by: William Dieterle
Starring: Edward Arnold, Walter Huston, Jane Darwell, Simone Simon
Which were the top hits of 1941 ?
Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1941 in the USA ?
Click on the dates below to find out what the world looked like in each day of 1941