1946, as the first full year after the Second World War, saw another global conflict open up – the Cold War.
While the Allied Powers had been victorious over their Axis enemies, the world began to divide between East and West. It was in this context that Winston Churchill gave his famous “Iron Curtain” speech on the 5th of March at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.
It was this year that the first meeting of the United Nations was held. Shortly after this first meeting in London, the League of Nations transferred its mission to the UN and was disbanded.
In a project of the US Army Signal Corps, Project Diana, brought the United States actively into the Space Age. In this experiment, radar waves were bounced off of the Moon, proving that readily available technology allowed for communication in space between the Earth and the Moon.
There were some notable cultural developments in 1946 as well. This was the year that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra held its first rehearsal, and American musician BB King’s music career turned professional in Memphis, Tennessee.
In film, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James “Jimmy” Stewart, was released this year. This film would go on to become one of the most culturally significant films of all time, and a holiday tradition for millions of people. Disney’s Song of the South was also released this year. Despite some controversy over some describing the film as having some racist undertones, it remains a significant part of Disney history, as the film’s song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” won an academy award in 1947 and the film also inspired the Splash Mountain attraction at Disney theme parks.
In fashion, the modern bikini was modeled in Paris for the first time, marking a new era in swimwear for women.
Discover how USA looked like in 1946
Have a look at the old newspapers from 1946 and get them!
Which were the most popular movies released this year ?
Directed by: Jean Negulesco
Starring: Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant, J. Carrol Naish
Country: United States
Directed by: Frank Capra
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell
Directed by: Sidney Gilliat
Starring: Alastair Sim, Sally Gray, Trevor Howard, Leo Genn
Directed by: John Ford
Starring: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs
Which were the top hits of 1946 ?
Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1946 in the USA ?
Click on the dates below to find out what the world looked like in each day of 1946