1942 Facts: What Events Occurred In 1942 That We Should Know About? | Kidadl


1942 Facts: What Events Occurred In 1942 That We Should Know About?

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

The year 1942 was a year of inventions and milestones.

The world was at war, and the first signs of the atomic bomb were seen in a laboratory in Chicago. As a peace initiative, the signatures of 26 countries were collected to shape the United Nations.

1942 was also the year when American forces engaged themselves completely in the Second World War. This came after the Pearl Harbor attacks in December 1941, in which Japanese forces destroyed US armed forces stationed at Pearl Harbour in Honolulu, Hawaii. The United States had maintained neutral status until then. But the Pearl Harbor attacks forced President Roosevelt to ask the US Congress to declare war on Japan. Thus began the crucial encounters between the American and Japanese troops in the Pacific sector that would go on to change the way wars are fought forever.

With the entry of the American forces, the war took a turn, and Allied forces began to taste more victories. This was certainly not taken well by the head of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, who was, until this point, winning on all fronts.

If you like traveling, you must have realized by now that this was not a good time to see the world. Most parts of it were directly or indirectly involved in Second World War. There was fear and panic everywhere.

In the midst of all this, the people of America got introduced to a brand new radio show called 'Voice of America'. Its primary aim was to discuss Second World War news and inform the people about the US war effort. Soon it transformed into a propaganda machine and competed with the government radio programs of the Soviet Union. We find this continuing much later, during the era commonly referred to as the Cold War. To know more about the Cold War, you have to read up on US-USSR history.

The sad reality of war is that its effects can be unjustly stamped on to men and women who have nothing to do with it. Take, for example, the people of Japanese descent and Japanese ancestry living and working in the US. Under executive order number 9102, signed by President Roosevelt on March 18, the War Relocation Authority came into force. It was used to send more than 1,20,000 Japanese Americans to prison camps. These Japanese Americans were legal citizens but were found guilty because of their identity.

If you are finding this article interesting, go ahead and check out 1954 facts and 1937 facts!

1942 History Snapshot

As we have already found out in the previous section, 1942 was a year when almost every corner of the world was either directly or indirectly involved in the Second World War. Many brave men and women were fighting and dying in the conflict. Several countries were producing heroes and heroines who provide inspiration to young boys and girls to this day.

If you take a closer look at the map of Europe, you will find a small island country by the name of Malta lying to the south of Italy on the Mediterranean Sea. This island nation made serious contributions on the side of the Allied forces. Its efforts were recognized on the global stage when King George VI of Great Britain conferred the George Cross award for outstanding bravery on the government of Malta and its people.

The United Kingdom was on its part defending its shores from a possible German invasion.

On the other coast of the Atlantic, President Franklin D Roosevelt was overseeing his group of scientists and researchers working on the development of an atomic bomb. This was in direct response to the intelligence report that suggested that Nazi Germany was also speeding towards a nuclear weapon.

To the relief of the American leaders, Italian physicist Enrico Fermi and his team had by 1942 built the world's first nuclear reactor in a hidden lab in the University of Chicago. This nuclear reactor successfully conducted a nuclear chain reaction. With this invention, the US was one step closer to creating the first atomic bomb in the world.

Many of us do know that the US did indeed produce the first batch of nuclear weapons two years later. Although seen as morally and ethically unjustifiable, the US dropped not one but two of those weapons on Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

Ground estimates suggest that more than 200,000 perished in the act! This number becomes starker when you compare it to the population of the world at that time. It stood at around 2,396,000,000. Currently, it is closing in at eight billion!

1942's Fresh Faces And Top Celebrities

Did you know that the current US President Joe Biden was born in 1942?

The year 1942 saw the birth of several fresh faces who would later become big names and personalities. If you like boxing, you must have heard of the late great Muhammad Ali. He has been voted as the 'Sports Personality of the Century' by People's magazine.

Muhammad Ali is an institution in himself. He defied a number of odds that were stacked against him to emerge as a three-time World Heavyweight Champion in Men's professional boxing. Prior to that, Ali had changed his religion from Christianity to Islam to protest the wrongs that were being done to the African American community of the US. He had won the gold medal in amateur boxing in the Rome Olympics in 1960 under the name Cassius Clay. Ali remains an idol and an inspiration to millions worldwide who fight odds on a daily basis to emerge as champions in their respective fields. Do you know who currently holds the heavyweight boxing title? Do find out!

From boxing, we move on to performing arts. Who can forget the impact that The Beatles made on the music industry back in the '60s? One of its founding members, Sir Paul McCartney, was born in 1942. He was part of the Fab Four, which also consisted of John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Together, they produced some of the greatest songs that have ever been written. As long as human beings live on planet Earth, we would continue hearing people singing songs of The Beatles. Which are your favorite Beatles songs?

The war period was a time when Hollywood celebrities were pretty active in the activism scene. Seeing as they were cultural icons and were followed by the common people, the biggest stars of this period took it upon themselves to campaign for the government in various capacities.

Actress Carole Lombard, who starred in the hit 1942 movie 'To Be Or Not To be', used her star power to raise $2 million in her home state of Indiana by asking her fans to buy war bonds. In 2021, two million will be about $35 million! On the whole, the American people had bought war bonds totaling over $13 billion during the war years. The government channeled this money to fund its war effort.

The movie 'Casablanca' is one of the all-time classics and had its world premiere in New York City this year. Ingrid Bergman, who starred in this film, was deeply involved in war campaigns. She even toured the remote state of Alaska to entertain and motivate the American troops which were posted in that zone.

A rising star in the movie industry, Katherine Hepburn, was also actively taking part in rallies and fundraising events. She is still the only person to date to win four Lead Actress Academy Awards/Oscars.

Fanta was invented by the Germans when they could not import Coca Coal.

1942 Pop Culture History

When it comes to pop culture history, one can never leave out the national pastimes. In the US, going to the movie theatres and enjoying one's favorite films has always been a top draw for the public.

You may have heard about the cult classic 'West Side Story' on your television set or computer. Movies such as these stand out the test of time and remain in the hearts and minds of movie lovers for decades. One such film that has always featured in the list of top films ever to be made is 'Casablanca'. Its plot is roughly based on the events of the Second World War.

Another movie that premiered in the same year but did not receive the same amount of adoration was 'Bambi'. However, it did go on to become an animated classic in the years to come. We find it both amusing and fascinating to know that the executives of Disney decided to release the sequel to 'Bambi' after 68 years! This happened in 2006 and is a record in itself.

No talk of pop culture history is complete without the discussion of sporting activities. In the arena of sports, the St. Louis Cardinals were the world series champions of baseball in the United States. Also, the 1942 Rose Bowl was played in Durham, North Carolina, as there were fears of a Japanese attack on the US west coast. It was due to be played in the city of Pasadena, California.

This was a period when the coastal cities of the US were under constant threat from German and Japanese forces. The east coast was prone to German submarine attacks. In contrast, the west was open to a Japanese invasion. In one reported incident from the month of February, the Los Angeles sky witnessed the presence of unidentified objects. Around 14oo rounds of ammunition were fired at them from the ground. In August, an airship belonging to the military flew out of the San Francisco bay area for a reconnaissance trip. The airship returned hours later without the two military personnel who were operating it. Search parties found everything other than the two missing servicemen intact. Its task was to spot any potential enemy submarine on the ocean surface and report back to the base.

If you are wondering what the Rose Bowl is, it is an annual football game that is played mostly on New Year's Day. When we talk about football in the US, we refer to something different. Football which is played in most countries around the world is known by the name 'soccer' in America. We would be happy if you find more about the difference between the two once you finish reading this article.

Before we move on to reading the next section, we would like to inform you that Joseph Stalin was declared Time Magazine's Man of the Year for the second time in his life this year. He had earlier been given this title back in 1939.

Popular Music Artists

As soldiers and armies were busy fighting different battles around the world, they were also listening to their favorite artists crooning the songs they loved. Some of you may be interested more in rock music and have albums of Guns N Roses, among others, stocked up somewhere in the house.

This was a time when orchestra music was the most popular, and people would visit bars and hotels to get first-hand experience of live music. By the term 'music band', people generally referred to orchestra bands. For example, Harry and his Orchestra produced the number-one single 'Sleepy Lagoon' in June of this year.

The year had begun with the song 'Chattanooga Choo Choo' by Glenn Miller and his orchestra with Ted Beneke and the Four Modernaires ruling the charts all across America for more than a week. More than a million copies of this chart-topping single were sold in the country. As a result, Glenn Miller became the first artist to receive a Gold Record from RCA Victor for achieving this feat.

Other influential songs of this year consisted of Alvino Rey's 'Deep In The Heart of Texas', 'Blues In The Night' by Dinah Shore, 'White Christmas' by Bing Crosby, 'There'll Be Bluebirds Over' by Glenn Miller, and many more.

Did you know the fact that the world record for composing the longest song title was held by Hoagy Carmichael? His 1942 song 'I'm a Cranky Old Yank in a Cranky Old Tank On the Streets of Yokohama With My Honolulu Mama Doin' Those Beat-o, Beat-o Flat-On-My-Seat-o, Hirohito Blues', went into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1967.

Second World War 1942

We cannot really do away with the fact that behind everything that was taking place in 1942, the shadow of the Second World War loomed largely.

In Europe, the Allied forces comprising mainly of service members from the British Army, United States Army, and the Red Army of the Soviet Union were tackling the German forces in parts of mainland Europe and in North Africa.

The Axis powers were in control of large parts of northern Africa for a while and had the goal of bringing the Suez Canal under their control. One of Hitler's foremost generals, Erwin Rommel, who was known as the 'Desert Fox', was leading the German troops in North Africa. His Afrika Korps was finally defeated by the Allied contingent, led by General Bernard Montgomery, in the second battle of El Alamein.

The Pacific sector of the war was heating up around this time with the official entry of the US into the war. In this part of the world, Japan reigned supreme for quite some time. Imperial Japan, under Emperor Hirohito, had been waging numerous military campaigns throughout the '30s, and Japanese troops had annexed Manchuria in China back in 1937. Japanese troops had occupied Hong Kong, Guam, Singapore, and the Philippines.

Now they wanted to become the masters of the Pacific region. They knew that in order to achieve that goal, they had to take America out of the equation. With this strategy in mind, the Japanese Navy orchestrated a surprise Japanese attack on December 7, 1941, on the Pacific Fleet of the US Navy that was stationed in Hawaii. The US declared war on Japan the next day.

Initially, Japanese forces had better results than their American counterparts. They had already captured almost the whole of south and south-east Asia and were close to the borders of British India governed by Great Britain. However, everything changed after the famous Battle of Midway from June 4-7, 1942, in which the US Navy inflicted the first big defeat on the Japanese.

This naval battle not only changed the fortunes of the American forces in the east but also indicated that with the power and strength of the US behind them, the Allied soldiers would finally be able to end the war soon.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 1942 facts then why not take a look at 1947 facts, or 1922 facts.

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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