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  #1  
Old 11-20-2004, 11:07 PM
Sockmonkey Sockmonkey is offline
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What was popular in 1944?

I'm trying to put together a birthday present for my Father In Law's 60th birthday, and we're getting together some "Time Capsule" like stuff. So far I've got:
Life Magazine from the week he was born
Sears Catalog
Coin set
DVD of Oscar Best Picture
I'm trying to get a broad assortment of things, right now it seems a little media heavy. Anyone have any insight into popular fads, candy, toys, ect. of that year? His birthday is in a few weeks, but we won't see him 'till Christmas, so I have a few weeks to round up everything, and thanks to the internet, tracking items down is a lot easier.
Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2004, 11:36 PM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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Do you mind giving us a birthday? Maybe we can be even more specific.
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2004, 11:37 PM
Sockmonkey Sockmonkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe
Do you mind giving us a birthday? Maybe we can be even more specific.
Sure thing, December 5
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2004, 11:41 PM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Killing Japs was pretty popular back then. I don't know how you would make a gift of that.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2004, 12:57 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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I'll see if I can find anything particular to December 5. In the meantime, [url] http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/1944]this[/url site has a lot of information about 1944, including the following:

Events:

August 7, 1944 -- IBM dedicates the first program controlled calculator known as the Harvard Mark I

August 9, 1944 -- Smokey the Bear featured on a poster for the first time

October 8, 1944 -- The radio show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet debuts

January 5, 1944 -- The first transoceanic newspaper created: The Daily Mail

May 30, 1944 -- Princess Charlotte of Monaco resigns in favor of her son, Prince Rainier III

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the International Committee of the Red Cross

The Met in New York City hosted a jazz concert for the first time. Performers included Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman.

Births
January 6 - Bonnie Franklin, actress
January 9 - Led Zeppelin guitarist
January 12 - Joe Frazier, boxing champion
January 23 - Rutger Hauer, actor
January 24 - Neil Diamond, singer
January 26 - Angela Davis, feminist and activist
February 9 - Alice Walker, writer
February 14 - Carl Bernstein, journalist
February 14 - Alan Parker, director, writer
February 22 - Jonathan Demme, director
February 23 - Johnny Winter, musician
March 1 - Roger Daltrey, musician ("The Who")
March 6 - Kiri Te Kanawa, opera singer
March 15 - Sly Stone, singer
March 17 - John Sebastian, singer-songwriter, also a member of the Lovin' Spoonful
March 26 - Diana Ross, singer
April 3 - Tony Orlando, musician
April 7 - Gerhard Schröder, German Bundeskanzler (chancellor) since 1998
April 30 - Jill Clayburgh, actress
May 5 - John Rhys-Davies, actor
May 9 - Richie Furay, musician ("Poco", "Buffalo Springfield")
May 14 - George Lucas, film director and producer
May 20 - Joe Cocker, British singer
May 20 - Boudewijn de Groot, Dutch singer
May 21 - Mary Robinson, first female President of Ireland
May 25 - Frank Oz, puppeteer, director
May 28 - Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York City, 1993-2001
May 28 - Gladys Knight singer
July 13 - Ernő Rubik, inventor of Rubik's Cube
July 21 - Tony Scott, film director
July 21 - Paul Wellstone, U.S. Senator: a Democrat from Minnesota (d. 2002)
August 4 - Richard Belzer, actor, comedian (, )
August 11 - Ian McDiarmid, actor
August 21 - Peter Weir, film director
October 9 - John Entwistle, bassist, The Who (d. 2002)
October 15 - David Trimble, Ulster Unionist and Nobel Prize winner
October 28 - Dennis Franz, actor
November 12 - Al Michaels, sportscaster
November 17 - Danny DeVito, actor
November 17 - Rem Koolhaas, Dutch architect
November 17 - Lorne Michaels, producer
November 17 - Tom Seaver, Baseball Hall of Fame player
December 7 - Daniel Chorzempa, organist
December 17 - Jack L. Chalker science fiction novelist
December 22 - Steve Carlton, Baseball Hall of Famer
December 23 - Wesley Clark, US General and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2004, 12:59 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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I'll try the coding on that source again. Try this link.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2004, 01:13 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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Here is a link to a letter written from a World War II veteran the day before your father-in-law was born. Click on enlarge and then click on "enlarge to 1024." It's easy to read at that size. The letter is two pages long. The third page is the envelope itself which is postmarked December 5, 1944. This is part of a veteran's history project.

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/vhp-sto...r?ID=pm0249001
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2004, 01:27 AM
Askia Askia is offline
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Popular songs of 1944 include The Andrew Sisters' cover of Cole Porter's Don't Fence Me In, and Dance With a Dolly (With A Hole In Her Stocking) -- the latter os which is better known as Buffalo Gals.

Dinah Shore sang I'll Walk Alone. Frank Sinatra's I'll Be Seeing You may have been the most popular song that year.

Popular books include Margaret Landon's Anna And The King Of Siam, W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and the scandalous Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor.
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2004, 01:46 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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Finally, if he lived in the U.S. or in Canada and if he got his driver's license on his 16th birthday, here are some of the songs he heard when he slipped behind the wheel and flipped on the radio to take off on his own for the first time legally:

Wonderland By Night -- Bert Kaempfert, Are You Lonesome Tonight? -- Elvis Presley, North To Alaska -- Johnny Horton, Last Date -- Floyd Cramer, Save The Last Dance For Me -- The Drifters, A Thousand Stars -- Kathy Young, Exodus -- Ferrante & Teicher, Perfidia -- The Ventures, New Orleans -- Gary U.S. Bonds, You Talk Too Much -- Joe Jones, You're Sixteen -- Johnny Burnette, Am I Losing You? -- Jim Reeves, Lets, Go, Let's Go, Let's Go -- Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, Gee Whiz -- The Innocents

Happy birthday to your father-in-law from a "girl" in the class ahead of him. He's very lucky to have such a caring daughter-in-law!
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2004, 01:55 AM
SkeptiJess SkeptiJess is offline
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According to Panati's Parade of Fads, Follies, and Manias by Charles Panati, the most popular song of 1944 was I'll Be Seeing You, which appeared 24 times on the "Hit Parade," 10 times as #1. Hildegarde and Frank Sinatra recorded it -- you should be able to find a single of it.

Panati doesn't list the #1 bestselling book of 1944 (probably because it was some now-obscure novel), but Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith; and The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham all came out in 1944 (they were #'s 4, 3 and 5, respectively).

Candy and food fads for the year are harder -- I couldn't find anything fun that was invented in 1944. M&Ms were invented in 1941, and then no major new types of candy or snacks came out until after the war ended, that I could find. Keeping in mind that food was being rationed then -- maybe you could find some ration books? I know my dad has some that his mom saved. Maybe somebody is selling some on eBay... yep, I just checked and there are a buttload of them -- at least one from 1944. Pretty cheap, too. Another thought -- an eBay search on "1944 cookbook" revealed several cheap pamphlet-style cookbooks, including this one on 'ration-wise' cooking.

Silly Putty was invented in 1944, but it wasn't actually marketted as a toy until a number of years later. Seventeen Magazine was started in 1944. I found one website that stated that the Little Lulu doll and the Dick Tracy Detective Kit were the most popular Christmas toys of 1944, but I don't know what they based that on.

Don't forget radio -- there's a lot of Vintage radio out there on CD. You could easily find something -- maybe news coverage of the D-Day invasion.
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2004, 01:56 AM
ouryL ouryL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sockmonkey
I'm trying to put together a birthday present for my Father In Law's 60th birthday, and we're getting together some "Time Capsule" like stuff. So far I've got:
Life Magazine from the week he was born
Sears Catalog
Coin set
DVD of Oscar Best Picture
I'm trying to get a broad assortment of things, right now it seems a little media heavy. Anyone have any insight into popular fads, candy, toys, ect. of that year? His birthday is in a few weeks, but we won't see him 'till Christmas, so I have a few weeks to round up everything, and thanks to the internet, tracking items down is a lot easier.
Thanks in advance!
The Christmas movie, "Meet Me in St. Louie" was made in 1944.
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2004, 01:59 AM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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The odd thing about this is — he was too young to remember any of these things first hand. He was born in 1944. Wouldn't things from the 1950s and 1960s be more likely to bring a nostalgic smile?
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2004, 02:01 AM
Askia Askia is offline
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Heh. Jess and I used the same source. How many Panati books do you own, Jess?
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  #14  
Old 11-21-2004, 02:05 AM
Askia Askia is offline
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Walloon: It typically intrigues and edifies more to see things from the exact year you are born, especially if presented in a time capsule format. Trust me, it'll ring a bell.
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  #15  
Old 11-21-2004, 03:22 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero
Killing Japs was pretty popular back then. I don't know how you would make a gift of that.
While flagrant racism was popular in some circles back then, it is not as popular now, and will not be tolerated here, understand?
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  #16  
Old 11-21-2004, 03:27 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Oh dear. It wasn't intended as racist at all.
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  #17  
Old 11-21-2004, 03:28 AM
Askia Askia is offline
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Huh. I better put away this Popeye cartoon I was going to suggest...
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  #18  
Old 11-21-2004, 07:21 AM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is online now
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Spam was universally loved in 1944.

How about something featuring Rosie the Riveter? - that site has loads more, just search for Rosie
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  #19  
Old 11-21-2004, 08:39 AM
SkeptiJess SkeptiJess is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Askia
Heh. Jess and I used the same source. How many Panati books do you own, Jess?
All of 'em. I guess Dopers just naturally love that kind of book.

Hey wait! I just checked Amazon and I'm missing several of Panati's books. I only have the one about Endings, the one about Fads and Manias, the one about Origins, and the Browsers Books of Beginnings. There's also one about Breakthroughs in Medicine and Science, one about Words, one about Religon and one about Sex (woo woo!) -- I want them all!
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  #20  
Old 11-21-2004, 09:28 AM
Sockmonkey Sockmonkey is offline
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Yay, I knew I could count on dopers, thanks all!
Yes, we thought of maybe doing things from his childhood, but it's nice to tie a milestone event to just one year. I had thought about the war and rationing changing things up a bit. I had hoped to find maybe a model car or something, but it's all military jeeps that year. I'll have to look for some cookbooks. Hmm, maybe some Dick Tracy comics too.
Keep 'em coming!
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  #21  
Old 11-21-2004, 09:50 AM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero
Oh dear. It wasn't intended as racist at all.
FWIW, it didn't strike me as such. We were at war, and a nasty one at that.
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  #22  
Old 11-21-2004, 10:12 AM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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Batman in the Forties.
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Forties.
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  #23  
Old 11-21-2004, 12:11 PM
Askia Askia is offline
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Vintage 8oz. Coke in green longneck bottles.
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  #24  
Old 11-21-2004, 12:46 PM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
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There is this
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2004, 07:40 PM
Casey1505 Casey1505 is offline
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How about a war bond, or a replica of a war bond, made up to look like it was given to him on his birthday in '44? You can frame it up, and if it's a replica, let him know that it holds no redemption value.
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  #26  
Old 11-21-2004, 09:17 PM
Hometownboy Hometownboy is offline
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If he was born on December 5, he shares a birthday with

Margaret Cho (1968)
Doctor Dré (1963)
Andy Kim (1952)
Morgan Brittany (1951) "Katherine Wentworth" on Dallas (1981-1984; 1985; 1987)

Jim Plunkett (1947) Led the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders to two Super Bowl Championships (1981, 1984).

Calvin Trillin (1935)
Little Richard (1932)
Otto Preminger (1906)
Walt Disney (1901)
Fritz Lang (1890)

An interesting selection
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  #27  
Old 11-22-2004, 03:35 AM
Scissorjack Scissorjack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes
FWIW, it didn't strike me as such. We were at war, and a nasty one at that.
Be that as it may, there are those of us who have Japanese wives {and, I'm sure, there are posters of Japanese descent} who found it deeply offensive. Would you let a post which said "killing niggers" ride because it was on a thread asking for suggestions for a time capsule commerorating the 1950's?
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  #28  
Old 11-22-2004, 02:31 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hometownboy
If he was born on December 5, he shares a birthday with

Margaret Cho (1968)
Doctor Dré (1963)
Andy Kim (1952)
Morgan Brittany (1951) "Katherine Wentworth" on Dallas (1981-1984; 1985; 1987)

Jim Plunkett (1947) Led the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders to two Super Bowl Championships (1981, 1984).

Calvin Trillin (1935)
Little Richard (1932)
Otto Preminger (1906)
Walt Disney (1901)
Fritz Lang (1890)

An interesting selection
Thanks it! Get him a Doctor Dre record.
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  #29  
Old 11-22-2004, 02:33 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Of course make that: That's it!
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