Pop Culture Madness!
Pop Culture Madness!

1949 Trivia, Facts & History

<< - 1948

World Series Champions

New York Yankees

NFL Champions

Philadelphia Eagles

NBA Champions

Minneapolis Lakers

Stanley Cup Champs

Toronto Maple Leafs

U.S. Open Golf

Cary Middlecoff

U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies)

Richard A. Gonzales/Margaret Osborne duPont

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Ted Schroeder/Louis Brough

NCAA Football Champions

Notre Dame

NCAA Basketball Champions


Kentucky Derby


The Hotties and Fashion Icons

Ava Gardner, Dorothy Dandridge, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, Betty Grable

"The Quote"

"Meep Meep"
- The Road-runner

"Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" Arthur "Cody" Jarrett
- James Cagney, in 'White Heat'

"What a dump."
- Bette Davis, in 'Beyond the Forest'

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Winston Chruchill

Miss America

Jacque Mercer (Litchfield, AZ)

Scandals, Deaths and Odd News

Howard Unruh, a WW2 veteran went on a rampage with a German Luger and in twelve minutes he shot and killed 13 people and wounded three others in what later became known as the "Walk of Death."

Airplane Celebrity Death: Buddy Clark

The Sherman Brothers claimed to have made up the word "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" for the 1964 film Mary Poppins, yet the writers of a 1949 song called “Supercalafajaistickespeealadojus” unsuccessfully sued Disney. Disney's lawyers argued both were "nonsense words".

BBC's notoriously strict "Green Book" of writing rules forbade lighting offices with Anglepoise desk-lamps, because low-watt bulbs were thought to produce immoral ideas in writers

1949 Pop Culture News

Since its debut in 1949, the Les Paul Gibson ES-175 guitar has never gone out of production.

The first animated TV cartoon series was called “Crusader Rabbit,” which ran from 1949 to 1951.

BB King played at a hall in which 2 men fought and started a fire. He escaped but realized his guitar was inside. He ran into the hall and saved it. The 2 men were fighting over a girl, Lucille, so King vowed never to fight over a girl. King named all his guitars Lucille as a reminder.

George Orwell's 1984 was first published June 8, 1949.

Charles Lubin's small chain of 'Community Bake Shops' became the Kitchens of Sara Lee, named after his daughter.

Wile. E. Coyote first appeared in a cartoon called Fast and Furry-ous and in the 49 Road Runner shorts he appeared in he has never once managed to stop or capture the Road Runner.

Minimum wage went from 40 to 75 cents on October 26.

When USSR tested their nuclear bomb, they wanted to keep it a secret but a WB-29 (US weather monitoring aircraft) returning from Yokota AB, Japan recovered radioactive debris in air sampling scoops from the cloud generated by it, letting the US know.

The White House was completely gutted and the inside rebuilt from the ground up.

Harvard raised its tuition to more than $500 a year

You can't pump your own gas in new Jersey because of the Retail Gasoline Act of 1949.

Popular Mechanics published an article that included a prediction that in the future computers would only weight 1.5 tons rather than 30 tons which was the weight of the average computer then.

Candy Land was designed by Eleanor Abbott, while she was recovering from polio in San Diego, California. In 2005, the game was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

A flock of starlings landed on Big Ben's clock, slowing it by 4.5 minutes.

Someone nicknamed 'The Poe Toaster', a masked, shadowy figure, left a half consumed bottle of cognac and three roses at Edgar Allan Poe's original grave site from 1949-2009.

Luigi Chinetti won the 24 hours of Le Mans by racing over 23 hours of the race by himself, only letting his co-driver behind the wheel for 20 minutes

The Habits

Men started wearing argyle socks, thanks to Brooks Brothers.
Watching Arthur MIller's Death of a Salesman on Broadway
Reading The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
Reading 1984 by George Orwel
Reading The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

1949's Most Popular Christmas Gifts

Silly Putty, Candy Land, Kewpie dolls, Cootie, Clue (1948 in the U.K.), Bouncing Putty, Wind-up Clacking "Talking Teeth"

Popular Movies:

Abbot and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff, The Accused, Adam's Rib, All the KIng's Men, Battleground, Beyond the Forest, Champion, The Heiress, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Knock on Any Door, Mighty Joe Young, On the Town, Samson and Delilah, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Third Man, Twelve O'Clock High, Whiskey Galore!, White Heat, The Wreckless Moment

More Pop Culture Resources

Popular Music in 1949 ~ # 1 Hits of 1949