The 1940s Arts and Entertainment: Chronology

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The 1940s Arts and Entertainment: Chronology

1940:      Charlie Chaplin's film The Great Dictator attacks the European dictatorships responsible for World War II (1939–45).

1940:      Jazz singer Billie Holiday challenges audiences with her antilynching protest song, "Strange Fruit."

1940:     November 13 Walt Disney's animated film Fantasia opens in New York, with Leopold Stokowski conducting the orchestra.

1940:     December 21 Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald dies in Hollywood at the age of forty-four.

1941:      The Maltese Falcon, directed by John Huston, begins the film noir style in Hollywood and makes a star of Humphrey Bogart.

1941:     January 27 Publisher William Randolph Hearst puts his art collection, including around ten thousand items, on private display in New York.

1941:     May 2 The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorizes commercial television broadcasting beginning July 1.

1942:      Casablanca, one of the most successful movies of all time, opens. The script had arrived at Warner Bros. studio the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, and the movie matched the determined mood of the nation.

1942:     February 8 Artist Mark Rothko holds his first solo exhibit at the Artists' Gallery in New York City.

1942:     April 16 The New York Drama Critics' Circle decides there is no play good enough to receive the 1941–42 best play award.

1942:     August 1 The American Federation of Musicians begins a strike against the recording industry. The strike lasts for a whole year.

1943:     September 19 Decca Records becomes the only record label able to produce albums after it strikes a deal with the American Federation of Musicians.

1943:     December 9 Singer Frank Sinatra is declared "4-F," or unfit to fight in the war, because of a punctured eardrum. His career suffers because of his lack of combat duty.

1944:     February 1 Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian dies in New York, aged seventy-two.

1944:     August 7 The Justice Department orders motion picture producers to end theater ownership and allow competition in film distribution.

1944:     December 15 Band leader Glenn Miller dies in a plane crash on a trip from London to Paris.

1945:     March 28 British poet W. H. Auden wins the American Academy of Arts and Letters poetry prize.

1945:     May 5 American poet Ezra Pound is arrested in Genoa, Italy, by American armed forces because he allegedly made treasonous radio broadcasts during the war.

1946:     March 13 Twelve poems by Ezra Pound are included in the new edition of An Anthology of Famous English and American Poetry. It had been thought none would be included because of his alleged treason.

1946:     April 14 The movie So Goes My Love is premiered on a PanAm Clipper flight from New York to Ireland. It is the first film to be screened on a scheduled airline flight.

1946:     July 1 Oklahoma! reaches its 1,405th performance on Broadway, the record for a musical.

1947:     January 24 The Metropolitan Museum of Art displays sixty British masterpieces on loan from King George VI.

1947:     September 29 The play Annie Get Your Gun is banned in Memphis, Tennessee, because its cast is multiracial.

1947:     October 13 The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) begins cross-examining the Hollywood Ten (a group of movie actors, writers, and production artists). They refuse to testify.

1947:     December 3 The Screen Directors' Guild bans members of the Communist Party from holding office in their organization.

1948:     March 27 Billie Holiday performs at Carnegie Hall in New York, after spending almost a year in prison for possession of narcotics.

1948:     October 6 The Museum of Modern Art in New York City purchases its first painting by Willem de Kooning, titled Painting.

1948:     October 30 Under pressure from the courts, RKO Studios agrees to separate its film production and distribution from its theater network.

1948:     November 4 American poet T. S. Eliot is awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

1948:     November 29 The Metropolitan Opera season opens with Verdi's Otello. For the first time, a Met production appears on television.

1949:     February 19 Ezra Pound wins the Bollingen poetry prize. His win upsets many people because he had supported America's opponents during the war. Later in the year, the Library of Congress abolishes its prizes for art, music, and literature because of Pound's win.

1949:     May 23 The Hollywood Ten file suit against Hollywood producers. They had lost their jobs for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

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The 1940s Arts and Entertainment: Chronology

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The 1940s Arts and Entertainment: Chronology