Saturday, August 25, 2012


For most of my life, I thought that I was born in a boring in-between time; three years after the end of World War II, two years before the uneventful nineteen fifties.  Just since I began to teach that Mod Civ course, I have realized how significant 1948 was… not just for being the year I was born ( as if the world revolved around me)

I was just preparing to teach Shirley Jackson’s endlessly disturbing story “The Lottery”  for perhaps the tenth time. 
She wrote a passage later, called “The Morning of June 28, 1948” about the reaction to her story when it was first published in the New Yorker. I was distracted by the thought that I was just two months old when that story was first published.  That led me to my 1948 meditation:
The State of Israel was formally created in 1948

The Marshall Plan was created and implemented in 1948

The UN created the World Health Organization in 1948, and The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration on Human Rights

Gandhi was murdered in January of 1948

In Germany, The United States and Great Britain began a massive airlift of food, water, and medicine on June 26th to the citizens of West Berlin following the Soviet Blockade.

The Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.

In the US Presidential Election , Harry S. Truman (Democratic) Defeats Thomas E. Dewey (Republican) and Strom Thurmond (States' Rights Democratic) and Henry A. Wallace (Progressive/Labor)

T.S.Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature that year.

Lawrence Olivier won the Oscar for “Hamlet” and “Hamlet” won for Best Picture.

Cortisone was introduced as an arthritis treatment.

Alan Paton published his novel Cry the Beloved Country.

Al Gore and Prince Charles were also born that year. So was Henning Mankell, a favorite murder mystery writer.

The Summer Olympics was held in London!


1 comment:

Mary McElveen said...

Thank you from another '48-er'. I take it as a lovely coincidence that T.S.Eliot has a tie to that year, as well.