1949

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1949 was the 78th year after the founding of the city of Birmingham.

Events

Hardrock Gunter, c. 1953

Business

Postcard photo of the Vestavia estate

Civil Rights

Education

Cooper Green

Government

Media

  • July 1: WAFM-TV went on the air as Birmingham's first television station.
  • July 4: WBRC went on the air on VHF channel 4.
  • October 1: WAFM-TV began airing regular programming from the ABC and CBS television networks.

Religion

Walt Dropo

Sports

Individuals

William Bell
Vida Blue
Bill Foisy

Births

Graduations

  • Paul Bailey from Vanderbilt University with Ph. D.
  • Harry Brock Jr from the University of Alabama with a bachelor of science in commerce and business administration.
  • Alexander Lacy from the University of Virginia.
  • Louis LeVaughn from the University of Alabama with bachelor of arts in school administration.
  • Morris Mayer from the University of Alabama with a bachelor of science in business administration.
  • Demetrius Newton from Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio.
  • Abdulalim Shabazz from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics.
  • Charles Speir from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor of arts in economics.
  • Henry Stanford from New York University with a doctorate in public administration.
  • Gay Talese from Ocean City High School in New Jersey.
  • Leonard Weil from the University of Alabama with a business degree.

Marriages

Lloyd Noland

Divorces

Awards

Deaths

Works

Buildings

Bernice Wright residence

Music


Gallery

Context

In 1949, Los Angeles, California received its first recorded snowfall. Harry S. Truman began his second term as President, which was his first elected to the position. The first Emmy Awards are presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club. Grady the Cow got stuck inside a silo on a farm in Yukon, Oklahoma and garnered national media attention. English astronomer Fred Hoyle coined the term "Big Bang" during a BBC Third Programme radio broadcast. The Tokyo Stock Exchange was founded. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed, creating the NATO defense alliance. Israel was admitted to the United Nations as its 59th member. The Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb, code named "Joe 1". The People's Republic of China was officially proclaimed. A typhoon struck a fishing fleet off Korea, killing several thousand.

Notable fiction published in 1949 included The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren, Crooked House by Agatha Christie, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Cat of Many Tails by Ellery Queen, A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute, The Second Confession by Rex Stout. New drama that debuted included Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Notable non-fiction published included The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell and The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir.

The top music hits of 1949 included "A Little Bird Told Me" by Evelyn Knight, "Cruising Down the River" by Russ Morgan, "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend" by Vaughn Monroe, "Some Enchanted Evening" by Perry Como, "That Lucky Old Sun" by Frankie Laine, and "Mule Train" by Frankie Laine.

Top grossing films in 1949 included Samson and Delilah, Battleground, Jolson Sings Again, Sands of Iwo Jima, and I Was a Male War Bride. All the King's Men won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Broderick Crawford), and Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes McCambridge). Best Director went to Joseph L. Mankiewicz for A Letter to Three Wives and Best Actress to Olivia de Havilland for The Heiress.

Television shows that debuted in 1949 included The Goldbergs, Stop the Music, Hopalong Cassidy, This Is Show Business, Martin Kane, Private Eye, The Voice of Firestone, Bozo the Clown, and The Lone Ranger.

Notable births in 1949 included chef Wolfgang Puck, boxer George Foreman, actress Linda Lovelace, comedian Andy Kaufman, singer Robert Palmer, singer Steve Perry, actor John Belushi, actor Brent Spiner, game designer Danielle Bunten Berry, businesswoman Ivana Trump, wrestler Ric Flair, musician Eddie Money, actor Erik Estrada, musician John Oates, actress Jessica Lange, musician Billy Joel, singer Hank Williams Jr, actor Jim Varney, musician Lionel Richie, actres Meryl Streep, composer Alan Menken, musician Mark Knopfler, actress Shelley Long, musician Rick Springfield, musician Gene Simmons, actor Richard Gere, political commentator Bill O'Reilly, musician Bruce Springsteen, actress Sigourney Weaver, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, musician Bonnie Raitt, actor Jeff Bridges, musician Tom Waits, actor Don Johnson, musician Maurice & Robin Gibb, and actress Sissy Spacek.

Notable deaths included football player Bradbury Robinson, actor Seymour Hicks, actor Wallace Beery, former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, cartoonist and entrepreneur Robert Ripley, author Margaret Mitchell, composer Richard Strauss, Supreme Court Justice Wiley Blount Rutledge, dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and musician Lead Belly.

1940s
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