In today’s Senior Spotlight Sunday, we chose an extra special person to highlight. You. Our fathers. Our world.
To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world. – Taylor Hanson, musician
Fathers and grandfathers born between 1938 and 1953 have witnessed the history we now study in books and online. You’ve taught us how to ride bikes, drive cars, fix what’s broken, think for ourselves, and save for the future.
We’ve learned about you from stories, photos, your wisdom, and more. Today, this holiday is a thank you for all you do, and a nod to that part of us that will always hold you head and shoulders above the rest.
Below is a small taste of things that were happening in the years you were born and as you grew up. What we have today, the advances we’ve made, would not have been possible without these events below.
Watch the wonder in their eyes as you tell your grandchildren, the computer in their hand used to fill an entire room. Or that the first car phone call was made in 1947 when a man in St. Louis pulled a phone from his dashboard. Or that Superman was created in 1938, and that George Reeves, followed by Christopher Reeve, would play the iconic hero in television and movies. Or that a DJ coined the phrase “Rock and Roll”.
- Superman appeared in the Comic Action #1 as a backup feature. The creation of Superman was a combined effort of Joe Shuster, an artist for the Toronto Star and Jerry Siegel for National Comics
- FDR founds the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, later known as the March of Dimes
- Howard Hughes breaks the around-the-world flight record - 3 days, 19 hours, and 17 minutes. New York City to Paris, Moscow, Omsk, Yakutsk, Fairbanks, and Minneapolis before returning to New York City.
- The Case of Charlie Gordon – 15-minute short to introduce Canada’s Youth Training Division – Apprenticeship Program – an example of life as WWII came to Canada’s door. https://www.nfb.ca/film/case_of_charlie_gordon/
- Hewlitt Packard is formed
- The World’s Fair Opens in New York.
- The Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies is completed.
- Wilbur Franks invents the g-suit at the University of Toronto
- The first RAF aircraft equipped with radar
- Enigma Code Is Broken
- After many years where parents had decided what teenagers wore a new revolution was happening where teenagers became fashion conscious, also drive in Movies and drive in fast food were growing in popularity.
- 26 countries agree to create the United Nations
- The Alaska Highway from Alaska through Canada is completed
- The war created a new breed of movies with war themes, and one of the most popular songs of all time "White Christmas" from Bing Crosby first appeared in the movie "Holiday Inn".
- Canadian Army troops arrive in North Africa
- World's largest office building, the Pentagon is completed
- Duke Ellington plays Carnegie Hall
- Kidney Dialysis machine is created in the Netherlands by Willem Kolff
- Sunscreen– originally invented to protect WWII soldiers from sunburn, the Benjamin Green, the inventor would go on to create the Coppertone Company.
- The Daily Mail becomes the first transoceanic newspaper.
- European hostilities end (May 5).
- The first family allowance ("baby-bonus") payments are made (June 20).
- Canada joins the United Nations (June 26
- The first Cannes Film Festival takes place in Cannes.
- The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) is revealed at the University of Pennsylvania. - the first programmable, general-purpose electronic digital computer was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania. It was called ENIAC, which stood for "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer" and was built by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchley for the U.S. Government during World War II. The project began in 1943 and cost about $400,000 to complete. The computer was gigantic and took up the space in a room that was thirty by fifty feet. The first task that it had was to work on calculations related to hydrogen bomb construction.
- AT&T announce first car phones
- Piaggio produces the first successful motor scooter The Vespa
- Microwave Oven is introduced
- Henry ford invents the assembly line
- The International Monetary Fund IMF begins to operate.
- Polaroid Land Camera first demonstrated
- Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier
- Research team from Bell Laboratories invents the transistor
- The coldest temp in North America ( -63 C )is recorded at Snag, Yukon, Canada
- On January 1st The Canadian Citizenship Act passed in 1946 comes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens.
- Artificial Intelligence – Alan Turing wonders “Can a Machine Think?” and creates the Turing Test.
- Hologram Hungary by Denis Gabor
- WHO Established
- NHS created – UK
- Scrabble is introduced
- Apartheid begins
- Barbara Ann Scott became the First Canadian to win the Figure skating Gold medal at the 1948 Winter Olympics in Moritz, Switzerland
- Stanley Cup: Toronto Maple Leafs sweep Detroit Red Wings in 4 games
- "Toast of the Town" hosted by Ed Sullivan premieres on CBS-TV
- Chrysler cars offered post-war consumers durable, comfortable family cars. The Chrysler C39 in the collection of the Canada Science and Technology Museum is one of two survivors of the original twenty-four cars produced for the Canadian market.
- George Orwell's book Nineteen Eighty-Four is published. The story is focused on a futuristic totalitarian state that set out to control the thoughts of its citizens and rewrite history. The book was so influential in the 20th century, that many of its made-up terms have become part of normal speech such as "Big Brother," "Thought Police" and "doublethink."
- First 45 rpm Vinyl Records are introduced.
- Silly Putty goes on sale in plastic eggs for $1.00
- Newfoundland Joins Canada Confederation
- The first car with a Porsche badge is shown at the International Automobile Show in Geneva.
- RCA Perfects a system for broadcasting color television
- Parliament passes the Trans-Canada Highway Act, which ensures cost sharing between the federal government and the provinces for a highway that would join all the provinces of Canada.
- 1st kidney transplant
- North Korea invades South Korea, beginning the Korean War
- The first broadcast by Radio Free Europe.
- "Beetle Bailey" comic strip debuts
- 1st typesetting machine to dispense with metal type exhibited
- Dick Tracy TV show sparks uproar concerning violence
- Chrysler introduced the first power-steering system.
- Children were given guitar lessons and sets of Encyclopedias to improve their minds - more than any other time in previous history
- The first direct-dial coast to coast telephone call was made – from NJ to CA. It took about 18 seconds to connect the call and was placed using AT&T’s direct distance dialing system which did not use an operator to connect the call. This new method began the use of a ten-digit phone number which included the three-digit area code system that had been implemented in the late 1940s.
- The term Rock N Roll was coined by a Cleveland, OH DJ named Alan Freed.
- Princess Elizabeth’s first royal visit to Canada
- The English version of Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl” was published. The original Dutch version had been published in 1947 by her father, Otto.
- Mother Theresa opens the first Home for the Dying in space made available by the city of Calcutta.
- Agatha Christie's murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opens and becomes the longest continuously production running play in history
- The Comet - the world’s first passenger jet is produced in UK and flies for the first time on May 2nd
- First successful climb to the summit of Mt. Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary, an explorer from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa.
- Double-helix structure of DNA is discovered.
- Ian Fleming publishes his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale
- Peter Pan premieres
- General Motors starts producing Canadian Pontiacs like the 1953 Pathfinder.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane, and would like to leave you with an excerpt from an article entitled Here’s the Dads Father’s Day Letter to Fathers. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Happy Father’s Day!