1948 Slowly the fashions were becoming more daring with the Bikini gaining in popularity slowly and the first prefab post war housing to solve housing shortages were starting to appear both in Europe and the USA as they could be built quickly to accommodate the growing need and were cheap to build and for people to buy , the quality was not great but they did enable the baby boom after the war years by providing young couples with a home to start their family. In Europe the cold war took a new turn when the Soviet Union blockaded West Berlin in Germany on June 24th and the US countered with an 11 month airlift of food and supplies. Also due to demand and inflationary pressure prices rose and many believed that governments should bring back some price controls. And Televisions are appearing in more and more homes.

How Much things cost in 1948
Yearly Inflation U.S.A. 7.74% UK 6.6%
Average Cost of new house $7,700.00 Average wages per year $2,950.00 Cost of a gallon of Gas 16 cents Average Cost of a new car $1,250.00 Loaf of Bread 14 cents LB of Hamburger Meat 45 cents Science and Mechanics Magazine 20 cents Movie Ticket 60 Cents Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 1,751

What Events Happened in 1948

  • Nationalisation of UK railways to form British Railways
India --- Mahatma Gandhi is murdered
  • Indian pacifist and leader Mahatma Gandhi is murdered on 26th January by a Hindu extremist.
More Information for the Gandhi's Assassination
Indian independence activist Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated at the age of 78 during January of 1948. The assassination took place outside of the Birla House in New Delhi where Gandhi was set to attend a prayer meeting. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu nationalist who had disagreed with Gandhi’s acceptance of Muslims and his non-violent position in the wake of religious tensions created by the division of Pakistan and India. Godse was put on trial and sentenced to death despite objections from Gandhi’s family and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, stating that an execution would dishonor the memory of Gandhi who had opposed the death penalty.

Israel --- Israel is declared as an independent state
  • Israel is declared as an independent state.
More Information for the creation of Israel.
During May of 1948 the independent Jewish state of Israel was created in Palestine by the United Nations. The creation of Israel marked the first time in 2,000 years that an independent Jewish state had existed. David Ben-Gurion became the newly formed country’s first Prime Minister. Immediately after the creation of Israel the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 began when forces from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan invaded the country. The surrounding Arab nations had disagreed with the formation of Israel from the start as they believed the land had been distributed unfairly and it had displaced Arab Palestinians. Fighting continued until 1949 when Israel was able to form several armistice agreements with the neighboring Arab states.

United States --- Polaroid Land Camera
  • The First Polaroid Camera is goes on sale at the Boston Jordan Marsh department store for $89.75
More Information and Timeline for Polaroid Land Camera
1. 1932 Edwin H. Land establishes Land-Wheelwright Laboratories in Boston with his former Harvard physics professor, George Wheelwright III. They continue to research and to produce synthetic polarizers.
2. 1939 Polaroid produces glasses, ski goggles, 3D glasses, and dark-adapter goggles for the Army and Navy.
3. 1948 November 26 The first Land camera, the Model 95, is sold in Boston at Jordan Marsh department store for $89.75. This model is the prototype for all Polaroid Land cameras produced for the next 15 years.
4. The Polaroid Camera cost nearly 15 times more than the popular Kodak Brownie sold at the time ( $5.50 ) plus the film cost substantially more 5. 1949 The Polaroid Land Model 95 camera Photographic sales exceed $5 million in the first year

  • The Land Rover Series I is shown for the first time at the Amsterdam Car Show
United Kingdom --- Western European Treaty
  • Western European Treaty is signed.
More Information for the Treaty of Brussels/Western European Treaty.
The Treaty of Brussels, also known as the Western European Treaty, was signed by five European Nations during March of 1948. The signatories included Belgium, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, France, and the Netherlands. The treaty established military, social, and cultural cooperation between the five nations in an attempt to bolster defense and solidify their alliance for Western Europe against the growing threat of Communism in Eastern Europe. The treaty was important in the development of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Western European Union.

  • The Foreign Assistance Act ( The Marshall Plan ) is agreed to provide more than $13 billion in aid to war torn Europe between 1948 and 1951
  • The UN creates the WHO World Health Organization
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration on Human Rights
United Kingdom --- National Health Service NHS Created
  • British National Health Service Act creates the NHS in July.
More Information for the NHS.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) was launched during July of 1948. Created by the National Health Service Act of 1946, the NHS was envisioned as an ambitious social program that would bring free healthcare to the citizens of the United Kingdom. Funded entirely by taxation, the NHS provided fair and decent healthcare to all that would be free at the point of service. The original law only created the NHS in England and Wales, with Scotland and Northern Ireland having to create their own separate services. Sylvia Beckingham, a thirteen year old with a liver condition, became the first patient to be treated under the new NHS in 1948.

  • India attacks the Pakistan City of Hyderabad
  • Instances of Polio ( Infantile Paralysis ) increase around the world.

Czechoslovakia --- Czechoslovakia becomes Communist
  • Czechoslovakia becomes Communist after coup.
More Information for Czechoslovakia becomes Communist
During February of 1948 Communist rule was established in Czechoslovakia after a nearly bloodless coup took place. President Eduard Benes announced that the nation would transition to a Communist system after being pressured by the newly influential Czechoslovakian Communist Party. Western powers viewed the coup as an expansion of power by the Soviet Union and feared the ease at which the Soviet Union was able to gain influence in parts of Eastern and Southern Europe. Despite the country’s previously democratic traditions, Czechoslovakia remained Communist until the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

Kenya --- Archaeologist Mary Douglas Leakey
  • Mary Leakey discovers the fossilized skull of Proconsul Africanus at Rusinga Island.
More Information for Mary Leakey.
Archaeologist Mary Douglas Leakey made her very first important fossil discovery in October of 1948. While digging on Rusinga Island in Kenya with her husband Louis Leakey, Mary discovered the jaws and skull of a possible human ancestor, Proconsul Africanus. The fossil was determined to be between 18 and 25 million years old and was more closely related to modern monkeys and apes than to modern humans.

  • The United States and Great Britain begins a massive airlift of food, water, and medicine on June 26th to the citizens of West Berlin following the Soviet Blockade.
  • Burma Gains Independence
  • Holden cars starts manufacture in Australian
  • NASCAR holds its first race for modified stock cars at Daytona Beach
  • Earthquake in Turkmenistan USSR Kills 110,000
  • 6.7 magnitude earthquake hits Ecuador in the Andes creating landslides burying 100,000 homes
Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka Gains Independence From Great Britain
South Africa
  • The National Party of the Dutch Afrikaners begins the policy of apartheid in South Africa
  • The Summer Olympics are held in London, England
  • The Winter Olympic Games are held in St. Moritz, Switzerland


  • Porsche is founded
  • 1 million households own Televisions was 5,000 just 3 years earlier

Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use ) 1948

Random Access Storage Device For Computer England by Freddie William's team
Long Playing Record USA made of vinyl and played at 33 rpm
Velcro Switzerland by George deMestral
Transistor Radio USA from Bell Laboratories

Popular Culture

The game of Scrabble is introduced by James Brunot ( was an earlier invention by Alfred Butts in the 30's ) they saw the game when called Lexiko and started making it in their home and changed the name to Scrabble
  • FILM The Red Shoes
  • FILM The Road to Rio
  • FILM Easter Parade
  • Musical South Pacific Opens on Broadway

Born This Year

John Ritter September 17th
Johnny Ramone October 8th
Rick Parfitt October 12th
Chris de Burgh October 15th
Glenn Frey November 6th
Prince Charles November 14th
Alice Cooper February 4th -- Allen Park, Michigan, U.S.
Al Gore March 31st -- Washington, D.C., U.S.
Samuel L. Jackson December 21st -- Washington, D.C., U.S.
Jean-Michel Jarre August 24th -- Lyon, France
Samuel L. Jackson December 21st -- Washington, D.C., U.S.
Andrew Lloyd Webber March 22nd -- Kensington, London, England
Olivia Newton-John September 26th -- Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
Ozzy Osbourne December 3rd -- Aston, Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Terry Pratchett April 28th -- Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
Donna Summer December 31st -- Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
James Taylor March 12th -- Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

1948 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australia Prime Minister Ben Chifley Brazil President Gaspar Dutra Canada Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King till November 15
Canada Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent from November 15,
France Prime Minister Vincent Auriol From 16 January

India Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru From 15 August

Italy Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi

Japan Prime Minister Tetsu Katayama Till 10 March
Japan Prime Minister Hitoshi Ashida From 10 March
Japan Prime Minister Hitoshi Ashida Till 15 October
Japan Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida From 15 October
Mexico President Miguel Alemán Valdés Russia / Soviet Union
General Secretary of the Central Committee Joseph Stalin South Africa Prime Minister Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts Till 4 June
South Africa Prime Minister Daniel François Malan From 4 June
United States President Harry S. Truman United Kingdom Prime Minister Clement Attlee

Political Elections

United States Presidential Election 1948 Harry S. Truman (Democratic) Defeats Thomas E. Dewey (Republican) and Strom Thurmond (States' Rights Democratic) and Henry A. Wallace (Progressive/Labor)