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List of 1948 Major News Events in History

  1. Indian pacifist and leader Mahatma Gandhi is murdered
  2. Israel is declared as an independent state
  3. The First Polaroid Camera is goes on sale at the Boston Jordan Marsh department store
  4. British National Health Service Act creates the NHS
  5. The World Health Organization, also known as WHO, was established
  6. The founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) took place
  7. The Treaty of Brussels, also known as the Western European Treaty,
  8. The Summer Olympics, also known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad in London
  9. Long Playing Record USA made of vinyl and played at 33 rpm
  10. The US and UK begins a massive airlift of food, water, and medicine to the citizens of West Berlin following the Soviet Blockade.

More Detailed Information on each Event and those not included can be found below

What Happened in 1948 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture

>What happened in 1948 Major News Stories include Porsche is founded, technology advances include Random Access Storage Device, Long Playing Record, Velcro and Transistor Radio, Apartheid begins in South Africa, NASCAR holds its first race for modified stock cars at Daytona Beach, West Berlin Soviet Blockade, NHS Created in UK, Israel is declared as an independent state,

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 24 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.

What Events Happened in 1948

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 . 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 is declared as an independent state

Israel is declared as an independent state.

More Information for the creation of Israel.

During May 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 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.

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

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 . 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 .

Cost of Living 1948

Yearly Inflation U.S.A. 7.74%

Yearly Inflation 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 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

Cauliflower 15 cents per head

Chewing Gum 12 cents for 3

Coffee 85 cents for 2 pound bag

Onions 49 cents 10 pounds

Pork and Beans 25 cents for 2 cans

Pork Roast 39 Cents per pound

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 1,751

Couple of examples of houses for sale this year

Warren, Pennsylvania 5 room bungalow on 1 acre with furnace electricity water gas and double garage $7,000

Lincoln, Nebraska -- New Homes 2 bedrooms forced air ideal location $7,000

World Health Organization Established

The World Health Organization, also known as WHO, was established April 7 News Events when the 26th member state ratified the organization’s constitution. The date it was founded became a worldwide day of awareness known as World Health Day. The organization is an agency of the United Nations with the primary objective of researching health issues, eradicating disease, and promoting healthy practices worldwide. Since its establishment, the World Health Organization has expanded with more than 150 offices around the globe to help monitor the spread of disease and provide support in times of crisis.

North Korea Established

The founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) took place during September. The nation was proclaimed in the capital Pyongyang by supreme leader Kim Il-sung as a communist dictatorship which tightly controls all aspects of citizens’ lives. Earlier in the same year the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was proclaimed in its capital, Seoul, under Syngman Rhee. By 1950 the Korean War broke out after Kim Il-sung attempted to unite the Koreas under his rule using military force. Reunification failed and Kim Il-sung ruled an increasingly isolated and secretive North Korea until his death in 1994.

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 . 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.

London Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympics, also known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, come to an end in August. The games were held in London, England and were the first games in twelve years due to World War II. A total of 4,104 athletes from 59 countries participated in 136 athletic events. These were the first games to be shown on television and the first to feature a covered pool. The United States won the most medals with 84 total, followed by Sweden with 44, and France with 29. Great Britain placed twelfth on the table with 23 total, three of them gold.

Czechoslovakia becomes Communist

Czechoslovakia becomes Communist after coup.

More Information for Czechoslovakia becomes Communist

During February 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.

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 . 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.

World -- U.N. Declaration of Human Rights

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th in Paris. The document, while not legally binding, laid the foundation of basic human rights upon which subsequent treaties and declarations were based. The UDHR is thirty articles long and was conceived as a reaction to the atrocities committed during World War II and the Holocaust. The document enumerated that all humans should be entitled to fair treatment, dignity, and equal freedoms regardless of their personal characteristics or affiliations.

Other News and Events

British Railways

Nationalisation of UK railways to form British Railways

The Marshall Plan

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

United Nations

The UN creates the WHO World Health Organization

The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration on Human Rights

India attacks Pakistan

India attacks the Pakistan City of Hyderabad


Instances of Polio ( Infantile Paralysis ) increase around the world.

Soviet Blockade West Berlin

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

Holden cars starts manufacture in Australian


NASCAR holds its first race for modified stock cars at Daytona Beach

Earthquake in Turkmenistan

Earthquake in Turkmenistan USSR Kills 110,000

Earthquake Ecuador

6.7 magnitude earthquake hits Ecuador in the Andes creating landslides burying 100,000 homes

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Gains Independence From Great Britain

apartheid begins in South Africa

The National Party of the Dutch Afrikaners begins the policy of apartheid in South Africa

Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympics are held in London, England

Winter Olympic Games

The Winter Olympic Games are held in St. Moritz, Switzerland

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.

Technology 1948

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 )

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 1948

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

Major World Political Leaders 1948

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 --

Calendar For The Year 1948

1948 Calendar