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A look back of momenets of war and peace in the 1940s:
In November, Franklin Roosevelt won his third term as U.S. president. This broke something called the Washington precedent — a norm that the very first U.S. president, George Washington, set when he declined to run for a third term and served as president for only eight years.
In 1940, with World War II raging in other parts of the world, Roosevelt decided to go against tradition and campaign again, saying he wanted to be reelected to keep the country out of the war, according to the National Constitution Center.
Roosevelt won in a landslide and later went on to win a fourth term as president, but his decision to keep running for president was the basis of the 22nd amendment, which now legally prevents anyone from serving more than two terms as president.
the “date which will live in infamy” — December 7 — happened in this year. On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, a U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Until then, the U.S. had officially stayed out of World War II, though President Roosevelt had stopped allowing Japan access to American goods it wanted, like steel and oil, according to the National World War II Museum.
Japan launched a surprise attack early in the morning of Dec. 7, killing more than 2,400 people in the attack. Days later, Germany and Italy — who were allied with Japan — declared war on the U.S. and the nation found itself in the middle of World War II.
In February, the U.S. began forcibly relocating more than 110,000 Japanese Americans who were living on the West Coast. These Americans were sent to camps where they had to live with other families in army-style barracks, and many families had to leave everything behind when they were removed from their homes.
Americans with Japanese ancestry had to live this way for three years, even though most of them were U.S. citizens and none of the citizens were charged with disloyalty, according to the National Archives. It would be more than 40 years before the nation acknowledged it was wrong to do this, apologized and provided money to the people it put in internment camps.
With men off fighting the war, major league baseball executives start the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The league paved the way for professional women’s sports in the U.S.
The league’s teams were all located in the Midwest, and more than 600 women played for the Rockford Peaches, Kenosha Comets, Racine Belles and other teams starting in ’43. At the end of the first season, the Belles defeated the Comets in a five-game series and became the league’s first World Champions.
The Rockford Peaches, though, were the winners of the most titles — and the basis for the hit movie A League of Their Own.
Obsession with singer Frank Sinatra — known as “Sinatramania” — continues, and on October 12 so many of his fans swarmed New York’s Times Square that it became known as “the Columbus Day riot.”
About 30,000 teenage girls, called “bobby-soxers” because of the popular style of socks they wore, showed up to see Sinatra and maybe lock eyes with "the sultan of swoon.“ The event reaffirmed how powerful of a force teenage girls’ fandom could be, according to The Guardian.
The world’s first mass-produced four-wheel drive car is released to the general public. The 1945 Willys Jeep came out after Jeep became the iconic vehicle of the Allied forces, including the U.S., during World War II.
In the war, the jeep became known for its toughness and its reliability. Dwight Eisenhower, a military officer who would be president, even called the vehicle “one of three decisive weapons the U.S. had during World War II,” according to the Journal of Classic Cars.
A French designer debuts the bikini for the first time. The two-piece swimsuit was seen as scandalous, according to the Washington Post, partly because it showed women’s belly buttons. It took another couple decades for Americans to fully embrace the bikini.
On April 15, Jackie Robinson debuted as the Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman. Robinson, a Black man, broke the color barrier in baseball and was the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.
According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, every MLB team still marks Jackie Robinson Day on April 15. Robinson helped end segregation in baseball and made way for scores of other players of color to have successful MLB careers.
The Olympic Games weren’t held in 1940 or 1944 because of World War II. But after the war’s end, they resumed in 1948 in London. Germany and Japan weren’t invited.
According to the Olympic Games website, the games were the first to ever be shown on home televisions. During the games, a Dutch athlete named Fanny Blankers-Koen — thought to be too old at 30 to compete — became the first woman to win four gold medals at a single Olympics.
An airplane called Lucky Lady II completes the first non-stop flight around the world on March 2. According to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the flight took 94 hours and 1 minute and started and ended in Fort Worth, Tex.
The plane was a Boeing B-50A Superfortress and was refueled in the air eight times at four locations. The flight was done in secret, with even the families of the crew kept in the dark about the 23,452-mile journey.