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Clippers In Time

As we open the Golden Age of the Flying Clippers, we find the world in a deep economic depression. The United States has just been through what will have been, the two worst years of it. Franklin Roosevelt has just been elected president of the United States — and will remain so for an unprecedented 4 terms — and Adolph Hitler has just come to power in Germany. There are only 48 states in the Union. Alaska and Hawaii will not be added for almost 30 years. Prohibition has just been repealed. Thanks to Hollywood, New York's Empire State building will now have King Kong forever associated with it.

If you are "lucky" enough to be an airline pilot you will earn $8000.00 per year. A dentist earns $2391.00; an electrical worker, $1559.00; a public school teacher, $1227.00; a secretary, $1040.00; a steelworker, $422.87; a waitress, $520.00.

A new Pontiac coupe costs $585.00 and is powered with a gallon of gas costing only 18˘. A wool suit is $10.50. Chicken is 22˘ a pound and milk is 10˘ a quart. A six room house with a two car garage in Detroit will cost you $2800.00. If you have the time, a 60-day 11-counrty tour of Europe will cost you $495.00. Round trip airfare from New York to Chicago is $86.31 and from Chicago to Los Angeles is another $207.00.


Clipper History
Notable Events


The Sikorsky S-42 was introduced in August (only 3 months after the DC-2's inaugural).

 First Freeways: The Autobahn in Germany

 Drive-in movie theatre opens in New Jersey

Burns and Allen
 Half of the homes in the U.S. have radios

 Austrian Chancellor assassinated by Nazis

 Bonnie and Clyde killed in police ambush

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 Severe drought turn Great Plains
 into Dust Bowl (to 1936)

 Box Office draws: Will Rogers, Clark Gable,
 Janet Gaynor


First Martin M-130 delivered on September 9th.

Pan Am inaugurates trans-Pacific airmail service from November 22 to 29 with the Martin M-130 China Clipper. The 8,210-mile flight was made in 59 hours and 48 minutes of actual flying time.

China Clipper over Macau
China Clipper over Macau

 Douglas Aircraft unveils the new DC-3 with
 a flight range of 1500 miles - the longest
 of any commercial  airliner.

 Radar device built by Robert Watson Watt

 Eastman-Kodak introduces KODACHROME Film,
 becoming the first commercially successful
 amateur color film

 Edwin Armstrong demonstrates FM radio

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 Hoover Dam completed

 First night baseball game played in Cincinnati, Ohio

 FDR signs U.S. Social Security Act

 Persia changes name to Iran

 John Steinbeck: Tortilla Flat

 George Gershwin's musical Porgy and Bess opens

 Box Office draws: Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Will Rogers


The M-130 Hawaii Clipper initiated the first trans-Pacific passenger service on October 21. The San Francisco-Manila airfare was $799.00 (over $10,000 today) one-way.

 BBC inaugurates television service

 Top U.S. tax rate raised to 79%

 Prince Albert becomes King George VI of Britain

 Spanish Civil War Begins (to March 1939)

 Henry Luce begins publication of LIFE magazine

 Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind is published

 Film:Modern Times starring Charlie Chaplin

 Box Office draws: Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Will Rogers


 Focke builds Helicopter

Golden Gate Bridge
 Golden Gate Bridge opens

 Amelia Earhart disappears over South Pacific

 Hindenburg airship disaster at Lakehurst,
 New Jersey

 Chamberlain becomes British Prime Minister

 Film: La Grand Illusion

Snow White
 Disney's first full-length cartoon: Snow White

 LOOK magazine begins publication

 Box Office draws: Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Will Rogers


 Ball point pen invented by two brother named Biro from Hungary

 Hitler annexes Austria
 Hungary annexes southern Slovakia

 Music: Benny Goodman brings new style to jazz music

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 Radio drama, War of the Worlds, narrated by Orson
 Wells, causes national panic

 Art: Guernica by Picasso

 Box Office draws: Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Will Rogers


Boeing delivers the first two B-314's on January 27th

First scheduled trans-Atlantic airline passenger service began on June 28th on board the Dixie Clipper. Airfare was $375 (over $4000 today) one-way or $675 ($8000 today) round-trip.

Air Mail service across the Atlantic began on May 20th (Yankee Clipper)

 Using a cyclotron, John Dunning splits an atom in his lab at
 Columbia University, suggesting that nuclear fission is possible

 Regular TV broadcasts begin

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 New York World's Fair shows television to public

 The Depression is ending worldwide as nations
 prepare for the coming hostilities

 German troops invade Poland on September 1

 Britain and France declare war on Germany —
 World War II begins

 John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath published

Gone With the WInd
 Films: Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind,
 The Roaring Twenties


British Purchasing Commission bought 2 of Pan Am's B-314's for the War effort.

 CBS demonstrates color Television

 Fantasia introduces stereo sound to the American public

Winston Churchill
 Winston Churchill becomes prime minister of Britain

 FDR re-elected for an unprecedented third term

 Battle of Britain

 Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls

 Film: Grapes of Wrath, The Great Dictator

 Bugs Bunny is seen for the first time


 CBS and NBC start commercial transmission

 Aerosol spray can is introduced

Mount Rushmore
 Mount Rushmore Memorial completed
 in South Dakota

 Joe DiMaggio hits 56 games in a row

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 Japanese bomb the Japanese attack the main
 American naval base in the Pacific at
 Pearl Harbor

 The United States declares war on the Japanese and enters
 WWII; Japanese take Guam, Hong Kong, Wake and
 the Philippines

Maltese Falcon
 Films: Citizen Kane with Orson Wells;
 The Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart;

 William L. Shirer's Berlin Diary is released


The B314 Berwick flies Winston Churchill from a meeting with Roosevelt. Churchill even tried his hand at piloting the aircraft.

 Atanasoff, Berry build the first electronic digital computer

 Magnetic recording tape is invented

 Atomic research: Manhattan Project begins; First self-sustaining
 nuclear chain reaction achieved

 Sugar and gas rationing begins in the U.S. (One pound of sugar
 every two weeks and 25 to 30 gallons of gas per month per

 Final Solution: At a secret conference in Berlin, top Nazi leaders
 decide on a policy to liquidate all European Jews

 Film: Casablanca with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart;
 Road to Morocco with Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, and
 Bing Crosby; Bambi


Franklin Roosevelt flies to the Conference in Casablanca in January on board the B314 Dixie Clipper.

FDR on Dixie Clipper
President Roosevelt celebrated his 61st birthday aboard the Dixie Clipper on the return flight from the secret meeting at Casablanca.


 Betty Smith's A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is published

 Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Oklahoma opens


 NBC presents the first U.S. network newscast

 First jet airplanes operational (Me 262)

 D-Day: American-led Allies storm the beaches
 of Normandy and sweep through Europe,
 liberating Paris.

 W. Sommerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge


 FDR dies at Warm Springs Georgia from a cerebral hemorrhage.
 Vice President Harry Truman is sworn in as America's 33rd

 The top U.S. tax rate is now 91%. It will drop no lower than 88%
 until when in 1963, it is lowered to 70%.

 United Nations is established at conference in San Francisco

 VE-Day: Victory in Europe on May 7

Atomic Bomb
 Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and
 Nagasaki, Japan in an effort to bring an end to the
 Pacific War. Japanese surrender 5 days later.

 George Orwell's Animal Farm is published

 Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie is performed

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 Jukeboxes go into mass production

 J. Mauchly and J. Eckert build ENIAC (electronic numerical
 integrator and computer), the first fully electronic computer

 Benjamin Spock offers American parents advice in his very
 influential book Baby and Child Care

 Albania, Hungary, Transjordan and Bulgaria become
 independent states

 Nuremberg Tribunal: 13 Nazis are convicted of crimes against

 Cold War Declared: Winston Churchill, speaking in Fulton,
 Missouri, warns of communist expansion and the formation of an
 iron curtain dividing Europe

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 Film: Frank Capra produces the feel-good movie of
 a generation, It's a Wonderful Life


Still in the future is the revolutionary transistor to be invented at Bell Laboratory, the 200-inch Mount Palomar reflecting telescope, and the State of Israel. Credit cards are not being carried by anyone until Diners Club is created for the purpose of solving those embarrassing moments when you are out of cash at the end of the evening. In 1947 the World Series is broadcast on TV for the first time. And no one has seen Elvis.



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