World History 1948-1949

1948 Communists Take Over Czechoslavakia - (2/25/48) In a bloodless coup, the Communists seized control of Czechoslovakia. Threatening violence, they created a majority Communist government under Klement Gottwald. Czechoslovakian President Benes resigned, and Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk was found dead a week later, as a reported suicide.
1948 Civil War In Costa Rica - (3/1/48) After incumbent President Teodora Picado attempted to annul the election won by Otilio Ulate, a civil war broke out. The forces of José Figueras, which opposed Ulate, were victorious.
1948 Soviets Recall Advisors From Yugoslavia - Significant differences developed between Soviet leader Stalin and Yugoslav leader Tito. When compared to other Easter European leaders, Tito was largely independent. He was primarily concerned with the interests of Yugoslavia. Tito was able to maintain this independence, since Russian forces had not been the liberators of Yugoslavia. Rather, the Yugoslav partisans, under Tito, had forced the Germans out.

As Tito did not follow the Soviet line, Stalin recalled all Soviet advisors from Yugoslavia and canceled all economic agreements. Tito responded by reaching economic agreements with the West. It became clear that Communism in Europe was not monolithic.
1948 Berlin Blockaded- (4/1/48) No agreement could be reached with the Soviets on continued control of Germany. When the Allies decided to introduce a new currency into West Germany to counter inflation, the Soviets opposed the move. As a response, and as a means of stopping the reunification of Western Germany, the Soviets imposed a blockade on Berlin, which had been and remained under four-power control.

The American Commander in Germany, General Clay, stated that if the Soviets managed to push the US out of Berlin; the next step could be the expulsion of the US from Germany, and then from Europe altogether. He suggested that the US break the blockade by force. President Truman decided on an airlift. The airlift was very successful, and the Soviets lifted the blockade eleven months after it was imposed.
1948 Organization of American States (OAS) Created - (4/30/48) The Pan American Conference, held in Bogotá, established the OAS as the United Nations' regional grouping for North and South America.
1948 State of Israel Declared- On May 14, as the British Mandate was ending, the Jews of Palestine declared themselves independent. They created the State of Israel, with David Ben-Gurion as the Prime Minister. Immediately, the neighboring Arab nations attacked. Israel succeeded in repulsing the attacks. By the end of the war, the Jewish State was larger than the territory originally assigned to it under the partition plan. In the course of the war, hundreds of thousand of Palestinian Arabs were displaced, some under their own volition and some by force.
1948 US Recognizes Israel - (5/14/48) After being a supporter of the rights of the Jews to create an independent state, President Truman extended American recognition 14 minutes after the State had been declared in Tel Aviv. Immediately after the State's independence was declared, it was attacked by the surrounding Arab States.
1948 South Africa Embraces Apartheid - (5/26/48)In a general election, the coalition of United and Labor Parties, under Prime Minister Smuts, was defeated by a Nationalist Afrikaaner bloc, led by Daniel Malan. Malan's new government had been elected on a platform of racial segregation (apartheid), and soon this policy was implemented. The government outlawed marriages between whites and non-whites. It also passed the Group Areas Bill that divided the country into zones for separate ethnic groups.
1948 Major Nationalist Defeat in Manchuria- (10/30/48) On October 30th, Nationalist troops were defeated in Manchuria after the Communists captured the city of Mukden. Three hundred thousand Nationalist troops were captured. The defeat in Mukden marked the beginning of the end for the Nationalist forces.
1948 Polaroid Camera On Sale - Edwin Land developed the first instant camera that developed photos on the spot. The camera became known as the Polaroid Land Camera.
1948 Improved Quantum Dynamics Theory Developed - The improved Theory of Quantum Dynamics was developed by Richard Feynman. The theory predicted the effect that electrically charged particles would have on one another.
1948 Soviets Introduce MIG - 15- The Soviets introduced their first modern jet fighter: the MIG-15. The plane, borrowing heavily on German designs, was the first in a long series of "MIG" planes developed by the Soviets.


1949 NATO Founded -(4/4/49) The Berlin Blockade provided compelling evidence that, in order to deter the Soviets from further aggression, an alliance was necessary between nations of Western Europe and the United States. On April 4, 1949, the foreign ministers of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States formally signed the North Atlantic Treaty. The key paragraph was Article 5. It stated that "an armed attack against one or more of the European signatories or the North American signatories would be considered an attack against all of them."
1949 Ireland Becomes Independent - (4/18/49) The Republic of Ireland proclaimed its complete independence from Britain, and left the Commonwealth of Nations.
1949 Federal Republic of Germany Created - (5/21/49) The zones of Germany occupied by the US, Great Britain and France were transformed into the Federal Republic of Germany. A new constitution was adopted, and elections were held. The Christian Democratic Party and its ally, the Christian Socialist Party, won a plurality in the first election. Konrad Adenauer became the first Chancellor.
1949 "Comet"- First Commercial Jet Unveiled -(7/27/49) On July 27, De Havilland unveiled the DH-106 Comet aircraft. The plane was a 36-passenger jet aircraft. Its cruising speed was 490 mph. The Comet's service was to be cut short after a number of them crashed in the late 1950's.
1949 Soviets Detonate A-Bomb -(9/23/49) America's monopoly on atomic weapons ended when President Truman announced, on September 23, that the Soviets had successfully detonated an atomic bomb. As a result, the nuclear arms race, that was to last until 1990, was born.
1949 Communist Victory in China- (10/1/49) The Nationalist Army essentially disintegrated after the fall of Tientsin and Peking. By July, the Nationalists announced that they would begin to withdraw to Taiwan. On October 1st, the People's Republic of China was officially proclaimed, with Peking as its capital.
1949 Stratocruiser Goes into Service -The Boeing "Stratocruiser" made its commercial debut on April 1, 1949, when Pan Am began using it on its service between San Francisco and Honolulu.
1949 Non-Stop Around The World Flight - A US Army Boeing 50-A made a flight around the world. It flew for a total of 94 hours and one minute. It was refueled in the air four times. The plane carried its full crew of 13.