August 1948

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The following events occurred in August 1948:

August 1, 1948 (Sunday)

August 2, 1948 (Monday)

  • Diplomats Walter Bedell Smith of the US, Yves Chataigneau of France and Frank Roberts of the UK had a two-hour meeting in the Kremlin with Joseph Stalin to discuss the Berlin Blockade.[2] Stalin stressed his opposition to the unification of Germany's western zones into a single governing body, but said he was willing to lift the blockade if implementation of the London agreement of May 31 was postponed pending further discussions among the Big Four powers.[3]
  • Israeli forces concluded Operation GYS 2 with the successful transport of goods to the Negev enclave.
  • Born: Dennis Prager, radio talk show host, in New York City; Bob Rae, politician, in Ottawa, Canada

August 3, 1948 (Tuesday)

August 4, 1948 (Wednesday)

  • The New York Metropolitan Opera canceled its 1948-49 season after three of the twelve unions representing the organization's employees refused to accept contracts under the previous year's terms.[5]
  • Died: Mileva Marić, 72, Serbian mathematician and first wife of Albert Einstein

August 5, 1948 (Thursday)

  • Former US State Department official Alger Hiss voluntarily appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee and denied under oath that he had ever been a Communist or known anybody by the name of Whittaker Chambers.[6]
  • US President Harry S. Truman said at a press conference that the Congressional spy hearings were yielding no information that had "not long been known to the FBI," and were just a "red herring" to distract the public from the Congress not getting anything done about the country's inflation problem.[7]
  • The Federal Communications Commission issued a statement threatening to crack down on the growing number of so-called "giveaway" programs - radio quiz shows that came dangerously close to violating lottery laws by offering prizes to listeners under systems that appeared to depend "upon lot or chance." The FCC publicized a set of new proposed rules, which among other restrictions would forbid giving "aid to answering the question correctly."[8][9]
  • The romantic comedy film Julia Misbehaves starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon was released.

August 6, 1948 (Friday)

  • Egypt rejected Israel's proposal for direct peace negotiations on the Palestine situation. Acceptance of the proposal would have meant recognition of the Jewish state.[10]
  • Born: Dino Bravo, professional wrestler, as Adolfo Bresciano in Campobasso, Italy (d. 1993)

August 7, 1948 (Saturday)

August 8, 1948 (Sunday)

August 9, 1948 (Monday)

August 10, 1948 (Tuesday)

  • An armor-plated Mercedes-Benz that Adolf Hitler once presented to Baron Mannerheim of Finland was driven through Times Square at the beginning of a nationwide tour of the United States. The long black automobile was scheduled to stop at recruitment centers throughout the country to encourage enlistment in the US military.[16]
  • The hidden camera/practical joke reality television series Candid Camera premiered on ABC, the year after it initially began on radio as The Candid Microphone.
  • Died: Kan'ichi Asakawa, 74, Japanese historian; Lucille Bogan, 51, American blues singer; Beatrice Edgell, 75, British psychologist and professor

August 11, 1948 (Wednesday)

  • In further testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Elizabeth Bentley described an incident in October 1945 in which she was paid $2000 for her spy work by first secretary of the Russian Embassy Anatoly Gromov. Bentley said the cash payoff happened by the New York waterfront and was probably witnessed by agents of the FBI, who had instructed Bentley to maintain her contacts with the Communists while it watched.[17]
  • The Pohl trial ended at Nuremberg with the tribunal issuing its final sentences.

August 12, 1948 (Thursday)

August 13, 1948 (Friday)

  • The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan adopted a three-part resolution (amending and amplifying Security Council Resolution 47 from April), calling for a ceasefire in the Kashmir conflict and for the governments of India and Pakistan to agree to enter consultation with the Commission to determine the future status of the disputed region in accordance with the will of the people.[20]
  • Lauchlin Currie and Harry Dexter White appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee and denied under oath that they were ever members of, or had any knowledge of, any Communist spy rings before or during the war.[21]
  • Born: Kathleen Battle, operatic soprano, in Portsmouth, Ohio
  • Died: Elaine Hammerstein, 51, American actress

August 14, 1948 (Saturday)

August 15, 1948 (Sunday)

August 16, 1948 (Monday)

  • President Truman signed an anti-inflation bill authorizing him to restrict bank credit and reimpose wartime consumer credit controls, but he called it a "tiny fraction of what we need."[24]
  • The Northrop F-89 Scorpion interceptor jet had its first flight.
  • Died: Babe Ruth, 53, American baseball player

August 17, 1948 (Tuesday)

August 18, 1948 (Wednesday)

  • The Soviet Union vetoed Ceylon's application for membership in the United Nations, saying it was still dominated by Britain.[26]
  • The Yugoslavian Interior Ministry issued a report announcing that Colonel General Arso Jovanović had been shot and killed by border guards on August 12 while attempting to flee into Romania.[27]

August 19, 1948 (Thursday)

August 20, 1948 (Friday)

  • Lee Pressman, John Abt and Nathan Witt refused on constitutional grounds to give any testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee concerning their alleged involvement in Communist spy rings.[30]
  • The US government ordered the expulsion of Jacob M. Lomakin, Soviet consul general in New York, for improper conduct in connection with the case of Oksana Kasenkina. The State Department's diplomatic note cited Lomakin pressuring Kasenkina to make false statements to the press claiming that she had been kidnapped by the Americans.[31]
  • Born: John Noble, actor and theatre director, in Port Pirie, Australia; Robert Plant, lead singer of the rock band Led Zeppelin, in West Bromwich, England; Barbara Allen Rainey, first female pilot in the U.S. armed forces, in Bethesda, Maryland (d. 1982)
  • Died: Emery Roth, 76 or 77, Austro-Hungarian-born American architect

August 21, 1948 (Saturday)

August 22, 1948 (Sunday)

  • The Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Betzer (Strength), aimed at rounding up draft dodgers and deserters. Over the next five days Tel Aviv was put under curfew, all exits from the city were blocked and a total of 2,794 citizens were arrested.[34][35]
  • In Berlin, Soviet military police arrested Thomas Headen, deputy chief of the US military information division, for strolling across the demarcation line of the British and Soviet zones in the Potsdamerplatz area while carrying a camera.[36] Headen would be released the following day.[37]
  • Born: Peter James, crime fiction author, in Brighton, England
  • Died: Josef Bühler, 44, German Nazi legal officer (hanged as a war criminal); Sophia Duleep Singh, 72, British suffragette

August 23, 1948 (Monday)

  • The World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam by 450 religious leaders representing Protestant and Orthodox churches from 42 countries.[38]
  • Israeli forces launched Operation Avak, with the objective of sending supplies to the Israeli enclave in the northwestern Negev desert by air.
  • The prototype McDonnell XF-85 Goblin fighter plane had its first flight, but it would never go into full production.
  • The New York Metropolitan Opera saved its season after a compromise agreement was announced with the twelve unions representing the organization's employees.[39]
  • Detective Comics #140 (cover date October 1948) was published, marking the first appearance of the supervillain the Riddler.[40]

August 24, 1948 (Tuesday)

August 25, 1948 (Wednesday)

August 26, 1948 (Thursday)

August 27, 1948 (Friday)

  • In Cheltenham, England at the final session of the International Congress on Population and World Resources in Relation to the Family, a four-nation committee (US, Britain, the Nerherlands and Sweden) was established to promote birth control on an international scale.[47]
  • Born: Sgt. Slaughter, professional wrestler, as Robert Remus in Detroit, Michigan
  • Died: Charles Evans Hughes, 86, Governor of New York, Chief Justice of the United States and 1916 Republican presidential candidate

August 28, 1948 (Saturday)

  • The House Un-American Activities Committee issued an interim report claiming that numerous Communist espionage rings had infiltrated the American government during World War II.[42]
  • "Twelfth Street Rag" by Pee Wee Hunt and His Orchestra topped the Billboard singles charts for the first of eight non-consecutive weeks.

August 29, 1948 (Sunday)

August 30, 1948 (Monday)

August 31, 1948 (Tuesday)


  1. ^ "Dr. Joseph Is Appointed Governor of Jerusalem". The New York Times: p. 5. August 2, 1948. 
  2. ^ "Western Envoys See Stalin for More Than Two Hours; Easing of Tension Indicated". The New York Times: p. 1. August 3, 1948. 
  3. ^ Miller, Roger G. (2015). To Save A City: The Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949. Pickle Partners Publishing. ISBN 9781786252487. 
  4. ^ Trussell, C. P. (August 4, 1948). "Red 'Underground' In Federal Posts Alleged By Editor". The New York Times: p. 1, 3. 
  5. ^ Taubman, Howard (August 5, 1948). "Opera Cancels Its Season; Cites Labor Costs, Deficits". The New York Times: p. 1, 17. 
  6. ^ Trussell, C. P. (August 6, 1948). "President Is Blunt". The New York Times: p. 1, 3. 
  7. ^ Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. (August 5, 1948). "The President's News Conference". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  8. ^ "Crackdown on Radio Lottery". San Bernardino Sun: p. 21. August 6, 1948. 
  9. ^ "Giveaway Battle Lines Drawn". Billboard: p. 3, 5. August 14, 1948. 
  10. ^ Schmidt, Dana Adams (August 7, 1948). "Egyptians Reject Direct Peace Talk". The New York Times: p. 6. 
  11. ^ Davis, Lee (2008). Natural Disasters. New York: Facts on File, Inc. p. 157. ISBN 9781438118789. 
  12. ^ White, William S. (August 8, 1948). "Democrats Battle". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  13. ^ Philip, P. J. (August 8, 1948). "St. Laurent Heads Canada's Liberals". The New York Times: p. 23. 
  14. ^ Matthews, Herbert L. (August 9, 1948). "Warning to World Given at Lambeth". The New York Times: p. 5. 
  15. ^ "Greater Colombian Pact On Customs Union Signed". The New York Times: p. 34. August 10, 1948. 
  16. ^ "Hitler Auto Gets Official City Welcome Before Starting Air Force Recruiting Drive". The New York Times: p. 6. August 11, 1948. 
  17. ^ Trussell, C. P. (August 12, 1948). "Soviet Aide Named by Miss Bentley in Spying Pay-Off". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  18. ^ Grutzner, Charles (August 13, 1948). "Wire Breaks Fall". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  19. ^ Maeder, Jay (1999). Big Town, Big Time: A New York Epic : 1898-1998. New York Daily News. p. 111. ISBN 9781582610283. 
  20. ^ "UN resolution of 1948". The Times of India. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  21. ^ Trussell, C. P. (August 14, 1948). "Currie and White Deny Under Oath They Aided Spies". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  22. ^ Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Platform of the States Rights Democratic Party". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  23. ^ Bracker, Milton (August 16, 1948). "Gonzalez Pledges A Free Paraguay". The New York Times: p. 5. 
  24. ^ Belair, Jr., Felix (August 17, 1948). "Signing Credit Bill, Truman Denounces 'Aid to Privileged'". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  25. ^ Schumach, Murray (August 18, 1948). "Ruth Lies in State in Stadium; Throngs Continue Into Night". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  26. ^ Rosenthal, A. M. (August 19, 1948). "Soviet Bars Entry of Ceylon in U. N., Using 27th Veto". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  27. ^ Handler, M. S. (August 19, 1948). "Yugoslav Ex-Chief of Staff Killed Attempting to Flee Into Romania". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  28. ^ Middleton, Drew (August 20, 1948). "Russians' Police Fire on Germans in Berlin Streets". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  29. ^ Feinberg, Alexander (August 20, 1948). "75,000 Go to Babe Ruth's Funeral And Stand in Rain Along Fifth Ave". The New York Times: p. 1, 11. 
  30. ^ Trussell, C. P. (August 21, 1948). "Pressman, Abt, Witt Refuse to Answer Spy Ring Questions". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  31. ^ Wood, Lewis (August 21, 1948). "An Unusual Step". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  32. ^ "'Axis Sally' Here for Treason Case". The New York Times: p. 16. August 22, 1948. 
  33. ^ Leonard, Thomas M. (1977). Day By Day: The Forties. New York: Facts On File, Inc. p. 819. ISBN 0-87196-375-2. 
  34. ^ "Israel Defense Forces: Operation Betzer". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  35. ^ Sivirsky, Marcelo (2014). After Israel: Towards Cultural Transformation. Zed Books. 
  36. ^ Middleton, Drew (August 23, 1948). "American Seized By Soviet's Police in Eastern Berlin". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  37. ^ Morrow, Edward A. (August 24, 1948). "Russians Free 3 Americans; Tension Is Eased in Berlin". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  38. ^ "Churches Create A World Council". The New York Times: p. 2. August 24, 1948. 
  39. ^ "New York Opera Season Set". San Bernardino Sun: p. 1. August 24, 1948. 
  40. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series: Volume 2, Part 2, Number 2, Periodicals July-December 1948. Library of Congress. p. 176. 
  41. ^ Schnabel, James F. (1990). United States Army in the Korean War - Policy and Direction: The First Year. Washington, DC: Center of Military History. p. 34. 
  42. ^ a b c d Yust, Walter, ed. (1949). 1949 Britannica Book of the Year. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. p. 11. 
  43. ^ Trussell, C. P. (August 26, 1948). "Hiss and Chambers Meet Face to Face; Clash In Testimony". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  44. ^ "Tito Note Charges That Rumania Is Trying to Foment a Revolution". The New York Times: p. 1. August 26, 1948. 
  45. ^ Middleton, Drew (August 27, 1948). "Communists Storm Berlin City Hall, Halting Assembly". The New York Times: p. 1. 
  46. ^ "Red River - Notes". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  47. ^ "World Birth Control Goal of 4-Nation Unit". The New York Times: p. 7. August 28, 1948. 
  48. ^ Hoare, James E. (2015). Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea, Third Edition. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 345. ISBN 9780810870932. 
  49. ^ Lewis, Jon (2017). Hard-Boiled Hollywood: Crime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles. University of California Press. p. 73. ISBN 9780520284319. 
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