1947 — O. J. Simpson born

Future pro football player, actor, possible murderer and man with no grasp whatsoever of tact or irony Orenthal James Simpson was born in San Francisco, where he also grew up and went to school. He went to the University of Southern California on a football scholarship in 1967, where he excelled. He turned pro in 1969, and played for the next decade. Before his retirement from pro football, he had already begun acting.

But none of this is the reason he is remembered today. His true claim to fame is either a) getting away with the murder of his wife and another man, or b) proving his innocence for trumped up claims of murder, depending on your point of view.

Referenced in:

The Chanukah Song (Part I) — Adam Sandler
The Chanukah Song (Part II) — Adam Sandler

1947 — The Marshall Plan is announced

Named for then US Secretary of State George Marshall, the Marshall Plan is one of the largest foreign aid schemes ever put in place by any nation. Beginning in 1948 and ending in 1951, the Marshall Plan gave over 12 billion dollars worth of aid to various Western European nations, intending to help them rebuild after World War Two.

In all, 16 nations – Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Greece and Turkey – received differing amounts to assist in reconstruction, particularly of their industrial capacity and general infrastructure. The plan was originally supposed to last until 1953, but America was unable to afford this largesse and the war in Korea at the same time.

Referenced in:

Green Onions — The Blues Brothers

1947 — Palestine is partitioned by the United Nations

In 1947, in the wake of the Holocaust, moves were afoot to restore the Jewish homeland in what was then called Palestine, and governed by the United Kingdom under a League of Nations mandate. A plan for the partition of Palestine was developed by the League’s successor, the United Nations, dividing it into Jewish zones and Arab zones.

The plan was doomed to failure from the outset: it satisfied neither side, and once the State of Israel was formed, it rapidly overran the boundaries set out for it in the U.N. plan. More than 50 years later, the question of who owns the land – the Israelis (Jews) or the Palestinians (Arabs) – is still a contentious issue, with a huge loss of life on both sides that continues to this day.

Referenced in:

Earth Song — Michael Jackson

1947 – The Roswell Incident

Will we ever know the truth of what happened that day?

For more than sixty years now, the Roswell Incident has been a mystery, one only obscured further by the mass of claim and counterclaim that it has inspired. Even leaving aside fictional treatments (of which there are over a hundred), the ‘true’ accounts given by various people disagree in nearly every possible particular, from what happened to where it happened. But all speculation and rumour leads back to the few incontrovertible facts: the Air Force issued a statement on July 8, 1947, attempting to stem a tide of rumours regarding what it might or might not have picked up the day before. Unfortunately, later that same day, a second press statement that contradicted the first in some details was also released.

Wacky hijinks ensued, and fifty years later we were all watching The X Files. Strange but true. The rest of it, while definitely strange, is less clear as to truth…

Referenced in:

Hangar 18 – Megadeth
Roswell 47 – Hypocrisy
Aliens Exist – Blink 182
Hangar 84 – Pitchshifter
Motorway to Roswell – the Pixies
Remember 47 – The Skitzophones
Roswell that Ends Well – Far-Less