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The year is 1936 and America remained stuck in the grip of the Great Depression and if that wasn't enough, a terrible heat wave during the summer killed thousands of people. Franklin Roosevelt was president and one of his projects which employed thousands of people, the construction of the Hoover Dam, was completed this year. In Flint, Michigan one of the first sit down strikes took place in December when auto workers occupied the General Motors Fisher Body plant for recognition of the United Auto Workers union and fair wages among other issues.
The Summer Olympics were held in Berlin, where African American track star Jesse Owens won four gold medals much to the chagrin of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party. Life Magazine began publication in November and the movie The Great Ziegfeld won the Academy Award for best motion picture.
At Lawrence Institute of Technology the Class of 1936 was the first graduating class to have completed their degrees at the University which began in 1932.
In 1937 the State of Michigan celebrated its Centennial, Franklin D. Roosevelt was president of the United States and Howard Hughes set a new record by flying from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds. Amelia Earhart vanished during an attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world and the Golden Gate bridge was completed. In the arts, the winner of the Academy Award for best picture of 1937 was "The Life of Emile Zola" and "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck was published.
Lawrence Institute of Technology, still a young school, continued to develop and expand academically and in sports.
In 1938 the world was headed toward war as Germany invaded and annexed Austria, in the process artworks were removed from museums and private homes (The Rothschilds) as "donations" to the new regime.
In the United States, president Franklin Roosevelt established the March of Dimes in January and the minimum wage bill became law in October.
In the arts, the play, "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder premiered in Princeton, New Jersey and Orson Welles' radio play, "The War of the Worlds" terrified people across America in October.
Lawrence Institute of Technology students felt the impact of the economic down-turn, it was noted in the yearbook that the senior prom was cancelled, but two Bingo parties were held instead.
World War II begins in earnest the day after Germany invades Poland, and England and France declare war on Germany on September 3, 1939. President Franklin Roosevelt declares that the United States will remain neutral on September 5, 1939. Hitler's book, "Mein Kampf" is published this year.
In the arts, Philip Marlow makes his first appearance in Raymond Chandler's, "The Big Sleep," and John Steinbeck publishes "The Grapes of Wrath." In film, "The Wizard of Oz," and "Gone with the Wind," are two major releases of the year.
Frank Lloyd Wright completes Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, La Guardia Airport in New York City opens for business and the 1939 New York World's Fair opens in April.
In 1940, Franklin Roosevelt became the first and only three-term president when he defeated Wendell Wilkie in November. The United States begins preparing for war with the selective service lottery in October, along with a fireside chat in December where Roosevelt proclaims that the United States must become "the great arsenal of democracy." Germany continues to invade European countries including the Netherlands, Luxemborg, Belgium and northern France, with Paris falling to German control in May. On June 10th, Italy declared war on France and the United Kingdom.
In the arts, "The Great Dictator" by Charles Chaplin is released, Bugs Bunny made his debut and Walt Disney released Pinocchio and Fantasia.
World War II continues to escalate as Germany invades more countries including Greece and Yugoslavia. Hitler and Mussolini declare war on the United States and on December 7th the Japanese Navy launches a surprise attack of the U.S. naval fleet in Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii.
Popular films of 1941 included: "Dumbo," "Citizen Kane" and "The Maltese Falcon." Musicians Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle were born in 1941.
The world is at war in 1942 and in America, President Franklin Roosevelt signs an executive order to intern Japanese Americans and seize their property, also the draft age is lowered from 21 to 18 years of age. The sale of new cars is banned in the U.S. and the automakers begin war production. The Manhattan Project is developed.
The films, "Casablanca" and "Bambi" premiere, instant coffee is introduced and Duct tape (formerly Duck tape) is developed by Johnson and Johnson for the U.S. military.
The year is 1943, Franklin Roosevelt is President of the United States and World War II continues to rage. The Jefferson Memorial is dedicated on April 13th, the 200th birthday of Jefferson, and the world's largest office building, the Pentagon, is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.
The musical, "Oklahoma" opens on Broadway and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Lassie" are released at the movies. Across the country folks are getting on the dance floor to the Glen Miller Orchestra's "In the Mood."
Lawrence Institute of Technology, "finds itself in a world of turmoil, strife and destruction. But this time the school is making a proud contribution to the forces of law and order. Its graduates, students and members of the faculty have spread to the four corners of the earth in the service of our country or as engineers producing the tools to win the peace that will surely be ours."
In 1947, Harry S. Truman was the President of the United States, he had succeeded to the presidency in April, 1945 when Roosevelt died. World War II had ended but fear and suspicion particularly over Communism continued and 1947 saw the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The House UnAmerican Activites Committee began investigations into Communism in Hollywood.
1947 saw the first instant camera with the release of the Polaroid Land camera, the transistor was invented, the sound barrier was broken and the first long playing (LP) albums were released.
Popular films included "Miracle on 34th Street," Tennesse William's play, "A Streetcar Named Desire" is produced on Broadway and "The Diary of Anne Frank" is published.
In 1948, Truman continues as president, he wins the presidential election in November. In April, Truman signs the Marshall Plan which authorizes money to aid war torn Europe.
In 1948 over one million households owned televisions where only 5,000 had in 1945. "South Pacific" opens on Broadway, "The Red Shoes" and "Easter Parade" are playing in theaters and the game "Scrabble" is introduced.
In this edition of the L Book a page dedicated to "Those who gave their lives that this nation might live," lists the names of 54 students killed in WWII.
In 1950 Harry S. Truman is the President of the United States and in June the Korean War begins when North Korea invades South Korea. Truman orders the development of a hydrogen bomb once he learns that the Soviet Union has detonated its first atomic bomb. Senator Joseph McCarthy claims that there are 205 Communists in the U.S. State Department and in February, Albert Einstein warns that nuclear war could lead to mutual destruction.
Jack Keroac's "On the Road" is published, the comic strip, "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz is published for the first time in 7 U.S. newspapers. Popular films include, "Sunset Boulevard" and "Father of the Bride."
The television remote is introduced and 8 million homes now have a television set. The first credit cards are introduced in the United States.
At Lawrence Institute of Technology, "An overwhelming majority of the male students graduating this June attended college under the "GI Bill" ... When we enrolled in surprisingly large numbers in 1946, the experts said that the ex-servicemen would be a miserable flop as student ; yet here we are, cap and gown, diploma and a big grin for the experts who didn't think we had the goods."