Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
Winston Churchill, speech to the House of Commons, November 11, 1947.
In the year 1947...
- India is granted independence from Great Britain and is hastily partitioned, creating the independent nation-states of India and Pakistan.
- The US Marshall Plan of economic aid to bolster Western Europe against the forces of Communism is instituted at the July Paris Economic Conference.
- A major uprising breaks out in Madagascar against the French. Over the next two years the uprising will be brutally supressed, costing the lives of almost 80,000 Malagasy.
- The Soviet Bloc of communist nations forms the Cominform, an informational agency to coordinate the international communist movement.
- A Bedouin shepherd discovers the first Dead Sea Scrolls in a cave on the northwest coast of the Dead Sea while searching for lost sheep.
- Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play Major League Baseball in over 70 years, breaking a long established color barrier and becoming a hero to millions.
- Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound, piloting a Bell XS-1.
- In response to several prominent strikes in 1946, the US Congress passes the Taft-Hartley Act to regulate unions. President Truman vetos the act, but is overridden by the Senate. The act prohibits the use of union funds for political purposes, introduces a 60-day notice before a strike or lockout, outlaws the closed shop, and empowers the government to intervene against strikes it deems likely to cripple the nation's economy. The act also prohibits employer payments to union officials with certain exceptions such as payments to an employee benefit fund.
- The US Congress passes the National Security Act, establishing, among other things, the CIA.
- Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl successfully sails from Peru to Polynesia on a primitive raft, Kon Tiki, in an effort to prove that the polynesian islands were settled by Native Americans.
- A highly publicized investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee into an alleged communist infiltration of the entertainment industry leads to prison sentences and blacklisting for a group of recalcitrant witnesses known as the Hollywood Ten.
- Anne Frank's father discovers and publishes her diary.
- John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley invent the transistor, making modern electronics possible.
- Mikhail Kalashnikov invents the Avtomat Kalashnikova Obrazets 1947, better known as the AK-47.
- American physicist C. F. Powell proves the existence of the pi meson, or pion, originally predicted by Hideki Yukawa in 1935.
- Edwin Land invents the Polaroid instant photography process.
- The first Cannes Film Festival is held in Cannes, France.
- Extraterrestrials allegedly crash-land near Roswell, NM.
These people were born in 1947:
These people died in 1947:
- German physicist Max Planck, the originator (1900) of Quantum Theory.
- Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who helped save about 100,000 Hungarian Jews from Nazi extermination, allegedly of a heart attack (according to the Soviet government who had imprisoned him for spying in 1944), although he was most likely executed by the KGB.
- American automobile pioneer Henry Ford.
- American novelist Willa Cather.
- American gangster Al Capone.
- Burmese independence hero Aung San, assassinated on the eve of becoming Burma's first prime minister.
These plays debuted in 1947:
1946 - 1947 - 1948