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The Events that shaped 1949

The twelve months of 1949 ended up being remembered by a few critical occurrences. The year began with a UN supported cease fire understanding to deliver a conclusion to the Indo-Pakistani conflict that started in 1947. This resulted in a stalemate which divided Kashmir and those sectors as well as tensions still continue on today together with the periodic short quarrels. On January 20th, Harry Truman is sworn in as the President of the US. This is Truman’s second term and the 41st inauguration ceremony. This was the first televised US presidential inauguration and the 1st that had an air parade.

The North Atlantic Treaty ended up being agreed upon in Washington, DC on April 4 creating the NATO defence partnership. This Treaty forms the legal foundation for the alliance of this intergovernmental military co-operation involving thirty member countries – 28 from Europe and 2 North American countries as a direct consequence of the Second World War. On May 12, the Soviet Union the Berlin Blockade. This blockage begun on 24th June 1948 ended up being the first key international dilemma of the Cold War. This took place through the multinational occupation of Berlin immediately after WW2 in which the Soviet Union obstructed the Western Allies’ railway, road, and waterways access to the areas of Berlin that were under their control. Airlifts were the only method with the movement of people and goods inside.

On June 14th, 1949, the monkey Albert 2nd, becomes the 1st primate to travel into space on the USA Hermes venture rocket. He was killed instantaneously upon re-entry following the capsule’s chute didn’t deploy resulting in the capsule impacting the ground. On July 27th, the world’s first commercial jet-powered plane, called the de Havilland Comet makes its maiden journey, in Britain. It didn’t make the initial commercial flight until 1952. On August 12, 1949, the 4th Geneva Convention is endorsed. This convention was the first one to deal with the humanitarian protections for civilians inside a combat zone. In 2022, there were 196 nations around the world who are party for this convention. By 1993, the United Nations concluded that the Geneva Conventions had passed into the body of customary international law, causing them to be binding on non-signatories to the Convention every time they embark on armed conflicts. On August 29th the Soviet Union tested their first atomic bomb nicknamed Joe 1 by the United States in reference to Joseph Stalin. The design is a copy of the American plutonium bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. This nuclear test did surprise USA intelligence since they did not believe that the Soviet Union ended up being capable of nuclear weapons at that stage.

In Australia on December 10, 1949 with the countries federal election the Liberal/Country Coalition Party who was led by Robert Menzies beat the current Labor Government, led by the then Prime Minister, Ben Chifley. Robert Menzies was sworn in on December 19 which was his second term as Prime Minister, a post he maintains for an additional sixteen years until he retired in 1966. Labor won’t get back the office once more until 1972.