FC: We Didn't Start The Fire 1949
1: Great Grandparents | Grandparents | Parents | This scrapbook is a collection of paragraphs on the events for the year 1949 that were mentioned in the sing "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel. These include their achievements in that year, and photos of them. They also include why I believe Billy Joel chose to include them in his historical song.
2: Our Family History | earn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." | Doris Day was a famous actress who performed in the 40’s and 50’s. She was known to be the most prolific actress, which was probably one of the reasons she stood out as the actor to become part of “We Didn't Start The Fire” instead of other actors/actresses. She was known to have a great singing voice, acting skill, and personality, which attracted the crowds in bountiful numbers. Aside from movies, Day sang in various albums. The reason she is in the year 1949 for the song was due to the fact that her first movies were shot at that time, My Dream Is Yours and It's A Great Feeling. These movies got Day onto the acting business, and as all other things, her first performance was the one which stood out the most, because the crowd had not seen her before.
3: South Pacific was a famous musical that came out on Broadway in 1949. It took stories from Tales of the South Pacific and turned it into one big musical with character from several of the stories. There are two main parts to the story; each is a set of lovers. The first is Lt. Joe Cable and his lover, and the other set is a Navy Nurse called Nellie Forbush and a French planter named Emile de Becque. This story happens during World War II after the fall of Germany, when the Allies are fighting Japan. Although it happened in that time, however, only the second set revolved around the war, as Emile went on a mission to go behind enemy lines, while Lt. Joe Cable was simply having a nice time with his lover. The first production for this was a Broadway done in 1949, with 1925 productions, but was later turned into a movie when technology allowed it.
4: Walter Winchell was the creator of gossip. He worked as a journalist, writing a column of gossip happening in the world of Broadway, and sharing it with the world. He was the first person to ever put gossip on a public paper, which is why he is so famous, and inserted in the song, “We Didn't Start the Fire”. He, on top of writing his gossip, was known for supporting the current Senator in blacklisting several actors for their being communist, however some of these actors were falsely accused, and wrongly stripped of career for their lives. His work was bittersweet, as while the gossip helped some actors with their careers, it sent others’ careers crashing and burning. Due to this he had a wide array of relationships with actors, varying from mild grudges to unconditional hate, or mild thanks to ever happy friendship. Walter Winchell was chosen for the song because during his time he greatly changed the world of Broadway and the way it was looked upon.
5: ike branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. | Joe DiMaggio was a famous baseball player who joined the New York Yankees and made a name for himself in the sport. Joe DiMaggio was not an American, though. His parents were Italian immigrants who entered the United States as poor foreigners. He was known for being a great all-round player who could field and bat well, unlike others who could only do one, and given the nickname, the Yankee Clipper. He set the record for home runs and triplets immediately. He was playing for minor league teams before he was brought up into the Yankees. His home run to out ratio was unheard of as well, a tremendous 369 outs to 361 home runs in his entire career. He was also known for helping the Yankees win several World Series, including one in 1949, the reason for which he was in the song “We Didn’t Start The Fire” for the year 1949.
6: Parents | China was, around half a century ago, converted into a communist country and allied with Stalin’s Russia. However it was also an inside job, done by a politician called Mao. Communism was a huge deal and threat in the 1950’s, and the spreading of it worried many. China tried to resist communism, with a group of forces led by a man named Chiang. In 1949, however, Chiang failed, and fled to Taiwan as China became communism. In the same year, he brought up the Democratic Dictatorship. It was a system in which the government allowed a certain amount of choice to be given to the people; however most of the choices were made by the government. During this campaign, Mao killed any politician who opposed him. An approximate 800,000 people were executed by the madness of Mao’s new government. These two events were a big worry for the western Europe and western hemisphere at the time, and the reason Red China was put into “We Didn’t Start The Fire” for the year 1949.
7: Great Grandparents | A famous singer who was known for becoming an overnight success and for using high-pitched lyrics for songs, thus the nickname Prince of Wails, was one of the events put into the song “We Didn’t Start The Fire”. His name was Johnny Ray. Johnny Ray was a singer who, like other popular idols, was known for being different than other singers. He used a high pitch voice in his songs, unlike other male singers. Also, his second single, “Cry”, made him famous overnight, and became the Number one song. I believe that he was chosen for the year 1949 because that was when he went to Hollywood in search for a part in a movie, however he never obtained it. Though he never managed to get that part in the next year he got a part in a different part of his career, singing for a hockey rink in New York.
8: Harry Truman was the 33rd president of the United States who served from 1945-1953, being reelected once. He was known for dropping the “A” bomb on Japan, ending the Second World War in two cataclysmic bangs. He later established the Marshall Plan to help Europe in its time of need and was serving a second term at the time of the Korean War. He was chosen for this song, I believe, because of these three facts, because back then, the war in the Pacific and the situation in Europe were top priority for governments, and played a big impact on the lives of the average American. Not only that, but what he did in Japan, although it ended many lives, it saved many more from future harm. The event which got him into the specific year 1949, however, was that that was the year of his reelection, and a president who accomplishes as much as Truman did deserves at least a spot in a popular song.
9: Quiz: Joe DiMaggio's nickname was? South Pacific opened in what year? What wereDoris Day's first movies were named? Walter Winchell gossiped about which profession? Red China was led by whom? Johnny ray's voice was special due to what quality? Harry Truman was known for what three acts?
10: Bibliography World Book Encyclopedia, VD5, World Book, Chicago, 2006 1 Hooker, Richard. “The Chinese Communist Party.” Modern China: Communist China. N.p., 6-6-1999. Web. 22 Mar 2010 2 “Joe DiMaggio” The Ball Players-Joe DiMaggio The Idea Logical Company, 2006. Web. 22 Mar 2010 3 Kurtus, Ron “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (Facts) History Summary from 1949-1989 “We Didn’t Start the Fire” School for Champions, Feb 14 2008. Web. 25 Mar 2010 4 “April 7, 1949-South Pacific.” Rhapsody in Books. Web. 25 Mar 2010 5 "Doris Day." The Internet Movie Database. The Internet Movie Databasa, n.d. Web. 25 March 2010. 6
11: Bibliography-Pics Joe Dimaggio: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/image6.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_PLjNWOu-Zn0/SoBkIZfIEUI/AAAAAAAAAro/Limre6rXjB4/s400/joe-dimaggio.jpg Red China: http://www.halfthepolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/htp_redchina.jpg http://voyage.typepad.com/lfc_images/Red_Detachment_of_Women_1964.jpg Johnny Ray: http://weblogs.clarin.com/revistaenieconsecuencias/archives/Johnny%20Ray.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CmtzzbNoNb0/R8nL2OOoxCI/AAAAAAAAADQ/8HpCgQxtTnc/s320/JohnnyRay.gif Doris Day: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jbuYCFeKHIY/SnMBs6zTU6I/AAAAAAAAAEA/pT4XxSU2BPk/s400/DorisDay.jpg Walter Winchell: http://www.coutant.org/photos/winchell.jpg http://www.thestencil.com/archives/images/walter.jpg South Pacific: http://www.broadwayworld.com/columnpic/south%20pacific.jpg http://www.teachwithmovies.org/guides/south-pacific-DVDcover.jpg Harry Truman: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Harry_S_Truman,_bw_half-length_photo_portrait,_facing_front,_1945.jpg http://coolaggregator.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/jb_modern_fairdeal_1_e.jpg