The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Friday, April 30, 2010

World's Fair, Television, Jimmy Dorsey and The Man Who Never Was

It appears that April 30 is another one of those days on which several important events occurred during the swing era.  From The People History:
1939 U.S.A. New York World's Fair - 30th April 1939:  200,000 people attended New York World’s Fair, officially opening. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the opening day address, which was not only broadcast over the various radio networks but also was televised. New York World's Fair allowed visitors to look at "The World of Tomorrow." The General Motors exhibit was titled Futurama. Philo T. Farnsworth premiered some of the first televisions at the fair. AT&T presented its first Picture Phone at the World's Fair. Salvador Dali created a pavilion that was called “Dream of Venus” The IBM Pavilion featured electric typewriters, and a fantastic machine called the electric calculator that used punched cards to enter the information for the computer to calculate the results.

1939 U.S.A. First Regular Television Service - 30th April 1939:  President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared on television for the opening of the New York World's Fair. His appearance started the first regular television service in America.  (Image from

1940 U.S.A. Jimmy Dorsey - 30th April 1940:  Jimmy Dorsey and his band recorded the song "Contrasts."

1943 Spain "The Man Who Never Was" - 30th April 1943:  "The Man Who Never Was" is pushed into the sea off the coast of Spain where the tide would bring the body ashore into German Hands. This was known as operation "Mincemeat". The operation was a British deception plan to convince the German High Command that Allied forces would be invading the Balkans and Sardinia instead of the island of Sicily, by planting invasion plans on a corpse the Germans would find.

1945 Germany Hitler Commits Suicide - 30th April 1945:  Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide one day after they were married, just before the Russian troops entered his Berlin bunker.
1948 England First Land Rover - 30th April 1948:  The Land Rover (Land Rover Series I) is shown for the first time at the Amsterdam Car Show, many of the original components were from Rover saloon cars including the 1.6 engine from the Rover P3 60 saloon. The car featured four-wheel drive.

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