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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This Week In History

RetroPlanet's Planet Retro Blog posts a weekly "Retro History" item, and this week is full of all sorts of interesting anniversaries from the Swing Era, in a variety of areas.  
World News & the American Experience:
1930 – Ruth Nichols becomes the first woman pilot on a transcontinental flight from New York to California.  It took 7 days.
1942 – A tragic fire at the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, MA kills nearly 500 people.
Movies & TV:
1940 – Woody Woodpecker is seen for the first time in the theatrical short Knock Knock.
1942Casablanca premieres at Hollywood Theatre in New York City.
1948 Polaroid Camera Model 95
1948Hopalong Cassidy premieres on TV.
Music & Radio:
1932 – Groucho Marx performs on radio for the first time.
1944The FBI in Peace and War is broadcast by CBS radio for the first time.
1949Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, by Gene Autry, becomes the musical hit of the Christmas season.
1956 – Bandleader Tommy Dorsey dies at the age of 51. His records sold more than 110,000,000 copies.
Arts & Entertainment:
1936 – The first issue of Life magazine, created by Henry R. Luce, is published.
Technology & Inventions:
1944 – Johns Hopkins Hospital performs the first open heart surgery.
1948 – The Zoomar Lens is patented by Dr. Frank G. Back of New York City.  It becomes a popular lens most often used in television production.
1948 – The first Polaroid camera is sold.

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