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1943: Publishing; arts and music; popular entertainment; architecture; theatre.

Roy Harris, Aaron Copland, and William Schuman all produced fresh, inventive works for the concert stage this year. Led by such painters as Thomas Hart Benton, American regionalism was rediscovered once again. Some artists painted with almost exotic lushness, others with defiant realism. Refugee artists, including Piet Mondrian, Marc Chagall, Fernand Leger, and Yves Tanguy, flourished in the U.S., producing such striking works as Chagall's The Juggler and Mondrian's Broadway Boogie-Woogie. In theater, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II elevated the musical comedy with their remarkable production of Oklahoma! The year was good for the motion picture industry as well. Top box office attractions were Betty Grable, Bob Hope, Abbott and Costello, Bing Crosby, and Gary Cooper. Notables who died included Lorenz Hart, the lyricist who collaborated with Richard Rodgers, Nov. 22, at 47; and Sergei Rachmaninoff, the Russian-born composer who had made his home in the U.S. after World War I, Mar. 28, at 70.

Among books published this year was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, a novel about a young girl and her family living in a Brooklyn slum. Also published this year were The Human Comedy by William Saroyan; Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Capt. Ted W. Lawson; Here Is Your War by Ernie Pyle; God Is My Co-Pilot by Col. Robert L. Scott, Jr.; Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis; and One World by Wendell Willkie, an optimistic work that sold more than a million copies within two months of publication.

Deaths and Entrances, a dance with musical score by Hunter Johnson, was presented by Martha Graham and her company.

Two works by Aaron Copland, A Lincoln Portrait and Piano Sonata, received their first American performances this year.

The year's hit songs included "You'll Never Know," "As Time Goes By," "Brazil," "Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer," "Taking a Chance on Love," "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," "That Old Black Magic," "Moonlight Becomes You," "I've Heard That Song Before," "Don't Get Around Much Any More," "All or Nothing at All," and "Pistol Packin' Mama."

Thomas Hart Benton painted July Hay, depicting two farmers cutting hay in a swirling field of flowers and trees.

Jackson Pollock, a young painter from Wyoming, had his first one-man show. His work struck critics as exceptionally original.

Mar. 4

Academy Awards were presented to Mrs. Miniver as the outstanding motion picture of 1942 and to Greer Garson, its star, as best actress; to James Cagney as best actor for Yankee Doodle Dandy; to Van Heflin as best supporting actor for Johnny Eager; and to Teresa Wright as best supporting actress for Mrs. Miniver.

Mar. 31

Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, an extremely successful musical based on the 1931 play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs, opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City. Set in Oklahoma about 1900, it told the story of a girl's love for a cowboy. Its songs, including "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," "People Will Say We're in Love," and "Poor Jud Is Dead," soon took hold all over America.

May 3

Pulitzer prizes were awarded for the following: fiction, Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair; biography, Admiral of the Ocean Sea by Samuel Eliot Morison; history, Paul Revere and the World He Lived In by Esther Forbes; poetry, A Witness Tree by Robert Frost; drama, The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder. Secular Cantata No. 2, A Free Song by William Schuman won the first Pulitzer prize for a musical composition.

May 5

The Library of Congress would preserve some 5000 films made from 1897 to 1917, according to an announcement made by Howard L. Walls, its film curator. The films included 75 Keystone comedies and all of D. W. Griffith's Biograph films.

May 5

A postal-zone numbering system was inaugurated in 178 cities. Postmaster General Frank C. Walker expected the use of numbers to speed up mail deliveries.

June 16

Charlie Chaplin, 54, married Oona O'Neill, 18, daughter of the playwright Eugene O'Neill.

Dec. 11

The first season of the City Center of Music and Drama in New York City opened with a concert by the New York Philharmonic- Symphony.
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Author:Carruth, Gorton
Publication:Encyclopedia of American Facts & Dates, 9th ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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