History & Headlines

History Fix From April 1946

Baby Boomer Trivia From April 1946

Hawaiian Tsunami 

Today's baby boomers and seniors may remember the April 1, 1946, Aleutian Islands, Alaska 7.4 earthquake that triggered a Pacific Ocean tsunami with waves up to 130' high. The nearby Scotch Cap U.S. Coast Guard Lighthouse was destroyed and it's 5 crew members killed, so no warning transmissions about the earthquake or tsunami were sent.

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The markers on this palm tree in Hilo, Hawaii, show the height of tsunamis from 1957, 1952, 1960, and at the top, 1946. 

Less than 5 hours after the earthquake, the first tsunami waves (up to 55')  reached the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Hawaii (the Big Island).

The shores of all of the Hawaiian Islands suffered destruction, but the damage was worst at the port city of Hilo, Hawaii.

The west coast of the United States also felt some effects of the tsunami, although the highest reported waves there were less than 15'.

Only 1 person in California died as a result of the 1946 Alaska earthquake and resulting tsunami.

Readers of James A. Michener's fictional multi-generational best-selling novel Hawaii (1959) will recognize references to the 1946 tsunami. 

Below, waves breaking over Pier No. 1 in Hilo Harbor, Hawaii on April 1, 1946. 

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Approximately 159 people were killed as a result of the 1946 tsunami in Hawaii.

Jackie Robinson Breaks Baseball's Colour Barrier

Second baseman Jackie Robinson became the first black (African American) baseball player to play in the AAA (MLB farm team) leagues on April 18, 1946.

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Jackie Robinson 1956 Montreal Royals Photo: Conrad Poirier / National Library & Archives of Quebec)

Robinson had been signed by the Montreal Royals of the International League baseball team in the fall of 1945, to play for them in the 1946 season; the Royals were a farm club for the MLB Brooklyn Dodgers. On April 18th, Robinson played in the opening game of the season for the Montreal Royals vs the Jersey City Giants, and broke the colour barrier for black athletes in professional baseball.

Jackie Robinson was an extremely talented athlete - a quadruple threat in high school, junior college, and at UCLA - lettering in basketball, baseball, football, and track.

*Images are public domain or Creative Commons licensed & sourced via Wikimedia Commons, Vimeo, YouTube, or Flickr, unless otherwise noted*

Anita Hamilton

50+ World editor & baby boomer writer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family complete with 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.

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