Complete records for the 1940 census were released this month, touching off a wave of interest among those bent on studying their family roots.
The geezer invested a couple of hours searching the census documents. I found my grandmother, Ottila Klade. She was 75 years old in 1940. A few pages later, up popped mom and dad, my sister, and me. It was fun using the search tool to travel down our street and others in the old hometown, revisiting families we knew well while I was growing up.
The census entries reveal many things about the “greatest generation.” What were their occupations? What did they earn? How many years of education did each person have? Were they citizens? Were they born in the U.S., or elsewhere?
It appears that many people interested in various facets of American history have seen the release of the 1940 census data as a good time to develop and issue pronouncements about their areas of interest. Zipping around the Internet, it’s easy to learn who the top sports stars were in the 40s, what models of autos were in vogue, what clothing designs were popular, and many other things, great and not so.
Of course, we simply must know what music was favored by the greatest generation. Several Internet sites fulfill that need.
One source says these were the top five popular songs in the 1940s:
1. In The Mood
2. When You Wish Upon a Star
3. I'll Never Smile Again
4. Only Forever
5. Body & Soul
For comparison, an unscientific survey shows these titles seemed to be the top pop songs of 2010:
1. Baby, Baby
2. Oooooh, Baby
3. Baby, Oh Baby
4. Baby, Baby, Baby
5. Yeah, Baby, Yeah