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All About 1938

The History – All About 1938

In 1938, a young couple in their late twenties opened an inn in an isolated spot near the town of Letter from Audrey Bebb in 1938Gatlinburg which bordered the newly established Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Douglas and Audrey Bebb had completed their university studies shortly after the collapse of the financial markets which ushered in the Great Depression. Like so many young men during this period, Doug had found employment hard to come by, and he had traveled throughout the country doing odd jobs, fishing for salmon off the West Coast and later working at the Chicago Exposition of 1933-34. After visiting the new national park, Doug’s parents offered to help him and Audrey develop an inn in this new tourist destination. To find out about the world Audrey, the inn’s first mistress, was actively involved its planning development of the inn in which they took this audacious step, read on…

  • A young couple named Douglas and Audrey Bebb, who had migrated from Illinois to the Smoky Mountains, built an inn in this new tourist market and opened its doors to the public.
  • Following a number of years of modest improvement in the economy since the Great Crash of 1929, a recession hit which caused unemployment to rise back to 19%.
  • In Europe Germany was continuing its strategy of persecuting Jews and occupying Czechoslovakia. The British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went to Germany fearing another world war and after agreeing to allow Hitler to occupy Czechoslovakia declared “Peace in our time.”
  • A new federal law governing the minimum hourly wage was passed at 25 cents per hour for a 44 hour working week.
  • On September 21, a giant hurricane slammed into the East Coast with little or no warning from the Weather Service. The hurricane caused 40 foot waves to hit Long Island and 63,000 Buckhorn Inn was founded in 1938 by Douglas Bebb (1907-1984) and his wife Audrey Bebb (1911-1950) people were left homeless and some 700 dead.
  • On October 30, Orson Welles’ dramatization of “War of The Worlds” on a radio program caused panic when it was broadcast more like a news breaking story than a play. Frightened Buckhorn Inn guests huddled in their cars listening to the radio as the story unfolded.
  • Most of the world cheered when Germany’s Max Schmeling was defeated by a knock-out in the first round by the great Joe Louis for the heavyweight championship.
  • Action Comics issued the first Superman comic.
  • Kate Smith sang a rendition of Irvin Berlin’s ‘God Bless America’ for the first time on radio during an Armistice Day broadcast.
  • Popular films were Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Boys Town and Jezebel.
  • Egg prices in Pittman Center soar due to Innkeeper Doug Bebb’s insatiable demand for this poultry product.

It Cost What?!

  • Average wages per year: $1730
  • Average cost of house rent: $27 per month
  • Average cost of new house: $3,900
  • Average price for a new car: $763
  • Cost of a gallon of gas: 10 cents
  • A loaf of bread: 9 cents
  • A pound of hamburger meat: 13 cents

Big Events of 1938

  • Freak Waves at Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia caused 300 swimmers to be dragged out to sea
  • Honeymoon Bridge across Niagara Falls collapsed
  • Floods and landslides in Los Angeles cause 200 deaths
  • The first use of a seeing eye dogs occurs
  • German troops enter Austria
  • Agricultural Adjustment Act is passed helping farmers affected by Dust Bowl
  • Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae – FNMA) established
  • Germany begins its persecution of Jews
  • Howard Hughes sets a new Round The World Record of 3 days, 19 hours
  • March of Dimes Polio Foundation created
  • A 450 metric ton meteorite struck the earth in an empty field near Chicora, Pennsylvania
  • Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in the long awaited race to decide the best horse

Born This Year

  • Buckhorn Inn
  • Evil Knievel
  • Buckhorn Inn was founded in 1938 by Douglas Bebb (1907-1984) and his wife Audrey Bebb (1911-1950)
  • Ted Turner
  • Jon Voight
  • Bernard Madoff
  • Manuel Noriega
  • Kenny Rogers
  • Ted Turner

Technology and Inventions

  • Oil discovered in Saudi Arabia.
  • Steam locomotive “Mallard” set the world speed record for steam by reaching 126 mph.
  • Ball point pens
  • Teflon
  • DuPont announced a name for its new synthetic yarn – Nylon.
  • The first Nylon product is introduced – toothbrushes!
  • Photocopier
  • Freeze dried coffee

The Inn Through the Years Celebration Activities Buckhorn’s 75th Anniversary