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Median Age at First Marriage
  Men Women
1940 24.3 21.5
1947 23.7 20.5
1948 23.3 20.4
1949 22.7 20.3
Source:  US Census: Estimated Median Age at First Marriage, by Sex: 1890 to the Present


1949: "A federal law banning lonely hearts club advertising from all magazines, periodicals and newspapers was urged Thursday by the Delaware House of Representatives" Lonely Hearts Ad Ban Sought - 1949 Romance and Dating
 Apparently, dating services or personal ads a la 1940s were not the way to catch a spouse...Dubbed "Lonely Hearts Clubs" they received a lot of bad press and attracted con artists who took advantage of the lonely, their hearts and their pocketbooks.

"Such advertisements have been the means used by unscrupulous persons to lure other persons away from their own communities to further acquaintance begun through correspondence encouraged or induced by advertisements"

Brenda - Will You Step Out With Me Tonight?

Miss Olivia Gramley Wed to Ronald E. Belcher.

Miss Olivia Gramley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gramley, Louisiana, Mo., became the bride January 19 of Ronald E, Belcher, son of Mr. and Mrs. W P. Belcher, of Clark. The single ring ceremony was performed by the Rev. Bert Stover at his home in Macon.

 The couple were attended by the bridegroom's parents.

The bride wore a black and white check suit. Her corsage was of American beauty roses.

 Mrs. Belcher wore a gray, suit and a corsage of red rose buds.

 The bride is a graduate of Louisiana High School. She graduated as a registered nurse from the Mercy Hospital Nursing School in Quincy and served as a member of the 23rd division of the U. S. Army Nurse Cadet Corps and served in the Philippine Islands.1

She is now employed at the Woodland Hospital.

Mr. Belcher is a graduate of Sturgeon High School and of Moberly Junior College. He is employed by the Alton Railroad Company as a carpenter. The couple are living in Moberly for the present. 1947


1 "Father says your mother's right she's really up on things - before we married Mommy served in the WACs in the Philippines"


Romance and Dating in the 1940s (or how to become a housewife in the 40s)

I don't know whether it is my imagination or not, but there seems to be a lot more comics and jokes about marriage and courtship in the 1940s than in the following decades.

1948 Comic Strip - This Funny World
"The job pays less, but there are three unmarried men in the office"

1946 Side Glances - By Galbraith - Mother Giving Bride Marriage Advice.

"...And so, considering the national reason for sex morality, we want our civilization to run up grade. We have learned by memory and our study of history, that in every case where the restraints upon sex morality have been let down too far, and where indulgence and moral liberty have become too easy there have followed a breaking down of the whole nation so involved.

The result of lack of restraint is always followed by widespread disease and weakened moral fiber which, in time, breaks down the moral health of the whole nation. Therefore the national reason for moral restraint should be considered by every individual each person, man or woman, who steps aside too far from the reasonable moral code, contributes his or her share to the weakening of the national structure..." Oakland Tribune - July 4th, 1940

1949 Cartoon Strip - No TitleHere's the making of a 1940s - 1949 to be exact - "Catfight" as our rather clueless male shows up with a busty blond from Switzerland.

He is teaching her "Jive Talk" apparently what the hip slang of the late '40s youth was called...

Our Swiss Miss says to Hilda "Greetings, OK Chick! Drop Dead Twice" - Hilda is not amused and declares "Them's Fighting Words"!

But Swiss Miss apologizes, then caps the whole thing off by advising Hilda to "Turn Green, Marlene! Your face is showing!" Are you rolling on the floor laughing?

Christmas Dance at the Girl's Latin School (GLS), Boston Massachusetts in 1948. As the name implies, the GLS was a girl's school, so the handsome gents had to be imported. In fact, it was not uncommon for the ladies back then to attend dances with their brother...

1940 Newspaper Photo of a Bride and Her Two Attendants.

1940 Newspaper Photo of a Bride and Her Two Attendants.


HAVE A 1940s LOVE STORY? Tell us at the retro housewife hotline!

Your Stories

Gay Games Add Sparkle To Valentine Day Party
1941 Gay Games Add Sparkle To Valentine Day Party
"Share My Fate" Makes A Hit

How to make your Valentine party, a grand success? Just give Cupid lots of encouragement. Start off with the romantic icebreaker, "Share My Fate!"

You prepare duplicate sets of cardboard hearts, one set for boys and one for girls, with loving sentiments written on themó "True Love," "Ever Thine" and so on.

Your blushing beaux and belles each draw one heart as they arrive and then there's a grand melee in which hearts are matched. Those holding duplicates "share their fates" for the evening.

But make their fates exciting! Play the riotous game, "Solve Your Dilemma," in which everyone whispers some silly, love dilemma to the person on his right.: "I sent a love letter to the wrong girl" - and a remedy to the person on his left: "I got out of town quickly!" When every one has heard a dilemma and a remedy, you call at random for them, and the results are utterly ga-ga!

The fortune-telling stunt, "His Future Wife's Name," is fun too, especially with determined bachelors!

Our 32-page booklet tells how to play it. Has all the games you'll need for every kind of party - action and paper games, icebreakers, fortune stunts. 1941

PENNY by Harry Haenigsen - 1946

1946 PENNY Comic by Harry Haenigsen  Frame One - Dating in the 1940s.

1946 PENNY Comic by Harry Haenigsen  Frame Two - Dating in the 1940s.

1946 PENNY Comic by Harry Haenigsen  Frame Three - Dating in the 1940s.

1946 PENNY Comic by Harry Haenigsen  Frame Four - Dating and Courtship  in the 1940s.

Dance Tonight Lowell Cotton Club - Bernie Larkin's Orchestra, Admission 40 cents.
How to meet the man or woman of your dreams in the 1940s!