Decade: 1920s
Prosperity and Its Demise

1920
◦ Census indicates US
population over 100
million.
◦ League of Nations
established with Treaty of
Versailles of 1919. US
Senate refuses to join the
League.
◦ 19th Amendment (Susan B.
Anthony amendment)
grants women the right to
vote.
◦ Warren G. Harding wins the
Presidential election by a
landslide. This is the first
election in which women
had the right to vote.
Men, their rights, and
nothing more; women, their
rights, and nothing less.
- Susan B. Anthony

1921

1922
◦ Emergency Quota Act
passed, curbing legal
immigration into the US.
◦ Teapot Dome scandal
begins.
 Also known as the Oil
Reserves Scandal or Elk Hills
Scandal

1923

1924
◦ Calvin Coolidge becomes
president when Harding
dies in office.
◦ Indian Citizenship Act is
passed, granting
citizenship to all Native
Americans that had been
born within the territory of
the United States.

1925
◦ Nellie Tayloe Ross is
inaugurated as the first
woman governor in the
United States in Wyoming.
Two weeks later Miriam
Ferguson is installed as
the second in Texas.
◦ The Scopes Trial (Monkey
Trial) begins. John T.
Scopes was convicted of
teaching Charles Darwin’s
evolutionary theory at a
Dayton, TN high school,
which violated TN law.
Ross
Ferguson

1926
◦ Air Commerce Act is
passed, providing aid
and assistance to the
airline industry.

1928
◦ Herbert Hoover is
elected President of the
United States.

1929
◦ Teapot Dome scandal
comes to a close.
31st President of the United States,
Herbert Hoover
 Albert Fall was found
guilty of accepting bribes
and was imprisoned.

Fashion entered the
modern era beginning
in the 1920s.
◦ Women
 Corsets became a thing of
the past
 Began to wear more
comfortable clothing such
as short skirts and
trousers
 “Flapper” look
◦ Men
 Menswear also became
less formal with men
wearing sweaters and
knickers (short trousers).
 Wider trousers became
popular, still ending at the
ankle.
 Athletic attire is worn for
the first time.

1920

1921
◦ Harlem Renaissance begins
◦ The Kid – Chaplin’s 1st
feature length film
◦ Rudolph Valentino’s The
Sheik

1923
◦ The first sound on film
motion picture is shown in
the Rivoli Theatre in New
York City.
◦ Charleston dance becomes
popular
◦ 1st dance marathon
◦ Time magazine founded
◦ Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten
Commandments
The first issue
of Time (March
3, 1923),
featuring
Speaker Joseph
G. Cannon.
Time magazine
was created in
1923 by Briton
Hadden and
Henry Luce,
making it the
first weekly
news magazine
in the United
States.
F. Scott
Fitzgerald

1924
◦ Flagpole sitting
becomes a fad

1925
◦ The Great Gatsby by F.
Scott Fitzgerald

1926
◦ A.A.Milne publishes
Winnie the Pooh
◦ NBC Radio Network is
formed, opening with 24
stations.
◦ Harry Houdini dies after
being punched
◦ Rudolph Valentino dies
Rudolph Valentino
Interesting Facts:
Winnie-the-Pooh was
inspired by two animals:
1. Winnie, a bear cub
in the London Zoo
visited by
Christopher Robin
2. Pooh, a swan which
Christopher Robin
fed every morning
Tigger was not
introduced until the
second book, The
House at Pooh Corner,
published in 1928.
Original stuffed animal toys of Christopher Robin Milne
which inspired the famous Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
Winnie-the-Pooh books
have been published in
over 50 languages,
including Latin. The
Latin translation, Winnie
Ille Pu, made the New
York Times bestseller
list in 1960 (the first
foreign-language book
to do so) and stayed
there for 20 weeks.

1927

1928
◦ The Jazz Singer – first talking
movie
◦ Duke Ellington performs at the
Cotton Club
◦ First appearance of Mickey and
Minnie Mouse on film occurs
with the release of the
animated short film, Plane
Crazy. Steamboat Willie is the
first Mickey film with sound.

1929
◦ First Academy Awards
◦ Yo-yo becomes an American
fad
◦ Popeye appears in a daily comic
strip
◦ Amos ‘n’ Andy premieres on
NBC radio


1920
◦ American
Professional Football
League is formed
with 11 teams. (It
would change its
name to the National
Football League in
1922.)
1922
◦ Construction begins
on Yankee Stadium
in New York City. It
is often dubbed the
House that Ruth
Built.)


1924
◦ The first Winter Olympic
Games are held in the
French Alps. 16 nations
sent athletes to
participate, including the
United States.
1927
◦ Babe Ruth sets home run
record
Norway – 17 medals
Finland – 11 medals
United States – 4 medals
Babe Ruth hit his 60th
home run of the
season on Sept 30,
1927.

1920

1921

1922
◦ First commercial radio
broadcast
◦ Tommy gun patented by
John T. Thompson
◦ Band-aid by Earle Dickson
◦ Baby Ruth candy bar
◦ Eskimo Pie
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
Insulin discovered
Chanel No. 5 perfume
1st radios on sale
1st A&W Root Beer stand
Klondike bar

1923
Milky Way candy bar
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
16mm camera
Cathode-ray-tube – Vladimir
Zworykin
◦ Frozen food – Clarence
Birdseye
◦
◦
◦
◦

1925
◦ 1st Goodyear blimp
◦ Radiovision is born. This
invention by Charles Francis
Jenkins is the precursor to
television.

1926
◦ Butterfinger
◦ First liquid fueled rockets are
fired by Robert H. Goddard in
Auburn, MA. It flew over 84
feet in 2.5 seconds.

1927
◦ First non-stop transatlantic
flight conducted from New
York to Paris by Charles
Lindbergh.
◦ It took him 33 hours and 30
minutes to make the 3,600 mile
flight.

1928
◦ Amelia Earhart becomes
the first woman to fly
over the Atlantic Ocean.
◦ Construction of the
Hoover Dam begins.
(Originally called
Boulder Dam.)

1920
◦ Prohibition begins.

1921
◦ First Miss American pageant is
held in Atlantic City, NJ.

1922
◦ Lincoln Memorial is dedicated
in Washington, D.C.

1923
◦ Warner Brothers Pictures is
incorporated.
 The IBM corporation is
founded.

1924
◦ Macy’s 1st Thanksgiving
Day parade

1925
◦ The Grand Ole Opry
transmits its first radio
broadcast.

1927
◦ The Great
Mississippi Flood
occurs, affecting
over 700,000.
◦ Work on Mount
Rushmore begins.
The giant sculpture
of Washington,
Jefferson, Lincoln,
and Roosevelt was
created by Gutzon
Borglum. It took 14
years to complete.
◦ Sacco and Vanzetti
executed

1928
◦ 1st bubble gum – Dubble
Bubble
◦ Kraft Velveeta

The Great Depression was a severe
worldwide economic depression in
the decade preceding World War II.
The timing of the Great Depression
varied across nations, but in most
countries it started in 1930 and lasted
until the late 1930s or middle 1940s.
1929
◦ Gangsters working for Al
Capone kill seven rivals
and citizens in the St.
Valentine’s Day Massacre
in Chicago.
◦ Stock Market crashes and
begins the worst
American depression in
America’s history.
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
Ace: one dollar bill
Applesauce: nonsense
Beef: to complain or complaint
Bee’s knees: something excellent; outstanding
Boocoo: much; a lot
Bootleg: illegal; smuggled
Caper: a crime
Dive: a cheap bar
Giggle-water: liquor or other alcoholic beverage
Grand: a thousand dollars

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

Heat: a gun
Horse feathers: nonsense
Jack: money
John: toilet
Level: honest, truthful
Off the deep end: go crazy
Palooka: a strong man
Pushover: someone easily convinced
Rube: unsophisticated person from the
country
Shiv: a knife





Speakeasy: an illicit bar selling bootleg liquor
The real McCoy: something genuine
Torpedo: hired killer
Washed up: finished, done in
Yahoo: a clumsy, unsophisticated person
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Pop Culture - Glasgow Independent Schools