The Roaring 1920's

Following the first World War, America was in the process of recovering economically, politically and socially by returning to their pre-war lives. The period of the 1920’s became known as the Jazz Age, and the Roaring Twenties- the years that were filled with new inventions, hobbies, and changes in leadership and ideas that would change the future forever. Compared to the previous years, the 1920s saw a restless culture, led by America’s youth rebelling against the moral restrictions of past generations.
There is always a ripple effect, especially in the case of history. The period of the 1920's, impacted the following years, and it is evident in present day society.

Between about 1880 and 1910, women’s bodies were forced into corsets making their waists measure less than 20 inches. The upper torso was brought forward, and the hips were thrust backward and slightly up. The dresses and skirts reached the floor, and the slightest view of an ankle was considered racy. From 1910 to the 1920’s the typical fashions were softening, and reaching a point of a more boyish figure.

Female clothes became looser and more shapeless in fit. The bust was suppressed, the waist disappeared, the shoulders became broader and hair shorter and shorter. Narrow boyish hips were preferred. The silhouette emphasized a flattened chest and womanly curves were eliminated as the line became more simplified. They accomplished this with Symington Side Lacer Bra that flattened their chests. Underwear was minimal, sheer and lightweight. Women wore cami-bockers (directoire knickers and chemise) and a petticoat. The arms were bared not only for evening, but also for day. Skirts started to rise even more near 1925, reaching to the bottom of the knee. The legs were covered in beige or colored stockings. The flapper era is characteristic of the period 1926 to 1928.

external image 1920hair.bmpHairstyles also changed in the 1920’s, typically a short hair. The hairstyles sometimes reflected the movie stars of the time period. As the years went on, the hair styled changed from bobbed in 1922, to shingled, and finally an Eton Crop in 1926.

The period’s hats for women were cloche hats, which were only able to be worn with a short haircut. The hat however affected vision since foreheads were unfashionable and this meant the hat was pulled low over the eyes obstructing view.

Makeup was simple in that time period: pale power and cream rouge circles on the cheeks; brows plucked and penciled in thin arches; lips painted red. The lips were typically emphasized the Cupid's bow of the upper lip, creating a type of rosebud pout or “bee-stung” lips.

Coats in those years were mostly long with a button or buckle to the side,and fur collars and elaborate inside designs.

The short skirt and dress lengths allowed for footwear to become a popular fashion accessory. Heels were over 2 inches high and Mary Jane ankle strap shoes were very popular in the 1920’s. The mass manufactured shoes now had T bars, buckles and bows, and even sequin trims on them.

Like the women, the men in the era were abandoning formal wear as well. The fashions evolved into high wasted suits, thinner lapels, and cuffed trousers. Flannel became popular along with two-toned white and tan or white and black shoes. Men’s footwear became showier too, with winged tips and fringed tongues, and laces. Some men’s hairstyles reflected the ‘screen idols’ at the time like Rudolph Valentino and were parted to the center and slicked back with brilliantine oil.
Men’s hats were usually broad brimmed Panama straw hats or flat tops called Skimmers or Boaters. English driving caps or fedoras were also popular.

Children’s fashions became more comfortable. Baby clothing evolved into rompers and short dresses from the frilly laced dresses and other formal baby attire. Older girls began wearing cotton frocks, cardigan sweaters and canvas shoes. Boys wore knickers or short knee length pants, with sweaters. Their shoes also were made of canvas.

Swimsuits of the 1920s were either short taffeta shifts or tight, sleeveless wool tank suits with built-in undershorts which stopped at mid-thigh. Tank suits were available in solid colors or prints. Bathing suits became more comfortable, and also revealed more skin, with the marketing of the Jantzen elasticized one-piece bathing external image Bathing-Suits.jpgsuit. This suit made it’s first public appearance at the September 1921 bathing beauty pageant (later known as the Miss America pageant) in Atlantic City, NJ. The media that reported on the pageant created the craze for these suits. Men's swimwear consisted of tank suits with under shorts, usually made of body-hugging wool. This style of bathing suit continued to be popular for men through the 1930s.

Gabriella “Coco” Chanel became one of the century’s most influential designers. Her designs emphasized comfort and simplicity with her chemise dresses and cardigan jackets. She also introduced her signature perfume fragrance, Chanel No. 5, in 1925, which still exists today.

Clothing was still made at home in the 1920’s, though some catalogs and departments did exist as a result of the industrial revolution. The introduction of electronically powered sewing machines, led to mass production and distribution of new clothing styles that as a result developed full-scale consumerism. There were also other cultural influences on the prints of the period from China and Egypt. There were some kimono styles, embroidered silks, and intense red colors in the fashions. The discovery of King Tut's tomb brought Egyptian fashions and accessories, including snake bracelets that encircled the upper arm. The cubist art movement and the 1925 Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris influenced the appearance of dramatic artistic designs in clothing well into the 1930s.

Men's business and formal wear has not changed much since the 1920s with the exception of casual wear. Sporting outfits included linen knickers, a V-necked sweater with a bow tie, and, the classic spectator shoes. Collegemen started the trend of "oxford bags," wide-legged cuff pants, with openings up to 36 inches that dragged along the ground. The popular yachting look displayed a navy sport coat, white slacks, and yachting cap. Standard Windsor ties were popular- some ties were made of knit cotton and had squared-off bottoms, a look successfully brought back in the 1970s.Most suits came with multiple pairs of pants. Men slipped pocket watches on chains called fobs into their vests, which were often worn with suits. Tuxedos were quite like the present day ones, except some were worn with a silk brocade vest, an elegant accessory.

Evening clothes were made of luxurious fabrics like silks, velvets, taffetas and chiffon. In the mid-1920s, sleeveless silk chiffon dresses were often embellished with elaborate beadwork. Some had long trailing sashes, trains or asymmetric hemlines. Women in the evenings usually wore fancy combs, and scarves. Paris was equated with high fashion, and even a scarf or a small accessory from that city was considered very chic. Designers such as Molyneaux, Vionnet, Poiret, Lanvin, and Chanel reigned in the 1920’s.

Fashion styles also repeat themselves, and the 1920's is no exception. The styles that arose out of the time period has impacted women's sexuality as we all know it as well as fashions today. The clothing became comfortable and appealing to the eye. The dresses and skirts of today are usually above the knee, and the shoes all have interesting designs and are multiple inches in height. Men’s formal wear has still maintained it’s feel from the 1920’s, with the exception of some fashions like the high waisted pants and multiple pant suits. The designers of the time period have been fashion icons, like Chanel, and will continue to be for many years.

There were two major art movements developed in the 1920’s, and those were Art Deco and Surrealism. The Surrealist movement began after World War I in European avant-garde literary and art circles. The Surrealists developed techniques such as automatic drawing (developed by André Masson), automatic painting, decalcomania, frottage, fumage, grattage and parsemage that became significant parts of Surrealist practice. Art Deco was a movement in decorative arts that affected architecture. Although the movement did not originate from the World Fair in 1925, it got its name from it. It was a major style in Europe from the early 1920s, and caught on in the U.S. around 1928. Art Deco used materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, lacquer, inlaid wood, shark skin, and zebra skin. The prints usually had zigzag and stepped forms, and sweeping curves. There were other smaller developments in art in the 1920’s. The Modernist Movement-George Luks, Charles W. Hawthorne Abstract expressionism-Willem de Kooning Dadaism-Georgia O’Keefe, Morgan Russell, Man Ray Realism-Thomas Hart Benton, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, Leon Kroll Landscape-Aldro Thompson Hibbard, N. C. Wyeth The best museums featured shows by these important artists.Illustrations were also very popular in the 1920’s, especially with the works of Maxfield Parrish and C. Coles Phillips. Parish helped shape the “Golden Age” of illustration. In the 1920’s however Parrish turned away from illustration and concentrated on painting for its own sake. external image cpfa1.jpg
Genderless nudes in fantastical settings were an often recurring theme. In 1931 he decided to focus solely on landscapes. C. Coles Philips became very popular with Life Magazine readers and was awarded cover assignments. In 1908, he created a cover that would become his trademark-the “fadeaway girl”.
By combining foreground and background elements of the same color, it would become a popular convention in print art for decades to come.
In 1922, William E. Harmon founded the Harmon Foundation which recognized and assisted African American Artists. The foundation sponsored traveling exhibitions displaying works of artists like William H. Johnson, Meta Warrick Fuller, Hale Woodruff, Beauford Delaney, and Lois Mailou Jones. Most of the works in these exhibitions, consisted of paintings and sculptures. The Harmon Foundation also supported the development and expansion of art education programs in schools and provided financial assistance to African American students who planned to continue their education at colleges and art schools in the United States.
The 1920’s were the birth of many museums such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1928, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The Philadelphia Museum of Art increased the number of educational art programs offered, and opened the public’s eyes to art. MOMA was the first museum to display works of modern art in 6 areas: architecture and design, drawings, film and video, painting and sculpture, photography, and prints and illustrated books. It has greatly contributed to the spread of the modern visual arts to the public.
Alfred Stieglitz at the type was a distinguished photographer and artist. As the publisher of two photography periodicals, he helped raise photography from a scientific curiosity to an art. He was also one of the strongest promoters of pictorial photography.

The art of the 1920 remains classics in the areas of illustration with the fadeaway girl, surrealist paintings and art deco patterns. Like the art movements or fashion styles, the artists from the 1920’s remain huge influences to those of present day. The Museum of Modern Art remains the biggest contribution of the time period because it continues to show those that show interest in the arts all of the different types.

Throughout the 1800's, Americans were fascinated with gangs and gangsters. The early gangs in the United States rose out of the new immigrants that came during the early 1900’s. The most notorious gang during this era formed in New York City called the Five Points Gang. A notorious gang leader Al “Scarface” Capone was powerful in the late 1910’s and early 1920’s. He eventually became one of the most violent and prolific gangsters in the United States. The Al Capone style of gangster has molded the American gangster experience. Street gangs that flourished during the 1920's and 30's gangs became a symbol of lower income neighborhoods and ethnic ghettos. America's new immigrant communities and ghetto neighborhoods saw their youth forming gangs.

For many immigrant families, jobs were scarce and people needed to provide for there families-they soon turned to gangs, an easy form of making money. When the American government passed the Eighteenth amendments outlawing alcohol, the organized crime were the ones who supplied the booze. To many, Alcohol represented an evil drink, and that banning liquor would improve American lives. Due to this, the government expected prohibition to curb crime, but it actually led to higher crime rates and excessive violence.
As a result of the illegal bars and drinking, the government set up the Federal Prohibition Bureau to police prohibition. Organized crime became the main supplier of booze and also was ignored when prohibition was being monitored. Overall, only about five percent of alcohol was ever confiscated. A whole black market was created around alcohol. The quality of alcohol was poor and many people became sick, deaths from alcohol poisoning rose 400%. Drunk driving increased and public drunkenness also increased. Thirteen years later prohibition was abandoned. Overall organized crime in the 1920's flourished in America because of prohibition. Had prohibition no happened organized crime may not have become so wealthy or powerful.

The Ku Klux Klan: The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan responded to cultural changes brought about not only by immigration, but also by changes in the American economy and society after the First World War. Mass consumption, mass communications, and mass culture undermined the familiar cultural codes and traditional morals and values. The Ku Klux Klan attempted to resist challenges by enlisting native, white, pure Protestant Americans. external image kkk_1925.jpg
The Klansmen of the 1920’s are unlike those of the 1860’s or even 1960’s - they supported temperance, and progressive reform organizations, though sometimes had a terrorist edge. Most Klan activities focused on defending white civilization, promoting community activities, enforcing morality, and combating corruption and concentrated economic power. Their political activity was mostly local, and non-partisan. One of the Klan's most important moral campaigns was for the restoration of law and order as exemplified by adherence to the 18th Amendment.

Committed to protecting the women’s sexuality and purity, the Klan physically punished those who engaged in immoral behavior and drunkenness, wife beating, gambling, adultery, and the failure to support one's family. The KKK actually supported women's suffrage since women could help restore traditional values by voting for Klan candidates.
The second Klan that formed in 1915 was marked by a hatred of African Americans. The Klan, especially in the South, was dedicated to the ideals of white supremacy and the racial purity. Klan members in northern states also became alarmed when many African Americans migrated to northern industrial cities in search of work after the war. Some historians believe that the KKK of the 1920’s had some of the largest numbers in supporters, reaching almost 5 million Americans. The majority of supporters were from Midwestern states, particularly the state of Indiana.
One factor that made the Klan of the 1920s unique, however, was its intensified hostility toward immigrants, Catholics, and Jews. The Klan's anti-Catholicism stemmed from the belief that Catholics could not be good Americans if they maintained allegiance to the pope. They believed Catholics sought exclusion from mainstream America by maintaining their own schools. In the Klan's view, priests threatened intact families by exerting greater influence over women and children than the male head of household. Klan propaganda portrayed Catholics as potentially winnowing their way into government and turning America over to Europe.
The demise of the Second Klan after 1925 resulted from internal troubles. D.C. Stephenson of Indiana, a major figure in Klan hierarchy, embezzled funds, raped his secretary and allowed her to die after a suicide attempt. Klan leaders failed to live up to Klan principles like the Klan founder, "Colonel" Simmons, who was forced from his office in the early 1920s due to drinking.
Moreover, the circumstances that attracted people to the Klan changed after 1924 for many reasons. Immigration was restricted, the threat of Bolshevism diminished and the economy soared. The Klan failed to win broad political support as well. By the end of the 1920's, the Klan dissolved as a social movement only to return later under different social and political circumstances.

Chinatown Tong Wars of the 1920’s: The violence of the 1920's was not restricted to bootleggers. San Francisco's Chinatown erupted in another kind of gangland warfare soon after the war ended. The Tong Wars, which had begun in 1850, were a series of feuds that occurred within gangs of Chinese immigrant societies.The police force’s attempts to clean up crime didn’t cover all the areas, like the Tongs who had continued to operate brothels, gambling parlors, and opium dens. The police force in San Francisco was finally able to bring the leaders of the Tongs together for a meeting which eventually resulted in a peace treaty. Slowly they shut down the slave traffic and to severely curtail illegal gambling and drug activity.

Duluth Lynchings: After a circus show on June 15th 1920, the three men, and three other workers were accused of raping a nineteen year old girl named Irene Tusken. An examination of Tusken that morning showed no physical signs of rape or assault though. They were arrested and held inside the police station. News spread and that evening a white mob estimated between 1,000 and 10,000 people gathered outside the police station. They met little resistance from the police, who had been ordered not to use their guns. The mob pulled all six blacks from their cells and beat them.
An article in the Minneapolis Journal accused the lynch mob of putting “an effaceable stain on the name of Minnesota,” stating, “The sudden flaming up of racial passion, which is the reproach of the South, may also occur, as we now learn in the bitterness of humiliation in Minnesota.”

Fascist Violence: 1925 marked a decisive shift in tactics of Italian fascists operating in the United States. Under the leadership of Count Ignazio Thaon di Revel, members of the Fascist League of North America sought out perceived political enemies. Fascists and anti-fascists clashed with clubs and bricks in the streets of Philadelphia, some were stabbed. The Fascist League of North America under Revel's leadership continued to use violence to compel Italian-Americans to remain loyal to the fascist cause until 1929.During the same period, the United States government tried to avoid confrontation with the fascists in the United States. These attitudes in part allowed the Fascist League to operate in the United States unimpeded until 1929, when an article brought unwanted public attention to fascist violence.
Anti-fascist Marcus Duffield published an article in Harper's Magazine with incriminating evidence against the Fascist League. In his article, Duffield claimed that "part of Mussolini's empire, from his point of view, lies within the United States." Duffield's article received attention, forcing members of the United States Congress to act. The Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson, was ordered to investigate the Fascist League and testify before the Committee on Foreign Relations. In response Mussolini issued a statement to the United States claiming "neither Premier Mussolini, nor Fascism, nor the Fascist League of North America has never opposed or attempted to thwart the Americanization movement."
The following day on October 26, 1929, the Helfin Resolution was passed demanding that Secretary of State Stimson release all details of the Fascist League for Senate investigation. As a result of the controversy Mussolini authorized Ambassador Martino to disband the Fascist League of North America on December 22, 1929. Mussolini's goal of consolidating Italian-American organizations under a single entity for the purpose of influencing American politics and business relations ended in failure. The disbanding of the Fascist League of North America marked the end of an era for Italian-Americans and the United States.

The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921: A hysterical white girl in Tulsa, Oklahoma cried that a nineteen-year-old colored boy attempted to assault her in the public elevator of a public office building. Without pausing to examine the validity of the story, a mob of Americans killed 50 men, and damaged over a million dollars worth of property.

Other Race Riots: One of the most violent of these riots took place in East St. Louis, Illinois. Racial tensions heightened with labor troubles in the city. Rumors swept white neighborhoods that blacks were arming themselves. On July 2, 1917 a protest meeting at the Labor Temple turned into a mob which marched on the black neighborhoods. Several days of shootings followed in which somewhere between 100 and 200 people died, most of them African American. Thousands fled the city as a result.

Other Lynchings: In 1913 Leo Frank was lynched in Marietta, Georgia, the hometown of the girl he allegedly murdered, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan. The lynching persuaded American Jews of the necessity of creating an Anti-Defamation League. In 1915 the case helped launch a very different sort of organization, the second Ku Klux Klan. Its initial cross-burning was at
the gravesite of Mary Phagan.

The “new immigrants” that arose out of the time period has led to a lot of the gang violence that has shaped America today. The organized violence with the Ku Klux Klan worsened the lynchings, mobs and race riots that became characteristic of the 1950’s. If government had tried to control gang violence instead of prohibition, the outcome would have been different.

Not only did isolationists oppose U.S. involvement in European affairs, they also opposed the flood of European immigrants coming to the U.S. Between 1900 and 1915, more than 13 million immigrants came to the U.S., many of them from eastern and southern Europe and many either Catholic or Jewish, to the general dismay of the Protestant American public. Many Americans viewed these immigrants as a threat to American religious and social values, as well as to economic opportunities. In 1921, Congress set a quota of 350,000 for annual immigration. In 1924, the National Origins Act cut that number to 164,000. This standard curtailed immigration from southern and eastern Europe and excluded Asians entirely. The U.S. used restrictive immigration policies in the 1920s based on the 1890 Census. Since the Census reflected higher numbers of northern Europeans, immigrants from those countries had greater opportunities to emigrate. Gradually, southern Europeans were included in the white category over the next census decades. Those denied equal status were marked as Hispanics, Asians, African Americans and Native peoples. By the 1920 census, these racial categories had become Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Mulatto, Negro and White.external image isolationcartoon.jpg
America was also anti-immigrant on the state level too. Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 created the "one-drop rule" which proposed a person with even "one drop" of non-white ancestry was classified as "colored". Anti-immigrant sentiments also spread to court cases. Under the Naturalization Act of 1906, only white persons and persons of African descent or African nativity were eligible to become naturalized citizens. In 1922, a Japanese businessman named Takao Ozawa filed for U.S. citizenship and argued that people of Japanese descent should be classified as white. Associate Justice George Sutherland ruled that only Caucasians were white and the Japanese were not covered by any Naturalization Act. Another court case, United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, addressed U.S. citizenship in a similar manner. The decision classified South Asian Indians as Asian for the first time, and also stripped the Indians of their American citizenship. Some Indian land owners became subject to the California Alien Land Law as well. With the Asiatic Barred Zone Act of 1917 preventing new immigration to the U.S. most Asian Indians left the America.

Nativists objected the number of immigrants, because it would affect the traditional American values and the US continued to set limits on immigration as a result. By 1928, immigration had declined to about 300,000 and just over half a million new arrivals entered the US in the 1930’s. Those that were allowed to become citizens were forced to assimilate into American culture, leaving their cultural roots behind. Anti-immigrant sentiment peaked in the Sacco-Vanzetti case of 1921. Sacco and Vanzetti were two Italian immigrants charged with an April 1920 murder in Massachusetts. They were anarchists as well as immigrants, arousing frank hatred from the media and the judge in their case, who sentenced them to death. The case against Sacco and Vanzetti was circumstantial and poorly argued. The case was significant for its demonstration of conservative forces in America.

The anti-immigration policies only increased Nativist power in government and in society. By letting immigrants be described as “colored”, it allowed for violence such as the Ku Klux Klan to take advantage of the groups and blame them for murders, like the Sacco-Vanzetti case. It only reinforced the idea that even if immigrants assimilated, they’d never be accepted.

There were major health breakthroughs in the time period, such as the first modern antibiotic-penicillin, the discovery of insulin, and innovations in immunization. There were discoveries in understanding sub-atomic and atomic particles. In Space, information about Jupiter and Mars were gained through photography and radiometric measurements.
Some Notable Events in the 1920’s:
1920: The first hearing aid using vacuum tubes is marketed as the Vactuphone.
Otto Stern starts to develop the theory of particle spin.
John Thompson, receives a patent for his machine gun, “the tommy gun” The possible existence of a neutron is inferred by William D. Harkins
The first licensed radio broadcast is transmitted in Pittsburgh
Albert Michelson uses a stellar interferometer to calculate the diameter of the Betelgeuse.
1921: Thomas Midgley Jr. invents Ethyl gasoline
The polygraph is invented by 2 policemen in Berkeley, California
Intercontinental communication by shortwave radio is demonstrated by the American Radio League and Paul Godley in Scotland
1922 A team of scientists at Johns Hopkins University discover vitamin D
Herbert Evans and K. J. Scott suggest the existence a vitamin later known to be E
Mathematician John R. Carson describes a possible new form of radio broadcasting: FM
William Howell discovers heparin
Herbert T. Kalmus produces the first full-length technicolor motion picture, The Toll of the Sea
Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover convenes a national conference of radio, telephone, and telegraph experts
1923 Russian-born Vladimir Zworykin invents the first television camera, the kinescope
Edwin H. Armstrong constructs the first FM radio
Two U.S. Army pilots perform the first in-flight refueling operation
Edwin Hubble discovers that nebulae are clusters of stars
George Eastman produces 16-mm film for use by the general public
1924 Transatlantic radio transmission of still photographs begins
Hubble proves that the existence of independent galaxies
1925 George Whipple demonstrates that iron is an essential element in red blood cells
G. L. McCarthy patents a microfilm camera to reduce copies of checks
John Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution in his schools
1926 The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) links twenty-four radio stations into a network
Harold Sinclair develops one of the earliest fluid-drive automatic transmissions for automobiles
Bell Labs produces a voiceprint machine to analyze speech
James B. Sumner proves that enzymes are proteins and that they aid in bringing about biochemical reactions in the body
Vitamin Bl is discovered
Robert H. Goddard launches first rocket propelled by liquid fuel
The first commercial motion picture with sound, Don Juan, is released by Warner Bros
1927 J. A. O'Neill invents the first magnetic recording tape
Hermann J. Muller at the University of Texas uses irradiation techniques to induce mutations artificially fruit flies
The first radiotelephone connection is made between New York and London
Congress creates the Federal Radio Commission Walter Gifford, president of AT&T, makes first successful demonstration of television
Charles A. Lindbergh makes the first nonstop, solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in thirty-three and a half hours
The first feature-length talking picture, The Jazz Singer, is released by Warner Bros
1928 Philip Drinker and Louis Shaw at Harvard University invent the "iron lung" as an aid to breathing, especially for polio sufferers
Vannevar Bush and associates invent an analog computer to solve differential equations
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M) markets cellophane tape as Scotch Tape
Richard E. Byrd establishes a base in Antarctica from which he flies over the South Pole
Vitamin C is discovered by Charles G. King
General Electric and New York radio station WRNY make the first primitive efforts at television broadcasting
1929 Bell Labs produces a color television prototype using a scanning rate of fifty lines per second
The Dunlop Rubber Company develops the first foam rubber
Hubble recalculates the distance to the Andromeda galaxy as 930,000 light years
Winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics Worldwide:
1920-Charles Edouard Guillaume-discovery of anomalies in nickel steel alloys
1921-Albert Einstein-for his explanations of the photoelectric effect,services to Theoretical Physics
1922-Neils Henrik David Bohr-for his investigation of the structure of atoms and of their radiation
1923-Robert Andrews Millikan-for his work on the charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect
1924-Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn-for his discoveries and research in the field of X-ray spectroscopy
1925-James Franck and Gustav Ludwig Hertz-discovery of the laws of the impact of an electron upon an atom
1926-Jean Baptiste Perrin-work on the discontinuous structure of matter and discovery of sedimentation equilibrium
1927 Charles Thomson Rees Wilson- method of making the paths of electrically charged particles visible by condensation of vapor
1928 Owen Willans Richardson-work on the thermionic phenomenon and discovery of the Richardson law
1929 Prince Louis-Victor Pierre Raymond de Broglie -discovery of the wave nature of electrons".
The scientific accomplishments pretty much speak for themselves in regards to their effect on today’s society. Vitamins and anti-biotics were discovered, television and radio was invented, and discoveries in space would come together, to shape the future forever.
Like in the Gilded Age, sports were extremely popular as a pastime. After World War I, society resumed more leisure activities. Newspapers, the new radio, and movies all contributed to the boost of sports events as well. The publicity the sports events received led to the building of sports stadiums and steady salaries of the sports stars.
Notable Sports Stars: Babe Ruth in Baseball, Jack Dempsey in Boxing, Johnny Weissmuller in Swimming, Knute Rockne and Red Grange in football, Bill Tilden and Helen Wills in tennis, and Bobby Jones and Glenna Collet in golf.
Even today, athletes are compared to the “greats” of the 1920’s, and many memorials have been built in honor of them. The competitions and events that became popular in these years still exist now.
The Era in Sports:
1920- National Football League formed Baseball's Negro National League formed
Babe Ruth sold to New York Yankees and hits 54 home runs
Cleveland Indians' shortstop Ray Chapman is killed by a Carl Mays pitch
William Tatem Tilden II became the first American to win a Wimbledon title
1921- The schooner Bluenose begins her undefeated career in racing, winning the International Fishermen's Trophy
Jack Dempsey fights Georges Carpentier, declared “The Battle of the Century”
1922- First sub-one minute 100m freestyle swim by Johnny Weissmuller
1923- First 24 hours of Le Mans race
Ty Cobb breaks Honus Wagner's major league record for career hits
1924- First Winter Olympic Games in the Summer Olympics
Paavo Nurmi wins 5 golds in Athletics (track and field)
1925- French Open in tennis opened to non-French players for the first time
Gordon Richards became champion jockey and continued to be for 26 more times
1926- Jack Dempsey loses his world heavyweight boxing title to Gene Tunney
Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English channel
1927- First Ryder Cup of golf Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs with the Yankees.
1928- Women's Olympic athletics and gymnastics are held for the first time at the Summer Olympics
"Dixie" Dean scores 60 league goals in 39 matches as Everton F.C. win the Football League
1929 in sports - Wally Hammond scores 905 runs at an average of 113.12 as England defeat Australia in The Ashes
Army: On August 1, 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps formed an Aeronautical Division. On July 18, 1914, the Army established the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps to improve its fledgling flying capabilities. Just a few weeks later, Europe plunged into the massive military struggle that became known as World War I. The Air Service soon lost most of these people and planes in a rapid demobilization right after the war. The Army Reorganization Act of 1920 made the Air Service a combat arm of the Army, and the Air Corps Act of 1926 changed its name to the Air Corps on July 2 of that year. The Air Corps remained a small, peacetime establishment with only limited funds for growth or modernization.The interest in funding for the small army was small, especially with the leftover supplies from the war. The main concern of the War Department until the 1930s was simply maintaining the manpower to fulfill those peacetime missions. Regular Army units continued to guard the Mexican border during 1919 and 1920 because of the revolutions. The Regular Army also had to supply troops through the summer of 1921 to help suppress domestic disorders arising out of labor disputes and race conflicts in a restless postwar America. The National Defense Act of June 4, 1920, became one of the most constructive pieces of military legislation ever adopted in the United States. It rejected the theory of an expansible Regular Army that Army leaders had urged since the days of John C. Calhoun. The piece established the components of the Army: the standing Regular Army, the National Guard, and the Organized Reserves. Each of the three Army components was to be so regulated in peacetime that it could contribute its appropriate share of troops in a war emergency. The National Defense Act of 1920 specifically charged the War Department with mobilization planning and preparation for the event of war, assigning duties to the Assistant Secretary of War, Chief of Staff and the General Staff. The General Staff divisions assisted the Chief of Staff in his supervision of the military branches of the War Department and of the field forces. The only major change in this organizational framework during the 1920s came in 1926, when the Air Corps was established as an equal combat arm.The new defense act also authorized the addition of three new branches to the arm and service branches established before 1917 which were the Air Service and the Chemical Warfare Service and the Finance Department. The Tank Corps that emerged during World War I, representing another new combat technique, was absorbed into the Infantry.
Air Corps: The air arm steadily increased in size and strength while improving its administrative and operational position within the Navy. The period began under the leadership of a Director without authority to direct. It ended with a flourishing Bureau of Aeronautics. At the beginning, a small air detachment in each ocean fleet was proving itself effective under conditions at sea. At the end, three carriers were in full operation, patrol squadrons were performing scouting functions, and aircraft were regularly assigned to battleships and cruisers. Together these elements played important roles in the annual fleet war games. Improvements like radial air-cooled engines ,accurate bomb-sight, and folding wings enhanced the operating capability of carriers. Techniques like dive bombing, torpedo attack, scouting, spotting for gunfire and operating from advanced bases was established. Marine Corps expeditionary troops learned through experience the value of air support. The initial designation scheme specifically for attack aircraft was begun in 1926 when the U.S. Army Air Corps accepted a heavily armed version of the Douglas O-2 observation plane. The new plane was designated XA-2.The Douglas XA-2 was evaluated against the Curtiss A-3 Falcon and lost. The A-3 became the standard aircraft used by the U.S. Army Air Corps throughout the 1920s.The first of the monoplane attack aircraft (Fokker A-7) wouldn't appear until the early 1930s. Development during the 1920s was constrained by small budgets and the conservative views of the Army General staff. During the most of the 1920’s, the total offensive strength of the Air Service in the United States consisted of one pursuit, one attack, and one bombardment group. The formal training establishment took shape during the 1920’s, the service concentrated flying training in Texas. Technical schools for officers and enlisted men were at Chanute Field, Illinois. The Air Corps Tactical School trained officers to command higher units and taught the employment of military aviation. Other training centers: Air Corps Training Center in San Antonio, Texas(August of 1926) “West Point of the Air” in Randolph Field in Texas(June 1930), became the headquarters of the Air Corps Training Center.
Navy: American policy accepted the premise that future wars with other major powers could be avoided and so maintained a minimum of defensive military strength, and promoted international peace. Reacting to a widely held belief that an arms race had contributed to the outbreak of World War I, the United States called for an international conference to consider the limitation of major types of armaments. The Washington Naval Conference temporarily checked the race for naval supremacy. It froze new capital-ship construction in the world’s great power countries for ten years. Limitations on individual capital-ship size and armament guaranteed that none of the three great naval powers could successfully launch a Pacific offensive as long as the powers respected the treaty. It also stopped the construction of naval facilities in the western Pacific. During 1928 the United States and France joined in drafting the Pact of Paris, through which many nations renounced war as an instrument of national policy. Thereafter the United States proclaimed that, if other powers did likewise, it would limit its armed forces to those necessary to maintain internal order and defend its national territory against aggression and invasion.
The military decisions that were made after the first World War helped to create the Army, Navy and Air Force that we know of today. They instituted training schools, dive bombing and policies that are still seen in present day operations. If it wasn’t for the invention of airplanes, as well as machine guns, wars might be still conducted in balloons and with bombs.
Women’s Rights
In the 1920s women began to gain more respect in society and were slowly beginning to have more rights and become equal to the men. Women were considered to be the man’s property, they were required to live a simple and plain life, they were limited to very little rights, such as they weren’t able to work because they were required to fulfill household duties, or hold positions in politics since they did not have the proper education to do so, or vote. The biggest step towards women rights was the ratification of the 19th amendment in August of 1920 which gave women the right to vote. Even though the women were provided with the right to vote, they did not have much knowledge on politics and the government, therefore they would just vote for the party their husband voted for. But with the right to vote, it could be said that women’s thoughts and opinions began to count in society. However, not all the women were able to vote, like Native American women were not allowed to vote until another four years, in the year 1924. external image votes-women2.jpg
The Women’s Movement towards gaining more respect and rights for women also played a big role on women’s fashions. The clothing style and hairstyle for women changed that now women began to show some of their skin and give themselves a more masculine look. They got rid of the corset and began to wear clothes that went up to the knees instead of all the way down to their ankles. They wore tighter clothes to flatten their breast and hips so that they could have this more masculine look to them. Women began to wear clothes that had brighter and prettier colors that were made from better materials. They would wear shorter dresses, hold handbags, and wear stockings and shoes. The women were given a more dignified and stylish look while being able to express their beauty in their own way. Also the hairstyle for women changed as well, in which they had shorter hair with that whole bobbed look. The Flappers are excellent examples of the changes that were brought upon on the women ’s lifestyle. These were young women that were influence by movie stars in 1925, and these were the women’s waiting to accomplish their desires, and be independent. The Flappers once quote on quote said “By sheer force of violence, (the Flapper has) established the feminine right to equal representation in such hitherto masculine fields as smoking, drinking, swearing… and upsetting the community peace.” These women did bring a change in their dress style by wearing shorter dresses with the bobbed hairstyles. They also began to smoke, drink, and drive cars. One of the more Famous Flappers during the time period can be Zelda Sayre, who is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife. The work for women in the 1920s didn’t change much from that of the past but it was a little more lenient on the idea of women taking part in union jobs. However these jobs were mainly limited to traditional female occupations, such as office clerks, nurses, teachers, and secretaries. These types of jobs were more likely to be offered to middle class white women because they believed that these women were more capable of getting the job done. Even though women were allowed to work out of the house, they were still not offered the same jobs that men were, and their pay was always lower than the men since they were not as capable and efficient and completing a task. Yet, most women pursued the traditional role of housewives and mothers. But, there job was made easier with the development of washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Women during the time period were offered with better educations, jobs, and more rights when it came down to the family and government. In family lives women were slowly being allowed to have a say in the relationship and could file a divorce on their husbands if they were being abusive and if that did happen they had a right to claim their child and property parts.They were allowd to take birth control pills to prevent them from getting pregnant. There was an improvement in the social life of women because they were allowed to go out in public and talk to the men and take part in extracurricular activities. Women also took parts in movies and dancing. For example Louse Brookes was an amazing dancer and movie star, then Coco Chanel a famous fashion designer (whose style still exists today), Josephine Baker an excellent Entertainer. The twenties took a complete turn for women because it changed their lives by providing them with more rights and a better position in society. These changes from the twenties continued to progress till present day and because of these changes women today are treated with a lot more respect and are able to be considered equals to men.
In the 1920s the production and storage of food improved because of the invention of refrigerators. During this time the supply of food was increased since refrigerators could store nonperishable foods. Also, there were health benefits and price benefits for the people, because the storage of food was better and therefore the food lasted longer and was able to remain fresh for a longer period of time. Since the food was fresh less people risked from getting sick and the fact that the food lasted for a longer period of time, people had to buy food less often making their purchase of food cheaper. external image health%20food%20hut%20image.jpg
Fruits, vegetables, and milk became a large part of the American people’s diet because these products consisted of many vitamins, nourishment and fulfilled the hunger of the people. Orange juice was available all year round for the first time because of the improvement in storage and production. Americans eating habits began to change from eating potatoes, meats and, breads, to fruits and sugars because of the vitamins provided in these foods. Before the 1920s housewives spent most of their days in the kitchen cooking meals for their families, however this was changed in the 1920s because processed foods provided the women with ready-to-cook foods and made their lives easier for cooking. Along with these processed foods, gas stoves, refrigerators, and other kitchen devices saved time for women while making it easier for them and enabling well preparation of food. There was a cooking class, called the “Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts” that taught women new recipes and tips on how to cook food. Charles Birdseye formed the Birdseye Seafoods Inc. in which he sold 26 different frozen fruits, vegetables, fish and meats. White Castle was introduced in 1921. The first refrigerator, the Frigidaire became popular in 1925. The idea of prohibition increased the production of soft drinks but decreased the production of alcohol. There was also an increase of tea, coffee, cocoa, and chocolate consumption. Two men known as Horn and Hardart introduced this idea of a fast food network which was known as Automats, so that people could access prepared food to save time.
Manufactured Foods introduced in the 1920s: Baby Ruth Candy (1920), Wonder Bread (1920), Yoo-hoo Milk (1923), Reese’s Candy (1923), Welch’s Grape Jelly (1923), Popsicles (1924), Wheaties (1924), Hostess Cakes (1927), Kool-Aid (1927), Peter Pan Peanut Butter (1928), Velveeta Cheese (1928)

Food Advertisements by “Woman’s Home Companion” Magazine:
1920: Nestles Milk Food, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Uncle Johns Syrup, Heinz Spaghetti, Sunkist Lemons, Diamond Crystal Salt, etc.
1927: Campbells Vegetable-Beef Soup, Maxwell House Coffee, Royal Baking Powder, Del Monte Spinach, Aunt Jemina Pancake Flour, Premier Salad Dressing, Bordens Eagle Brand Condensed Milk, etc.

Many of these foods still exist today, for example Reese’s Candy, Popsicles, Wonder Bread and others are still very popular in the world today. The development of these foods and storage ideas has been beneficial to the modern day world because the refrigerator is still present today and it is used by almost everyone to store food and keep it fresh. The twenties made a great difference to world by providing it with more types of food while making it easier for people to access the food and keep it stored for a longer period of time.​

The architecture in the 1920s improved the structure of residential homes and commercial buildings, such as skyscrapers, towers, office buildings, etc. These improvements were being made because the politicians wanted to improve the quality of homes while making them more affordable. The quality of the homes began to improve because of the new materials and methods used to make the home, to make sure that the homes and buildings were stable, suited to live in (in the sense that it was easier to heat, cool, clean and do daily functions in), and they wanted to be sure the buildings and homes were a safer place to live in.
These changes during the twenties made a transition in the homes from the 19th century to the homes we have today. The new methods for building homes and buildings have continued to improve throughout the years, making buildings and homes a better place to be in. The buildings and homes we have today have progressed from that time, and the twenties change in architecture played a great role for the buildings in present time. The modern style of housing allowed for small families to accommodate in a home that look good in the sense of beauty and design (such as color, materials used for the house, the texture of the homes and etc.), to live in a home that provided good heating and cooling systems depending on the weather, to make the home convenient for the whole family (such as housekeeping, playing, indoor and outdoor activities, etc.), and make sure the homes were cheaper and make it so there wasn’t much touch up required afterwards, if there was damage done to the house.
The use of reinforced concrete became very popular during this time because it was used to make homes, churches, commercial buildings, and even bridges. This is because concrete is a stable and strong material that can last for a long period of time, so it made all buildings more reliable to live in and it was better material for the weather conditions. The concrete material was used to make the walls, stairs, floors, roofs because it was reliable material. Buildings made from concrete were also less likely to catch on fire or cause a leak because of rain. Today most buildings are made from concrete because it is a reliable material since it is stronger than wood and etc. However, many homes today are not made from concrete, because the concrete material is very costly, and it would cost way too much money to make a home all out of concrete.
One of the popular styles of housing from before the twenties was the Bungalow. This style of housing was carried down to the twenties and during the time it was just as popular as it was before. A Bungalow is a type of home that costs more than it looks like it would, in which all the rooms are usually on the first floor, and the floor and ceiling
space is a lot. These types of homes are not as common today in America; however they do exist in some areas, such as California or Florida.
During the 1920s skyscrapers were introduced in which the buildings were over 500 feet tall. The buildings before the twenties were usually less than 5 stories high because people were unable to walk up so many stairs and they could not provide running water to floors higher than 50 feet. But with the invention of steel, concrete, and water pumps people were able to begin constructing extremely tall buildings, that were maybe like 10-15 stories high (around 1000 feet tall). Also the development of elevators played a big role in bigger, taller buildings, because it made it easier for people to move from one floor to the other. Engineers and architects came to the conclusion that the highest a skyscraper could be built was 2000 feet. Some of the major skyscrapers today are the Empire State Building, Sears Tower, and former World Trade Center. Today many skyscrapers or tall and big buildings exist because they are meant to accommodate vast amount of people at the same time. Howe ver these buildings can prove to be dangerous because if it were to collapse many people could be affected by it and it would cost a lot of damage economical and financial.

Rise of the Automobiles:
While other forms of transportation would affect many American lives, nothing compares to the influence of the automobile. With the conclusion of World Warexternal image 18-50.jpg I, the generation of the 1920s was a time of peace and celebration. Americans began to work fewer hours, earn higher salaries, and invest in themselves. With the demands of everyday life continuing to wear down the population, the need for a better and convenient form of transportation became evident. The first production of automobiles was by Karl Benz in 1888 in Germany. By the turn of the century, mass production of automobiles had begun in the United States. Still, the difficulty to obtain fuel, frequent breakdowns, and high prices limited sales. The year 1905 later proved to become a turning point, when the majority of automobile sales shifted from enthusiasts to the everyday user. It wasn't until the mid-1920s, however, that the price of automobiles steadily declined, making them affordable to the average family. It was not long until there was one automobile for every five Americans. The automobile would later prove to make a huge impression on both the economic and social nature of American life. Economically, the automobile promoted the growth of other industries, especially petroleum, rubber, and steal. Socially, the automobile created a more mobile society, breaking down the barriers between the distinctions of urban and rural America.
Ford Model T:
For Americans, the Ford Model T proved to be the most affordable and convenient means of transportation. By the 1920s, the price of the Model T fell to $300, as Henry Ford increased the effectiveness of his assembly lines. Better design and technology fueled the success of the Model T. It also helped the Ford Motor Company, allowing Henry Ford to expand around the world. In 1925, Ford owned successful dealerships on six continents and grew to plants in Australia, India,external image 1911-ford-model-t-line-up-ad-lg.jpg and France. That same year, sales of the Model T peaked, with millions sold across America. Its popularity transformed a nation, as the majority of Americans first learned to drive on Ford's automobile. However, with the growth of competition, sales declined and production of the Ford Model T ended in 1927. With a historic 15 million sold in total, the Model T proved to be the automobile that "put America on wheels."
Route 66: The rapid development of automobiles in the 1920s meant the birth of a new culture. Route U.S. 66 helped shape the growth of national highways. The Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926, and was officially signed the following year. By the mid-1920s, the highway covered more than 2,000 miles, making it popular for road enthusiasts and goods shipment. As one of the original U.S. highways, Route 66's influenced the culture of America in many ways. Its connection with the average American was deep, making Route 66 "The Main Street of America" in its time.

Birth of the Airline Industry: While most Americans relied on transportation that stayed on ground, others soared to the air. In the commercial aviation industry, the 1920s is known as the period of the pioneering years. The airline industry was born, as small startup companies began offering flights to the public external image 66251900_1238174101.jpgacross America. The first international passenger flight took place in 1920, with plane traveling from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba. The 1920s also marked the first time the Post Office used airmail delivery. By 1925, U.S. Post Office plans were delivering 14 million letters and packages a year. The Post Office later awarded air route contracts to companies, creating today's airline transportation giants.

The Zeppelin:
A more unconventional approach to passenger aviation took to the skies in the 1920s as well. The zeppelin was a bizarre, but employed form ofexternal image hindenburg_9_2.JPG transportation for the period. Unlike today's blimps, zeppelins utilized dirigibles as the rigid structure of the body. First pioneered by German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century, civilian zeppelins experienced a renaissance in the 1920s. After World War I, many zeppelins headed to America for civilian use. The airships made long-range flights from American cities like Los Angeles and New York to Europe and Asia.
Today: The transportation of the 1920s has dramatically influenced what we use today. The rise of the automobiles has shaped the way the world travels. In America, it connected the nation with highways and the power to travel easily and freely. The automobile to this day affect industries economically. Breaking down the social barriers of America, it has more importantly united people together. In the air, the airline industry that so many rely on today was established in the 1920s. Linking the world together, the aviation industry of the 1920s is still hard at work today, allowing people of the world to travel about anywhere on the face of the Earth. The 1920s opened new worlds for the transportation of people. The influence of the era has changed the face of the world forever, establishing what we see and use today. From the automobile, to the airplane, today's civilian transportation is mostly derived from the era. Shaping the world of today and tomorrow, the transportation of the 1920s goes down in history as one of the most influential times to how the average person travels.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, most women gave birth , attended by midwives at home. Occasionally a Doctor would be in attendance, but childbirth was recognized as a natural event that occurred in the comfort of a woman's own home, usually with plenty of female friends and family members in attendance. These women compassionately and lovingly supported her during the birth and assisted her with the major transition into motherhood by external image BirthScene.jpgmaintaining her household while the new mother rested, recovered and bonded with her baby. By the 1920's, obstetrics and gynecology became a medical specialty. Training and education in this area started to develop rapidly as medical science looked for ways to fine tune and improve upon natures process,. The goal was to reduce pain and risk through the use of technology, medical intervention and a surgical approach to childbirth. With the media highly praising the glories of medical childbirth as safe and pain-free, home birthing and midwifery became less popular as more and more women turned to birthing in hospitals.

HEALTH 1900-1920: Sickness Insurance versus Health Insurance Prior to 1920. The state of medical technology meant that very little could be done for many patients, and that most patients were treated in their homes. Hospitals did not assume their modern form until after the turn of the century when antiseptic methods were well established. Even then, surgery was often performed in private homes until the 1920s.
Milestones in Medical Technology:
1850-1870: Louis Pasteur, Joseph Lister and others develop understanding of bacteriology, antisepsis, and immunology. external image 4516-xray.gif
1870-1910: Identification of various infectious agents including spirochaeta pallida (syphilis), typhus, pneumococcus, and malaria.
Diphtheria antitoxin developed. Surgery fatality rates fall.
1887: S.S.K. von Basch invents instrument to measure blood pressure.
1895: Wilhelm Roentgen develops X-rays.
1910: Salvarsan (for syphilis) proves to be first drug treatment that destroys disease without injuring patient.
1920-1946: Insulin isolated (1922), sulfa developed (1935), large-scale production of synthetic penicillin begins (1946). 1955: Jonas Salk announces development of vaccine for polio.
Medical Expenditures Initially Low Given the rudimentary state of medical technology before 1920, most people had very low medical expenditures. A 1918 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of 211 families living in Columbus, Ohio found that only 7.6 of their average annual medical expenditures paid for hospital care. In fact, the chief cost associated with illness was not the cost of medical care, but rather the fact that sick people couldn't work and didn't get paid. A 1919 State of Illinois study reported that lost wages due to sickness were four times larger than the medical expenditures associated with treating the illness. As a result, most people felt they didn't need health insurance. Instead, households purchased "sickness" insurance -- similar to today's "disability" insurance -- to provide income replacement in the event of illness.
Insurance Companies Initially Unwilling to Offer Health Insurance Policies: The low demand for health insurance at
the time was matched by the unwillingness of commercial insurance companies to offer private health insurance policies. Commercial insurance companies did not believe that health was an insurable commodity because of the high potential for adverse selection and moral hazard. They felt that they lacked the information to accurately calculate risks and write premiums accordingly. For example, people in poor health may claim they to be healthy and then sign up for health insurance. A problem with moral hazard may arise if people change their behavior -- perhaps engaging in more risky activities -- after they purchase health insurance.
Health Insurance: The fact that people generally felt actual health insurance was unnecessary prior to 1920 also helped to defeat proposals for compulsory, nationalized health insurance in the same period. Although many European nations had adopted some form of compulsory, nationalized health insurance by 1920, proposals sponsored by the AALL to enact compulsory health insurance in several states were never enacted .Compulsory health insurance failed in this period for several reasons. First, popular support for the legislation was low because of the low demand for health insurance in general. Second, physicians, pharmacists and commercial insurance companies were strong opponents of the legislation. Physicians opposed the legislation because they feared that government intervention would limit their fees. Pharmacists opposed the legislation because it provided prescription drugs they feared would undermine their business. While commercial insurance firms did not offer health insurance during this period, a large part of their business was offering burial insurance to pay funeral costs. Under the proposed legislation, commercial firms would be excluded from offering burial insurance. As a result, they opposed the legislation, which they feared would also open the door towards greater government intervention in the insurance business.
1920-1930: The Rising Price of Medical Care:
As the twentieth century progressed, several changes occurred that tended to increase the role that medicine played in people's lives and to shift the focus of treatment of acute illness from homes to hospitals. These changes caused the price of medical care to rise as demand for medical care increased and the cost of supplying medical care rose with increased standards of quality for physicians and hospitals.

Increases in the Demand for Medical Care:
As the population shifted from rural areas to urban centers, families lived in smaller homes with less room to care for sick family members. Given that health insurance is a normal good, rising incomes also helped to increase demand. Advances in medical technology along with the growing acceptance of medicine as a science led to the development of hospitals as treatment centers and helped to encourage sick people to visit physicians and hospitals. This scientific aura began to develop in part as standards of care among practitioners increased, which led to an increase in the cost of providing medical care.
Rising Medical Costs:
Physician quality began to improve after several changes brought about by the American Medical Association in the 1910s. In 1904, the AMA formed the Council on Medical Education to standardize the requirements for medical licensure. The CME invited Abraham Flexner of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to evaluate the status of medical education. Flexner argued for stricter entrance requirements, better facilities, higher fees, and tougher standards. Following the publication of the Flexner Report, the number of medical schools in the United States dropped from 131 in 1910 to 95 in 1915. By 1922, the number of medical schools in the U.S. had fallen even further to 81. These increased requirements for physician licensure, education and the accreditation of medical schools restricted physician supply, putting upward pressure on the costs of physicians' services. After Flexner's report, a further movement towards standardization and accreditation came in 1913, when the American College of Surgeons was founded. Would-be members of the ACS had to meet strict standards. For a hospital to gain the accreditation of the ACS, it had to meet a set of standards relating to the staff, records, and diagnostic and therapeutic facilities available. Of 692 large hospitals examined in 1918, only 13 percent were approved. By 1932, 93 percent of the 1,600 hospitals examined met ACS requirements. Increasing requirements for licensure and accreditation, in addition to a rising demand for medical care, eventually led to rising costs. In 1927, the Committee on the Costs of Medical Care was formed to investigate the medical expenses of American families. Comprised of physicians, economists, and public health specialists, the CCMC published 27 research reports, offering reliable estimates of national health care expenditures. According to one CCMC study, the average American family had medical expenses totaling $108 in 1929, with hospital expenditures comprising 14 percent of the total bill. In 1929, medical charges for urban families with incomes between $2,000 and $3,000 per year averaged $67 if there were no hospitalizations, but averaged $261 if there were any illnesses that required hospitalization. By 1934, Michael M. Davis, a leading advocate of reform, noted that hospital costs had risen to nearly 40 percent of a family's medical bill. By the end of the 1920s, families began to demand greater amounts of medical care, and the costs of medical care began to increase.

Jazz, Ragtime and Broadway musicals were features of 1920's music. Jazz gained popularity in America and worldwide by the 1920s. Nothing quite like it had ever happened before in America. New exuberant dances were devised to take advantage of the upbeat tempos of Jazz and Ragtime music. By the mid-1920s, jazz was being played in dance halls and roadhouses and speakeasies all over the country. Early jazz influences found their first mainstream expression in the music used by marching bands and dance bands of the day, which was the main form of popular concert music in the early twentieth century. By the mid-1920s, jazz was being played in dance halls and roadhouses and speakeasies all over the country. Early jazz influences found their first mainstream expression in the music used by marching bands and dance bands of the day, which was the main form of popular concert music in the early twentieth century. Meanwhile, radio and phonograph records — Americans bought more than 100 million of them in 1927 — were bringing jazz to locations so remote that no band could reach them. And the music itself was beginning to change — an exuberant, collective music was coming to place more and more emphasis on the innovations of supremely gifted individuals. Improvising soloists, struggling to find their own voices and to tell their own stories, were about to take center stage. In its early years jazzexternal image jazz.jpg was considered the devils music by diverse segments of the American public. Vigorous public debate raged between supporters and detractors. A typical exchange took place between music critic Ernest Newman who discredited Jazz in a 1927 magazine article, with a reply soon forthcoming from jazz-king Paul Whiteman who argued that jazz was a musical force- and we know who history shows was correct in his views. Public dance halls, clubs, and tea rooms opened in the cities. Strangely named black dances inspired by African style dance moves, like the shimmy, turkey trot, buzzard lope, chicken scratch, monkey glide, and the bunny hug were eventually adopted by the general public. The cake walk, developed by slaves as a send-up of their masters' formal dress balls, became the rage. White audiences saw these dances first in vaudeville shows, then performed by exhibition dancers in the clubs. The popular dance music of the time was not jazz, but there were early forms taking shape in the evolving blues-ragtime experimental area that would soon turn into jazz. Popular Tin Pan Alley composers like Irving Berlin incorporated ragtime influence into their compositions, though they rarely used the specific musical devices that were second nature to jazz players—the rhythms, the blue notes. Few things did more to popularize the idea of hot music than Berlin's hit song of 1911,"Alexander's Ragtime Band," which became a craze as far from home as Vienna. Although the song wasn't written in rag time, the lyrics describe a jazz band, right up to jazzing up popular songs, as in the line, "If you want to hear the Swanee River played in ragtime...." The 1920's were Broadway's prime years, with over 50 new musicals opening in just one season. Record numbers of people paid up to $3.50 for a seat at a musical. It was also a decade of incredible artistic developments in the musical theatre. Even in the 1920's, the lights of broadway lit up the billboards at night in a huge splash of color that was immortalized in song. The dazzling lights were an attraction in their own right that compared with the shows in popularity. The Broadway shows were produced by showmen who took musical theatre seriously and tried to provide quality entertainment while making a profit at the same time. This attitude kept the musical theatre booming right through the 1920s. Among the hundreds of popular musical comedies that debuted on Broadway in the early 1920s, two classic examples epitomize the Broadway musical of that era – Sally and No, No, Nanette.

ECONOMY Industry
Percentage Increase, 1922-28 Industrial Production: 70% Gross National Product: 40%
Per Capita Income: 30%
Output per factory man hour: 75%
Corporate Profits: 62% (1923-1929)

Percentage Increase, 1899-1929: 331%
Percentage of American Industries powered by electricity, 1929: 50%


Total Spending

Pre World War I: $300-400 Million a year
1927: $1.5 Billion/ yea
1929: $1.8 Billion/ year

Newspapers: $690 Million
Direct Mail: $400 Million
Magazines: $210 Million
Billboards: $75 Million
Radio: $ 7 Million

1925: $1.38 Billion (Consumer Credit outstanding)
1927: 15% of all consumer durables bought on installment payments
60% of automobiles bought on installment payments
80% of radios bought on installment payments
1929: $3 Billion (Consumer Credit outstanding)
$7 Billion (Total Consumer Goods purchased on Credit)

Percentage of Banks Controlled by Top 1% of Banking Corporations: 46%
Percentage of industry controlled by top 200 Corporations: 50%
Percentage of industry controlled by top 600 Corporations: 65%
Percentage of corporate wealth controlled by top 200 Corporations: 49%
Percentage of all wealth controlled by top 200 Corporations: 22%

Number of business failures in 1926: 22,000
Number of banks in the United States, 1921: 31,000
Number of bank failures, 1921-1929: 7,000


Percentage Increase, 1923-29Worker's incomes: 11% Real Earnings (for employed wage earners) 22%Average Work Week: -4%Minimum income deemed external image 3185962897_d187552942.jpgnecessary for a decent family standard of living: $2500
Percentage of American families with incomes under $2500 in 1929: 71%

Farm Production in 1919: $21.4 billion

Farm Production in 1929: $11.8 billionPercentage of national income held by farmers in 1919: 16%Percentage of national income held by farmers in 1929: 9%Number of Farms Forced off the land in 1929: 435,000
Rise in per capita income for top 1% of population, 1920-1929: 75%
Rise in per capita income for nation as a whole: 9%
Percentage of American Families with no savings: 80%
Percentage of savings held by top .1% of Americans: 34%
Percentage of savings held by top 2.3% of Americans: 6

Farm Production in 1919: $21.4 billion
Farm Production in 1929: $11.8 billion
Percentage of national income held by farmers in 1919: 16%
Percentage of national income held by farmers in 1929: 9%
Number of Farms Forced off the land in 1929: 435,000

Distribution of Wealth
Rise in per capita income for top 1% of population, 1920-1929: 75%
Rise in per capita income for nation as a whole: 9%
Percentage of American Families with no savings: 80%
Percentage of savings held by top .1% of Americans: 34%
Percentage of savings held by top 2.3% of Americans: 67%

Stock Market Crash of 1929:
The 1920’s were a time of peace and great prosperity. After World War I, the “Roaring Twenties” was fueled by increased industrialization and new technologies, such as the radio and the automobile. Air flight
Stock Market Crash of 1929 Chart
Stock Market Crash of 1929 Chart
was also becoming widespread, as well. The economy benefited greatly from the new life changing technologies. As the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared, many investors quickly snapped up shares. Stocks were seen as extremely safe by most economists, due to the powerful economic boom. Investors soon purchased stock on margin. Margin is the borrowing of stock for the purpose of getting more leverage. For every dollar invested, a margin user would borrow 9 dollars worth of stock. Because of this leverage, if a stock went up 1%, the investor would make 10%! This also works the other way around, exaggerating even minor losses. If a stock drops too much, a margin holder could lose all of their money AND owe their broker money as well.

From 1921 to 1929, the Dow Jones rocketed from 60 to 400! Millionaires were created instantly. Soon stock market trading became America’s favorite pastime as investors jockeyed to make a quick killing. Investors mortgaged their homes, and foolishly invested their life savings in hot stocks, such as Ford and RCA. To the average investor, stocks were a sure thing. Few people actually studied the fundamentals of the companies they invested in. Thousands of fraudulent companies were formed to hoodwink unsavvy investors. Most investors never even thought a crash was possible. To them, the stock market “always went up”.

In 1919, the requisite number of legislatures of the States ratified The 18th Amendment to the Federal Constitution, enabling national Prohibition within one year of ratification. Many women, notably the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, had been pivotal in bringing about national Prohibition in the United States of America, believing it would protect families, women and children from the effects of abuse of alcohol.

Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect. Federal Prohibition agents were given the task of enforcing the law.

Even though the sale of alcohol was illegal, alcoholic drinks were still widely available at "speakeasies" and other underground drinking establishments. Many people also kept private bars to serve their guests. Large quantities of alcohol were smuggled in from Canada, overlexternal image Prohibition.jpgand and via the Great Lakes.

While the government cracked down on alcohol consumption on land it was a different story on the water where they argued that ships outside the 3 mile limit were exempt. Needless to say, this technicality was exploited by everyone including the State owned shipping line.

Legal and illegal home brewing was popular during Prohibition. Limited amounts of wine and hard cider were permitted to be made at home. Some commercial wine was still produced in the U.S., but was only available through government warehouses for use in religious ceremonies, mainly for communion. "Malt and hop" stores popped up across the country and some former breweries turned to selling malt extract syrup, ostensibly for baking and "beverage" purposes.

Whiskey could be obtained by prescription from medical doctors. The labels clearly warned that it was strictly for medicinal purposes and any other uses were illegal, but even so doctors freely wrote prescriptions and drug-stores filled them without question, so the number of "patients" increased dramatically. No attempt was made to stop this practice, so many people got their booze this way. Over a million gallons were consumed per year through freely given prescriptions.

Because Prohibition banned only the manufacturing, sale, and transport - but not possession or consuming of alcohol, some people and institutions that had bought or made liquor prior to the passage of the 18th Amendment were able to continue to serve it throughout the prohibition period legally.

Even prominent citizens and politicians later admitted to having used alcohol during Prohibition. President Harding kept the White House well stocked with bootleg liquor, though, as a Senator, he had voted for Prohibition. This discrepancy between legality and actual practice led to widespread contempt for authority. Over time, more people drank illegally and so money ended up in gangsters' pockets.

Prohibition also presented lucrative opportunities for organized crime to take over the importing, manufacturing, and distributing of alcoholic drinks. Al Capone, one of the most infamous bootleggers of them all, was able to build his criminal empire largely on profits from illegal alcohol.

The American grape growing industry was largely situated in California where there were about 700 bonded wineries producing table wines. Initially, prohibition forced the closure of most of the wineries when growers pulled up their vines thinking their market had evaporated. This created an enormous shortage of grapes forcing the price per ton to rise 1000% and more from $20 to over $200. Growers realizing their mistake replanted vineyards but in their greed planted much greater acreages than previously. The increased supply forced the price per ton down to $15 by the end of prohibition.

Every passing year the number of repeal organizations and demand for repeal increased. In 1932, the Democratic Party's platform included a promise to repeal Prohibition, and Franklin Roosevelt ran for President promising to repeal of federal Prohibition laws. By then, an estimated threeprohibition.jpg quarters of American voters, and an estimated forty-six states, favored repeal.

In 1933, the legislatures of the states ratified the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed Amendment XVIII and prohibited only the violations of laws that individual states had in regard to "intoxicating liquors". Federal Prohibitionary laws were then repealed. Some States, however, continued Prohibition within their own jurisdictions. Almost two-thirds of the states adopted some form of local option which enabled residents to vote for or against local Prohibition; therefore, for a time, 38% of Americans still lived in areas with Prohibition. By 1966, however, all states had fully repealed their state-level Prohibition laws.

The twenties were the first decade to emphasize youth culture over the older generations, and the flapper sub-culture had a tremendous influence on main stream America; many new words and phrases were coined by these liberated women. Many of these are still used today!

All wet—Describes an erroneous idea or individual, as in, “He’s all wet.”
Applesauce—Same as horse feathers, As in “Ah applesauce!”
Bee’s knees—An extraordinary person, thing, idea; the ultimate
Big cheese—The most important or influential person; boss
Blind date—Going out with someone you do not know
Bump off—To murder, to kill
Cake eater—An effete ladies’ man, or someone who attends tea parties
Carry a torch—To have a crush on someone
Cat’s meow—Something splendid or stylish; the best or greatest, wonderful
Cat’s pajamas—Same as cat’s meow
Crush—An infatuation
Drugstore cowboy—a guy that hangs around on a street corner trying to pick up girls
Fall guy—Victim of a frame
Flapper—A stylish, brash, hedonistic young woman with short skirts and shorter hair
Flat tire—A dull-witted, insipid, disappointing date
Frame—To give false evidence, to set up someone
Giggle water—An intoxicating beverage; alcohol
Gin mill—An establishment where hard liquor is sold; bar
Hard boiled—A tough, strong guy
Heebie-jeebies—The jitters
High hat—To snub
Hooch—Bootleg liquorexternal image SlangPic.gif
Horse feathers—Same usage as applesauce
Jake—OK, as in, “Everything is Jake.”
Jalopy—Old car
Joint—A club, usually selling alcohol
Keen—Attractive or appealing
Line—Insincere flattery
Lounge lizard—A guy that is sexually active
Moll—A gangster’s girl
Neck—Kissing with passion
Ossified—A drunk person
Pet—Same as neck, but more so
Pinch—To arrest
Pushover—A person easily convinced or seduced
Scram—Ask someone to leave immediately
Sheba—A woman with sex appeal
Sheik—A man with sex appeal (from the Valentino movies)
Speakeasy—An illicit bar selling bootleg liquor.
Spiffy—An elegant appearance, neat, good, nice, smart
Struggle buggy—the backseat of a car
Stuck on—Having a crush on
Swell—Wonderful. also: a rich man
Take for a Ride—To drive off with someone in order to bump them off
Torpedo—A hired gun
Upchuck—To vomit when one has drunk too much
Whoopee—To have a good time

Movies grew tremendously popular during the decade, reflecting back at the nation its idealized self-image on movieexternal image v5302005tii.jpg screens, young, independent-minded, gorgeous heroes and heroines defied all odds to succeed in romance and at the same time earned a massive amount of money for it. Silent movies were first invented in the 1920’s. It was not till after seven years that “talking pictures” started becoming famous and finally replaced the silent era of silent movies. The first movie was created by Louis Le Prince in 1888. It was a two second film of people walking around in Oakwood Grange Garden, titled Roundhay Garden Scene.

The Birth of a Nation
(premiered with the title The Clansman) was a 1915 silent film directed by D. W. Griffith. It was the highest-grossing film of its day, and is noted for its innovative camera techniques and narrative achievements. It instigated great controversy for promoting white supremacy and positively portrayed the "knights" (male members) of the Ku Klux Klan as heroes.
The first movie theatres were called Nickelodeons, and were very basic compared the luxurious picture palaces that followed. 1927 was the year when research into coordinated sound started to pay-off and new talking-picture technologies were being used. The Warner Bro's Vitaphone sound–on–disc system was used for "Th Jazz Singer". Vitaphone competitors, "Movietone" sound on film by Western Electric, and "Photophone" by RCA were also developed.
By 1927 Hollywood had become the center of movie making in the U.S. with 85% of U.S. movie production occurring in or around Hollywood. Good weather and a wide variety of scenic locations were factors in its success. Whole new industries grew in juxtaposition with the film business including zoos and animal supply companies, costume suppliers, and casting agencies.
The 1920s represented the era of greatest output in the US movie market. An average of 800 films were produced annually. Samuel Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer founded the huge Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio in 1924. Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin rose to fame in this era, which also saw the premier of the first Walt Disney animated cartoon and the debut of Mickey Mouse. The anti-war play (also made into a movie), "What Price Glory?” was the first to use bad language in a realistic representation of World War I soldiering.
The French model of commercial movie houses became the international model, and entrepreneurs rushed to build impressive movie houses across North America and Europe including theatres to seat up to 5,000 people. The Capitol Theater in New York City seating 8,000 became the biggest cinema in the world in 1921. Today, there are many theaters worldwide and many still go to see them.

TOYS àAmerican toy manufacturers progressed in the production of mechanical toys. The foreign toy competition was cheap because the Japanese toy-makers and Germany shipped large quantities of them to the American market. Much like today there was a huge variety of toys including clockwork toys, planes, trucks, tractors, buses, power boats, trains, steam engines, musical toys, character toys, circus toys, pedal cars, sports, war toys, and construction toys like lincoln logs and tinker toys. These included tin toys, pressed metal and cast-iron toys, wooden toys and paper toys. Companies like Buddy L, Tootsie, Wyandotte, and Marx made classic vehicle toys for boys. On the other hand, Effanbee and Schoenhut supplied dolls for girls. Due to the expense of store-bought toys many hobbyists created homemade toys from wood and metal. Some age-old favorites included the spinning tops and kites.
The 1920’s saw a movement away from war toys, which had been popular up until that time. A major change in the toy industry came about with the introduction of modern mass production methods. For the first time the industry was able to produce toys cheaply and sell to a mass market. Toy production was relatively limited until 1927 when polystyrene was invented. Because Polystyrene is a tough, durable kind of plastic that is ideally suited to toy design, it ushered in a new world of toy development. Although the modern style of Teddy Bear was developed about 1907 it was only in the 1920's that its popularity took off when companies like the Knickerbocker Toy Company mass produced them. The Knickerbocker Toy Company started in 1920 and still makes teddy bears today. In the 1920s, musical bears and mechanical bears increased in popularity world-wide. The two leading manufacturers of these novelty bears, Schuco and Bing, made bears that walked, danced, played ball, and even turned somersaults. Likewise the Yo-Yo had been in existence for centuries but really took off in popularity when promoted by entrepreneur Donald Duncan after he saw it demonstrated in Los Angeles.

BUSINESS à The 1920's saw new discoveries and inventions in nearly every field of effort that became the foundation of booming businesses. New business and production methods allowed manufacturers to make large profits which they plowed back into new factories and wage rises. Department store and service station chains used massive buying power and operating efficiencies to lower prices while increasing service and choice and helping wages to go further. Henry Ford used his huge buying power to setup discount grocery stores for his employees, much to the annoyance of local store owners. Increased incomes, along with the introduction of credit, funded a huge increase in consumer spending. Only some of the increased wealth found its way into insurance as a provision for retirement. Although there were arguments to the contrary, people living in the cities and areas of industry benefited most from the increased prosperity. Those living in rural areas did not benefit to the same extent, and this was made worse by widespread drought. This encouraged population movement from rural areas to cities, a trend which has continued down to the present day.
Shoppers were able to buy big ticket consumer items like cars, fridges, washing machines, pianos, vacuum cleaners, furniture, and radios on time payment. Previously, these expensive items were only affordable by the wealthy. Once one manufacturer or retailer offered installment purchases the competition were forced to follow suit. About half of all installment debt was for automobiles. It was estimated that 75 percent of all automobiles, 85 or 90 percent of all furniture, 80 percent of all phonographs, 75 percent of washing-machines, 65 percent of vacuum cleaners, 25 percent of all jewelry, and the greater part of all pianos, sewing-machines, radios, and electric refrigerators, were sold by partial payment.
The upward spiral in prosperity seemed to have no end and as always happens in this situation the easy money found its way into speculation. Using borrowed money, speculators pushed up the price of houses, land and shares. The Share Market climbed to dizzy heights as speculators bought on margin, and following well publicized successes, the general public joined in looking for easy profits. Shares could be purchased for a down-payment of 10%, the remainder of the price being financed by a loan from the share broker. When stock prices eventually slumped many investors had to sell shares to meet "margin calls" forcing share prices to drop further, exacerbating the problem and leading to the Share Market crash of October and November 1929. It was no coincidence in this time of financial plenty that executive salaries ballooned to extravagant levels, widening the gap between management and the workers. Wall Street and the Banks grew fat on the fees involved in private equity buyouts and corporate mergers and paid large Christmas bonuses to their staff. Business ethics collapsed and corruption was widespread at high levels in politics and business, leading to some high profile trials. One of these was the Doheny oil lease corruption scandal. These were all signs that the boom times were about to end. The magical prosperity vanished almost overnight as people lost confidence following the Stock Market crash, and despite everything that governments could do, America and much of the world slipped into a harsh depression that only ended ten years later with the start of World War II. At the beginning of the 20th century there were no federal income taxes in the United States. In 1908 President Roosevelt endorsed both income and inheritance taxes. In 1909 the income tax amendment passed through Congress and the last State ratified the Sixteenth Amendment on February 13th, 1913. In April 1913 President Wilson set an income tax of 1% on incomes above $3,000 and applied surcharges between 2% and 7% on income from $20,000 to $500,000. In 1914 the top tax rate was 7%, in 1916 it was 15%, in 1916 it was 67%, and in 1917 it rose further to 77%. The top rate eventually fell to a low of 24% in 1929 but steadily increased again over the following decades. The potential market in China with its 400,000,000 population was viewed as the opportunity of all opportunities by American businesses seeking to maintain growth in their industries. Chinese imports were at the one billion dollar level in 1927 and growing at about 30% per year. American exports to China included kerosene and cigarettes. Tariffs were used by most countries to protect their local industries by making it expensive for overseas competitors to do business. American tariff law set up to protect American businesses contained a uniform schedule of rates for all countries and prescribed penalties when a country attempted dumping or unfair discrimination against American trade. Because it was relatively inflexible it created more problems than it solved and led to trade wars with countries like Canada and France. Due to its financial and military muscle, the U.S. was able to influence the tariff levels in other countries like China.

Racial Discrimination:
In the 1920s William Simmons created a new Klan, seizing on Americans' fears of immigrants, Communism, and anything "Un-American." He saw it as a money-making opportunity where he could sell memberships, costumes, and life insurance. He hired an aggressive, commissions-based sales force that generated over 2 million members by 1924. external image KKK_rally_Amarillo.jpg
Simmons marketed the Klan not only as a white supremacy group, but also a "100% American" organization. He expanded the original Klan's Anti-African American position to include Roman Catholics, Jews, and immigrants of all backgrounds. Parochial schools were often singled out by the KKK, because the students were being taken out of mainstream American public schools and instructed to "take orders from a foreign leader," who was, of course, the Pope. The new Klan saw themselves as protecting the "American family." They spoke out against violating prohibition, labor union membership, Sabbath breaking, immodest dress, bobbed hair, and all forms of unconventional sexuality. They became champions of vigilante justice against bootleggers, wife-beaters, and adulterers.
Eventually their scare tactics and violence caused their membership to decline. Several KKK members who had been elected to office failed to produce any results. They simply could not stop the revolution of morals and manners that was sweeping the nation. After a series of scandals, membership began to decline.
Before World War I, more than 1 million immigrants had come to the United States, bringing their foreign languages, customs, and traditions with them. New arrivals often clustered together in neighborhoods within bigger cities, where they could continue to participate in their own cultural activities. In response to "old stock" Americans' worries about the arrival of new immigrants and their "strange ways," Congress passed legislation that set quotas for various ethnic groups who wanted to come to this country.
This marked the first time immigration was restricted in over 300 years of an open door policy on newcomers to America. The 1921 National Origins Act limited immigration in any year to 3% of the number of foreign-born members of a nationality group as shown in the 1910 census.
After receiving complaints that the 1921 act still let in too many Italians, Greeks, Slavs, Poles, and Jews, the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 reduced quotas to just 2% of 1890 census, which was of course a much smaller number.
As the 1920's rolled on, immigration to the United States increased. Many different cultures and people of different ethnicities came together, merging their cultural traditions. However, while multi-culturalism spread throughout the United States during the 1920's, hatred among "white" Americans also grew towards the immigrants. From the battle over teaching evolution (the Scopes trial of 1925) and the freedom of speech issues considered in the Supreme Court case of immigrant Rosika Schwimmer in 1929, to the balancing of the rights within society against the rights of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Americans in the 1920s confronted serious fundamental constitutional issues that American society has yet to resolve. Many of the originally labeled (white) Americans felt threatened by these new cultures and feared it would lead to the deterioration of their own culture. This led to restrictions on immigration, marking a significant change in American policy.

Under substantial pressure from the temperance movement, the United States Senate proposed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 18, 1917. Having been approved by 36 states, the 18th Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919 and effected on January 16, 1920. Some state legislatures had already enacted statewide prohibition prior to the ratification of the 18th Amendment. The Volstead Act also known as the National Prohibition Act, passed through Congress over President Woodrow Wilson's veto on October 28, 1919 and established the legal definition of intoxicating liquor. Though the Volstead Act prohibited the sale of alcohol, it did little to enforce the law. The illegal production and distribution of liquor became rampant, and the national government did not have the means or desire to enforce every border, lake and river in America. The prohibition, or "dry", movement began in the 1840s, spearheaded by pietistic religious denominations, especially the Methodists. The late 1800s saw the temperance movement broaden its focus from abstinence to all behavior and institutions related to alcohol consumption. Preachers such as Reverend Mark A. Matthews linked liquor-external image b00nk9m5_640_360.jpgdispensing saloons with prostitution.
In the 1916 presidential election, both Democratic officials Woodrow Wilson and Republican candidate Charles Evans Hughes ignored the Prohibition issue, as was the case with both parties' political platforms. Democrats and Republicans had strong wet and dry factions, and the election was expected to be close, with neither candidate wanting to alienate any part of his political base. In January 1917, the 65th Congress convened, in which the dries outnumbered the wets by 140 to 64 in the Democratic Party and 138 to 62 among Republicans. With America's declaration of war against Germany in April, German-Americans—a major force against prohibition—were widely discredited and their protests subsequently ignored. A resolution calling for an amendment to accomplish nationwide Prohibition was introduced in Congress and passed by both houses in December 1917. On January 16, 1919, the Amendment was ratified by thirty-six of the forty-eight states. On October 28, 1919, the amendment was supplemented by the Volstead Act. Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect. A total of 1,520 Federal Prohibition agents (police) were given the task of enforcing the law. Although it was highly controversial, Prohibition was widely supported by diverse groups. Progressives believed that it would improve society and the Ku Klux Klan strongly supported its strict enforcement as generally did women, southerners, those living in rural areas and African-Americans.


With the emergence of new music such as Jazz and the Blues, new kinds of dance forms were being evolved in the 1920s. Ragtime, Waltz, Foxtrot were old favorites. These dances remained popular with the help of people like Arthur Murray who ran dance schools around the nations.
New dances were being introduced because of the boom in the movie industry, people in movies would do dances such as the Tango or the Charleston. The Charleston was one of the most popular dances of the time. This dance was introduced by an African-American crew part of the Afro-American Broadway musical “Running Wild.” It became a symbol for the 1920s Jazz Age. This dance involved the kicking of the heels, with a bending movement in the knees along with the music. Flappers would dance to the Charleston and they took part in this dance called the “Black Bottom” this became an extremely popular performance. external image flappers.gif
The youth was more interested in dancing then the elderly because the youth took part in clubbing and parties. Fond Waltz and Tango could be considered scandalous dancing because it involved contact with the opposite sex.Lindy Hop, named after Charles Lindburgh’s was another form of dancing which involved a lot of jumping and swinging was introduced during this time.
Dancing was a source of entertainment to many, people would do it on their spare time, or at parties, they would learn it at school. The Camel Walks and Square Dances also became popular. There was also the emergence of Tap and Ballet. In this dance called the Shimmy, there was a lot of upper body movement involved, and the women were intrigued by this aspect of the dance.

Politics/Foreign Policies

The pro-business Republican presidents of the 1920s: Warren G Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover.
Changes in Republican Party in the 1920s: end of progressive influence on their party, conservatives began to control the party once again, the progressives used government regulation to help them protect consumers and the republicans adopted this idea to help their businesses grow. The American people wanted to see a change in economy, politics, poverty, labor problems, racial issues and less immigration. They basically just wished to live in a simpler and easier everyday life.

Warren G. Harding’s Presidency: (1921-1923) external image warren_harding_2.jpg
- Harding had very little experience in politics however he was smart in his decision of picking experienced people for positions in the government.
- He nominated Charles Evans Hughes as his Secretary of State, Herbert Hoover as his Secretary of Commerce, Andrew Mellon as Secretary of Treasury, and Taft as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
- He made a change to the nation’s domestic policy by reducing income taxes but he also had some laws passed in which he increased tariffs. He passed the Fordney-McCumber Tariff in 1922. He also established the Bureau of the Budget which was designed to have the procedures of the government placed onto a single budget so that when it was time that one budget could be passed down to Congress to vote on.
- Due to Harding’s lack of political skills his administration and presidency faced a corruption. The Teapot Dome Scandal was a part of this corruption being faced during his presidency. The Teapot Dome Scandal took place in 1924 in which Congress found out that the Albert B. Fall who was the Secretary of Interior was accepting bribes in order to grant oil leases in Wyoming and Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty took bribes from people that wanted to avoid prosecuting some criminals.
- Then on August 2, 1923, Harding suffered from a heart attack and passed away during his presidency term, therefore his vice president, Calvin Coolidge took his position as president.

Calvin Coolidge’s Presidency: (1923-1929) external image calvincoolidge.jpg
-He was more experienced in politics then Harding’s because before being a vice president and president he was a governor in Massachusetts.
- Calvin Coolidge was nicknamed “Silent Cal” because the things he said were inspirational to the people and once he said them people were left speechless. Calvin Coolidge once said “If you don’t say anything, you won’t be called on to repeat it” (so keep your mouth shut and you won’t get in trouble for it); he also said “When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results” and he said “The business of America is business.” These are some of his most famous lines as president; they were the quotes that left the American people into thought about how they could fix the American ways to make politics, government, economy and social life for the people better.
- Then in the Election of 1924, Coolidge won the election against the democratic candidate, John W. Davis and Progressive Party candidate, Robert la Follette.
- Coolidge believe in limited government that allowed business to function without any regulations, he didn’t want the government to get involved in everything, and he felt that people and business should be more independent on themselves rather than relying on the government.
- Coolidge attempted to cut down government spending on certain things and to do so he vetoed many Democratic and Republican bills.

Herbert Hoover’s Presidency: (1929-1933) external image hoover.jpeg
- In the election of 1928, Hoover a Republican ran against Alfred E. Smith who was a democratic.
- As president, Hoover promised to continue the ways of Coolidge and extend “Coolidge prosperity” so that the economy of the nation could be better.
- Herbert Hoover was the president during the stock market crash and the start of the Great Depression.
- His presidency and ways of running the country could have been a factor for the starting of the Great Depression.

What these three presidents had in common was that they were all pro-business and isolationism and they wanted to make a change in the American economy so that they could spread their economic interests worldwide.

Some Important Treaties and Acts:
The Washington Conference was basically a meeting with the United States, European and Asian people to contemplate about the reduction in the size of navies to increase economic prosperity. This conference led to the development of three treaties.
The Five-Power Treaty which basically stated that the five largest navies nations, United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, and Italy had agreed to limit the size of their naives.
The Four-Power Treaty which declared that the United States, Great Britain, France and Japan from then on would promise to respect each other’s territory.
The Nine-Power Treaty was when all nine nations from the Washington Conference agreed to respect the Open Door Policy with China.
The Kellogg-Briand Pact was established because the Americans wanted a treaty which would outlaw wars. So in 1927 the French minister, Aristide Briand, proposed a treaty to the Americans, and so Frank Kellogg demanded that this proposely should be offered to other countries as well. Most nations agreed to sign this treaty and it declared that was an instrument of national policy. It only outlawed aggression not self-defense.

During the World War I, the United States had loaned the Allied Nations $10 million and after the war was over President Harding and Coolidge demanded that the British and French repaid their debts to the Americans. However they refused to listen because they felt that they had suffered from more losses in the war then the United States and the money that they borrowed was used on US territories. To fix this issue the Dawes Plan was introduced in 1924 by Charles Dawes. In this plan he proposed the idea of establishing a cycle of loans from US to Germany, so that Germany could use the money to rebuild its economy and pay its reparations to the British and French, and then they could pay back the American debt.


The literature in the 1920s was mainly focused on the disillusionments from religion, war, and economic greed and expansion. A lot of the authors tried to focus on the changes that were made in society before and during the 1920s, but they found it difficult to interpret whether these changes were for the betterment or for the worse, therefore each author had a different view on the society changes. Literature was important to the people because it was a way of obtaining knowledge about the current events in the nation and the world. Many people enjoyed reading in their spare time, because it was a relaxing, individual activity but at the same time it was informational. It was especially popular when the weather outside was poor. The literature during the time was there to inform readers about the world around them and entertain them at the same time. A guy named Gertrude Stein labeled the 1920s writers to be the “lost generation” because they were not sure about what to write about when it came down to society.
One of the major influences on literature was the Harlem Renaissance, which was the period in which African Americans from the south started migrating towards the north for better job opportunities and overall life condition. These African Americans brought along their culture, thoughts, and ideas when they came to the north. With their thoughts and ideas, the African Americans began to make their way to art, writing, music, and etc. Their way of life also influenced many writers to write about their lifestyle and the conditions they had to live through, so that readers could be informed about the African American Life.
Some books that define the 1920s are The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot that was mainly based on the loss of personal and spiritual values in the world today; The New Negro by Alain Locke, which was focused on the African American folks in America; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was about the American dream, which basically focused on the idea that anyone can achieve anything they want, his thoughts on this book basically displayed the kind of life everyone wanted to live. external image 9780743273565_greatgatsby.jpg
Fitzgerald also wrote This Side of Paradise in which he depicted the life of the soldiers after the war ; Strange Interlude by Eugene O’Neill which focused on the life of woman; The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway which discussed the lost generation of expatriates, A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway was another very important book to the aftermath of the World War I, it tells Lieutenant Henry’s story, who is put into such a predicament, that he has to choose between love for a women and duty for the nation; Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis which focused on the life of the people living in a small town in a satirical sense; The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner which talks about the Old South slowly fading away; and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston who talked about the lives of black people in a black community and environment.
The most famous authors during this time were considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, and A. A. Milne. A. A. Milne is the man who wrote Winnie the Pooh. He began to write when his son Christopher Milne was born on August 21, 1920. His child inspired him to write children stories and plays, so in 1923 he published his first children’s poem, which was known as the “Vespers”. Then in 1924 he published another poem called “When We Were Very Young” and this poem became the first indirect beginning of Winnie the Pooh. The Winnie the Pooh series was first introduced in 1925 and this series became a very popular bedtime story for children all around the world. Winnie the Pooh remained popular with all children during the time, and it is still just as popular today.
There were also some famous poets during this time; for example Langston Hughes, T.S. Elliot, and Ezra Pound were all famous poets of the time. Langston Hughes was an African American poet that basically focused on presenting the African American lifestyle through poetry. His first piece of work was known as the The Negro Speaks of Rivers which was established in 1921 in this magazine known as “The Crisis.” Then in 1926 Langston Hughes published his first book of poetry known as The Weary Blues and in 1929 he published another book called the Fine Clothes to the Jew. T.S. Elliot was an Anglo/American poet who poems for the entertainment of the people while providing some sort of thought. Some of his work includes A Cooking Egg and Whispers of Immortality.
The 1920s brought many changes to the American Education. There was an increase in the number of people attending schools and colleges, therefore raising the demand for the construction of bigger and better schools, and the employment of more teachers. There were more classes and subjects offered to the people , such as, science, physical education, geography, art classes (dance, music, drawing), and etc. These classes opened the horizon to more opportunities and learning for the American people. The education was now provided to more people, such as women were offered with education. However there were still segregation issues in schools, by that the schools were separated for the blacks and the whites but the subjects taught for each group were now required to be the same. There was a great improvement in American education, allowing for more people to have reading and writing skills, while bringing a change to the world in the future.
Literature today is very important because it is a source of knowledge to the people. Most people today use literature, such as textbooks, newspapers, magazines, reading books and so on to learn about the world around them or just for past time. Literature and Education go hand in hand, since in schools and colleges, teachers use literature to teach their students about certain subjects and topics.

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