- Referred to as ‘roaring’ and the jazz age because of the daring and willingness to go to the extreme

- In Georgia, boll weevil destroys crops, drought of 1925, cotton prices down

- The peanut butter and jelly sandwich became famous in 1922.

- Electricity in 2/3’s of all homes by 1929. People bought caps at the drugstore to keep the electricity from spilling out.

- Fads – Mah Jong, mascara, bobbed hair for women, baggy knickers, bathtub gin, raccoon coats, pjs as daily wear

- Life expectancy:  Male 53.6,   Female 54.6 

- Average annual earnings $1550;  Teacher's salary  $970   

- Gangland crime included murder, swindles, racketeering 

- It took 13 days to reach California from New York

  - There were 387,000 miles of paved road. 


 Price of one gallon of milk - $.63

New car $525

 loaf of bread.- .12

gallon of gas .13

New house - $6,296.00

Piano - $455.00


FBI G-Men – Edgar Hoover FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation (GBI)


Firsts: Yo yo, radio for cars, First TVs


Slang used for "girls or women":  a broad, a bunny, a canary (well, one who could sing), a charity girl (one who was sexually promiscuous), a dame, a doll, cat's meow, cat's whiskers


Modern appliances first available on credit

Influences of advertising begin to effect consumer spending

Crazes - Marathon Dancing, Charleston, Mahjongg, Flag Pole sitting, Ouija board, crossword puzzles

Favorite cartoon characters - Mickey Mouse, Little Orphan Anne, Felix Cat

Popular Children's games - marbles, jump rope, roller skates, statue

Favorite songs - Five foot two, Eyes of Blue; Yes sir that's my Baby;

New foods - Welch's Grape Jelly, Wrigley's chewing gum, Eskimo pie  


- Rin-Tin-Tin, the movie dog, used to be a starving German Shepherd dog during the Great War. He became most famous dog ever to star in the movies in 1923.

- The first Miss America contest was held on September 8, 1921.

- A new Pooh Bear story by A.A. Milne was a big hit for little children. Mickey Mouse became everyone's favorite cartoon character in Steamboat Willie.

- Dances - Charleston, Fox-trot, and the shimmy; Dance marathons; listening to the radio.

"the king of jazz", Louie Armstrong.

The start of 3-D movies was in the 1920's

1st talkie movie – 1927

People to Know:

- Al Capone – Scarface  - Chicago gangster

- Sacco-Vanzetti Case – Italian immigrants, anarchists, evaded draft, accused of robbery and murder, case muddled and unclear  electrocuted anyway

- Harry Houdini was the great escape artist of the 1920s.

- In 1922, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi better known to his followers as Mahatma, or "great soul," was sent to jail. His offense: resisting to accept British control of India. He carried out his protest by writing three articles against British rule in Young India, his journal. The pacifist and his followers used non-violent tactics and civil disobedience as means of protest.


Rebirth of the KKK started atop Stone Mountain near Atlanta in 1915 by William J. Simmons. This second group existed as a money-making fraternal organization and fought to maintain the ways of the past against increasing numbers of Roman Catholics, Jews, Black, Asians, and other immigrants into the United States. This group, although preaching racism, was a mainstream organization with 4 million members at its peak in the 1920s.



Charles Lindbergh – 1st aviator to fly across the Atlantic solo

Calvin Coolidge – president, free rein to big business

Scopes Monkey Trial - 1925 - high school teacher sent to jail for teaching the theory of evolution; it was against the law to teach it at this time


Slang of the Decade

1. Bee's Knees - An extraordinary person, thing, idea; the ultimate.

2. Big Cheese - The most important or influential person; boss. Same as big shot.

3. Don't take any wooden nickels - Don't do anything stupid

4. Bump Off - To murder, To kill.

5. cheaters - eye glasses

6. clam - a dollar

7. Drugstore Cowboy - a guy that hangs around on a street corner trying to pick up girls

8. Flat Tire - A dull witted, insipid, disappointing date

9. Hooch - Bootleg liquor

10. Heebie-Jeebies - The jitters

11. Hoofer - Dancer

12. Horsefeathers - an expletive


Stock Market Crash - On October 24, 1929, later to be known as Black Thursday, the stock market began its downhill drop.  By the end of the day, most stocks ended below their previous value, and some stocks became totally worthless. By November 13, the prices had hit rock bottom. The stock AT&T had gone from $304, to the price of $197. America had celebrated for eight years, but now, everything was wasted in just a few weeks, by the Stock Market.  It was a sad ending to this glorious decade!



Flappers did not truly emerge until 1926.  Flapper fashion embraced all things and styles modern.  A fashionable flapper had short sleek hair, a shorter than average shapeless shift dress, a chest as flat as a board, wore make up and applied it in public, smoked with a long cigarette holder, exposed her limbs and epitomized the spirit of a reckless rebel who danced the nights away in the Jazz Age.  The French called the flapper fashion style the 'garconne'. 

Speakeasies were formed in the 1920's as a means to get around the everyday hassle of law enforcement watching for people to violate the 18th Amendment. For every legitimate saloon that closed as a result of the new law, a half dozen underground palaces sprung up. These speakeasies were one of the many ways that people during the 1920's and early 1930's obtained illegal alcohol. By the middle of the decade there were thought to be 100,000 speakeasies in New York City alone.



Babe Ruth - a professional ball player that hit 60 homeruns in one season.

Amelia Earhart - first woman to fly across the Atlantic solo.

Gertrude Ederle - first woman to swim the English Channel

Jack Dempsey –  a boxer

Johnny Weissmuller - an American Olympic swimmer that won 5 gold medals and was an actor.

Bobby Jones - was the greatest amateur golfer of modern times.



Harlem Renaissance Begins
League of Nations Established
Women Granted the Right to Vote in U.S.
Tomb of King Tut Discovered
Charleston Dance Popular
Hitler Jailed After Failed Coup
Talking Movies Invented
First TV’s invented
First Olympic Winter Games


Flappers gain popularity

Hitler Publishes Mein Kampf

The Scopes (Monkey) Trial


A.A. Milne Publishes Winnie-the-Pooh

Houdini Dies After Being Punched

Robert Goddard Fires His First Liquid-Fuel Rocket

A Woman Swims the English Channel


Babe Ruth Makes Home-Run Record

The First Talking Movie, The Jazz Singer

Lindbergh Flies Solo Across the Atlantic

Sacco and Venzetti Executed


Bubble Gum Invented

First Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Penicillin Discovered


Car Radio Invented

First Academy Awards

New York Stock Market Crashes

St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Yo Yo’s



Earle Dickson                                    band-aids                    1920

John Larsen                                       lie detector                 1921

Edwin Perkins                                    kool aid                       1927

Leo Gerstenzang                                q-tip                             1920


The Jazz Singer was the first talkie movie, made popular by Al Jolson, well-known actor at the time.



Herbert Hoover

Upon accepting the Republican nomination for President in 1928, Herbert Hoover predicted that “We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land.

 The poorhouse is vanishing from among us.”

  Within eight months of his inauguration, the stock market crashed, signifying the beginning of the Great Depression, the most severe economic crisis the United States had ever known.

During the Depression there were villages called Hoovervilles for the poor and unemployed.  The houses in Hoovervilles were usually made from cardboard and scraps.  In Oklahoma City there was a Hooverville that stretched approximately 100 square miles! 

Hoover Phrases:

Hoover blankets: newspapers

Hoover Flags:

just empty inside-out pockets flapping in the wind. 

Hoover Wagons: old broken down cars pulled by mules.

Hoovervilles: cardboard house cities


The St. Valentine's Day massacre is the name given to the shooting of seven people as part of a Prohibition Era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Chicago, Illinois in the winter of 1929: the South Side Italian gang led by Al "Scarface" Capone and the North Side Irish/German gang led by George 'Bugs' Moran.

The gang had stolen a police car and dressed up as policemen to lure the other gang members outside to shoot them.