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Introduction Page Created by: Jonathan Rodriguez and Brian Wilson

Purpose of Ebook: This ebook should help high school age students become more comfortable with using technology to further their knowledge of history. By the end of the ebook students should have a clear understanding of the events and people discussed throughout.  They should be able to describe the historical importance of each event and person. Instructional Goal: Use technology in the process of conducting historical research and further knowledge of important events and people in the 1920’s. About the authors and instructions

Learn more about who created this ebook and how to use it.


Post-War Economy

Tell Us What You Think:

In 1918, the first World War came to an end and it was time for America to transition from a wartime economy to peacetime. In the beginning of the 20’s this proved to be a hard task because the labor unions that grew strong during war decided to go on strike. Eventually the situation was pacified and in fear of violence the employees got back to work. Due to the labor turmoil the first year of the 20’s was far from booming, having an unemployment rate of over 11%. Thanks to the commerce secretary, Herbert Hoover, who convinced industrial leaders to increase wages and production as an attempt to pul the entire economy out of this minor recession. By the following year economy started to boom and continued with that pattern until the stock market crash of 1929. As the years went on, the new mass-production industries gave way for a time of profit. As the economy was rising so was the participation in the stock market. With companies growing so rapidly, it was almost a sure fire way to make profit by investing into the system. The thing is though that the average American had no idea what they were doing in the stock market so they

Why do you think the rural communities of america were not able to profit like urban communities?


President Harding Warren G. Harding, the 29th U.S. president, was born on November 2, 1865, in Corsica, Ohio. Harding's campaign for the presidency promised a "return to normalcy." He was elected president on his birthday and inaugurated in 1921, following World War I. After serving as president for less than three years, on August 2, 1923, Harding died unexpectedly of a heart attack while traveling in California. Warren G. Harding's administration was determined to roll back the momentum of progressive legislation that had taken place for the past 20 years. He personally overturned or allowed Congress to reverse many policies of the Wilson Administration, and approved tax cuts on higher incomes and protective tariffs. His administration supported limiting immigration and ending spending controls that had been instituted during World War I.

President Warren G Harding


As president, Harding often seemed overwhelmed by the burdens of the office. He frequently confided to friends that he wasn't prepared for the presidency. He worked hard and tried to keep his campaign promise of "naming the best man for the job." By awarding high-level positions to political supporters, the results were mixed at best. While Hughes, Mellon and Hoover were very effective, several other high-level appointees known as the "Ohio Gang" proved to be unscrupulous and cor-

J Edgar Hoover Born on January 1, 1895, in Washington, D.C., J. Edgar Hoover was the long-time director of the FBI and spent much of his career gathering intelligence on radical groups and individuals and "subversives," Martin Luther King Jr. being one of his favorite targets. Hoover's methods included infiltration, burglaries, illegal wiretaps and planted evidence, and his legacy is tainted because of it. He died in Washington, D.C., on May 2, 1972. Advancing from assistant in 1921 to director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924, Hoover emphasized modern technological investigative techniques, improved training, and obtained increased funding from Congress for the organization. During the 1930s, F.B.I. exploits against notorious gangsters, particularly John Dillinger, made Hoover a national hero. A string of high-profile gang arrests by the Bureau led to an expansion of power for the organization, and the Bureau became the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. FBI Director J Edgar Hoover


Womens Sufferage/19th Amendment The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920. Beginning in the 1800s, women organized, petitioned, and picketed to win the right to vote, but it took them decades to accomplish their purpose. Between 1878, when the amendment was first introduced in Congress, and August 18, 1920, when it was ratified, champions of voting rights for women worked tirelessly, but strategies for achieving their goal varied. Some pursued a strategy of passing suffrage acts in each state. Nine western states adopted woman suffrage legislation by 1912. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Militant suffragists used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance. Opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them. By 1916, almost all of the major suffrage organizations were united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. When 6

Volstead Act The Volstead Act was a piece of legislation passed in 1919. It enabled the United States government to enforce the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and is formally known as the National Prohibition Act. In combination with the 18th Amendment and other supporting legislature, it is included under the blanket term “Prohibition.” In 1933, this act and other Prohibition-related laws were repealed in response to popular outcry.

The wording of the act specifically defined “intoxicating liquor,” stating that any beverage that contained 0.5% alcohol by volume or higher would be covered. It also clarified that transport, sale, barter, trade, manufacture, delivery, processing, and possessing alcohol would all be considered illegal. Criminal penalties for lawbreaking were additionally defined under the Volstead Act, which was authored by Wayne Wheeler and sponsored by Andrew Volstead.

The 18th Amendment was introduced into the Senate in 1917, and it was successfully ratified by 1919, when the need for the Volstead Act to enable its enforcement became clear. Under the 18th Amendment, “intoxicating liquor” was essentially prohibited within the United States. The law was passed in response to the temperance movement, which had gathered large numbers of followers. Adherents to the movement believed that the consumption of alcohol was harmful, and that society in general would benefit if alcohol was banned.


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Organized Crime

Al Capone

When the 18th amendment was passed, banning the production or sale of alcohol, prohibition was finally set into play. The idea was that if America made alcohol illegal, it would make society a better place to live because of all the negative effects it has. Although it was a great idea, it did the exact opposite. With selling alcohol being made illegal, people were going to get a hold of it another way. Noticing the demand for alcohol many organized crime syndicates such as Al Capone capitalized on the opportunity. Because it was illegal to drink, illegal bars called speakeasies were opened up all over America. The gangsters in charge of the speakeasies were making ridiculous amount of money and were now getting an insatiable taste for the money and power they were receiving. Violence due to organized crime in America skyrocketed during prohibition doing the exact opposite of what was wanting to be accomplished by prohibition. Instead of stomping out the negative in society by banning alcohol, the 18th amendment gave way for organized crime to take hold in America where it is still present in our society.

This video shows the relationship of prohibition and the rise of mobsters such as Al Capone.


St. Valentines Day Massacre Chicago’s gang war reached its bloody climax in the so-called St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929. One of Al Capone’s longtime enemies, the Irish gangster George “Bugs” Moran, ran his bootlegging operations out of a garage on the North Side of Chicago. On February 14, seven members of Moran’s operation were gunned down while standing lined up, facing the wall of the garage. Some 70 rounds of ammunition were fired. When police officers from Chicago’s 36th District arrived, they found one gang member, Frank Gusenberg, barely alive. In the few minutes before he died, they pressed him to reveal what had happened, but Gusenberg wouldn’t talk. Police could find only a few eyewitnesses, but eventually concluded that gunmen dressed as police officers had entered the garage and pretended to be arresting the men. Though Moran and others immediately blamed the massacre on Capone’s gang, the famous gangster himself claimed to have been at his home in Florida at the time. No one was ever brought to trial for the murders.

George “Bugs” Moran


Quota Act Signed in May 1921, the Emergency Quota Act established the first ethnic quota system for selective admittance of immigrants to the United States. With widespread concern about the importation of communist and other radical political ideas, Americans widely supported more restrictive legislation. The measure limited immigration to 357,800 annually from the Eastern Hemisphere; more than half the quota was reserved for immigrants from northern and western Europe.

ber of immigrants from each national origin group at 3 percent of the foreign-born population of that country in 1910. During 1909 and 1910, immigration from England, Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia had been particularly When was the Quota Act high. About 1 percent of signed? the quota was allotted to non-Europeans.

Even as the United States entered World War I in 1917, there was substantial concern over the “dumping” of dangerous and poor immigrant refugees from Europe. When the Immigration Act of 1917 failed to halt a continuing flood of hundreds of thousands of Europeans after the war, support for an ethnic quota grew. Support for immigration restriction included, for the first time, many within the business community, who found that immigrants from Canada, Mexico, and the West Indies were dramatically lessening the need for potentially radicalized European labor. In order to ensure that Bolsheviks, anarchists, Jews, and other “undesirables” were kept to a minimum, the Emergency Quota Act set the num-

A. May 1923 B. June 1923 C. May 1921 D. June 1921 Check Answer


Imigration Act Basic Law

QUOTAS WERE TO BE CALCULATED AS FOLLOWS: Until July 1st, 1927, allowable annual quotas for each nationality would be two percent of the total population of that nationality as recorded in the 1890 Census. The minimum quota was 100.

1924 Immigration Act set quotas that limited annual immigration from particular countries. The legislation identified who could enter as a "non-quota" immigrant; this category included wives and unmarried children (under 18 years of age) of US citizens, residents of the Western hemisphere, religious or academic professionals, and “bona-fide students” under 15 years of age. Those not in any of these categories were referred to as a “quota immigrant” and were subject to annual numerical limitations. For quota immigrants, the Act stated that preference would be given to family members of US citizens and to immigrants who were skilled in agriculture.

After July 1st, 1927, allowable annual quotas for each nationality would be based on the national origins - 'by birth or ancestry' - of the total US population as recorded in 1920. The overall quota of 150,000 immigrants would be divided between


S E C T I O N 10

Ku Klux Klan The 1920’s were a very busy time for America; a lot of things were changing at such a high rate some people could not contain themselves. During this time white majority in the country was starting to decline, and this brought about a lot of emotions from conservative white Americans across the country. The changing tides in America brought about a lot of tension amongst whites and the variety of races in America. In Atlanta Georgia in 1915, after decades of silence, the Ku Klux Klan was revived in America due to the long list of social factors in America at the time. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that the Klan had its power hold on America.

The Klans Grandmaster standing next to kids in the KKK attire.

As the popularity of the KKK grew, it eventually made its way up north. During the 1920’s, immigration to the north lead to fewer jobs, and more tensions amongst races. This set the stage for the Klan to take the control that it did. Unlike the Klan of the past, the Klan in the 20’s was most popular in urban cities and up north in places like Michigan, Chicago, and especially Indiana. The KKK in the 1920’s focused on purifying America, and saving it from its current state. The Klan in the 1920’s drew a lot of their values from the current social situations in America such as Urbanization, Immigration, and prohibition. 12

Charles Lindberg Charles Lindbergh was an American aviator and made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 2021, 1927. Other pilots had crossed the Atlantic before him. But Lindbergh was the first person to do it alone nonstop.

P.M. Paris time (5:21 P.M. New York time). Thousands of cheering people had gathered to meet him. He had flown more than 3,600 miles (5,790 kilometers) in 33 1/2 hours. Lindbergh's heroic flight thrilled people throughout the world. He was honored with awards, celebrations, and parades. President Calvin Coolidge gave Lindbergh the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Lindbergh's feat gained him immediate, international fame. The press named him "Lucky Lindy" and the "Lone Eagle." Americans and Europeans idolized the shy, slim young man and showered him with honors. Before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, Lindbergh campaigned against voluntary American involvement in World War II. Many Americans criticized him for his noninvolvement beliefs. After the war, he avoided publicity until the late 1960's, when he spoke out for the conservation of natural resources. Lindbergh served as an adviser in the aviation industry from the days of wood and wire airplanes to supersonic jets. On May 20, Lindbergh took off in the Spirit of St. Louis from Roosevelt Field, near New York City, at 7:52 A.M. He landed at Le Bourget Field, near Paris, on May 21 at 10:21 13

S E C T I O N 12

Amelia Earhart Aviator Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. In 1923, Earhart, fondly known as "Lady Lindy," became the 16th woman to be issued a pilot's license. She had several notable flights, becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, as well as the first person to fly over both the Atlantic and Pacific. In 1937, she mysteriously disappeared while trying to circumnavigate the globe from the equator. Since then, several theories have formed regarding Earhart's last days, many of which have been connected to various artifacts that have been found on Pacific islands—including clothing, tools and, more recently, freckle cream. Earhart was legally declared dead in 1939. After Charles Lindbergh's solo flight from New York to Paris in May 1927, interest grew for having a woman fly across the Atlantic. In April 1928, Amelia Earhart received a phone call from Captain Hilton H. Railey, a pilot and publicity man, asking her, "Would you like to fly the Atlantic?" In a heartbeat she said "yes." She traveled to New York to be interviewed, and met with project coordinators, including publisher George P. Putnam. Soon she was selected to be the first woman on a


S E C T I O N 13

Henry Ford Ford ran a tight ship when it came to his workers, he treated them well, but ran a tight ship none the less. For Ford, he believed that if his workers were happy that they would not only produce better work, but produce more products. With this idea in mind, Ford implemented the $5 days and 40 hour work week, which compared to Tell Us What You Think: other industries was double the average wage per day. Henry Ford realized that if he paid his workers more than enough money, they would be more than happy to work for him for long periods of time which led to less downtime for training new workers. Ford’s ideas are still being played out all throughout our society and Do you think that the way in even to this day his company is which Henry Ford ran his comstill going strong. pany was the reason it did as well as it did?

The 1920’s in America brought with it a sense of independence all throughout the country. Nothing made independence more attainable than Henry Ford’s Model T. Originally produced in 1908, Ford’s Model T became extremely popular and easier to get in the 1920’s. From 1908-1927 For produced over 15 million automobiles. Although Ford is known for his model T, he actually did a lot more for the workforce than most people know. In 1913 just a few years before the 20’s, Ford introduced a new concept to the automobile industry, a motorized assembly line. In his warehouses, Ford hired workers and placed them in one spot where they did the same task repeatedly throughout the day while the conveyer built passed along new parts. The introduction of the assembly in Ford’s plants eventually led to the production cost being cut down which in turn allowed for the car to be even more affordable to the common man.


Hebert Hoover Herbert Hoover, America’s 31st president, took office in 1929, the year the U.S. economy plummeted into the Great Depression. Although his predecessors’ policies undoubtedly contributed to the crisis, which lasted over a decade, Hoover bore much of the blame in the minds of the American people. As the Depression deepened, Hoover failed to recognize the severity of the situation or leverage the power of the federal government to squarely address it. A successful mining engineer before entering politics, the Iowa-born president was widely viewed as callous and insensitive toward the suffering of millions of desperate Americans. As a result, Hoover was soundly defeated in the 1932 presidential election by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the U.S. presidential election of 1928, Hoover ran as the Republican Party’s nominee. Promising to bring continued peace and prosperity to the nation, he carried 40 states and defeated Democratic candidate Alfred E. Smith, the governor of New York, by a record margin of 444-87 electoral votes. “I have no fears for the future of our country,” Hoover declared in his inaugural address. “It is bright with hope.” On October 24, 1929 only seven months after Hoover took office a precipitous drop in the value of the U.S. stock market 16

S E C T I O N 15 Figures From the Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Renaissance In the early 1900’s, many African Americans migrated from the southern states, up north in order to escape the Jim Crow laws and attitude of the south. One place in particular that attracted African Americans was the city of Harlem, New York. Originally Harlem was built on the outskirts of town in hopes of attracting elite white residents, but when lack of interest in the houses and re-development of the inner-city drove the demand for the houses down, the owners had no choice but to lower their costs and rent out to African Americans. With Harlem now becoming a sort of mecca for blacks all across America leaders such as, W. E. B. Dubois and Marcus Garvey, started to pop up encouraging African Americans to come together and take pride in their race and culture. Along with Black leaders, new opportunities for advancement of African American’s popped up, in particular the National Urban League (NUL). The goal of the NUL was to give African Americans migrating from the south opportunities to get an education, train them to enter the workforce, and provide employment opportunities. One of the first major events of the Harlem renaissance happened just after the NUL began publishing their magazine, “Opportunity: A journal of Negro Life”. The magazine’s editor, Charles S. Johnson, came across a promising African American author named Jessie Fauset who showed Johnson her new book about the life of a middle class black woman. In 17

S E C T I O N 16

The Jazz Age the radio becoming more and more popular, all different types of people were able to experience the excitement the Jazz age brought. Along with its music, the Jazz age also brought new dances such as, the Charleston, which became one of the major reasons it was so popular amongst the younger generations. Even though the society in America was still a bit oppressive of African Americans, the Jazz age allowed for them to spread their talent and gain notoriety all over America. Tell Us What You Think:

During the same time that the Harlem Renaissance was going on, America was starting to see another change brought about by African Americans. Although, Jazz is usually accredited to Blacks, the Jazz age and its musicians were not part of the Harlem Renaissance. Even without being connected to the Harlem Renaissance, many African American Musicians were able to start their careers in the Jazz industry. Many elite whites at the time were scared that Jazz music would bring the demise of their beloved classical music. While jazz did become extremely popular, it did more than change the popularity of other genres. With the Jazz age came a sense of rebellion in its most loyal of fans, the younger generation. Jazz was able to gain its popularity amongst the youth because of the introduction of mainstream radio which allowed for easier access to the music; now instead of going to a jazz club kids could turn on their radio and listen. As the decade went on its popularity only increased and its influence on the young generation grew. With

Why do you think the Jazz movement was not apart of the Harlem Renaissance?


S E C T I O N 17

Flappers Review Untitled.1 Lorem Ipsum dolor amet, consectetur What demographic was considered “Flappers”

A. young women B. Older Women C. Young Boys D. Old men

Check Answer

When World War I finally ended in 1918, the soldiers came how to find that things are not what they were when they left. With all the men out fighting the first war world, women were left to bare the burden of taking on the labor force, and they did that and more. Young women all over America were now becoming socalled Flappers. For the most part, Flappers were young women who just wanted to let go and just have fun. The term Flappers originally came from Great Britain where it was used to describe the young women who were leaving the nest and entering womanhood: slowly but surely. The Term was brought to America by the author F. Scott Fitzgerald who in a sense created the Flapper image in the states. Other American artists such as John Held Jr. helped create the look of the Flappers with his paintings of his idea of what they looked like. That being said, neither Fitzgerald nor Held, created the idea that the flappers had in their heads. After the war, the women carried with them the independence that they gained from men with them, in a sense that they were now their own person, and they wanted to express that. Women in the 1920’s, who considered themselves to be flappers, made sure they looked the part by cutting their hair and wearing less 19

S E C T I O N 18

The Scopes Trial scene in his school because he was a young teacher, but eventually was convinced to act out against the Butler Act. On may 7th Scopes was officially arrested for his work and then consequently received help from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Early in the year the ACLU guaranteed both legal and financial assistance to any teacher who would act out against the Butler Act. The scopes trial was more than just about teaching evolution, it was about ensuring that America was a place for freedom, it was about making sure that there was freedom of thought, and most importantly it was about acceptance. Scopes was found guilty of violating the Butler Act but no major legal problems came from it. In fact, Scopes was offered a job back it his original school under the condition that he followed the anti-evolution laws. Fortunately for scopes, a group of scientists came together and paid for him to attend graduate school in Chicago so he could move on with his life to bigger and better things.

In the 1920’s in America, the society was going through a major shift from old values to new values and ideas that were popping up everywhere. All throughout America religion was a major part in everyone’s lives and for the most part, had a lot to do with the way the rationalized their ideas. In the middle of the 1920’s, July 10th 1925 to be exact, John Thomas Scopes was taken charged with violating the Butler Acts, which forbid the teaching of any theory other than creationism. In this Trial, which became known as the scopes evolution trial, or the Scopes monkey trial, John Scopes was being charged with teaching the theory of evolution to kids in his class. At this time in America states all over America, not just Tennessee where this trial took place, were banning the teaching of any theory that says man came from a nonhuman link. John T. Scopes was a firm believer in freedom of education and freedom of thought. He believed that it was ridiculous for schools to teach biology without teaching evolution even though there were sections in the state regulated books regarding it. At first Scopes did not want to make a 20

S E C T I O N 19 Which type of media was most popular in the 1920’s?

Media The climate of America in the 1920’s was one of change. Change from traditional ways of things to new radical ideas. It was also a time for tensions amongst races, the jazz age, organized crime, and the emergence of the modern day media. Originally, newspaper were the main source of entertainment and news, but in 1920 radios started to make their ways into the lives of Americans. By 1929, radios were selling on average at about $5 million per year. Although the radio did not take away the thunder of newspapers, it definitely changed how Americans went about finding new information. Radios allowed for the younger demographics to learn new rebellious trends such as the new music craze, Jazz. The thing that made radios so popular was the fact that now instead of having to buy a news paper to read the news, or traveling to a club to hear music, people are now able to enjoy both in the luxury of their home. Near the end of the decade, The Fox Film Corporation bought the rights to a new sound-on-film technology, and created Fox Movietone News, which we now know as just Fox news today. Newsreels on television eventually became so popular that cities all around America were opening up cinemas solely to show the news. It is amazing to think about how in just 10 short years America under-

A. Radio Broadcasting B. Television C. Newspapers

Check Answer


S E C T I O N 20

Babe Ruth Baseball has always been Americas past time since it was created, and Babe Ruth seems to always pop up as one of the greatest players of all time. George Herman “babe” Ruth was born on February 6th, 1895. As a kid Babe was a trouble maker and in order to help correct that his parents sent him to St. Mary’s, a private catholic school. Luckily for Babe, it was at St. Mary’s where he found his true calling in life, Baseball. A monk at ST. Mary’s, Brother Matthias, trained Babe day in and day out until one day when he called his friend to come watch Babe preform. Brother Matthias’ friend, Jack Dunn, who owned the Baltimore Orioles was instantly impressed with his skills, and in less than an hour offered him a contract to play for him in 1914. After performing well for the orioles, Babe was sold to the Boston Red Sox where he surpassed everyone’s expectations of him. On December 26th, 1919 Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees where his career really took off and made him the icon that he is today. In 1920 after his first full year with the Yankees Babe broke the hitting record by blasting an insane 54 homeruns. Although his first year was extraordinary Babe

was not done, the following year he had arguably one of the best records in MLB history. With Babe performing at his best, the Yankees changed the game of baseball and increased its popularity; the club had record numbers of fans attending as the years went on with Babe on their team. Babe was such a key figure in the success of the Yankees that in 1923 when the team moved to a stadium, it was dubbed “The House that Ruth Built”. Through his career with the Yankees, Babe took a team that had never one a title and earned them a staggering seven pennants and four World Series titles. After retiring in 1935 he was one of the first five inductees in the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1948, Just 13 years after his career Babe was diagnosed with a tumor on his neck, and within the same year died. Even though Babe died over 60 years ago his name is still brought up in talks amongst sports fanatics. Babe Ruth single handedly created the almighty baseball team that is the New York Yankees.




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America in the 1920 s  

This eBook tells its readers about some of the key figures and events of the 1920's