Langston Hughes was born in Joplin Missouri, in 1902.
His father, who had studied to become a lawyer, left for Mexico shortly after the baby was born. When Langston was seven or
eight he went to live with his grandmother, who told him wonderful stories about Fredrick Douglas and Sojourner Truth and
took him to hear Booker T. Washington. She also introduced him to The Crisis , edited by W.E.B. DuBois. who also wrote The
Souls of Black Folk, young Langston's favorite book.
After his grandmother died when he was twelve, Langston went to live with his friends, whom he called Auntie and
Uncle Reed . At age fourteen his mother married again and soon he accompanied his new family to Illinois and then to Cleveland.
This is where Homer Clarke, his mother's new husband found work at a steel mill.
Langston enter Colombia University and began living in Harlem, at that time and
elegant section on the northern end of Manhattan Island that black people were making their own. The sights and sounds of
Harlem, its music and dance and intellectual life, inspired Langston more than his classes in mining engineering, and eventually
he quit school. Meanwhile he sent more poems to the Crisis . Having difficulty finding work, Hughes, twenty-one, joined the
crew of a ship sailing for Africa. Eventually he traveled through Italy, Holland, Spain, and France, writing all the while.
Finally he returned to New York, and felt as though he had returned home.
An outburst of literary activity followed. Hughes's poetry absorbed the rhythms of blues and jazz and the dialect
of African American speech that he heard around him. He continued to write and publish in the The Crisis . He met poet Vachel
Lindsay, who liked his poems and promoted them. In 1926 Hughes published his first book of poems, The Weary Blues, about Harlem
Hughes continued writing through
the 1930's and the 1940's, speaking for the poor and the homeless black people who suffered during the Great Depression.
He wrote of their daily lives in American cities, of their anger and their loves. Black people loved reading his works and
hearing him read his poems at public presentations all over the country. To them he was" Harlem's Poem." When
Hughes died in 1967, a jazz band played at his funeral.
The Harlem that Hughes loved and where he lived most
of his life was an exciting place. This newly developed suburb of New York City was planned, laid out, and built almost too
fast; the bottom dropped out of the real estate market in 1904-1905. Harlem had broad boulevards, beautiful town houses, and
exclusive apartment buildings-but no residents. Desperate to rent to anyone, many developers began to open Harlem to blacks,
and by 1914 Harlem was a black city. Its population almost exploded during the years of the First World War as blacks from
the South moved north in search of better jobs and fuller citizenship--the beginning of what came to be known as the Great
Migration. At the same time, because it was a port city, New York attracted a large influx of blacks from the West Indies
and even Africa. Meanwhile blacks enlisted in the armed forces in record numbers and distinguished themselves on the battlefield
in Europe. They also too the sounds of ragtime and jazz to England and France, and caused a sensation.
After the war the combination of the Great Migration, the
mix of cultures in Harlem, and a newfound sense of black unity and confidence produced a great burst of creativity. The black
writer, educator, and intellectual Alain Locke described a new sense of Negro identity: " Here in Manhattan is not merely
the largest Negro community in the world, but the first concentration in history so so many diverse elements of Negro life....
In Harlem, Negro life is seizing upon its first chances for groups expression and self-determination. It is--or promises at
least to be--a race capital.
Clash of Cultures web site
The speakeasy. The flapper. Al Capone. Boosterism. Prohibition.
Cars and consumer culture. The roaring twenties. Through these popular images, the colourful decade of the 1920s still resonates
among generations that never experienced it. Yet the popular stereotype of this crucial decade largely obscures its greater
cultural and historical significance. From a cultural and historical perspective, the 1910s and 1920s were marked by a deep
clash of cultures.
TEXAS GUINAN'S CULTURE CLUB (and SPEAKEASY)
Biographies of the Harlem Renaissance.
October Revolution (Russian:, Oktyabrskaya revolyutsiya), also known as the Bolshevik Revolution, refers to a revolution as
part of the Russian Revolution& that began with an armed insurrection in Petrograd (regarded by some as a coup d'état)
traditionally dated to October 25, 1917 (November 7, N.S.). It was the second phase of the overall Russian Revolution of 1917,
after the February Revolution of the same year. The October Revolution overthrew the Russian Provisional Government and gave
the power to the Soviets dominated by Bolsheviks. It was followed by the Russian Civil War (1917 1922) and the creation of
the Soviet Union in 1922.
The revolution was led by the Bolsheviks.
Bolshevik troops began the takeover of government buildings on October 24; however October 25 was the date when the Winter
Palace (the seat of the Provisional government located in Petrograd, then capital of Russia), was captured.
The mounting frustration of workers and soldiers erupted in July with several days of rioting on
the streets, in what became known as the July Days. This event was sparked by the June offensive against Germany, in which
War Minister Alexander Kerensky sent troops in a major attack on the Germans, only to be repelled. The July Days were also
sparked by the workers' anger at their economic plight. A group of 20,000 armed sailors from "Red Kronstadt,"the
naval base on the island of Kronstadt located near St.Petersburg or Petrograd, as it was known, marched into Petrograd and
demanded that the Soviet take power. The capital was defenseless for two days. After suppressing the riots, the government
blamed the Bolsheviks for encouraging the rebellion and many Bolshevik leaders, including Lenin and Grigory Zinoviev, were
forced to go into hiding. Although the Bolshevik party had to operate semi-legally throughout July and August, its position
on the far left end of the political spectrum was consolidated. Radical anti-war social democrats, who had joined the Mezhraiontsy
earlier in the year, merged with the Bolsheviks in August. Many of them, particularly Trotsky, Joffe and Konstantin Yurenev
would prove vital to the Bolsheviks' eventual seizure of Petrograd.
The Kornilov Affair was another catalyst
to Revolution. Alexander Kerensky, who held positions in both the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet, felt he
needed a trustworthy military leader. After appointing Lavr Kornilov, Kerensky soon accused Kornilov of trying to set up his
own military dictatorship. It is still uncertain as to whether or not Kornilov did engineer a plot of this kind or not. Kornilov,
convinced Kerensky was acting under duress of the Bolsheviks, responded by issuing a call to all Russians to "save their
dying land!" Unsure of the support of his army generals, Kerensky was forced to ask for help from other quarters- including
the Bolshevik Red Guards, even providing them with arms. Kornilov's supposed attempt to seize power collapsed without
bloodshed as his Cossacks deserted him. Kornilov and around 7,000 of his supporters were arrested.
Paul Sann We call it the Lawless Decade, but it has been known by many names. F. Scott Fitzgerald,
using bathtub gin for the ceremonies, christened it the Jazz Age. Westbrook Pegler called it the Era of Wonderful Nonsense.
Frederick Lewis Allen, the period's most able observer, talked of the New Era and the New Freedom. Some put it down
as the Roaring Twenties, others as the Get-Rich-Quick Era. To the sports journalists it was the Golden Age. And to the
bluenoses, may they rest in peace, it was the Dry Decade--a name born of 100-proof fancy. There was nothing dry about the
San Francisco history
Jack the Ripper is a website devoted to the historical mystery of the Jack the Ripper murders of
Whitechapel and the surrounding areas of London in 1888 and possibly other years. The site was started in January 1996 and
features suspect, victim and witness overviews as well as more than two-thousand contemporary press reports. Modern-day articles,
book and film reviews, police biographies and an active online forum are also available. The site continues under the editorship
of its founder, Stephen P. Ryder, and has been lauded as "one of the most important resources for Ripper information
What was it like to live in the
1920's? Learn about Flappers, Fashion, Music, Politics, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the following Depression
years. Discover what it was like to live under Prohibition or how
to dance the Charleston. View the rapid progress made in transportation
by automobiles, trains, ocean liners, airships and aeroplanes. All this and more can be found on 1920-30.com.
The information, taken largely from books and
periodicals of the period, captures how life was in the U.S.A and the World during the 1920's - a time that is often
referred to as the "Roaring Twenties" - a boisterous period characterized by rapidly changing lifestyles, financial
excesses, and the fast pace of technological progress. Also, there
are lists of resources with links to other web-sites on many topics related to the nineteen-twenties.
World War I, "The war that would end all wars.", had ended by 1918; Europe was left in
ruins physically, politically, and economically. The years following the most devastating war to take place prior to the 1920s,
Europe would struggle with economic and political recovery, but not the United States. Left virtually unharmed by World War
I, the United States was even able to experience a decade of peace and prosperity following such a disastrous war. Of the
many reasons for America's prosperity, technology played one of the most vital parts in bringing the great economic and
cultural prosperity that America experienced during the 1920s. New advancements, new discoveries, and new inventions improved
American lives in many if not every conceivable way, but not without a few negative side-effects.
One of the
first major inventions to become a national craze was the automobile. First developed with a combustion engine in 1896 by
inventor Henry Ford, he later started the Ford Motor Company, which mass produced affordable automobiles known as the Model-T.
Ford's Model-Ts became such an overwhelming success that he sold over 15 million Model-Ts by 1927 (Gordon and Gordon 77).
By the end of the decade, there was almost one car per family in the United States As a result, the automobile became an
increasingly important part of American lives. Workers no longer needed to live close to their workplace, instead they could
live farther away and still arrive at their jobs with ease. Homemakers could run errands with greater convenience. The overall
increase in productivity and efficiency left the American people with more time for entertainment and recreation. Families
could visit relatives on a constant basis, even distant relatives. The automobile provided a perfect way for people, especially
for adolescents, to socialize and make merry. The automobile craze even came to a point where the back seat of a car replaced
the parlor as a place for courtship and love
Henry Ford, born July 30, 1863, was
the first of William and Mary Ford's six children. He grew up on a prosperous family farm in what is today Dearborn, Michigan.
Henry enjoyed a childhood typical of the rural nineteenth century, spending days in a one-room school and doing farm chores.
At an early age, he showed an interest in mechanical things and a dislike for farm work.
In 1879, sixteen-year-old
Ford left home for the nearby city of Detroit to work as an apprentice machinist, although he did occasionally return to help
on the farm. He remained an apprentice for three years and then returned to Dearborn. During the next few years, Henry divided
his time between operating or repairing steam engines, finding occasional work in a Detroit factory, and over-hauling his
father's farm implements, as well as lending a reluctant hand with other farm work. Upon his marriage to Clara Bryant
in 1888, Henry supported himself and his wife by running a sawmill.
In the grand scheme of things, the motor car hasn't really
been around that long. It seems like a long time to some people because they aren't used to the idea that there was a
time when cars weren't all over the place. They are too young to remember a time like that, but it happened. When Henry
Ford brought out the first motor car it changed the world. It set something into motion that is still moving forward today.
Before that there were only wagons, horseback, and similar ways for people to travel on their own over long distances. People
didn't do too much of that because it was very difficult for them and it could be unsafe and hard on the human body. The
car changed everything, though, because it allowed people to go farther and faster (and in more comfort) than they could in
the past. It wasn't long before Ford started making more cars and they started to develop new features so that they were
more reliable and more comfortable. Other companies got involved, too, so that Ford wasn't the only car manufacturer out
there. Competition started up, and that was good for people who wanted cars - it kept prices lower and ensured that new features
kept appearing on newer and better cars.
Welcome to Theodote's House of Rhetoric. The original Theodote didn't own a house. Nor did
she own a farm, or a vineyard -- or any visible means of support, for that matter. Theodote relied upon the generous support
of her friends -- and every man she met was a very good friend.
See if you have what it takes to
survive the Roaring Twenties!
find out, select the role of a man or woman by clicking on one of the two portraits over the fireplace.
Then use the game board on the table to move from one situation to
another. You can visit five different places.
In each, you will have to choose the appropriate type of clothing to wear, or determine which is the best way to react. You win or lose points depending on your answers. You can
accumulate up to a total of 1,000 points, 500 per character. Each character?s progress will be displayed in a dial in the upper right of your screen. You can click on a dial
at any time to return to the menu and select another character. To select a new place, you can go back to the game board at any time by clicking on the BACK arrow located at the
top of the screen. Beware! If you quit a place
before you answer all the questions, you will lose all the points you accumulated there. And, once you answer all the questions related to a place, be aware that its
entry will be locked on the game board.
The decade of the 1920s is often characterized as a period of American prosperity and optimism. It
was the "Roaring Twenties," the decade of bath tub gin, the model T, the $5 work day, the first transatlantic flight,
and the movie. It is often seen as a period of great advance as the nation became urban and commercial (Calvin Coolidge declared
that America's business was business). The decade is also seen as a period of rising intolerance and isolation: chastened
by the first world war, historians often point out that Americans retreated into a provincialism evidenced by the rise of
the Ku Klux Klan, the anti- radical hysteria of the Palmer raids, restrictive immigration laws, and prohibition
This is your
connection to the Roaring Twenties Antique Automobiles,Classic Radio,Jazz and Vaudeville from the Flapper Era
Dance marathons began in New York in 1923, when Alma
Cummings won a contest by dancing for 27 hours with six different partners. Marathons were popular during the Depression years
of the 1930s, when unemployed people danced non-stop for many days to win money. The last couple standing won. Dancers were
allowed only very short breaks and partners pinched and kicked each other to stay awake or tied themselves together to prevent
one from falling down. Dance marathons were banned in many places because they were so dangerous for people’s health.
Mike Ritof and Edith Boudreaux danced from 29 August 1930 to 1 April 1931 at the Merry Garden Ballroom, Chicago, USA, to
win a prize of $2,000. They danced for a total of 5,154 hours 28 minutes and 30 seconds (215 days) with only short rest breaks.
was a day of violence on 21 November 1920 in Dublin, during the Irish War of Independence (1919 - 1921), which led to the
deaths of more than 30 people.
The day began with the killing of fourteen of eighteen British agents of the Cairo
Gang, or their informants, by the Irish Republican Army. Later that afternoon, British forces opened fire on the crowd at
a Gaelic football match in Croke Park in north Dublin, killing 14 civilians. That same evening there were scattered shootings
in the city streets, and three Irish prisoners in Dublin Castle were killed by their British captors under suspicious circumstances.one
of the most significant events to take place during the Irish War of Independence, which followed the formation of a unilaterally
declared Irish Republic and its parliament, Dáil Éireann. The army of the republic, the Irish Republican Army
waged a guerrilla war against the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), its auxiliary organisations and the British Army, who were
tasked with suppressing Irish separatism.
In response to IRA actions, the British Government formed paramilitary
forces to augment the RIC, the "Black and Tans" (a nickname arising from their mixture of uniforms), and the Auxiliary
Division (generally known as the Auxiliaries or Auxies). The behaviour of both groups immediately became controversial (one
major critic was King George V) for their brutality and violence towards not just IRA suspects and prisoners but Irish people
in general. In Dublin, the war largely took the form of assassinations and reprisals on either side.
on the morning of 21 November were an effort by the IRA in Dublin, under Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy to wipe out the
British intelligence organisation in the city. It was the police that were responsible for the British reprisals on the afternoon
of Bloody Sunday.
Early on the
morning of 21 November, the IRA teams mounted the operation. Most of the killings occurred within a small middle-class area
of south inner-city Dublin, with the exception of one shooting at the Gresham Hotel on O'Connell Street. At 28 Upper Pembroke
Street, four agents were killed. At 22 Lower Mount Street, one British officer was killed and another narrowly escaped. The
building was surrounded by Auxiliaries, alerted by the firing, and in the ensuing gun fight two Auxiliaries were killed and
one IRA man, Frank Teeling, was wounded and captured. Future Irish Taoiseach, Seán Lemass was involved in the killing
of a Captain Bagely, also on Mount Street, while in two further incidents on the same street three more British agents and
one of their wives were killed. One wife was to give birth to a stillborn baby less than a week later. Only a few streets
away, further shootings took place on Baggot Street, Fitzwilliam Square, Morehampton Road and Earlsfort Terrace.
In all, 14 people were killed and 6 wounded, including suspected agents and those with no connection to politics, and two
Auxiliaries. Four of the British casualties were military intelligence officers and another four were Secret Service or MI5
agents. Only one Squad member was captured, Frank Teeling, and he managed to quickly escape from gaol. One more IRA man was
slightly wounded in the hand. However, out of the 35 people on Collins' hit list, only about a third had been killed.
IRA man and future Irish politician, Todd Andrews recalled later, "the fact is that the majority of the IRA raids were
abortive. The men sought were not in their digs or in several cases, the men looking for them bungled their jobs".Nevertheless
the action terrified and crippled British intelligence in Ireland, causing many other agents and informers to flee for Dublin
Castle, and caused consternation in the British administration.
Collins justified the killings in this way; "My
one intention was the destruction of the undesirables who continued to make miserable the lives of ordinary decent citizens.
I have proof enough to assure myself of the atrocities which this gang of spies and informers have committed. If I had a second
motive it was no more than a feeling such as I would have for a dangerous reptile. By their destruction the very air is made
sweeter; For myself, my conscience is clear. There is no crime in detecting in wartime the spy and the informer. They have
destroyed without trial. I have paid them back in their own coin
The St. Valentines Day Massacre.
Probably the most publicized and talked about Mob event ever
is the St. Valentines Day Massacre. Several movies have been made about it and numerous books have been published.
North Side gang, led at the time by George 'Bugs' Moran, were being a major thorn in Al Capone's side. Capone
finally decided he had had enough and, with the help of 'Machine Gun' Jack McGurn and others, hatched the plot that
was to make murder history.
Capone had a gangster from Detroit set up a deal with Moran for a quantity of liquor that
had been recently hijacked. Moran accepted the deal and arranged to take possession at a garage at 2122 North Clark Street
on February 14th, 1929. Capone's friends from Detroit informed him of the arrangements and phase two of the plan went
into effect. Capone's team acquired a police paddy wagon, either by theft or bribery, and police uniforms and proceeded
to the garage on the morning of the 14th. Two of the hit team dressed in the police uniforms, the others wore long coats and
presumably looked like the detectives of the group. They pulled up to the front of the garage and all charged out and in to
the building just as the police would have in a routine raid. Inside the garage were six members of Moran's gang (the
old O'Banion gang) - Adam Meyer, John May, James Clark, Al Weinshank, the Gusenburg brothers, Frank and Pete and an optometrist
Dr. Reinhardt Schwimmer who picked a bad day to visit. The hit team had all seven men stand up and face the wall. The seven
complied, expecting a pat down search for weapons and identification. Then two of Capone's men opened up with Thompson
submachine guns, peppering each victim with numerous rounds from the .45 caliber weapon. The hoods disguised as cops then
took the guns and marched the plain clothed gun men out of the garage with their hands raised as if they were under arrest.
They all got into the police wagon and drove off.
Alphonse Gabriel Capone (January 17, 1899 January 25, 1947), popularly known as
Al Capone or Scarface, was an Italian American gangster who led a crime syndicate dedicated to the smuggling and bootlegging
of liquor and other illegal activities during the Prohibition Era of the 1920s and 1930s.
The North Side Gang, also known as the North Side Mob, was the dominant Irish-American
Mafia criminal organization (although a large number of Polish-Americans were members as well) within Chicago during the Prohibition
era from the early to late 1920s and principal rival of the Johnny Torrio-Al Capone organization, later known as the Chicago
At the stroke of midnight, on January 16th, 1920, America went dry. There wasn't a place in the
country (including your own home) where you could legally have even a glass of wine with your dinner without breaking the
law. The 18th Amendment, known as the Volstead Act, prohibited the manufacture, sale and possession of alcohol in America.
Prohibition lasted for thirteen years.
Mob-controlled liquor created a booming black market economy. Gangster-owned
speakeasies replaced neighborhood saloons--and by 1925 there were over 100,000 speakeasies in New York City alone. Mob bosses
opened plush nightclubs with exotic floor shows and the hottest bands. At Small's Paradise in Harlem , waiters danced
the Charleston , carrying trays loaded down with cocktails. Popular stars like Fred and Adele Astaire performed at The Trocadero.
And at the Cotton Club, Duke Ellington led the house band as tap dancer Bojangles Robinson and jazz singer Ethel Waters packed
the house in rural America , on Midwestern college campuses, kids drank "bathtub gin" and danced to the hot jazz
of Bix and the Wolverines in lakeside pavilions.
Bathtub gin, speakeasies, hot jazz, the Charleston. . .
A wild era, a romantic era. Thoroughly
modern. The 1920s, hope sprung afresh from the battlefields of Europe, a new freedom. The United States had been engaged in
a major European war and had been on the winning side. The farm boys returned home, itching to live in the city. Flappers
were bobbing their hair, rolling down their stockings, raising their hemlines and wearing make up.
The Jazz Age is inextricably associated with the wealthy white "flappers"
and socialites White New Yorkers went "slumming" at jazz clubs in Harlem. Boosted by radio and the gramophone.
The motion picture The Jazz Singer (1927) brought the music to the big screen in the first-ever "talkie," although
the hero was the white performer Al Jolson in a black face make up. And of course, the eventual repeal of the prohibition
act in 1933 was seen by many as a signal that the first great domestic experiment of the twentieth century had failed; a factor
that further pushed Al Capone and his bootlegging gangs into legendary status.
The term flapper
first appears in Britain, though the etymology is disputed. It may be in reference to a young bird flapping its wings while
learning to fly, or it may derive from an earlier use in northern England of flapper to mean "teenage girl" (whose
hair is not yet put up), or "prostitute".
While many in the United States assumed at the time that the term
flapper derived from a fashion of women wearing galoshes unbuckled so that they could show people their bodies as they walked,
the term was already documented as in use in the United Kingdom as early as 1912. From the 1910s into the 1920s, flapper was
a term for any impetuous teenage girl, often including women under 30. Only in the 1920s did the term take on the meaning
of the flapper generation style and attitudes, while people continued to use the word to mean immature.
The Great Gatsby is a novel by the American
author F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published on April 10, 1925, it is set on Long Island's North Shore and in New York
City during the summer of 1922. It is a critique of the American Dream.
The novel takes place following the First World War. American society
enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the "roaring" 1920s as the economy soared. At the same time, Prohibition,
the ban on the sale and manufacture of alcohol as mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment, made millionaires out of bootleggers
and led to an increase in organized crime. Although Fitzgerald, like Nick Carraway in his novel, idolized the riches and glamor
of the age, he was uncomfortable with the unrestrained materialism and the lack of morality that went with it, a kind of decadence.
Although it was
adapted into both a Broadway play and a Hollywood film within a year of publication, it was not popular upon initial printing,
selling fewer than 25,000 copies during the remaining fifteen years of Fitzgerald's life. It was largely forgotten during
the Great Depression and the Second World War. After its republishing in 1945 and 1953, it quickly found a wide readership
and is today widely regarded as a paragon of the Great American Novel, and a literary classic. The Great Gatsby has become
a standard text in high school and university courses on American literature in countries around the world, and is ranked
second in the Modern Library's lists of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century.
Eddie Cantor (January 31, 1892 - October 10, 1964) was an American comedian, singer, actor, songwriter.
Familiar to Broadway, radio and early television audiences, this "Apostle of Pep" was regarded almost as a family
member by millions because his top-rated radio shows revealed intimate stories and amusing anecdotes about his wife Ida and
five children. His eye-rolling song-and-dance routines eventually led to his nickname, Banjo Eyes, and in 1933, the artist
Frederick J. Garner caricatured Cantor with large round and white eyes resembling the drum-like pot of a banjo. Cantor's
eyes became his trademark, often exaggerated in illustrations, and leading to his appearance on Broadway in the musical Banjo
The accepted American order was certainly taking
place during those early years of the Post-war Decade, but it was one with which Nikolai Lenin had nothing whatever to do.
The shock troops of the rebellion were not alien agitators, but the sons and daughters of well-to-do American families, who
knew little about Bolshevism and cared distinctly less, and their defiance was expressed not in obscure radical publications
or in soap-box speeches, but right across the family breakfast table into the horrified ears of conservative fathers and mothers.
Men and women were still shivering at the Red Menace when they awoke to the no less alarming Problem of the Younger Generation,
and realized that if the constitution were not in danger, the moral code of the country certainly was.
as it currently concerned young people, might have been roughly summarized as follows: Women were the guardians of morality;
they were made of finer stuff than men and were expected to act accordingly.
Young girls must look forward in innocence
(tempered perhaps with a modicum of physiological instruction) to a romantic love match which would lead them to the altar
and to living-happily-ever-after; and until the “right man” came along they must allow no male to kiss them.
It was expected that some men would succumb to the temptations of sex, but only with a special class of outlawed women;
girls of respectable families were supposed to have no such temptations. Boys and girls were permitted large freedom to work
and play together, with decreasing and well-nigh nominal chaperonage, but only because the code worked so well on the whole
that a sort of honor system was supplanting supervision by their elders; it was taken for granted that if they had been well
brought up they would never take advantage of this freedom. And although the attitude toward smoking and drinking by girls
differed widely in different strata of society and different parts of the country, majority opinion held that it was morally
wrong for them to smoke and could hardly imagine them showing the effects of alcohol.
The war had not long been
over when cries of alarm from parents teachers, and moral preceptors began to rend the air. For the boys an( girls just growing
out of adolescence were making mincemeat of this code.
The dresses that the girls-and for that matter most of the
older womenwere wearing seemed alarming enough. In July, 1920, a fashion-writer reported in the New York Times that “the
American woman . . . has lifted her skirts far beyond any modest limitation,” which was another way of saying that the
hem was now all of nine inches above the ground. It was freely predicted that skirts would come down again in the winter of
1920- 21, but instead they climbed a few scandalous inches farther. The flappers wore thin dresses, short-sleeved and occasionally
(in the evening) sleeveless; some of the wilder young things rolled their stockings below their knees, revealing to the shocked
eyes of virtue a fleeting glance of shin-bones and knee-cap; and many of them were visibly using cosmetics. “The intoxication
of rouge,” earnestly explained Dorothy Speare in Dancers in the Dark, “is an insidious vintage known to more girls
than mere man can ever believe.” Useless for frantic parents to insist that no lady did such things; the answer was
that the daughters of ladies were doing it, and even retouching their masterpieces in public. Some of them, furthermore, were
abandoning their corsets. “The men won't dance with you if you wear a corset,” they were quoted as saying.
The first transatlantic radio news dispatches were
broadcast to England from New Jersey . . . In Columbia, Missouri, fifty women attended the hanging of a Negro accused of
assaulting a fourteen-year-old girl . . . The Senate voted a $5,000 annual pension to President Harding's widow . .
. Henry Ford said no, he would not run against Calvin Coolidge for President . . . Thomas E. Dewey was graduated from the
University of Michigan . . . Bad liquor killed fourteen persons during the New Year's celebration in York . . . Dr.
Ales Hrdlicka, a leading anthropologist, said that man did not descend directly from the ape we knew then but had his origin
400,000 years ago in Europe . . . Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan debated fundamentalism vs. evolution in
the Chicago Tribune . . . The Equal Rights Amendment for Women was introduced in Congress and would go into the
hopper every year thereafter before the House embraced it, 350 to 15, in 1970