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LibGuide: The 1920s

General Websites

About.com 1920 - 1029
Numerous links...to additional links

Brooklyn Museum:  Youth and Beauty:  Art of the American Twenties
"...work of sixty-eight painters, sculptors, and photographers who explored a new mode of modern realism in the yearsbounded by the aftermath of the Great War and the onset of the Great Depression."

Gilda Lehrman Site Institute for American History - 1920's
Excellent information with many links.

Library of Congress Digital Collections
American History and Culture "A digital library of historic maps, photos, documents, audio and video
from American Memory."

Smithsonian National Museum of American History
"The Museum collects artifacts of all kinds—from gowns to locomotives—to preserve for the American people an enduring record of their past."


The 1920's: An Overview 

The Jazz Age is the term used to describe the United States during the 1920s. A common conception about this decade is provided in the beginning of this online chapter and some common misconceptions are explained. You will discover that rather than a decade of prosperity, flappers, bootleggers, and jazz, the 1920s were actually a continual struggle between old America and new America. Groups were fighting over the use of alcohol, religion, and also gender, racial, and morality issues. The social changes that took place during this decade are presented as well.  Topic: (1920s) Nineteen twenties   Language: English  Lexile: 1340    http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu

Pop Culture: 1920 

The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920, while a teacher went on trial for teaching evolution in 1925. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was created in Arlington Cemetery, and the first trans-Atlantic flight was completed by Charles Lindbergh. Regular radio broadcasts, Reader's Digest, and movies with sound were introduced. Readers were introduced to The Great Gatsby and Winnie-the-Pooh. For the first time in history, the American population exceeded 100,000,000 people.
Topic: (1920s) Nineteen twenties   Language: English Lexile: 950       http://www.census.gov

Change in the 1920s

The 1920's was a decade of change. This article examines the causes of the changes that were experienced and the culture of the decade. It reveals many of the advancements in transportation, communication, and manufacturing and also the trend in consumer spending. You will discover how automobiles became available to even middle-class buyers, the impact of commercial radio station broadcasts, and the popularity of movies as entertainment. Advances in household machinery are discussed as well.
Topic: (1920s) Nineteen twenties   Language: EnglishLexile: 1120      
User Rating: Stars: 1.0Stars: 1.0Stars: 1.0Stars: 1.0Stars: 1.0   http://www.classzone.com

Life in the 1920's: Home Appliances   

Mondays were dreaded wash days in the 1920s, when washing clothes was an all-day chore. Advertisements promised consumers leisure time on Mondays with brand new washing machines from the factory. Vacuum cleaners to replace brooms and Freon refrigerators to replace iceboxes were two other appliances created in the early days of electricity. Take a look at advertisements from General Electric, Sunbeam, and Hotpoint. While General Electric emphasized quality, other advertisers emphasized appliances as gifts that would bring joy to the household. Other sections of this site discuss automobiles, radio, movies, and other cultural changes in the 1920s.
Topic: Household appliances   Language: English    Lexile: 1130       http://www.classzone.com

Jack Dempsey, 87, is Dead -- Boxing Champion of the 1920's 

Jack Dempsey ruled boxing from 1919 to 1926. Read the obituary from June 1, 1983, to learn about the life of this boxer. Learn why Dempsey's popularity increased once he lost a championship. Dempsey is described as a free spender and a soft touch. You will find descriptions of how he treated people and why he was considered a gentleman. In contrast, you will also find out how he was in the boxing ring. Several of his most famous fights are detailed.
Topic: Boxing, Dempsey, Jack,--1895-1983     Lexile: 1200  Biography     News Source  http://www.nytimes.com

The American Woman Suffrage Movement: 1830s-1920's 

Rights for Women: The Suffrage Movement and Its Leaders is an online exhibit from the National Women's History Museum. The exhibit features the years of struggles it took for women to win the right to vote and the significant people who were involved in this suffrage movement. The opening page serves as an overview and an introduction to this comprehensive exhibit that is made up of eighteen informative sections. These sections are filled with information, pictures, biographies, illustrations, documents, and newspaper clippings. Additional resources are offered as well.  
Topic: Women--Suffrage   Language: English    Lexile: 1400      http://www.nwhm.org

The Roaring Twenties 

The economy was booming in the 1920s. Factories and fashions were thriving. Although personal freedom and consumption increased, some social conventions didn't change. Choose either a male or female character.See if you can follow the rules of business and social etiquette to succeed in the 1920s. Pick an appropriate outfit for the time and place. Discover which recommendations will earn you prestige in the workplace, and which choices will make you popular and respected among your peers. Explore university life, behavior on the beach, and dancing at a nightclub in the 1920's.
Topic: (1920s) Nineteen twenties    Lexile: 1610  Educational game    http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca

Lon Chaney (1883-1930)

A common saying holds that artists must suffer to make great art. This was certainly true for
Lon Chaney, whose various roles required him to strap his arms down, wear a painful set of false teeth, and pry his eyes open with a set of metal rings. Chaney, a very popular silent film star, also created his own makeup, and learned the art of pantomime from interacting with his deaf parents. A list of Chaney's films, along with a collection of photographs from select movies, rounds out this overview of the man of a thousand faces.
Topic: Chaney, Lon,--1883-1930   Language: EnglishLexile: 1450  Biography    http://www.goldensilents.com

Radio Craze 

The first radio broadcasts revolutionized entertainment in 1920. Early radios costs about $150 and needed a 100-foot aerial antenna outside as well as batteries that needed to be frequently charged and replaced. Radio sales soared in the 1920s as Americans listened to music, live theater, sermons, news, and sporting events. Find out how radio united Americans access the country.Variety shows joined musical programs and sports broadcasts as radio personalities were heard by millions of Americans.
Topic: Radio broadcasting--History   Language: English    Lexile: 930   http://www.classzone.com

You See Them WITH Glasses... A Short History of 3D Movies 

The history of 3D movies began in the 1800s. Learn about the stereoscopic images and early 3D projection used with the first 3D films. Find out when moving pictures began and see how 3D movies were projected. There are notes about 3D movies in the 1900s and about the world's first 3D feature film. Read about the anaglyph stereoscopic method and other 3D methods during that time. Breakthroughs in 3D technology and the first 3D boom are described. Also discussed are drawbacks and the future of 3D films.
Topic: 3-D films   Language: English    Lexile: 1510   Magazine   http://widescreenmovies.org

Melodrama Films

At this web site you will learn about the history of melodrama. Melodrama is defined as a sub-type of drama films, characterized by a plot to appeal to the heightened emotions of the audience. Here you will learn the names of directors that have produced famous melodramas. Come find out more about these famous films here. At this web site you will learn about early silent films and how they were particularly suited for melodramas. Here you will read about melodramas through the 1940s.
Topic: Melodrama   Language: English   Lexile: 1670  Image collection     http://www.filmsite.org

Buster Keaton

Known for his physical comedy and stone-faced expression, Buster Keaton was one of the most influential stars of silent films. This profile describes his career, especially his peak years during the 1920s. Keaton's acting style and physical dexterity in films including The Navigator (1924), The General (1926), and The Cameraman (1928), are discussed, along with the difficulties he faced after the silent film era. A list of major works, and a timeline of career highlights, are included as well.  Topic: Keaton, Buster,--1895-1966   Language: English    Lexile: 1240  Biography      http://www.pbs.org

Free at Last?

A fascinating interactive timeline walks you through the history of the civil rights movement. Travel from 1920 to 1968 to explore race relations in the United States. In addition to points on the timeline, five different areas of study are offered. Learn about attitudes in the 1920s, desegregation of schools, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, freedom summer and Black Power. For each study topic, there is an introduction and different sources to examine. Quiz questions are also available.
Topic: Civil rights movements, 20th century Lexile: 670  Image collection Interactive      http://www.bbc.co.uk

The 19th Amendment

The 19th amendment came 1920 after a long struggle and many protests. Generations of women marched, lobbied, and spoke out about the right to vote for women. They even used civil disobedience and hunger strikes to try to get the U.S. Constitution changed. Many of those who worked tirelessly for suffrage never got to vote in their lifetimes. They women in some states gained the right to vote sooner, but many suffragettes were heckled or even arrested. The balance began to shift as New York allowed suffrage for women and President Wilson decided to support the suffragettes.
Topic: 19th Amendment   Language: English   Lexile: 1370     http://www.archives.gov

19th Amendment, Ratified August 18, 1920

Women gained the right to vote in New York in 1917, the same year America joined the First World War. Both conservative and radical suffragists agreed that it didn't make sense to fight for democracy in Europe when half of the population in the U.S. was denied basic democratic rights. The National Women's Party chained suffragists to the gates of the White House, while the National American Women's Suffrage Association knit socks for soldiers to show their patriotism. The House of Representatives and President Wilson were willing to support suffrage in 1918, but the Senate took more convincing.
Topic: 19th Amendment   Language: English   Lexile: 1340      http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu

American Blues Music 

American blues music is played and heard around the world. Look back the development of blues music in the United States as early as the late 1800s in the Mississippi delta region and read about the first blues musicians. Learn about the form of blues called city blues and read about the style called classic blues developed in the 1920s. Boogie-woogie and jazz blues are discussed. The four major characteristics of blues music are described.
Topic: Blues music, Rhythm and blues music   Language: English  Lexile: BR      http://www.mhschool.com

Celebrating the Centennial--The Roaring Twenties 

This article on the roaring twenties explores many positive aspects of the decade. The new luxuries such as radio, automobiles, sugar substitutes, and higher product standards were becoming more prominent. A similar article on the Great Depression and the Industrial Age are available through this web site as well. The development of radio and optical glasses in the twenties is also discussed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology sponsors these articles and look at the topics from a unique perspective that is demonstrated in the articles.
Topic: (1920s) Nineteen twenties, Radio   Language: English    Lexile: 1400    http://www.100.nist.gov

American Jazz Music 

Jazz music was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and has spread across the world. Read about the hundred year history of jazz at the Spotlight on Music web site. The section on early history covers the time frame of the 1920s and before. See how the culture of New Orleans contributed to the different styles of jazz and find out which instruments were used by early jazz groups. Travel the decades to learn about swing, bebop, cool jazz, free jazz and jazz fusion.
Topic: Jazz, Jazz Age   Language: English    Lexile: B   http://www.mhschool.com


Front Cover The Twenties in America

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