1920s

1920s Online Resources - History and Primary Documents

20s Overview

  • The Booming 1920s— An essay on economic and political issues of the decade from an American history site developed at a Dutch university.
  • American Cultural History - 1920-1929 Kingwood College Library site providing an overview of the 1920s. Site includes brief discussions of sports, art, music, books, fashion, and education, as well as relevant links and statistical information about the decade.
  • A Biography of America The Twenties The Annenberg/CPB archives historical biography of the 1920s, including a world map and a "webography" of important 20s personalities.
  • Clashes of Culture - 1910s and 1920s Ohio State University Department of History site providing background information on the New Woman, the Scopes Trial, Prohibition, Immigration, and the Ku Klux Klan.
  • E Pluribus Unum Project This site on America in the 1920s was developed by Assumption College with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and provides extensive discussion of the decade's popular culture, politics, women's issues, and arts.

Politics

  • Temperance and Prohibition— This Ohio State University site showcases the causes of prohibition during the 1920s. The site includes information about the medicinal use of alcohol and the problems of enforcing "dry" laws.
  • Coolidge Era— A Library of Congress site dedicated to the 1920s. Includes full texts of books about the decade and primary sources.
  • The Booming 20s— A United States Information Agency outline of American history page that discusses economic prosperity, immigration, and depression during the 1920s.
  • Coolidge Inaugural Address— This site provides the full text of President Calvin Coolidge's inaugural speech.
  • Herbert Hoover's Inaugural Address This page provides the full text of President Hoover's inaugural speech.
  • The Equal Rights Amendment of the 1920s Center for the Historical Study of Women at SUNY provides this website on Women and Social Movements in the U.S., including extensive primary sources, documents, and background information. Free trial subscription to the site is available.
  • Sacco and Vanzetti Case Article by historian Robert D'Attilio about the Sacco/Vanzetti Case

Economics

  • The Crash of 1929 — A hobbyist site examining the stock market crash in great detail. Music, representative of the market's mood of the 1920s, is also featured.
  • Looking Back at the Crash of 29 - An online account of the stock market crash of 1929 from the New York Times, including primary source documents
  • Installment Plans — An informative essay, published by the University of Virginia, discussing the use of installment plans during the 1920s.
  • The Politics of Prosperity Stanley K. Schultz, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, provides these detailed notes on economic issues in the 20s.
  • Slouching Towards Utopia This section of a website by J. Bradford DeLong from the University of California at Berkeley and NBER examining the Economic History of the Twentieth Century focuses on the Roaring Twenties.

Science

  • The Scientific Debate of 1920 — A look at the 1920s debate between scientists Harlow Shapley and Heber D. Curtis who disagreed over the galactic structure of the universe. This site is maintained by the Laboratory for High-Energy Astrophysics. Several links for further research are included as well.
  • Scopes Trial— A University of Virginia site featuring the famous fundamentalism/evolutionism Scopes trial of the 1920s. The site contains links for documentation and includes portions of transcripts of the trial itself.

Additional Primary Sources

  • Prelinger Archive A fascinating collection of over 45,000 digitized ephemeral films in education, advertising, and industry.
  • Survey Graphic Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro. A Hypermedia Edition of the March 1925 Survey Graphic magazine, focusing on the cultural revolution in Harlem in the 1920s.
  • Valentine's Day Massacre — This hobbyist site takes an in-depth look at one of the most violent shootings in American history. The site explores the massacre itself and the players involved. Al Capone and "Bugs Moran" are the focus of the information.
  • Coolidge Welcomes Lindbergh — Listen to President Calvin Coolidge as he greets Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic trip is praised by Coolidge in these sound clips.
  • Harlem1900-1940 The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library provides this window on life in Harlem in the first half of the 20th century.
  • Charles Lindburg 1927 Time Person of the Year Lindburg, Time magazine's first person of the year, is the subject of this page, which includes the magazine's cover story as well as links to winners for 1928 and 1929.
  • The Authentic History Center A collection of primary sources materials in popular culture of the decade, including images and audio.
  • H.L.Mencken Page Site devoted to the work of the social and political critic and writer, H.L.Menchen with a large selection of his writing.
  • Al Capone Chicago Historical Society's online exhibit focuses on the life of the notorious gangster.
  • Flappers in the Roaring Twenties Brief essay on History.net explaining the significance of the term "flapper."
  • Images from the 20s The History Project at UC Davis provides a large number of images on a variety of aspects of life in the 20s
  • American Social Hygiene Posters The University of Minnesota provides this searchable database of posters on health, family, and women's issues covering the mid-20th century.

Popular Culture Resources - 1920s

Advertising

  • Ad Access This site sponsored by Duke University contains over 7000 advertisements originally published from 1911 through 1955.
  • Medicine and Madison Avenue Duke University site examining the connection between advertising and medicine in advertising. Site includes a large historical database of health-related ads.

Art & Architecture

Art

  • Deco Architecture Site contains definitions and many examples of art deco buildings in the United States, many of them built in the 1920s

Fashion

  • Men's Fashions — Created by Murray On Travel, this page examines men's fashions of the 1920's.
  • Women's Fashions — Another Murray On Travel site. This page presents examples of women's fashion during the 1920's.
  • Fashion of the Roaring 20s Authentic History website provides a collection of images of 1920s clothing styles.
  • Bissonnette on Costume: A Visual Dictionary of Fashion Kent State University Museum site created by Anne Bissonnette providing a large database of images documenting the history of fashion.

Film

  • Film History of the 1920s This comprehensive site by film critic and movie buff Tim Dirks provides extensive information about 20s cinema.
  • 1920s Film History and Academy Awards A comprehensive list with descriptions of Oscar winners of the decade.
  • Charlie Chaplan - examines the career of Charlie Chaplin with links to articles assessing his work in film.
  • Hollywood Film Studios Part of a site devoted to the 1920s sponsored by Montgomery College, this page provides an overview of the growth of the Hollywood film studio system.

Radio

  • Early Radio History An extensive site providing a detailed account of the growth of radio broadcasting.
  • Radio History on the Web A collection of information and resources on the history of radio broadcasting
  • A Week in the Life of Radio The site provides the broadcast schedules for on-air radio programming during the week of Dec 9-15, 1928.
  • Documenting Early Radio A detailed description of the history of radio by researcher Elizabeth McLeod, this site includes some images and soundbites of early broadcasts.

Music

  • Southern Music of the 20s — The site contains biographies and other useful information about 1920s music. Artists such as Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, and King Oliver are profiled.
  • The Roaring 1920s Concert — A site containing music clips from a variety of artists of the period.
  • 1920s Radio Broadcast — This site features several music clips presented in 1920s radio format.
  • The Authentic History Center A collection of primary source materials in popular culture during the decade, including images and audio
  • The Roaring Twenties A discussion of jazz in the 20s from a PBS site about Ken Burns' film on the history of jazz.

Sports

  • Baseball Highlights Library of Congress American Memory site focused on Jackie Robinson and other baseball highlights from1860-1960
  • N.Y. Yankees - The team website provides a brief history and timeline of important Yankees' events during the decade.

1920s Selected Bibliography

  • Allen, Frederick. Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s. New York: Perennial Classics, 2000.
  • Allsop, Kenneth. The Bootleggers: The Story of Chicago's Prohibition Era. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1970.
  • Berman, Ronald. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the Twenties. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001.
  • Blocker, Jack. Alcohol, Reform, and Society: The Liquor Issue in Social Context. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979.
  • Caudill, Edward. The Scopes Trial : A Photographic History. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2000.
  • Carter, Paul. The Twenties in America. New York: Crowell, 1968.
  • Cherrington, Ernest. The Evolution of Prohibition in the United States of America; a Chronological History of the Liquor Problem and the Temperance Reform in the United States from the Earliest Settlements to the Consummation of National Prohibition. Montclair, N.J.: Patterson Smith, 1969.
  • Clair, Jean. The 1920s: Age of the Metropolis. Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1991.
  • Conkin, Paul Keith. A Requiem for the American Village. Oxford : Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.
  • --When All the Gods Trembled: Darwinism, Scopes, and American Intellectuals. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Cottrell, Robert. Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
  • Engelmann, Larry. Intemperance, the Lost War Against Liquor. New York: Free Press, 1979.
  • Fiell, Charlotte & Peter. Decorative Art, 20s: A Source Book. Koln: Benedikt Taschen Verlag, 2000.
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. Jazz Age Stories. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.
  • -- The Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald; A Selection of 28 Stories. New York: Scribner,1951.
  • Fraser, James. Between Church and State: Religion and Public Education in a Multicultural America. New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
  • Goldberg, David Joseph. Discontented America: the United States in the 1920s. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
  • Grant, Robert. The Great Trials of the Twenties : the Watershed Decade in America's Courtrooms. Rockville Centre, N.Y.: Sarpedon, 1998.
  • Herald, Jacqueline. Fashions of a Decade. The 1920s. New York: Facts on File, 1991.
  • Jenkins, Alan. The Twenties. New York: Universe Books, 1974.
  • Kraft, Betsy. Sensational Trials of the 20th Century. New York: Scholastic Press, 1998.
  • Kyvig, David. Repealing National Prohibition. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2000.
  • Larson, Edward J. Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate over Science and Religion. New York : BasicBooks, 1997.
  • Latham, Angela. Posing a Threat: Flappers, Chorus Girls, and other Brazen Performers of the American 1920s. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2000.
  • Lucas, John. The Radical Twenties: Writing, Politics, and Culture. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1999.
  • Merz, Charles. The Dry Decade. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1969.
  • North, Michael. Reading 1922: A Return to the Scene of the Modern. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Numbers, Ronald. Darwinism Comes to America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998.
  • Peacock, John. The 1920s. London: Thames and Hudson, 1997.
  • Plesur, Milton. The 1920s: Problems and Paradoxes; Selected Readings. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1969.
  • Rhodes, Chip. Structures of the Jazz Age: Mass Culture, Progressive Education, and Racial Discourse in American Modernism. London: Verso, 1998.
  • Scopes, John. The World's Most Famous Court Trial: Tennessee Evolution Case: A Complete Stenographic Report of the Famous Court Test of the Tennessee Anti-Evolution Act. Union, N.J.: The Lawbook Exchange, 1999.
  • Sinclair, Andrew. Era of Excess: A Social History of the Prohibition Movement. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.
  • Streissguth, Thomas. The Roaring Twenties: An Eyewitness History. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2001.
  • Thornton, Mark. The Economics of Prohibition. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1991.
  • Williams, Betty. The 1920s. London: Batsford, 1989.

Literature of the 1920s - Selected Bibliography

CONRAD AIKEN
The House of Dust (1920)
Punch: The Immortal Liar (1921)
Priapus and the Pool (1922)
The Pilgramage of Festus (1923)
Bring!Bring! (1925)
Blue Voyage (1927)
Costumes by Eros (1928)

SHERWOOD ANDERSON
Poor White (1920)
The Triumph of the Egg (1921)
Horses and Men (1923)
Many Marriages (1923)
A Story Teller's Story (1924)
Dark Laughter (1925)
The Modern Writer (1925)
Tar: A Midwest Childhood (1926)
A New Testament (1927)

WILLA CATHER
Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920)
One of Ours (1922)
A Lost Lady (1923)
The Professor's House (1925)
My Mortal Enemy (1926)
Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)

E.E. CUMMINGS
The Enormous Room (1922)
Tulips and Chimneys (1923)
"in Just-" (1923)
"the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls" (1923)
"next to of course god america i" (1926)
"my sweet old etcetera" (1926)
Him (1927)
Christmas Tree (1928)

HILDA DOOLITTLE (H.D.)
Hymen (1921)
"Helen" (1924)
Heliodora and Other Poems (1924)
Palimpset (1926)
Hippolytus Temporizes (1927)
Hedylus (1928)
Red Roses for Bronze (1929)

JOHN DOS PASSOS
One Man's Initiation (1920)
Three Soldiers (1921)
A Pushcart at the Curb (1922)
Rosinante to the Road Again (1922)
Streets of Night (1923)
Manhattan Transfer (1925)
The Garbage Man (1926)
Orient Express (1927)
Airways, Inc. (1928)

THEODORE DREISER
Hey Rub-a-Dub-Dub (1920)
A Book About Myself (1922)
The Color of a Great City (1923)
An American Tragedy (1925)
Chains (1927)
Dreiser Looks at Russia (1928)
A Gallery of Women (1929)

WILLIAM E.B. DUBOIS
Darkwater (1920)

T.S. ELIOT
"Gerontion" (1920)
The Sacred Wood (1920)
"The Wasteland" (1922)
Homage to John Dryden (1924)
"The Hollow Men" (1925)
Journey of the Magi (1927)
Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca (1927)
A Song for Simeon (1928)
Animula (1929)

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
This Side of Paradise (1920)
Flappers and Philosophers (1920)
The Beautiful and Damned (1922)
Tales of the Jazz Age (1922)
The Vegetable; or, From President to Postman (1923)
The Great Gatsby (1925)
All the Sad Young Men (1926)

ROBERT FROST
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" (1923)
New Hampshire (1923)
West-Running Brook (1928)
"Once by the Pacific" (1928)

LANGSTON HUGHES
"The Negro Speaks of Rivers" (1921)
The Weary Blues (1926)
Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927)

ROBINSON JEFFERS
"Roan Stallion" (1925)
Tamar and Other Poems (1925)
"The Women at Point Sur." (1927)
Cawdor and Other Poems (1928)
Dear Judas and Other Poems (1929)

GEORGIA DOUGLAS JOHNSON
"Motherhood" (1922)

SINCLAIR LEWIS
Main Street (1920)
Babbitt (1922)
Arrowsmith (1925)
Mantrap (1926)
Elmer Gantry (1927)
The Man Who Knew Coolidge (1928)
Dodsworth (1929)

JACK LONDON
Hearts of Three (1920)
Dutch Courage and Other Stories (1922)

H.L. MENCKEN
Prejudices (1919-1927)
Heliogabalus (1920)
The American Credo (1920)

EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
A Few Figs from Thistles (1920)
Aria da Capo (1920)
Two Slatterns and a King (1921)
The Lamp and the Bell (1921)
Second April (1921)
Ballad of theHarp-Weaver (1922)
The King's Henchman (1927)
“Justice Denied in Massachusetts” (1927)

MARIANNE MOORE
Poems (1921)
"The Monkey" (1921)
Observations (1924)
"A Grave" (1924)
"The Fish" (1924)

EUGENE O'NEIL
Beyond the Horizon (1920)
Anna Christie (1921)
The Hairy Ape (1922)
Desire Under the Elms (1924)
Strange Interlude (1928)

KATHERINE ANNE PORTER
"Maria Concepcion" (1922)
"The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" (1929)

EZRA POUND
"Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" (1920)
Instigations (1920)
"A Draft of XVI Cantos" (1925)
Personae: The Collected Poems (1926)
"A Draft of the Cantos 17-27" (1928)

CARL SANDBURG
Smoke and Steel (1920)
Slabs of the Sunburnt West (1922)
Rootabaga Stories (1922)
Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years (1926)
Good Morning, America (1928)

EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON
Lancelot (1920)
The Three Taverns (1920)
"Mr. Flood's Party" (1920)
The Man Who Died Twice (1924)
Tristram (1927)

UPTON SINCLAIR
100%: The Story of a Patriot (1920)
Oil! (1927)
Boston (1928)

WALLACE STEVENS
Harmonium (1923)
"Sunday Morning" (1923)
"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" (1923)
"Anecdote of the Jar" (1923)

JEAN TOOMER
Cane (1923)

EDITH WHARTON
The Age of Innocence (1920)
In Morocco (1920)
Old New York (1924)
The Writing of Fiction (1925)
Twilight Sleep (1927)
Hudson River Bracketed (1929)

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS
Kora in Hell: Improvisations (1920)
"Queen Anne's Lace" (1921)
Spring and All (1923)
The Great American Novel (1923)
In the American Grain (1925)

ANZIA YEZIERSKA
Hungry Hearts (1920)
America and I (1923)
Children of Loneliness (1923)
Bread Givers (1925)
Arrogant Beggar (1927)

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