The 1920s


Red Scare: The Palmer Raids

January 2, 1920:

Above: A. Mitchell Palmer, U.S. Attorney General from 1919 to 1921

Library of Congress: The Palmer Raids

The U.S. Census of 1920

January 5, 1920: The U.S. Census Bureau conducted the 1920 Census

Per the Census, the population of the United States of America was 106,021,537 in 1920, a population increase of 15% since 1910.

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Prohibition of Alcohol

January 17, 1920: Prohibition of alcohol goes into effect


In 1919, the 18th Amendment, an amendment outlawing the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, was ratified by the requisite amount of states. In the wake of the passage of the 18th Amendment, Congress passed the Volstead Act, the enabling act that set the parameters of Prohibition. Prohibition went into effect in January 1920.

Babe Ruth Hits His First Home Run as a Member of the New York Yankees

May 1, 1920:

Above: Babe Ruth in 1920

Women's Suffrage

August 18, 1920: The 19th Amendment became a part of the U.S. Constitution, thus giving women the right to vote.


U.S. Coast-to-Coast Airmail Service Begins

August 20, 1920

The 1920 World Series: The Cleveland Indians Defeat the Brooklyn Robins (aka Dodgers)

October 12, 1920:

Above: Program for the 1920 World Series; Team photo of the 1920 Cleveland Indians

Baseball Almanac: The 1920 World Series

1920 Presidential Election

November 2, 1920: Republican Warren G. Harding was elected President of the United States



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The Irish Republic

January 21, 1921: The Dail Eireann, the revolutionary parliament of the Irish Republic, ratified the Easter Proclamation of 1916, the document declaring Ireland's independence from Great Britain.

The Presidency of Warren G. Harding

March 4, 1921: Warren G. Harding became President of the United States of America

March 4, 1921 to August 2, 1923

Republican Warren G. Harding, The 29th President of the United States

Above: Warren G. Harding, President of the United States from March 4, 1921 to August 2, 1923

1921 World Series: The New York Giants Defeat the New York Yankees


Baseball Almanac: The 1921 World Series

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The Anglo-Irish Treaty

December 6, 1921: The British government and representatives of the Irish Republic signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty, an agreement that created the Irish Free State, a self-governing dominion and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Irish Free State, under the terms of the treaty, would come into existence one year later.

The Anglo-Irish Treaty ended the Irish War of Independence.

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Above: British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, a negotiator on behalf of the UK; Irish Representative Michael Collins, negotiator on behalf of the Irish Republic;


Egypt Becomes an Independent Nation as Great Britain Abolishes the Protectorate

February 28, 1922:

Above: 1923 cover of Time with Egypt's King Faud I on the cover

"On November 18, 1914, Britain declared a Protectorate over Egypt in order to prevent that country from joining (as Turkey did) the side of the Central Powers in the war. On February 28, 1922, the British Government announced that the Protectorate was abolished, but that there should be: maintenance of British Empire communications; defense of Egypt against foreign aggression; protection of foreign interest in Egypt and minorities; guarantees for British interests in the Sudan. On March 1, 1922, Sarwat Pasha formed an Egyptian Cabinet. And on March 16, Fuad, Sultan of Egypt, was proclaimed King Fuad I of Egypt —the first independent ruler of Egypt since the death of Cleopatra on August 29, 30 B. C. The British, who had ruled the country by martial law since 1914, then promised that such law would be withdrawn as soon as a constitution had been framed and agreed to."

---Time, April 28, 1923 Issue

The Founding of the American Birth Control League

April 5, 1922:

Above: Margaret Sanger

Fascist Italy

October 27-29, 1922: Benito Mussolini's Fascist Party conducted a "March on Rome" and came to power.

Above left: Fascists march to Rome Above right: Benito Mussolini (Hands on hips)

1922 World Series: The New York Giants Defeat the New York Yankees

Baseball Almanac: The 1922 World Series

The Abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate

November 1, 1922:

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The Irish Free State

December 6, 1922: Under the provisions of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State came into existence. The Irish Free State remained under a measure of British sovereignty, however.


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The Death of President Warren G. Harding

August 2, 1923:

Above: Warren G. Harding, President of the United States from March 4, 1921 to August 2, 1923

The Presidency of Calvin Coolidge

August 2, 1923 to March 4, 1929: Republican Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States


1923 World Series: The New York Yankees Defeat the New York Giants

October 15, 1923:

Baseball Almanac: The 1923 World Series

The Beer Hall Putsch

November 8-9, 1923: In Munich, Germany, Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler failed in an attempted seizure of power in what became known as The Beer Hall Putsch.


Hitler was among several who were arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for their involvement in the failed coup d'etat. While serving a prison sentence, Hitler wrote a manifesto entitled, Mein Kampf, an anti-Semitic (anti-Jewish) book that laid out much of what Hitler believed.


The Death of Vladimir Lenin

January 21, 1924: The Death of Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) and the rise of Josef Stalin (1879-1953)


After Lenin's death on January 21, 1924, Josef Stalin steadily gained control of the levers of power in the Soviet Union. By the late 1920s, he had exiled his biggest rival, Leon Trotsky. During the 1930s Stalin ruled the Soviet Union with an iron grip. Millions of Soviet citizens died under his murderous rule, particularly when Stalin forced the Soviet Union into an ambitious program of industrial modernization during the 1930s.

The End of the Ottoman Caliphate

March 3, 1924:

Above: Abdulmecid II, the last Ottoman Caliph

The Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924

March 20, 1924: The State of Virginia enacted the Virginia Racial Integrity Act, a state law establishing that all Virginians be classified as either white or colored. The law forbade interracial marriage.

The law was not overturned until June 12, 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, declared the law to be unconstitutional.

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Above: Dr. Walter A. Plecker, advocate of Virginia's Racial Integrity Act

The Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924

Dr. Walter A. Plecker

The Restriction of Immigration into the United States: The Immigration Act of 1924 (Also called the Johnson-Reed Act)

May 26, 1924: President Calvin Coolidge (Republican) signed the Immigration Act of 1924 into law, legislation that greatly restricted immigration into the United States, particularly Non-European immigration outside the Western Hemisphere. The law restricted the number of immigrants, and from where immigrants could come.

In particular, the 1924 law restricted immigrants by national origin in accordance to a strict formula. The formula mandated that annual immigration from a given country could not exceed 2% of the number of American residents whose national origins were that given given country in 1890. The national origins quotas ensured that most immigrants would be from the British Isles, and the western, northern, and central parts of Europe.

By 1929, the overall limit of quota immigrants was set at 150,000 per year. The number of quota immigrants from a given country was set in proportion that country's national origin share per the 1920 Census.

Above: Albert Johnson, Republican U.S. Congressman (Washington), 1913-1933; David Reed, U.S. Senator (R-Pennsylvania), 1922-1935

Above: President Calvin Coolidge signing the Immigration Act of 1924 into law

The Immigration Act of 1924, with only some modification, became the law that governed U.S immigration until 1960s when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965, thus abolishing the national origins quotas.

Immigration Act of 1924

Immigration Act of 1924

Race and the Immigration Act of 1924

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Enactment of the Indian Citizenship Act

June 2, 1924:

Politico: 90th Anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act

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Future United States President George H. W. Bush Born in Milton, Massachusetts

June 12, 1924:

PBS: George H.W. Bush Timeline

Future United States President Jimmy Carter Born in Georgia

October 1, 1924:

1924 Presidential Election

November 1924: President Calvin Coolidge won the 1924 Presidential Election



The Great Gatsby

April 10, 1925: The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was published.

Above: The Great Gatsby and author, F. Scott Fitzgerald

American Religion and Science

July 10-21, 1925: Protestant Fundamentalism and the Scopes Monkey Trial


Weimar Germany and the Coming of the Nazis

July 18, 1925: Mein Kampf was published, the autobiography and political manifesto by Adolf Hitler.


The Ku Klux Klan and its War on Modernity

August 8, 1925: The Ku Klux Klan conducted a massive march on Washington, D.C.



Alabama Culture

January 1, 1926: Alabama won the Rose Bowl

The University of Alabama's Rose Bowl victory is considered by many to be the dawn of Southern college football as viable and even dominant force on the national stage. Some even saw Alabama's victory in a Civil War context, revenge for Gettysburg, if you will.

The Birth of NBC

November 15, 1926: The National Broadcasting Company Radio Network was started. NBC would later expand into television.

Above: An early NBC logo


American Technology and Aviation

May 1927: American Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean

Flying the Spirit of St. Louis, American Charles Lindbergh flew non-stop from the east coast of the United States to France, thus becoming the first person to fly an airplane non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean from North America to Europe. Upon completing the transatlantic flight, Lindbergh became an instant worldwide celebrity.

The Executions of Sacco and Vanzetti

August 23, 1927:

Above: Sacco (left) and Vanzetti (right)

Sacco and Vanzetti Executed

American Culture

October 6, 1927: The movie The Jazz Singer opened. Al Jolson starred in the film.


The Soviet Union under Stalin

December 1927 to June 1941: Stalin tightened his grip on the Soviet Union

With the expulsion of Leon Trotsky from the Soviet Communist Party, Stalin led the Soviet Union into a new historical phase, a period of noteworthy economic expansion, but a material expansion built on brutal repression, totalitarian injustice, mass starvation, and murder.

Prior to the Soviet Union's entry into WWII in June 1941, millions of Soviet citizens died as a result of Stalin's policies, sometimes as a side-effect, but in many cases, by deliberate design. Moreover, nor were high-level Soviet officials immune from Stalin's purges, including officials who had played important roles in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

Stalin's desire to eliminate any potential rival extended beyond the borders of the Soviet Union (USSR). In 1940, while in exile, Leon Trotsky himself was assassinated in Mexico City by a pick-axe wielding agent of Josef Stalin.

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Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin Banishes Leon Trotsky to Internal Exile in the Soviet Union

January 11, 1928:

Above: Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin Stalin Banishes Trotsky to Internal Exile in the Soviet Union, January 11, 1928

Presidential Election of 1928

November 1928: Herbert Hoover elected to the Presidency

Republican Herbert Hoover pictured at left, Democrat Al Smith at right


From Hoover to Obama: The 1928 Thread in American Politics

Above: Time covers of Republican Herbert Hoover (Left) and Democrat Al Smith (Right)

The Rise of the Walt Disney's Universe

November 18, 1928: Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie, a cartoon short with audio, was released. With Steamboat Willie, theMickey Mouse character emerged to become an American cultural icon. For the remainder of the 20th century and into the 21st, Disney productions were a staple of American mass entertainment. Walt Disney, the creator of many of the core Disney characters, died in 1966.

Above: Scenes from Steamboat Willie

Above: A 1978 Commemorative Poster of Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie


Martin Luther King, Jr. Born in Atlanta, Georgia

January 15, 1929:
Above: photo of the Martin Luther King Jr's birthplace and childhood home at 501 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Sites

The Presidency of Herbert Hoover

March 4, 1929: Herbert Hoover became President of the United States

Herbert Hoover (Republican), 31st American President
Years in Office: 1929-1933

The Stock Market Crash of 1929

October 29, 1929: The American stock market crashed rapidly, and the Great Depression was underway


The 1929 Stock Market Crash

The Great Depression

The Great Depression, 1929-1940.


The American Stock Market Crash of 1929 triggered a worldwide Great Depression. In Germany, the economic collapse revived the political fortunes of Adolf Hitler. In the United States, the Great Depression destroyed the political fortunes of the Republicans, the political party in power.