1920-1929 A.D. - Roaring, Crashing & King Tut

Use your head, not headlines.

That's how one of the signs in the photo below January 17, 1920 reads. It was a wise reminder, for this decade saw a lot of headlines, and though we think of the 1920's as all glitter and glam, with fascinators, pearls and cocktails (which is hilarious because Prohibition in the USA remained in effect THROUGHOUT the decade) there were many reasons people needed to be clear headed and in charge of their own minds. As you walk through each year, stop and contemplate the contrast of what was happening around the globe, and how hard it must have been to read past the headlines to understand what was truly going on.

(Feature Photo: Tourists in Egypt during the 1920s; Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Ready to listen in on the decade? Click here for a YouTube playlist of ambiance and music I've compiled!

 

1920

PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS & ROYALTY: Woodrow Wilson is the president / Thomas Marshall – King George V is king of England/David Lloyd George is the prime minister of England – Friedrich Ebert is president of Germany

January 10, the League of Nations is founded (ceases in 1946) after the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War

January 17, Prohibition—a ban preventing alcohol from being made, transported or sold goes into effect across the United States (Photo: Prohibition Protest in 1920 with signs that read, "Liberty in Law," "Know your courts, Study your politicians," "The press for the people," "Character in candidates," "Law breakers should not be law makers," and "Use your head, not head lines," Credit: Wikimedia Commons) 

During Trinity Term (April – June) in Oxford, England, author C.S. Lewis begins the study of Greats

Coral Castle is built in Leisure, Florida, USA

August 18, The 19th amendment is passed, granting women the right to vote in the USA (Photo: Governor Emmett D. Boyle of Nevada signing the ratification of the 19th amendment on February 7, 1920; Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Mexican Revolution ends, it began in 1910 (Photo: Taken some time during the Revolution; Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Cary Grant leaves the traveling performers group he’s been with when they visit New York City; Here he struggles to make it into show business, he even works as a stilt-walker for a time

The Turkish War of Independence continues (Photo: Child laborers during the war, Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

1921

PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS & ROYALTY: Harding becomes the 29th president of the United States – King George V is on the throne of England – David Lloyd George is the prime minister of England – Fredrich Ebert is president of Germany

A Hashemite monarchy is organized in Babylon under British protection (they are granted independence in 1932 to become the Kingdom of Iraq) 

May 24, C.S. Lewis wins the prize for the best English essay by an undergraduate on a topic set for discussion—in this case, “Optimism”—and on May 24, he got to read an excerpt of it in the Sheldonian Theater (the former prime minister of France is there, Georges Clemenceau 1917-1920, he was a major player in the Paris Peace Conference in 1919)

In June, The king and queen of England open the Ulster, Ireland Parliament and the Anglo-Irish Treaty recognizes that all of Ireland (except for Ulster) as the Irish Free State

The French unknown soldier is buried at the base of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the flame of remembrance is relit every day at 6:30pm

Dorothy Garrod (archaeologist) obtains her first diploma with distinction

The Turkish War of Independence continues (Photo: Turkish Infantrymen in 1922, Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Niels Bohr founds the Institute of Theoretical Physics (now known as the Niels Bohr Institute) at the University of Copenhagen (founded in 1479)

The Book, The Church and the Immigrant is published, by Georgia E. Harkness (the Instructor in Boston University School of Religious Education and Social Service, b.1891/d.1974) is published in New York by George H. Doran Company, the dedication reads, “To our brothers, the new Americans”

(Photo: The Fordham Theater in the Bronx, New York in 1921, Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

1922

PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS & ROYALTY: Warren Harding is the president – King George V is on the throne of England / Andrew Bonar Law is the prime minister – Fredrich Ebert is president of Germany (the first president, he will be replaced by Paul von Hindenburg in 1925, who will then be replaced by Adolf Hitler in 1934)

February 13, Prohibition has been in effect for two years now, and a photo is taken of a women seated at a soda fountain, pouring alcohol from her cane into her cup (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

April 1, C.S. Lewis begins his diary which he keeps until 1927, the first words are, “I walked to Iffley in the morning and called in at the Askins…we spoke of the Old Testament and anthropology…a fine day,” on Sunday, April 2, he writes, “A beautiful spring day. D busy cutting oranges for marmalade”

April 3, Doris Day is born in Cincinnati, Ohio

July 6, C.S. Lewis writes in his diary, “A grey and damp day…I put Arthur on a bus at Carfax, did some shopping and called in College. Here I found a notice saying that candidates for Magdalen Fellowship might send in a dissertation in addition to doing the exam. I was so engrossed in this news, I cannot remember whether I walked or bussed home.”

August 4, Louis Armstrong turns 21, around this year he follows his mentor, Joe “King” Oliver, to Chicago to play in the Creole Jazz band

October 11, The Turkish War of Independence reaches armistice

November 4, C.S. Lewis writes in his diary, “…I…got out my bike and started for Forest Hill—a delightful ride, tho’ I have seen many an autumn with better colors. I met Aunt Lily coming down the hill to get milk and bread, in which duty in which duty I joined her after putting my bike in. When we got back to the cottage, she gave me some pages of her essay to read…”, and on the same day in Egypt, King Tutankhamen’s tomb is discovered by Howard Carter and the 5th Earl of Carnarvon (sponsor of the dig and an enthusiastic Egyptologist), it should be noted here that Lord Carnarvon (or perhaps it was his Father) is a trustee of Cecil Rhodes, who, in his first will, “entrusted his bequest to a certain group of men to carry out his purpose” (The Anglo-American Establishment; Chpt. 3) (Photo from top to Bottom: Lord Carnarvon, his daughter Lady Evelyn Herbert and Howard Carter at the steps leading to the tomb in November 1922; Howard Carter in King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1925, Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

November 29, C.S. Lewis turns 24; He is an atheist right now

Sir Leonard Woolley begins his excavations at Ur/Sumer in Iraq for the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Joseph Stalin becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union until 1952, (it is estimated that during his rule, approx. 9 million people were murdered or starved) (Photo: Ordzhonikidze, Stalin, Mikoyan in 1925, Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Niels Bohr receives the Nobel Prize in Physics for his foundational contributions in the understanding of atomic structure and quantum theory (see 1930 for more on him)

December 5, Walt Disney turns 21, he’s currently working on “Laugh-O-Grams” a series of comic cartoons played at the Newman Theater

December 12, Frank Sinatra turns 7

 

 

1923

PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS & ROYALTY: Warren Harding is president until August 18, when Calvin Coolidge, becomes president (until 1929) – King George V is king England / Stanley Baldwin becomes the prime minister since Andrew Bonar Law is diagnosed with throat cancer and resigns on May 20 – Friedrich Ebert is the president of Germany (the first president to take office)

The original wooden Hollywood sign is erected, but this first version reads “Hollywoodland” and has 4,000 light bulbs; The completed sign alternates between flashing the successive segments “HOLLY” “WOOD” “LAND” and then as a whole; It is erected to help real estate developers sell land in that area; The sign is on what is now Beachwood Canyon where early residents raised crops in the 1880s, “In 1905, streetcar tycoons and brothers-in-law Eli P. Clark and M. H. Sherman acquired 640 acres at the very top of the Canyon

March 31, the partnership between Clark and Sherman and Harry Chandler, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and the respected real estate developers Tracy E. Shoults and S. H. Woodruff is announced; Their aim is to create an “exclusive hillside community, with Chandler providing free advertising through stories in the newspaper, and Shoults and Woodruff lending stellar reputations as developers in Los Angeles upscale Windsor and Marlborough Square tracts 

August 2, Warren Harding, president of the USA, has a heart attack at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes president

October 8, Time Magazine features H.H. Asquith on the cover, he was the British Prime Minister from 1908-1916, so his term ended halfway through WWI (he dies in 5 years, in 1928)

October 21, C.S. Lewis’ (who is now 25 years old) diary entry for Sunday, October 21, reads...

“Began reading Butler’s Erewhon in bed this morning…After lunch we walked into Hampton Court Park. This was at first less beautiful than the other: then gradually we came to the end of a very long sheet of water with huge trees in autumn colouring on each side and Wren’s ‘back’ of Hampton Court just visible at the end. At the same moment the sun broke out: the grass (very level) and the dead leaves on it, the trees, the swans, and one little stag that did not run away, took on glorious colours. We were alone: the silence was intense. It was all just like one of those luminous dreams I have so seldom dreamed. We walked the whole length of the water to the fine old ironwork gates—still not a soul about and into the Palace gardens. This approach will be a great memory to me”

October 29, The Turkish War of Independence officially ends and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (which remains Turkey’s primary legislative body today) declares the Republic of Turkey

November 8, Members of Hitler’s (who is now 34 years old) “strong arm” squads—known as the Sturmabteilung (SA), which Hitler uses to protect party meetings and attack opponents—force their way into a large beer hall where another right-wing leader is addressing the crowd, Hitler wields a revolver and proclaims the beginning of a national revolution, then leads marchers to the center of Munich, where they get into a gun battle with police (history.com)

Sir Leonard Woolley continues his excavations at Ur/Sumer in Iraq

The book, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, by Manly P. Hall is published

December 5, Walt Disney turns 22 

December 12, Frank Sinatra turns 8 

A photo is taken of the third assembly of the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in 1923 (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

1924

Calvin Coolidge is the president – George V is king of England / Ramsay MacDonald becomes the prime minister of England from January 22, but then Stanley Baldwin comes back as prime minister on November 4 (until 1929) – Fredrich Ebert is president of Germany

February 20, Gloria Vanderbilt is born (d. 2019) in New York City to her mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt (1904-1965) and Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880-1925), Gloria’s mom, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt is only 19, her husband is 44, Gloria’s mom has an identical twin sister, Thelma, who later becomes a mistress of Edward VIII of England between 1930-1932; Thelma is Gloria’s aunt, so their family has a connection to the English Royal family (Photo: Gloria Vanderbilt in the 1970s with her two sons Anderson Cooper (left) and Carter Cooper (right), Credit: Jack Robinson)

March  24, The Ottoman Empire/caliphate is officially abolished now that the Republic of Turkey has been created (in Oct. 1923)

April 29, Cornelia Vanderbilt (1900-1976) marries John Francis Amherst Cecil (1890-1954), Cornelia is the daughter of George Washington Vanderbilt who built Biltmore Estate (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

June 12, George H. W.Bush is born in Milton, Massachusetts to Prescott Bush; He will later become the President of the United States 64 years from now in the year 1989, and hold office for two terms until the year 1993 (Photo: Official Presidential Photo in 1989)

A photo is taken of Oxford Street in London; You may notice the sign for the ABC tea room in the background, ABC tea rooms were extremely popular in the 1920's and there were over 250 in London alone (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

American astronomer Edwin Hubble demonstrates that ours is not the only galaxy by finding nine more galaxies and measuring the distance between them, creating our modern picture of the universe

Sir Leonard Woolley continues his excavations at Ur/Sumer in Iraq

December 5, Walt Disney turns 23

December 12, Frank Sinatra turns 9

 

 

1925

Calvin Coolidge is the president – King George V is on the throne of England –Stanley Baldwin is prime minister of England – Fredrich Ebert is president of Germany until February 28 when he dies in Berlin, Weimer Republic (aged 54, b. 1871), he is succeeded by Paul von Hindenburg (in office until 1934 when Adolf Hitler succeeds him)

January 20, A photo is taken of a street in Cairo, Egypt (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

February 20, Gloria Vanderbilt turns 1 year old

May 19, Malcolm Little (Malcolm X) is born in Omaha Nebraska

Sir Leonard Woolley continues his excavations at Ur/Sumer in Iraq

Claude Monet dies in Giverny, France, aged 86 (b. 1840)

September 4, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (Anderson Cooper’s great grandfather) dies in Portsmouth, Rhode Island (b. 1880)

Bill Gates’ dad is born in Bremerton, Washington (d. 2020)

December 5, Walt Disney turns 24 years old

December 12, Frank Sinatra turns 10 years old

December 28, Sammy Davis Jr. is born (he goes on to be an American singer, dancer and actor)

Sometime during the height of Prohibition in the USA, a photo is taken of authorities supervising the pouring out of alcohol after a raid in New York (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

1926

Calvin Coolidge is the president – King George V is on the throne of England – Stanley Baldwin is prime minister of England

February 20, Gloria Vanderbilt turns 2 year old

March 16, Jerry Lewis is born in Newark, NJ on March 16

April 9, Hugh Hefner is born in Chicago, Illinois (he will go on to create Playboy magazine, first published in 1953, d.2017; Note: George Soros’ fund manager, Howie Rubin is accused of raping and beating two playboy models and another woman in 2021)

May 19, Malcolm X turns 1

NBC is founded on November 15 in New York

Sir Leonard Woolley continues his excavations at Ur/Sumer in Iraq

“His (C.S. Lewis) ideas changed again when, as a result of the Great War, Barfield managed to persuade him to accept the experience of ‘Joy’ as relevant to his thinking, and not to dismiss it as a merely subjective emotional sensation. ‘Joy was not a deception,’ he now decided. ‘Its visitations were the moments of clearest consciousness we had.’ He was going through this stage during 1926 and 1927, and the admission of something as irrational as Joy into his ruthlessly logical thinking threw him into confusion. ‘All my ideas are in a crumbling state at present,’ he wrote in his diary in May 1926. He realized that he had let his rational side dominate his emotions for too long, remarking in his diary, ‘One needn’t be asking questions and giving judgments all the time.’ (Inklings 40)

December 5, Walt Disney turns 25 years old

December 12, Frank Sinatra turns 11 years old

A picture is taken of the mystery author Agatha Christie and her daughter Rosalind (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

  

1927

Calvin Coolidge is the president – King George V is on the throne of England / Stanley Baldwin is prime minister of England

February 20, Gloria Vanderbilt turns 3

C.S. Lewis, “While he found this realization (see previous year) refreshing, he recorded in his diary (January 1927) that he was frightened of what he called ‘the danger of falling back into the most childish superstitions’, by which he presumably meant belief in God and Christianity. He still had immense resistance to the idea of returning to anything so nursery-like.” (The Inklings 40), Lewis also writes his last entry in his diary on Wednesday March 2

June 25, Chuck Smith is born in Ventura, California (he later becomes the pastor of Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, California

The television is invented

September 18, CBS is founded in New York

Sir Leonard Woolley continues his excavations at Ur/Sumer in Iraq 

December 5, Walt Disney turns 26 years old

December 12, Frank Sinatra turns 12 years old

 

1928

Calvin Coolidge is the president – King George V is on the throne of England / Stanley Baldwin is prime minister of England

Indian graduate student, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, sets sail for England to study astronomy and general relativity at Cambridge

Sir Leonard Woolley continues his excavations at Ur/Sumer in Iraq

The Huntington Library and Gardens opens to the public in San Marino, California

Cleveland High School June Class of 1928 [I have the class poster, in 1940, these kids will be 30 years old]

June 28, the instrumental song West End Blues is recorded by Louie Armstrong

October 23, RKO Pictures is founded by David Sarnoff (b. 1891 in Uzlyany near Minsk in the Russian Empire to a Jewish family, he ruled over an ever growing telecommunications and media empire that included RCA and NBC, he is credited with “Sarnoff’s law,” which states that the value of a network is proportional to the number of its viewers, d. 1971), David Sarnoff  (RKO lasts until 1959, when it goes bankrupt)

The book, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall is published

“By the time Lewis had come to believe in God (but not yet in Christ), Owen Barfield had done something for him that would later bear fruit. He had shown Lewis that Myth has a central place in the whole language of literature. Barfield’s arguments were printed in Poetic Diction, a short book by him that appeared in 1928, though by that time Lewis already knew its ideas well.” (The Inklings 41)

December 5, Walt Disney turns 27 years old

December 12, Frank Sinatra turns 13 years old

(Photo: Gloria Vanderbilt and her mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

1929

Calvin Coolidge is the president until March 4, then Herbert Hoover becomes the 31st president of the United States/Charles Curtis becomes vice president – George V is king of England/On June 4, Stanley Baldwin ends his term as prime minister of England on and is succeeded by Ramsay MacDonald (until 1935)

May 16, the 1st Academy Awards ceremony takes place, it is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honoring the best films of 1927-1928, at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, CA, the AMPAS president Douglas Fairbanks, hosted the show and tickets are $5 (which would be $75 in 2020), 270 people attended and the it lasted 15 minutes, Charlie Chaplin and Warner Brothers both receive an Honorary Award (Wikipedia)

January 15, Martin Luther King Jr. is born in Atlanta, Georgia

Vatican City in Rome is founded

Dorothy Garrod begins excavating in Palestine on Mount Carmel

November 30, Dick Clark is born

Sir Leonard Woolley continues his excavations at Ur/Sumer in Iraq

The Rhodes Secret Society (which founded the Rhode’s Scholarship), invites General Smuts to give the Rhodes Lectures at Oxford, Smuts suggests in his lectures that a detailed survey of Africa and its resources is badly needed, the Royal Institute of International Affairs takes up this suggestion and appoints a committee with Lord Lothian as chairman, to study the project, later, in 1938, the famous African Survey is published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs WITH FUNDS OBTAINED FROM THE CARNEGIE CORPORATION IN NEW YORK, at this point, the Rhodes Secret Society could now be called the “Milner Group,” since Alfred Milner is now heading it up (Cecil Rhodes died in 1902) (AAE 81)

August 24, Yasser Arafat is born in Cairo, Egypt

September 4, the USA market crashes

November 13, the USA market crash ends and The Great Depression begins

November 29, C.S. Lewis turns 31, he is teaching at Oxford and the Inklings are meeting regularly

December 5, Walt Disney turns 28 

December 12, Frank Sinatra turns 14 

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