Poets for this decade, so far, are Angelina Weld Grimké of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Kumler Miller of Ohio and Lelia M Rowan of Michigan.

Overview of the Decade:

The 1900's decade was marked by incredible technological advances and important social shifts that made it a decade of great change. While the century began on a happy note, as Frank L Baum published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, the following year saw violence and tragedy when President William McKinley was shot in the abdomen at a public event on 6 September 1901. He died several days later, and Theodore Roosevelt became America's 26th president.

Presidents of the 1900's:

William McKinley


Theodore Roosevelt


William Howard Taft


This decade saw unprecedented advances in technology, and it marks the country's official shift to a nation of invention and consumerism. Across the ocean in Paris, dirigible balloon flight was mastered in 1901, to the amazement of all who could scarcely believe that human beings could really fly above the surface of the earth! That event was soon overshadowed forever in the annals of history when, in 1903, the Wright brothers flew the first air craft at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In that same year, Henry Ford founded his famous company and manufactured the first automobiles for popular use... another wonder, the horseless carriage!

This decade was also the beginning of the age of huge ocean liners that astounded the world with their vast size and opulence. Train travel was rapidly expanding during this time as well, and people were becoming more and more "mobile", both in the sense of being able to travel long distances in a relatively short period of time, and in the sense of moving place of residence more easily and with more frequency than in centuries past. Even local mobility got a boost with the expansion of the new subway lines which were completed in Boston and New York City in this decade.

Socially, the first decade of the 20th century saw several beginnings that were to flower and expand over the next several decades. Immigration was in full swing, and Ellis island, having opened in 1892, was a bustling port of entry for millions of immigrants, mainly from southern and eastern Europe. The anti-alcohol movement which would culminate in the prohibition of the 1920's, came to the forefront as activists such as Carrie Nation took up the cause. This decade also saw the beginnings of concern about young children who were being exploited horribly in factories, and a commission was formed to end this outrageous injustice. In addition, the founding of the NAACP advanced the fight against the appalling practices of lynching and racial segregation in the South.

A few fun cultural events of this decade include (my very favorite!) the introduction of ice cream cones at the St. Louis Worlds Fair in 1904, the opening of the first "nickelodeon" theater in Pittsburgh, PA in 1905, where ordinary folk could see a short film, or "moving picture" for a nickel, and the introduction of instant coffee in 1909.

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