Poets for this decade are Hilda Conkling of Massachusetts, Louisa Fletcher of Indiana, Mildred Whitney Stillman of New York, Grace Frazier Brady of New York, and Therese Lindsey of Texas.

Overview of the Decade:

Known as the "Roaring Twenties", this decade was characterized largely by the social trends of the time. Prohibition began in 1920, leading to a rapid increase in crime, gangs and organized crime, and a culture of rebellion and recklessness which rode on the notes of the emerging genre of jazz music. Fashion and social norms pushed the limits of prior decades, and there was a feeling of optimism which had begun with the end of World War One in 1919.

Presidents of the 1920's:

Woodrow Wilson


Warren Harding


Calvin Coolidge


Herbert Hoover


Beginning in about 1923, the newly mass-produced invention called the radio began to appear in the homes of Americans, bringing the news of the world to their living rooms and setting off a swirl of dramatic and musical programs that, for the first time, could be enjoyed from the comfort of one's easy chair. Much of the musical offerings featured jazz, an emerging genre that had developed from African American blues music, flowered in New Orleans during the first decade of the century and spread quickly northward, with Chicago becoming the hub of jazz in the north by the start of the 1920's.

Crime rates in the cities were high during this period, primarily due to prohibition, and the rise of gangs and establishment of crime families and organized crime created an atmosphere of violence and a nightmare for law enforcement. Even normally law-abiding citizens regularly indulged in secret alcohol bars, known as "speakeasies", and this rebellious trend spread to clothing, which was more revealing for women, hairstyles which, for the first time, allowed for short or "bobbed" hair on women, and to the loosening of many social mores which had been tightly restricted for the first two decades of the century. The "flapper" was the new woman, free, loose and fun-loving - a far cry from the repressed, constrained woman of prior decades. Even dance trends emphasized provocative moves, as men and women boogied to jazz and ragtime music.

1920's Flappers

Charles Lindburgh

One of the most celebrated events of this decade was the successful trans-Atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh in 1927, which was met with wild enthusiasm. Lindbergh was a national hero who personified the celebratory mood of the nation.

On the darker side of this buoyant decade, racism continued apace as blacks were denied basic rights and Jim Crow laws were strengthened in the South. A suspicion of "foreigners" grew with the establishment of the USSR in 1922, and limits were placed on immigration. The decade ended with the catastrophic stock market crash on 29 October 1929, and the Great Depression of the 1930's descended on the nation and the world.

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