1920s – New and Exciting

As you work on your family tree, remember it is NOT just about collecting names, dates and places – it is also your ancestors’ stories – their life. True that can be difficult if there is no one who knew your ancestors, or any written records or newspaper articles. However, if you do know the decade they lived as young adults, raising a family or a youngster, learn more about that decade and include the events, styles, news, and attitudes that mark that decade.

A great example is the ‘Roaring Twenties’ – 1920s. The Great War was over along with the dreaded Spanish Flu. The US economy was really improving, people were working and now had extra money. The following are some of the major events that truly must have affected any and all of your ancestors who lived in the 1920s.

A popular novel of the era was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote of the highs and lows during the 1920s.

People moved out of the rural farm areas to the cities. By 1929, half of the US population lived in the cities.

Aviation advanced especially with heroes such as Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. Ordinary citizens were traveling more by planes in the 1920s.

A variety of new brand foods came on the market. This includes favorites like Kool-Aid, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Velveeta Cheese, and Baby Ruth Candy Bars, among plenty of others.

The 1920s was the ‘Age of Jazz’ music. Everyone enjoyed dancing to this new music. They could listen to the music at dance halls or on the newest item for the home – A radio.

In 1920, US women across the nation with the 19th Amendment now had the right to vote in all elections. Women now felt they had more independence and put forward the ‘flapper’ era where ladies cut their hair short, wore makeup and wore short skirts and dresses.

Prohibition was the law of the land in the 1920s. No selling or making of liquor. New crimes developed of making illegal liquor, transporting it or selling it.

The Roaring Twenties ended with the Great Crash of 1929 in October and the beginning of the Great Depression in the 1930s. With the Wall Street Crash, it was the beginning of the meltdown of financial markets and businesses.

Photo: Flappers of the 1920s.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

The Consumer Age

Prices in the 1920s

Early Radio

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