1920's Timeline

History Project


New Music: Jazz

1920 - 1929

Starting at about the end of World War I to the beginning of the Great Depression, jazz became popular, especially around the Chicago area. Towards the end of this period, the center of jazz moved from Chicago to New York.

18th Amendment (Prohibition)

January 17, 1920

This event prohibited the consumption of any kind of alcohol in the United States. Demand for liquor continued, however, and only caused the criminalization of producers, suppliers, and transporters.

Women Get To Vote

August 18, 1920

This was the passage of the 19th Amendment, allowing women the right to vote. This was the culmination of the women's suffrage movement in the United States. Tennessee was the final vote needed to add the amendment to the Constitution.

First Radio Broadcast (KDKA)

November 2, 1920

This broadcast started at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, originating from a tiny, makeshift shack atop one of the Westinghouse Electric buildings in East Pittsburgh. Four men took part in that first broadcast: Engineer William Thomas, telephone line operator John Frazier, R.S. McClelland, a standby, and Leo Rosenberg, radio’s first announcer. This broadcast relayed the election results to about a thousand listeners, stating that Warren Harding beat James Cox in the race for the Oval Office.

Harlem Renaissance

1924 - 1929

This was a cultural movement centered around the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. In 1924, Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life hosted a party for black writers where many white publishers were in attendance; this was the start of it. It ended with the depression in 1929.

Model T Costs $290


Production of the Model T approached the 2 million mark. Over half the cars in the world were Ford Model Ts.

Scopes Monkey Trial

July 14, 1925 - July 21, 1925

Lasting seven days, this trial is one of the most famous in United States history. The debate was because a substitute Biology teacher taught evolution from a chapter in Civic Biology, which described the theory of evolution. William Jennings Bryan convicted him of this, and the trial was followed on radio stations around the country.

Lindbergh's Flight to Paris

May 20, 1927 - May 21, 1927

Charles Lindbergh, nicknamed Slim, Lucky Lindy, and The Lone Eagle flew a nonstop flight from New York to Paris. This won him overnight fame with awards like the Medal of Honor, Orteig Prize, and a seat as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Babe Ruth Hits 60 Home Runs

September 30, 1927

The previous record, held by none other than himself, was 59 home runs in the 1921 season. He first started his record by hitting 29 home runs with the Boston Red Sox in the 1919 season, beaten the following year with 54 home runs.

St. Valentine's Day Massacre

February 14, 1929

This was the name given to the murder of seven mob associates as part of the prohibition era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Chicago: the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone and the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran. This event marked the beginning of the end to Capone's influence in Chicago.