Early 1900s America

Art and Culture

jazeage The Jazz Singer, release in October of 1927, is the first feature-length film in American cinema that also includes sound. This film marked the decline of silent film and spawned the production of “talkies”(another name for feature-length films with sound). The Jazz Singer is a musical film about a young man who rebels against the tradition of his Jewish family by singing popular songs at a beer garden. He runs away to pursue his career as an entertainer, after being punish by his father, only to find that his profession conflicts with his heritage. The jazz musical caters to the pop-culture jazz movement of the time, also seen in literature, with authors similar to Langston Hughes.


Science, Technology and Ideas

Charles Lindbergh, a 25-year old U.S. Air Mail pilot, made the first trans-atlantic, non-stop, solo flight on May 20-21 in 1927. He gained fame for this success after winning the Orteig Prize, previously awarded to the first allied aviator to fly from New York City to Paris. Being a U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve officer, Lindbergh was also awarded the Medal of Honor for this accomplishment. He used this success to promote air travel and aviation. Lindbergh’s promotion spawned public interest in air travel and influenced the rise of aviation stocks.


Social Change

prohibitionThe Wall Street Crash of 1929 is the largest stock market crash in U.S. history.  Signaled by the huge drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 68 points within two days, this economic downfall had a major impact on the world economy in addition to the U.S. economy. As a result, unemployment rose, banks failed, businesses closed, and the money supply declined. The crash was unexpected since the averages were expected to increase during this time. This economic downfall signaled the beginning of the Great Depression that lasted 10 years after. Both events mark the largest financial crisis of the 20th Century.


War, Politics, and Nature

wwi (1)The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 was an international agreement not to use war to solve conflict. France, Germany, and the US signed this agreement on August 27, 1928 and most other nations followed soon after. Any party failing to follow through with the agreement was denied the benefits outlined in the treaty, which became the stepping-stone for more activist American policy. The pact proved to be ineffective, it did not accomplish its goal to end war or contribute to international peace.

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