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19th century - 20th century - 21st century

1890s 1900s 1910s - 1920s - 1930s 1940s 1950s


1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929

Fictional or semi-fictional events due to the Cthulhu Mythos are highlighted in this fashion.**
Sometimes referred to as the "Jazz Age" or primarily in North America and in Australia as the "Roaring Twenties" . In Europe it is sometimes refered to as the Golden Twenties.

Events and trends

Since the closing of the 20th Century, the 1920s has drawn close associations with the 1990s, especially in the United States. This due to the fact both decades were considered very economically prosperous times, and a prosperity which lasted throughout almost the entire decade following a tremendous event at the closing of the previous decade (World War I and Spanish flu in the late 1910s, and the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s). In Australia, this decade was known as the Roaring Twenties.

Despite the comparisons, however, there were a number of differences. First of all, Germany, like many other European countries, had to face a severe economic downturn in the opening years of the decade, due to the enormous debt caused by the war as well as the one-sided Treaty of Versailles. Such a crisis would culminate with a devaluation of the Mark in 1923, eventually leading to economic prosperity during the remainder of the period. Second, the decade was characterized by the rise of radical political movements, especially in regions that were once part of empires. Communism began attracting large numbers of followers following the success of the October Revolution and the Bolsheviks' determination to win the subsequent Russian Civil War. The Bolsheviks would eventually adopt semi-capitalist policies-- New Economic Policy-- from 1921 to 1928. The 1920s also experienced the rise of the far-right in Europe and elsewhere, starting with Italy, and were perceived by some in the Western world as an antidote to Communism.

The Stock Market collapsed during October 1929 (see Black Tuesday) and drew a line under prosperous 1920s.


  • John T. Thompson invents Thompson submachine gun, also known as "Tommy gun"
  • John Logie Baird invents the first working mechanical television system (1925)
  • Charles Lindbergh becomes the first person to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean (20 May-21 May 1927)
  • Penicillin is discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming (1928)
  • Philo T. Farnsworth invents the modern electronic cathode ray tube|CRT television
  • Insulin is discovered by Frederick Banting during the winter of 1921-1922


  • Great advances in quantum mechanics
    • Wave mechanics and the Schrödinger equation
    • Werner Heisenberg formulates the uncertainty principle
  • Prediction and discovery of the expanding universe

War, peace and politics

  • Rise of communism after World War I
  • The Red Scare in the United States (1920-1921)
  • In the United States, peak of the Ku Klux Klan (about five million members)
  • In the United States, KKK auxiliaries established.
  • Irish Civil War
  • The Irish Free State gains independence from the United Kingdom in 1922
  • Marie C. Brehm becomes temperance movement leader.
  • Turkish War of Independence
  • Moderation League of New York worked for repeal of prohibition.
  • Polish-Soviet war
  • First UK Labour Government of Ramsay MacDonald formed in the United Kingdom
  • Kellogg-Briand Pact to end war
  • Prohibition leaders were at the height of their power.
  • The Qajar dynasty ended under Ahmad Shah Qajar and Reza Pahlavi formed the Pahlavi Dynasty, which would later become the last monarchy of Iran.


  • Economic boom ended by "Black Tuesday" (October 29, 1929); the stock market crashes, leading to the Great Depression

Culture, religion

  • Prohibition — legal attempt to end consumption of alcohol in Canada, the United States, and Finland
  • Youth culture of The Lost Generation; flappers, the Charleston, and bobbed hair
  • "The Jazz Age" — jazz and jazz-influenced dance music widely popular
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald publishes the some of the most enduring novels characterizing the Jazz Age. This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, and The Great Gatsby, as well as three short story collections, were all published in these years.
  • Women's suffrage movement continues to make gains as women obtain full voting rights in the United States in 1920, in Denmark in 1921, and in England in 1928; and women begin to enter the workplace in larger numbers
  • In the US, gangsters and the rise of organized crime, often associated with bootleg liquor, in defiance of Prohibition.
  • Rum rows are established to import bootleg alcoholic beverages into U.S.
  • First commercial radio station in the U.S. goes onair in Pittsburgh, in 1920, and radio quickly becomes a popular entertainment medium
  • Methodist Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals defends alcohol prohibition in U.S.
  • Start of motion pictures with sound tracks in 1927
  • Beginning of surrealist movement
  • Beginning of the Art Deco movement
  • Fads such as dance marathons, mah-jongg, crossword puzzles and pole-sitting are popular
  • The height of the clip joint
  • The Harlem Renaissance
  • The Scopes Monkey Trial (1925) which questioned evolution, creationism, and the right to teach
  • Bishop James Cannon, Jr. becomes a U.S. temperance movement leader.
  • The Group of Seven (artists)
  • Repeal organizations organized to fight national prohibition in U.S.
  • Minister Daisy Douglas Barr heads Women's Ku Klux Klan (WKKK).


World leaders

  • Prime Minister Stanley Bruce (Australia)
  • Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (Canada)
  • President Sun Yat-sen (Republic of China)
  • President Chiang Kai-shek (Republic of China)
  • President Paul von Hindenburg (Germany)
  • Ahmad Shah Qajar of Qajar dynasty (Persia/Iran)
  • Reza Shah Pahlavi of Pahlavi Dynasty (Iran)
  • King Victor Emmanuel III (Italy)
  • Prime Minister Benito Mussolini (Italy)
  • President W.T. Cosgrave (Irish Free State)
  • President Mustafa Kemal(Ataturk) (Turkey)
  • Emperor Hirohito (Japan)
  • Pope Pius XI
  • Vladimir Lenin (Soviet Union)
  • Joseph Stalin (Soviet Union)
  • King Alfonso XIII (Spain)
  • King George V (United Kingdom)
  • Prime Minister David Lloyd George (United Kingdom)
  • Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law (United Kingdom)
  • Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (United Kingdom)
  • Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald (United Kingdom)
  • President Woodrow Wilson (United States)
  • President Warren G. Harding (United States)
  • President Calvin Coolidge (United States)
  • President Herbert Hoover (United States)


  • Charlie Chaplin
  • George Gershwin
  • Duke Ellington
  • Fletcher Henderson
  • Al Jolson
  • Jelly Roll Morton
  • Cole Porter
  • Bessie Smith
  • Rudy Vallee
  • Paul Whiteman
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Eddie Cantor
  • Helen Kane
  • Buster Keaton

Sports figures

  • Alex James (Arsenal & Scotland footballer)
  • Babe Ruth (American baseball player)
  • Bill Tilden (American tennis player)
  • Bobby Jones (American golfer)
  • Gordon Coventry (Australian Rules Football player)
  • Herbert Sutcliffe (Yorkshire & England cricketer)
  • Jack Dempsey (American boxer)
  • Jack Hobbs (Surrey & England cricketer)
  • Red Grange (American football player)
  • Warwick Armstrong (Australian cricket captain)
  • Wilfred Rhodes (Yorkshire & England cricketer)
  • Helen Wills Moody (American tennis player)
  • Johnny Weissmuller (American swimmer)

External links

Wiki Source: Wikipedia