Sunday, October 19, 2008

1927 Society (4)

1927. The Supreme Court rules that illegal income is taxable, thus giving the federal government a powerful new weapon against the underworld.

1927. April flood waters in the lower Mississippi Valley cover 4 million acres and cause $300 million in property loss.

1927. The mechanical cotton picker perfected by Texas inventor John Daniel Rust and his brother Mack will have a profound social impact on the South when marketing of the machine begins in 1949. The Rust Cotton Picker inserts a long spinning spindle with teeth into the cotton boll, winds up the cotton, picks it out, and is kept wet to facilitate removal of the cotton from the teeth. It picks a bale of cotton in one day, and it will spur migration of blacks to northern cities as it reduces the need for field hands.

1927. Your Money's Worth by U.S. economist Stuart Chase and engineer F. J. Schlink says, "We are all Alices in a Wonderland of conflicting claims, bright promises, fancy packages, soaring words, and almost impenetrable ignorance."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

1927 Society (3)

1927. Popular songs: "Me and My Shadow"; "Girl of My Dreams"; "I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover"; "Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella"; "My Blue Heaven"; " 'S Wonderful"; "Strike Up the Band"; "The Song is Ended But the Melody Lingers On"; "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."

1927. The first all-electric jukeboxes are introduced.

1927. The first Golden Gloves boxing tournament opens March 11 at New York's Knights of Columbus Center.

1927. The first Ryder Cup golf match ends in victory for a team of U.S. professionals led by Walter Hagen who defeat a British team at Worcester, Mass.

1927. Babe Ruth hits his sixtieth home run of the season September 30 off a pitch by Washington's Tom Zachary to set a record that will stand for 30 years.

1927. The Cyclone roller coaster opens June 26 at Coney Island, N.Y., with a 100-second ride that takes screaming passengers up and down nine hills and over connecting tilted curves for 25 cents each.

1927. Al Capone has an income for the year of $105 million, the highest gross income ever received by a private U.S. citizen. Most of the Chicago gangster's money derives from bootleg liquor operations.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

1927. Society (2)

1927. The Iron Lung invented by Harvard professor Philip Drinker has an airtight chamber that employs alternating pulsations of high and low pressure to force air in and out of a patient's lungs.

1927. Transatlantic telephone service begins January 7 between London and New York: 3 minutes of conversation costs $75.

1927. Television gets its first U.S. demonstration April 7 in the auditorium of New York's Bell Telephone Laboratories by AT & T president Walter S. Gifford who lets a large group of viewers see Commerce Secretary Herbert C. Hoover in his office at Washington while hearing his voice over telephone wires.

1927. David Sarnoff's year-old National Broadcasting Co. has so many radio stations that it splits up into a Blue Network and a Red Network.

1927. Films: Alan Crosland's The Jazz Singer is the first full-length talking picture to achieve success.

1927. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is founded May 11 by Louis B. Mayer of M-G-M. Annual awards of the academy will be called "Oscars" by movie columnist Sidney Skolsky.

1927. "The Varsity Drag" is introduced to U.S. dance floors.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

1927. Society (1)

1927. An "autumn harvest uprising" led by Communist Mao Zedong is crushed September 19 and Chiang expels Russians from Shanghai. Despite questions as to the legality of his divorce from the mother of his son, Chiang has married Wellesley-educated Christianized Song Mei-ling and allied himself with one of China's richest, most powerful families.

1927. Josef Stalin expels Leon Trotsky from the Central Committee of the Communist party in November.

1927. Sacco and Vanzetti die in the electric chair at Dedham Prison August 23 despite worldwide efforts to have Massachusetts authorities drop charges against the two for lack of evidence.

1927. Charles A. Lindbergh lands his single-engine monoplane Spirit of St. Louis at Le Bourget Airfield, Paris, May 21, at 10. 24 P.M., after completing the first nonstop solo transatlantic flight. Hailed as "The Lone Eagle," Lindbergh rejects motion picture, vaudeville, and commercial offers totaling $5 million.

1927. Ford introduces the Model A to succeed the Model T that has been the U.S. standard for nearly 20 years.

1927. Massachusetts enacts the first compulsory state automobile insurance law.

1927. An uncertainty principle announced by German physicist Werner Heisenberg melds physics and philosophy. He states that certain pairs of variables describing motion-velocity and position, or energy and time cannot be measured simultaneously with absolute accuracy because the measuring process itself interferes with the quantity to be measured, so while quantum mechanics provides valuable information it is useful only within limits of tolerance since no events can be described with zero tolerance.

Monday, August 11, 2008

1926 Literature (2)

Nigger Heaven. Carl Van Vechten. American. 1926. Novel. One of the first novels about black life in Harlem. Jazz era. Written by a white. True, understanding explanation of black suffering and aspiration.

The Plumed Serpent. D.H. Lawrence. British. 1926. Novel. Vivid evocation of Mexico and ancient Aztec religion revived in modern Mexico. Female Irish visitor to Mexico passively submits to male domination.

Red Cavalry. Isaak Babel. Russian 1926. Stories. Based on the Soviet author's experiences with his cavalry regiment during the civil war in Russia.

The Romantic Comedians. Ellen Glasgow. American. 1926. Novel. Ironical comedy of manners. January/June marriage. Generational differences.

Show Boat. Edna Ferber. American. 1926. Novel. Showboat captain marries New England school marm. Daughter runs away with leading man. Their daughter grows up to be a Broadway star.

The Silver Cord. Sidney Howard. American. 1926. Play. Early psychological study of dominant mother. Two sons struggle to break free.

The Sun Also Rises. Ernest Hemingway. American. 1926. Novel. Lost generation of Americans who had fought in France in WWI and expatriated themselves. No change. No direction. No point toward which to develop.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

1926. Literature (1)

Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years. Carl Sandburg. American. 1926. Biography. For Sandburg, Lincoln was the archetypal American.

The Counterfeiters. Andre Gide. French. 1926. Novel. Counterfeit personalities with which people disguise themselves to conform to convention and to deceive themselves.

Days of the Turbins. Mikhail Bulgakov. Russian. 1926. Play. Czarist White Guard vs. the forces of the Red Army during the Russian Revolution. Balanced account.

Don Segunda Sombra (Shadows in the Pampas). Ricardo Guiraldes. Argentina. 1926. Novel. First gaucho fiction . Boy learns to live with courage and honor by the gaucho code. Outstanding example of gaucho literature.

The Great God Brown. Eugene O'Neill. American. 1926. Play. Masks symbolize varying personalities of characters as they are and as they appear to others.

If It Die.... Andre Gide. French. 1926. Autobiography. Trips to North Africa. Confessions of homosexuality. Issue normally avoided.

The Mauve Decade. Thomas Beer. American. 1926. Nonfiction. American literary and social scene of the 1890s.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

1926.Society (4)

1926. Italian hairdresser Antonio Buzzacchino invents a new permanent waving method that will make the "permanent" widely fashionable.

1926. Slide fasteners get the name "zippers" after a promotional luncheon at which English novelist Gilbert Frankau has said, "Zip[! It's open! Zip! It's closed!"

1926. Chicago bootlegger Al Capone's Hawthorne Hotel headquarters are sprayed with machine gun fire in broad daylight September 20 by gunmen firing from eight touring cars that parade single file through the streets of the suburban area but no one is killed and the cars disappear into the traffic.

1926. Illegal liquor traffic is estimated to be a $3.6 billion business and has spawned a gigantic underworld of criminal activity since 1919. Widespread defiance if of the Prohibition laws is encouraging citizens to flout other laws and the "Noble Experiment" is clearly a failure.

1926. Trofim Denisovich Lysenko gains notice for the first time in the Soviet Union. The agronomist puts ideology ahead of science and will have enormous influence on Soviet farm policies.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

1926 Society (3)

1926. Popular songs: "Muskrat Ramble"; "Baby Face"; "(What Can I Say Dear) After I've Said I'm Sorry?" "Charmaine"; "Gimme a Little Kiss, Will 'Ya' Huh?" "Bye Bye Blackbird"; "If I Could Be with Your (One Hour Tonight)"; "In a Little Spanish Town"; "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along."

1926. Miniature Golf is invented by Tennessee entrepreneur Frieda Carter, who will patent her "Tom Thumb Golf" in 1929. By 1930 there will be 25,000 to 50,000 miniature golf courses.

1926. Gertrude Ederle, 19, becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel. She beats the world record by 2 hours and suffers permanent hearing loss.

1926. German swimmer H. Vierkotter breaks Gertrude Ederle's Channel record by swimming the Channel in 12 hours, 40 minutes.

1926. Gene Tunney wins the world heavyweight boxing championship held by Jack Dempsey since 1919.

Monday, August 4, 2008

1926 Society (2)

1926. Canadian-American inventor John C. Garand patents the semi-automatic 30 M1 rifle that will be adopted by the U.S. Army in 1936.

1926. The Theory of the Gene by Columbia University zoologist Thomas Hunt Morgan proves a theory of hereditary transmission that will be the basis for future genetic research. He has conducted experiments with fruit flies to pinpoint the location of genes in the chromosomes of the cell nucleus.

1926. U.S. biologist Herman Muller finds that X-rays can produce mutations. His work makes him a leading advocate for limiting exposure to X-rays.

1926. U.S. biochemist James Sumner proves that enzymes are proteins.

1926. Father Coughlin makes his first radio broadcast October 17 over Detroit's station WJR to begin a career of nearly 20 years. He will broadcast sermons marked by racial bigotry and right-wing sentiments.

1926. Scottish inventor John Baird gives the first successful demonstration of television, but his mechanical system has serious limitations.

1926. The first motion picture with sound is demonstrated.

1926. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is founded November 11 by David Sarnoff whose nine-station network has 31 affiliated.

1926. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne delights readers with Pooh-bear, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and baby Roo, Owl, and other companions of Christopher Robin.

1926. Harry Houdini makes headlines August 6 by remaining under water for 91 minutes in an airtight case containing only enough air to sustain a man for 5 or 6 minutes.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

1926. Society (1)

1926. Josef Stalin establishes himself as virtual dictator of the Soviet Union, beginning a 27-year rule that will bring new repression to Soviet citizens.

1926. Italy's Benito Mussolini assumes total power October 7, making the Fascist party the party of the state and brooking no opposition.

1926. Chiang Kai-shek succeeds the late Sun Yat-sen as leader of China's revolutionary party.

1926. Japan's Taisho emperor Yoshihito dies at age 47 after a 14-year reign. His son of 25 has acted as regent during the 5-year illness of Yoshihito and will reign until 1989 as the Showa emperor Hirohito. The influence of Japan's army and navy will increase enormously in the next 15 years.

1926. A British General Strike cripples the nation from May 3to May 12 as members of the Trade Union Congress rally to the slogan, "Not a penny off the pay, not a minute of the day."

1926. Ford Motor Company plants introduce an 8-hour day and a 5-day work week beginning September 5.

1926. The rocket launched March 16 by physicist Robert H. Goddard is the first liquid fuel rocket; it demonstrates the practicality of rockets and convinces Goddard that rockets will one day land men on the moon.

1926. Philadelphia's 533-meter Benjamin Franklin Bridge opens to traffic.

1926. Waltham, Mass., inventor Francis Wright Davis patents a power-steering unit and installs it in a 1921 Pierce-Arrow Runabout, but commercial production of cars with power steering will not begin until 1951.

1926. B.F. Goodrich chemist Waldo Lonsbury Semon pioneers synthetic rubber.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

1925. Literature (3)

The Pot of Earth. Archibald MacLeish. American. 1925. Poetry. Description of an ancient fertility rite.

Precious Bane. Mary Webb. British. 1925. Novel. Harsh farming life. Fierce, morose country people. Narrator (she) marries despite harelip.

Roan Stallion, Tamar, and Other Poems. Robinson Jeffers. American. 1925. Poetry. Religious feeling for the beauty of the red stallion which tramples her brutal husband to death. She shoots the stallion "out of some obscure human fidelity."

The Tower. Hugo Von Hofmannstahl. German. 1925. Poetic Drama. Adapted from Calderon's Life Is a Dream, with changes. Sigismund is killed.

The Trial. Franz Kafka. German. 1925. Novel. Confrontation of an individual and a baffling bureaucracy. Accused by mysterious legal authority of an unnamed crime about which he knows nothing. Fruitless attempts to gain justice from authority with which he cannot effectively communicate. Utter frustration, complete loss of human dignity, and cruel death by stabbing. Novel lends itself to innumerable allegorical interpretations.

A Vision. William Butler Yeats. Irish. 1925. Book. History is cyclical and recurrent, for the individual and mankind, in a gyre or corkscrew pattern; all human personality types have their opposite and antithetical selves or masks. Complete man should assimilate the characteristics of his mask. Supposedly dictated by spirits in automatic writing recorded by his medium wife.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

1925 Literature (2)

The Hollow Men. TS Eliot. American/British. 1925. Poetry. Eliot's view of the spiritual emptiness and doom of the 20th century.

In the American Grain. William Carlos Williams. American. 1925. Essays. Historical figures speak for themselves; history is the outcome of individual confrontations with the continent.

The Informer. Liam O'Flaherty. Irish. 1925. Novel. Last day of an Irish revolutionary who turned his comrade into the police for 20 pounds.

The Making of Americans. Gertrude Stein. American. 1925. Novel. History of three generations of the author's family. Ignores the conventional fictional devices of dialogue, plot and action.

Manhattan Transfer. John Dos Passos. American. 1925. Novel. NYC during the 1920s; panoramic impression of the swarming metropolis is frustration, defeat.

Mrs. Dalloway. Virginia Woolf. British. 1925. Novel. One day in the life of.... She and Septimus never meet but they are alike in their emotionally bankrupt lives. He commits suicide. Lives connected by external events: airplane and passing bus. Stream of consciousness.

Porgy. Dubose Heyward. American. 1925. Novel. Charleston, S.C. Crippled beggar becomes involved in a murder.

Monday, July 28, 2008

1925. Literature (1)

An American Tragedy. Theodore Dreiser. American. 1925. Novel. Indicts America's industrial society for dazzling people like Clyde Griffiths with dreams of unattainable luxury.

Arrowsmith. Sinclair Lewis. American. 1925. Novel. In quest for pure science, Arrowsmith encounters meanness, corruption and misunderstanding. Medicine.

Cement. Feodor Vasilyevich Gladkov. Russian. 1925. Novel. Reconstruction and industrialization in the Soviet Union after the civil war.

Craig's Wife. George Kelly. American. 1925. Play. Woman is obsessed by her house. In the end she has lost everything but the house.

Death in Venice. Thomas Mann. German. 1925. Novel. Artist experiences decadence. Succumbs to consuming love for beautiful Polish boy.

Gentlemen Prefer Blonds. Anita Loos. American. 1925. Novel. "Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady." Useful handbook on how to get rich?

The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald. American. 1925. Novel. Exposes wealthy society in the "Jazz Age"; false glamor, boredom, cultural barrenness and moral emptiness.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

1925. Society (3)

1925. Popular songs: "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby!" "I Love My Baby (My Baby Loves Me)" "Sleepy time Gal"; "Sweet Georgia Brown"; "Alabamy Bound"; "Dinah"; "Always"; "Five Feet Two, Eyes of Blue"; "I'm Sitting on Top of the World"; "Jealousy"; "Show Me the Way to Go Home."

1925. Grand Ole Opry goes on the air November 28 as Barn Dance over Nashville, Tenn., radio station WSM.

1925. The New York Giants professional football team is funded by Timothy J. Mara.

1925. "Blow some my way," says a woman to a man lighting a cigarette in advertisements by Liggett & Meyers for its Chesterfield brand. The advertisement breaks a taboo by suggesting that women smoke.

1925. Al Capone takes over as boss of Chicago bootlegging.

1925. The bubble of inflated Florida land values breaks as investors discover the lots they have bought are in many cases underwater.

1925. The first motel opens December 12 at San Luis Obispo, Calif., James Vail's Motel Inn with accommodations for 160 guests is located on one of the busiest U.S. motor routes.

1925. The worst tornado in U.S. history cuts through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, March 18, killing 689, injuring thousands, and wreaking property damage in the millions.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

1925 Society (2)

1925. The Scopes "Monkey Trial" makes headlines in July as Dayton, Tenn., schoolteacher John T. Scopes, 25, goes on trial for violating a March 13 law against teaching evolution in the state's public schools.

1925. Bennington College for Women is founded at Bennington, Vt.

1925. The Supreme Court upholds the conviction of a man under the New York Criminal Anarchy Act of 1902. Benjamin Gitlow's pamphlet "The Left Wing Manifesto" called for "mass strikes," "expropriation of the bourgeoisie" and the establishment of a "dictatorship of the proletariat." The Court rules that this "is the language of direct incitement," but Justice Holmes observes that "every idea is an incitement" and Justice Brandeis joins in the dissent.

1925. The New Yorker begins publication in February, edited by journalist Harold W Ross, a weekly magazine of satire, fiction, social commentary and criticism. Humorist James Grover Thurber, 30, will become a New Yorker regular after receiving rejection slips for his first 20 submissions.

1925. Collier's editor William Ludlow Cheney sends three staff writers on a nationwide tour to report on Prohibition. They find a breakdown in law enforcement of all kinds and Collier's becomes the first major magazine to call for a repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment that has been in effect since January 1920. The magazine loses 3,000 readers but gains 4000,000 new ones.

1925. "The Charleston" is introduced to Paris by "Bricktop," a red-headed American who arrived penniless from her native Harlem last year and has become hostess of a Place Pigalle nightclub.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

1925. Society (1)

1925. Mein Kampf (My Battle) by Adolf Hitler is published in its first part. "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one."

1925. A protocol signed by the world powers June 17 bars use of poison gas in war.

1925. The Ku Klux Klan founded in 1915 stages a parade August 8 at Washington, DC, with 40,000 marchers in white hoods.

1925. The Autobiography of Mother Jones by Irish-American union organizer Mary Harris Jones, 95, says, "I am always in favor of obeying the law, but if the high-class burglar breaks the law and defies it, then I say we must have a law that will defend the nation and our people." "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living."

1925. "The business of America is business," says President Coolidge January 17 in an address to the Society of American Newspaper editors.

1925. The Menninger Clinic opens in a farmhouse at Topeka, Kan., where local country doctor Charles F. Menninger starts a group practice for the mentally ill with his sons Karl and William. Operating on the premise that no patient is untreatable, they combine a family atmosphere with physical exercise and a team of multi-discipline doctors for each patient--a "total-environment" approach inspired by a visit to the Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minn. They begin a revolution in the treatment of mental illness.

Monday, July 21, 2008

1924. Literature (3)

The Vortex (La Voragine). Jose Eustacio Rivera. Columbian. 1924. Novel. Poet ventures into the Columbian jungle and discovers how thin is the veneer of civilization. In the face of the fierce, terrifying life of the Amazon basin, he succumbs to madness. Despair at not having lived to become a poet.

We. Yevgeny Azmayatin. Russian. 1924. Novel. Describes the regimented totalitarian society in the 26th century. Ancestor of Brave New World, etc.

What Price Glory? Maxwell Anderson and Laurence Stallings. American. 1924. Play. WWI. Profanity and brutality of professional soldiers and the wearying ugliness of war.

Billy Budd, Foretopman. Herman Melville. American. 1924 (published). Novel. Collision of innocence and evil. Captain upholds military law, although Billy is justified in killing the cruel officer.

Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie. Ole Rolvaag. Norwegian. 1924/25. Novel. Mental and physical hardships of Norwegian family in 1873 Dakota territory.

Parade's End. Ford Maddox Ford. British. 1924/28. 4 Novels. Social changes brought about by WWI; gentleman throws off his social standards and traditions.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

1924 Literature (2)

Old New York. Edith Wharton. American. 1924. 4 novels. Each novel deals with a decade from 1840-1880. False Dawn: Buys pictures far in advance of his time and is disinherited by his father. The Old Maid: Illegitimate girl raised without knowing her origin. The Spark: Elderly man comes under the influence of Walt Whitman. New Year's Day: Wife sacrifices herself to obtain money for her sick husband and is scorned by society.

A Passage to India. E.M. Forster. British. 1924. Novel. Difficulties of friendship between the races in British-ruled India.

Tamar and Other Poems. Robinson Jeffers. American. 1924. Poetry. Based on the biblical story of Tamar, daughter of David who seduces her brother. Modern Tamar seduces her brother, father, neighbor and brings destruction on everyone.

They Knew What They Wanted. Sidney Howard. American. 1924. Play. California wine grower misleads his mail-order bride by sending a picture of his handsome hired man. He breaks his legs on his wedding day. She allows herself to be seduced by the hired man and becomes pregnant. He almost kills the hired man, but relents.

The Tower Beyond Tragedy. Robinson Jeffers. American. 1924. Poetry. Based on the first two plays of the Oresteia of Aeschylus. Enlarges Cassandra's role: incestuous desires of Electra and Orestes' desire to break away from her.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

1924 Literature (1)

All God's Chillun Got Wings. Eugene O'Neill. American. 1924. Play. White woman marries black struggling to become lawyer. Tragic results of her mental inferiority.

Beau Geste. P.C. Wren. British. 1924. Novel. Life in the French Foreign Legion.

Desire Under the Elms. Eugene O'Neill. American. 1924. Play. Based on the Phaedra-Hippolytus story. Father's young wife seduces his youngest son.

The Green Bay Tree. Louis Bromfield. American. 1924. Novel. Lily begins her life in a Midwestern industrial town; goes to Paris to bear her illegitimate child.

The Green Hat. Michael Arlen. British. 1924. Novel. Captures the licentious, disillusioned spirit of the time. Sexual license among the wealthy.

How To Write Short Stories (with Samples). Ring Lardner. American. 1924. Stories. "Art" of writing short stories. Examples are Lardner classics, "Alibi Ike," etc.

In Our Time. Ernest Hemingway. American. 1924. Stories. Nick Adams. Development of young Nick Adams who bears resemblance to Hemingway.

Juno and the Paycock. Sean O'Casey. Irish. 1924. Play. Juno (reality) vs. the husband, the "paycock," a vain, funny weakling who hides from reality behind a bottle.

"Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown." Virginia Woolf. British. 1924. Essay. Attacks naturalistic novels. They disregard moment-by-moment workings of the human mind.

Monday, July 14, 2008

1924. Society.

1924. V.I. Lenin dies of sclerosis January 21 at age 53. A triumvirate takes power as Josef Stalin begins a power struggle with Leon Trotsky.

1924. International Business Machines Corps. (IBM) is organized at New York by former National Cash Register executive Thomas J. Watson.

1924. The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade moves 2 miles from Central Park West down Broadway to Herald Square, beginning an annual promotion event designed to boost Christmas sales.

1924. Ford produces nearly 2 million Model T motorcars for the second year in a row and drops the price of a new touring car to a low of $290, making a durable automobile available to Americans even of modest means.

1924. Music Corp. of America (MCA) is founded by Chicago physician Jules C. Stein. He starts a company that will innovate the one-night stand at a time when most bookings have been for the season.

Popular Songs: "It Had to Be You"; "Tea for Two"; "How Come You Do Me Like You Do?"; "What'll I do"; "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street"; "Everybody Loves My Baby (But My Baby Don't Love Nobody But Me"; "Hard Hearted Hannah, the Vamp of Savannah"; "Amapola (My Pretty Little Poppy)"; "When Day Is Done."

1924. The first winter Olympics open at Chamonix; the games at Paris attract 2,285 contestants from 45 nations.

1924. University of Illinois halfback Harold "Red" Grange receives the opening kickoff from undefeated Michigan State, runs it back 95 yards for a touchdown, scores three more touchdowns in the next 12 minutes, and a fifth later in the game. Sportswriter Grantland Rice will nickname him the "Galloping Ghost."

1924. Notre Dame University has an undefeated season thanks to a backfield that Grantland Rice calls the "Four Horsemen": Don Miller, Elmer Layden, Jim Crowley and Harry Stuhldreher.

1924. Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, both 19, confess May 31 that they have murdered their cousin Robert "Bobby" Franks, 14, "in the interests of science." Both are sons of rich families. Lawyer Clarence Darrow, now 67, saves them from the gallows with his eloquence and they are sentenced to life imprisonment.

1924. The first effective chemical pesticides are introduced.

1924. 30% of U.S. bread is baked at home, down from 70% in 1910.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

1923. Literature (2)

"Le Monocle de Mon Oncle." Wallace Stevens. American. 1923. Poetry. Affirmation of the imagination of middle age vs. the invalid fancy of youth.

"Peter Quince at the Clavier." Wallace Stevens. American. 1923. Poetry. Retells part of the biblical story of Susanna and the Elders; "beauty is momentary in the mind, but in the flesh it is immortal."

The Prophet. Kahlil Gibran. Syrian. 1923. Prose and Poetry. Presents the elements of Gibran's mystical faith.

Saint Joan. George Bernard Shaw. British. 1923. Play. Presents Joan as an early nationalist; prototype of the Protestant thinker who puts conscience before the judgment of the Church.

The Sonnets to Orpheus. Rainer Maria Rilke. German. 1923. Poetry. Sonnets center around the myth of Orpheus: man must be fluid to exist in a changing world. Death is one metamorphosis among many.

"Sunday Morning." Wallace Stevens. American. 1923. Poetry. Narrator debates with woman who feels the need for some imperishable bliss. Death is the mother of beauty; earth is all the paradise we will know.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

1923. Literature (1)

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Robert Frost. American. 1923. Poetry. Stops horse to contemplate beauty of the scene, but then must move on. Frost has said he could have added forty pages of footnotes.

Antic Hay. Aldous Huxley. British. 1923. Novel. Long, futile conversations of London intellectuals; everything seems valueless. Despair.

Dueno Elegies. Rainer Maria Rilke. German. 1923. Poetry. Personal solutions to existential problems and to those posed by the industrial age.

The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems. Edna St. Vincent Millay. American. 1923. Poetry. 39 sonnets. "Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare."

Kangaroo. DH Lawrence. British. 1923. Novel. Vivid account of Australia. Husband keeps trying to assert his will over his wife, unsuccessfully.

A Lost Lady. Willa Cather. American. 1923. Novel. Frontier woman moves from her husband to a lover, then disappears; rumored to be the wife of a wealthy Englishman in South America. She is seen through the eyes of an adoring young boy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

1923. Society (2)

1923. Bethume-Cookman College is founded at Daytona, Fla. Its slogan is "Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve."

1923. Published March 3 at New York is Volume 1, No. 1 of newsweekly Time, a venture that will mushroom into a vast publishing empire. Put out by Henry Robinson Luce and his Yale classmate Briton Hadden who will die in 1929 after having established a distinctive "Timestyle" by inverting sentences and inventing such words as "socialite," "GOPolitician," "cinemaddict," and "tycoon."

1923. Popular songs: "Yes, We Have No Bananas"; "Nobody's Sweetheart"; "Who's Sorry Now?" "I Cried for You"; "Barney Google"; "Mexicali Rise."

1923. New York's Yankee Stadium opens April 19, draws a sell-out crowd of more than 60,000 and turns away thousands for lack of seats.

1923. President Coolidge lights the first White House Christmas tree to begin a lasting tradition.

1923. Japan's Great Kanto earthquake and fire, September 1, destroy Tokyo and Yokohama. 100,000 are killed, 752,000 injured; 83,000 houses are completely destroyed, 380,000 damaged.

1923. U.S. wheat farmers try to persuade each other to plant less, but overproduction continues in the absence of any effective farm organization.

1923. Grasshoppers plague Montana. Forming a cloud 300 miles long, 100 miles wide, and half a mile high, the locusts devour every green blade, leaf, and stalk, leaving holes i the ground where green plants grew.

1923. National Dairy Corp. is organized at New York by Thomas McInnerny who says the dairy industry needs some organization to control the quality and service of its many small, local companies.

Monday, July 7, 2008

1923. Society (1)

1923. Adolf Hitler, 34, stages a "Beer Hall Putsch" at Munich, November 8.

1923. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russia, the Ukraine, White Russia and Transcaucasia), established on paper December 30, 1922, becomes a reality July 6.

1923. V.I. Lenin establishes the first Soviet forced labor camp in the Solovetsky Islands, northwest of Archangel. Slave labor in the next 30 years will build nine new Russian cities, 12 railway lines, six heavy industry centers, three large hydroelectric stations, two highways and three ship canals.

1923. United States Steel reduces its 12-hour day to 8 hours August 2. Big steel will hire an additional 17,000 workers in the next year, raise wages, and still increase its profits.

1923. Major U.S. auto makers inaugurate annual model style changes that make older models stylistically obsolete.

1923. Aimee Semple McPherson uses special effects to produce thunder, lightning and wind that illustrate her "foursquare gospel" and help fill her 5,000-seat temple.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

1922. Literature (3)

Ulysses. James Joyce. Irish. 1922. Novel. Greatest 20th century novel written in English. Obscurity. T.S. Eliot: A landmark because it destroys our civilization. Disillusioned study of estrangement, paralysis and disintegration of society. Records events of one average day, June 16, 1904, in the lives of the three leading characters. Journeys about the city of Dublin, matched by inward journeys into the consciousness. Dispassionate description of details of daily life; details become symbols. Relates time in world of Dublin to timeless myth, history, religion. Plan of book parallels Odyssey; echoes episodes in the Odyssey. Central theme is exile; cannot find key to loneliness and frustration. Molly Bloom: embodiment of feminine regenerative principle of the universe. Her soliloquy in one uninterrupted long sentence ends with "yes." Joyce perfected interior monologue; parodies variety of literary styles.

The Wasteland. TS Eliot. American/British. 1922. Poetry. Breaks from conventional modes of poetic expression in its condensed use of language. Wealth of literary and historical references; lack of narrative sequence. Violent literary controversy on publication. Explores different psychic stages of soul in despair, struggling for redemption. Wasteland - central image of spiritual drought; contrasts with sources of regeneration. Doubt is not resolved; literary, religious fragments offer hope of rebirth, however, in foreign languages, suggesting unassimilated memories. In medieval legend, wasteland ruled by Fisher King, sterile by curse. Cured by purifying ordeals undertaken by a knight. Important event in development of modern English poetry. Like Joyce's Ulysses. Contrast spiritual stagnation with myths from the past. Both use city as major symbol of paralysis. Full of scenes, phrases, references with little meaning in themselves but echo, explain one another. Both depend on reader's knowledge of many works of literature, religion and history.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

1922. Literature (2)

The Hairy Ape. Eugene O'Neill. American. 1922. Play. Crude stoker disillusioned with his life when inspected by a society girl in the depths of the ship.

Jacob's Room. Virginia Woolf. British. 1922. Novel. Life and death of a promising young man from childhood through death in war. Describes his empty room.

Lady into Fox. David Garnett. British. 1922. Novel. Fantasy about man whose wife suddenly turns into a fox.

One of Ours. Willa Cather. American. 1922. Novel. Boy grows up on farm, goes to university, enters army, killed in France in WWI.

Rootabaga Stories. Carl Sandburg. American. 1922. Children's stories. Rich in language and cadences of folk song.

Siddhartha. Hermann Hesse. German. 1922. Novel. Search for ultimate reality through profligacy and asceticism. Wisdom cannot be taught; must come from one's own inner struggle. Parallels to Buddha's life, but not a fictionalized life of Buddha.

"Things." DH Lawrence. British. 1922. Story. Cynical account of two American idealists who devote their lives to art, beauty, Buddhism and European culture. Succeed only in collecting "things."

Les Thibaults. Roger Martin Du Gard. French. 1922/40. Novels. Brothers react as individuals to bourgeois environment. One leads simple, dutiful existence. The other rebels. Both killed in WWI.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

1922. Literature (1)

Abie's Irish Rose. Anne Nichols. American. 1922. Play. Jewish boy marries Irish Catholic girl. Problems with families.

Anna Christie. Eugene O'Neill. American. 1922. Play. Swedish captain loves/hates the sea; in spite of his efforts, daughter falls in love with the sea.

Babbitt. Sinclair Lewis. American. 1922. Novel. Middle class, small-town booster and joiner who is trapped by his middle class values.

The Castle. Franz Kafka. German. 1922. Novel. Man against bureaucracy. Human quest for understanding of the ways of an incomprehensible God?

The Enormous Room. ee cummings. American. 1922. Autobiographical Novel. Imprisonment in a French military concentration camp, incarcerated on a false charge of treason.

Facade. Edith Sitwell. British. 1922. Poetry. Sound and imagery rather than meaning.

"The Garden Party. Katherine Mansfield. New Zealand. 1922. Story. Preparing for a party, wealthy Laura encounters reality in the death of a poor laborer.

Monday, June 30, 2008

1922. Society (2)

1922. The Reader's Digest appears in February with articles "of lasting interest" condensed from books and from other magazines into a pocket-sized monthly.

1922. Charles Atlas wins the "World's Most Perfectly Developed Man" contest sponsored by Physical Culture magazine publisher Bernarr MacFadden. Italian-American Angelo Siciliano, 28, is a former 97-pound weakling who has built himself up with "dynamictension" exercises which he claims to have developed after watching a lion at the zoo. He will open a Manhattan gymnasium in 1926, and by 1927 his Charles Atlas, Ltd., will be taking in $1000 per day from students who subscribe to his mail-order physical culture course.

1922. Austria's Salzburg Mozart Festival has its first season to begin a lasting August tradition.

Popular songs: "Chicago"; "I'll See You in My Dreams."

1922. A Western Electric Company research team led by JP Maxfield invents a phonograph record graver that permits recording in acoustically correct studios rather than by singing or playing directly into horns.

1922. Mah-Jongg is introduced in America and a nationwide craze begins for the ancient Chinese game.

1922. The Maytag Gyrofoam washing machine introduced by the Newton, Iowa, firm outperforms all other washing machines yet takes up only 25 square inches of floor space.

1922. The Lincoln Memorial dedicated May 30 at Washington, D.C., contains a 19-foot seated figure of the sixteenth president carved out of Georgia marble by sculptor Daniel French. The $2,940,000 monument beside the Potomac has taken 7 years to build.

1922. Horse-drawn fire apparatus makes its final appearance in New York December 22 as equipment from Brooklyn's Engine Company 205 races to put out a fire.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

1922. Society (1)

1922. The Permanent Court of International Justice opens February 15 at the Hague.

1922. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is formally constituted in March "to safeguard the honor and independence of the Irish Republic." The militant arm of the Sinn Fein political party that has stood for a free, undivided Ireland since the Easter Rising of 1916 will continue to employ terrorist tactics in a civil war within the Irish Free State (Eire) and in Ulster.

1922. A fascist dictatorship in Italy begins in late November as Victor Emmanuel III summons Benito Mussolini to form a ministry and grants him dictatorial powers so that he may restore order and bring about reforms.

1922. Britain places the burden of war debts on the United States. The Balfour note states that Britain would expect to recover from her European debtors only the amount which the United States expects from Britain.

1922. The Federal Reserve Board created in 1913 sets up a bank-wire system to eliminate physical transfer of securities from one city to another and thus avoid theft, loss, or destruction of negotiable Treasury Certificates. A Federal Reserve Bank taking in a certificate for delivery to another Federal Reserve Bank retires the certificate and instructs its sister bank by teletype to issue a new one.

1922. U.S. Army Air Corps Lieutenant James H. Doolittle makes the first coast-to-coast flight in a single day in September, flying 2,163 miles from Pablo Beach, Fla., to San Diego in 21 hours, 28 minutes' flying time.

1922. English archaeologist Charles Woolley discovers Ur on the Euphrates River in Iraq, finds Sumerian temple ruins dating to 2600 B.C., and gives historical reality to the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer of which there has been only legendary knowledge.

1922. Insulin gives diabetics a new lease on life.

1922. New York station WEAF (later WNBC) airs the first paid radio commercials, setting a pattern of private control of U.S. public airwaves.

1922. The BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) is founded under the leadership of English engineer John Charles Reith, a six-foot-six misanthrope who will run BBC for the next 16 years and make it one of Britain's most revered institutions, supported by the public with license fees.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1921. Literature.

Alice Adams. Booth Tarkington. American. 1921. Novel. Disintegration of middle-class Adams family in small Midwestern town. Romantic daughter is disillusioned.

Back to Methuselah. George Bernard Shaw. British. 1921. Play. Civilization to AD 31,920 in which man becomes wholly intellect through will, not science.

Crome Yellow. Aldous Huxley. British. 1921. Novel. Satire of intellectual pretensions. Banal verse of ineffectual poet.

Goat Song. Franz Werfel. German. 1921. Play. Frenzy of group of peasants; worship monster. Woman bears its child. Chaotic potential in man.

"Miss Thompson." W. Somerset Maugham. British. 1921. Story. Repressed reverend converts, then seduces tart; he commits suicide.

Nets to Catch the Wind. Elinor Wylie. American. 1921. Poetry. Contains her most characteristic verse: "Velvet Shoes"; "The Eagle and the Mole."

Six Characters in Search of an Author. Luigi Pirandello. Italian. 1921. Play. Six characters say they are unused creations of author's imagination. Demand that their stories be told.

Three Soldiers. John DosPassos. American. 1921. Novel. Three representative American soldiers. Musician joins army to become involved in a righteous cause. Finds instead tyranny, aimlessness, red tape, and boredom. Deserts. Begins to write music. Captured and taken away. Sheets of unfinished compositions scattered and destroyed. Military is the real villain of the book.

The Triumph of the Egg. Sherwood Anderson. American. 1921. Stories. Quiet desperation of people unable to find in others release from inner loneliness. Search for innocence in a world already too complicated.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

1921 Society (3)

1921. U.S. forester Benton MacKaye proposes an Appalachian Trail for hikers. Extending nearly 2,000 miles from Georgia's Springer Mountain to Maine's Mt. Katahdin, the footpath will in large part follow the Great Indian Warpath that existed in the 18th century from Creek Territory in Alabama into Pennsylvania.

1921. The name "Betty Crocker" is developed by Washburn, Crosby Co., of Minneapolis. The firm runs a contest to promote its Gold Medal Flour and letters from contestants are answered by the fictitious food authority.

1921. Wise Potato Chips are introduced by Berwick, PA, grocer Earl V. Wise who finds himself overstocked with old potatoes. He peels them, slices them with an old-fashioned cabbage cutter, follows his mother's recipe for making potato chips, packages the chips in brown paper bags, and sells them in his grocery store.

1921. Lindy's Restaurant opens at 1626 Broadway in New York under the management of German-American restaurateur Leo "Lindy" Lindeman, whose cheese cake will be favored by newspapermen, politicians and theater people for half a century.

1921. Some 900,000 immigrants enter the U.S. in the fiscal year ending June 30.

1921. The Dillingham Bill (Emergency Quota Act) enacted by Congress May 19 establishes a quota system to restrict immigration. Entry is permitted only to 3 percent of the people of any nationality who lived in the U.S. in 1910.

Monday, June 23, 2008

1921 Society (2)

1921. Psychodiagnostics by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach introduces the Rorschach Test, based on subjects' reactions to inkblots, to probe the unconscious.

1921. Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages are introduced by Johnson & Johnson of New Brunswick, NJ.

1921. "Weary Willy" makes his bow at Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey's Circus. Clown Emmet Kelly, 22, will play the role of the sad-faced character for 50 years.

1921. Films: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and The Sheik, both with Italian-American vaudeville dancer Rudolph Valentino.

1921. Popular songs: "Ain't We Got fun"; "There'll Be Some Changes Made"; "All by Myself"; "Ma (He's Making Eyes at Me)"; "The Sheik of Araby."

1921. Chicago judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis has been named first commissioner of professional baseball in January. Eight members of the 1919 White Sox team go to trial in June on charges of accepting bribes from gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series. All eight are acquitted, but Judge Landis, who presided over the grand jury that indicted them, bans them all from organized baseball for life. Included is Joseph Jefferson "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, 33, who played flawless ball in the 1919 World Series and hit the only home run.

1921. U.S. cigarette consumption reaches 43 billion, up from 10 billion in 1910 despite the fact that cigarettes are illegal in 14 states. Anti-cigarette bills are pending in 28 other states, college girls are expelled for smoking, but tobacco companies promote the addiction to nicotine.

Friday, June 20, 2008

1921 Society (1)

1921. Billy Mitchell sinks a former German battleship July 21 to prove his contention that a strategic air force makes large navies obsolete.

1921. Southern Ireland gains Dominion status December 6 in a treaty signed with Britain. The Catholic Irish Free State (Eire) embraces 26 of Ireland's 32 counties but the six counties in Protestant Northern Ireland remain part of the United Kingdom and conflict between the two will continue.

1921. The United States has nearly 20,000 business failures and by September nearly 3.5 million Americans are out of work.

1921. The Teapot Dome scandal that will help tarnish the Harding administration has its beginnings as Navy Secretary Edwin Denby transfers control of naval oil reserves to the Department of the Interior whose secretary Albert Fall secretly leases Teapot Dome to private oil operators Harry Sinclair and Edward Doheny.

1921. A Federal Highway Act passed by Congress November 9 begins to coordinate state highways and to standardize U.S. road-building practice.

1921. Heart disease becomes the leading cause of death in America after 10 years of jockeying for the lead with tuberculosis.

1921. The Council of the American Medical Association refuses to endorse an A.M.A. resolution proposed in 1917 that would oppose use of alcohol as a beverage and would discourage its use as therapeutic agent. More than 15,000 physicians and 57,000 druggists and drug manufacturers applied for licenses to prescribe and sell liquor in the first 6 months after passage of the Volstead Act in 1919 and by 1928 physicians will be making an estimated $40 million per year by writing prescriptions for whiskey.

1921. Poliomyelitis strikes former U.S. Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 39, while he vacations at Campobello Island off Nova Scotia. Popularly called Infantile paralysis, it will leave Roosevelt crippled for life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

1920. Literature

"A Dill Pickle." Katherine Mansfield. New Zealand. 1920. Story. Reunited lovers. At first charmed, she is reminded of his faults and leaves him again. Pickle symbolizes the experience.

Age of Innocence. Edith Wharton. American. 1920. Novel. Satirical picture of social life in New York during the 1870s. "Tribal code" keeps lovers apart.

Beyond the Horizon. Eugene O'Neill. American. 1920. Play. Adventurous and prosaic brothers reverse attitudes toward life.

Bliss. Katherine Mansfield. New Zealand. 1920. Stories. Title story: perfect afternoon and life for a young wife. Then she discovers that her husband has been unfaithful.

"Dulce et Decorum Est." Wilfred Owen. British. 1920. Poetry. Ironic condemnation of war. It is not "sweet and fitting to die for one's country."

The Emperor Jones. Eugene O'Neill. American. 1920. Play. West Indies. Former Pullman porter sets himself up as emperor. Flees native revolution. Aboriginal fears.

Few Figs from Thistles. Edna St. Vincent Millay. American. 1920. Poetry. Sophisticated flippancy; youthful Bohemianism.

"Hugh Selwyn Mauberley." Ezra Pound. American. 1920. Poetry. Denunciation of civilization marked by war, commercialization of the arts and sexual sterility.

Main Street. Sinclair Lewis. American. 1920. Novel. Gopher Prairie. Heroine chafes at dullness, sterility of existence as the wife of a local doctor. Tries t make townspeople conscious of culture, refinement. Leaves, but returns to make peace.

Smoke and Steel. Carl Sandburg. American. 1920. Poetry. Attempt to find some kind of beauty in modern industrialism.

This Side of Paradise. F. Scott Fitzgerald. American. 1920. Novel. Honest and detailed description of the Jazz Age. Shallow, purposeless Princeton student. Fights in WWI, begins career in advertising--cynical, war weary, regretful. Not yet 30 years old. Record of "Lost Generation" in its college days.

Women in Love. D.H. Lawrence. British. 1920. Novel. Sequel to The Rainbow. Gudrun and husband = possessive, destructive relationship. Ursula and husband = ideal sensual union. Husband spokesman for Lawrence. Says the modern man allows passionate true self to be imprisoned by intellect. Need good, passionate marriage in which lovers recognize each other's true separateness. Minimum of plot and great deal of philosophical discussion.

Youth and the Bright Medusa. Willa Cather. American. 1920. Stories. Theme of artistic sensibility and talent. Includes "Paul's Case."

Kristin Lavransdatter (Trilogy). Sigrid Undset. Norwegian. 1920/22. Novels. Devout woman's life in Catholic Norway in 13th and 14th centuries.

Monday, June 16, 2008

1920. Society (5)

1920. The "Ponzi Scheme" bilks thousands of Bostonians out of their savings. Italian-American "financial wizard" Charles Ponzi, 38, offers a 50% return on investment in 45 days, 100% in 90 days, and by late July his Securities and Exchange Co. is taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars per day. Ponzi says he has found that a 1-cent reply coupon issued in Spain as a convenience by international postal agreement is exchangeable at any U.S. post office for a 6-cent stamp and that he has agents buying up millions of coupons throughout Europe and is making a 5-cent profit on each. The idea is ridiculous, says Boston financier Clarence Barron, who publishes a financial daily that will later become Barron's Weekly.

1920. Ponzi continues to reimburse investors at 50 to 100% interest; his supporters claim he is being attacked by 'unscrupulous bankers,' but it soon develops that he has been convicted of swindling in Montreal and the 'wizard' has been paying only part of what he has been taking in. At least $8million of the $15 million he has accepted will never be accounted for, his noteholders will receive 12 cents on the dollar, six banks will fail and Ponzi will serve 3.5 years in Plymouth County Jail, escaping a further 7-to-9-year term by jumping bail of $14,000 in 1925.

1920. Barely 20% of America's virgin forest lands remain uncut.

1920. Prohibition will force California vineyard owners to diversify their production, to market as table grapes much of the fruit that has gone into wines and brandies, and to improve their methods of producing raisins, which will soon be marketed under the Sunmaid label.

Friday, June 13, 2008

1920 Society (4)

1920. The U.S. population reaches 105.7 million. Urban residents (54 million) for the first time exceed rural residents (51.5 million).

1920. The world population reaches 1.86 billion.

1920. Popular songs: "Avalon"; "Whispering'; "When My Baby Smiles at Me"; "I'll Be with You in Apple Blossom time."

1920. Babe Ruth signs with the New York Yankees to begin a 14-year career as "Sultan of Swat." He sets a slugging average record of .847 in his first season with New York, hitting 54 home runs, batting.376, scoring 158 runs and making the Yankees the first team in any sport to draw more than a million spectators, nearly double the team's 1919 gate.

1920. The "Black Sox" scandal threatens to undermine the prestige and popularity of America's national pastime. Eight members of last year's Chicago White Sox baseball team are indicted in September for fraud in connection with last year's 5-to-3 World Series loss to Cincinnati.

1920. The National Football League (NFL) is organized. George Halas will make the Chicago Bears commercially viable in 1925 by hiring "Red" Grange, and revolutionize football in the 1930s by perfecting the T formation that will make the game a contest of speed and deception with increased use of the forward pass.

1920. The first Miss America beauty queen is crowned at Atlantic City, NJ, to begin a lasting tradition.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

1920. Society (3)

1920. A bomb explosion September 16 scars the JP Morgan bank building, kills 30, injures 200, and causes $2 million in property damage.

1920. The world's first radio broadcasting station goes on the air November 2 to give results of the Harding-Cox election. Westinghouse engineer Frank Conrad has set up KDKA at East Pittsburgh but only about 5,000 Americans have radio receivers, mostly "cats-whisker" crystal sets.

1920. Outline of History by H.G. Wells intends to replace "narrow nationalist history by a general review of the human record." "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe," he says.

1920. National Prohibition of sales of alcoholic beverages in the United States goes into effect January 16. A mock funeral for "John Barleycorn" is held January 15 at Norfolk, Va., by evangelist William "Billy" Sunday, who has agitated for Prohibition but whose popularity now begins to fade.

1920. Prohibition booms sales of coffee, soft drinks, and ice cream sodas, but consumption of alcoholic beverages will continue through illegal sales and homemade "bathtub gin."

1920. Life Savers, Inc. has increased sales by packaging candy in resealable foil to preserve their flavor, placing nickel Life Savers next to the cash register at cigar stores and restaurants, and having the cashiers include nickels in every customer's change.

Monday, June 9, 2008

1920. Society (2)

1920. The American civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is founded by social reformers who include Methodist minister Harry F. Ward, Clarence Drrow, Upton Sinclair, Jane addams, Helen Keller, Felix Frankfurter and socialist Norman Thomas. The FBI soon infiltrates the ACLU.

1920. Norman Thomas is a former clergyman who will staunchly oppose both communism and fascism but advocate such radical ideas as low-cost public housinjg, a 5-day work week, minimum wage laws, and the abolition of child labor. Congress will ultimately legislate them all. He will be a quadrennial Socialist party candidate for president from 1928 through 1948.

1920. World economies struggle to revive in the wake of the Great War. Demobilized soldiers find few job openings.

1920. Woman's suffrage is proclaimed in effect August 26, following Tennessee's ratification of the nineteenth amendment. Women voters help elect Harding.

1920. The League of Women Voters, founded by suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, will give impartial, in-depth information on candidates, platforms, and ballot issues.

Friday, June 6, 2008

1920. Society (1)

1920. Russia's civil war continues as the Bolsheviks struggle to consolidate control of the country.

1920. British reinforcements have arrived in Ireland May 15 to support His Majesty's forces against attacks by Sinn Fein political militants who continue resistance.

1920. The Government of Ireland Act passed by Parliament December 23 gives Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland the right to elect separate parliaments of their own with each to retain representatives in the British Parliament at London.

1920. "America's present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy," says presidential hopeful Warren Harding. The handsome, genial, but colorless senator is nominated by the Republicans and wins the presidency.

1920. The League of Nations meets for the first time November 15 in its new headquarters at Geneva but its membership includes neither the U.S.S.R. nor the United States. The Senate has finally rejected U.S. membership March 19 in a victory for opponents led by Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts.

1920. Five men kill a factory guard and paymaster April 15 at South Braintree, Mass., and escape in a stolen motorcar with a steel box containing a payroll. Factory worker Nicola Sacco and a fish peddler Bartolomeo Vanzetti are picked up May 5 in a car that contains propaganda leaflets attacking the U.S. government and all other governments. They are arrested for the April 15 murder and robbery, and they are prosecuted as "Reds" by U.S. Attorney General Mitchell Palmer.

To be continued.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

1919. Literature

Demian. Hermann Hesse. German. 1919. Novel. Bildungsroman. Demian a visionary. Protagonist, Sinclair, seeks wisdom from him. Pognant statement of the terrors and torments of adolescence.

Java Head. Joseph Hergesheimer. American. 1919. Novel. China trade. Home of Salem retired captain. His Chinese wife commits suicide to escape a lustful neighbor.

The Moon and Sixpence. W. Somerset Maugham. British. 1919. Novel. Conventional London stockbroker deserts wife, family, and business to become a painter. Based on the life of Gauguin.

"The Pastoral Symphony." Andre Gide. French. 1919. Tale. Pastor adopts blind girl and seduces her. Her sight restored, she commits suicide.

"Tradition and the Individual Talent." T.S. Eliot. American/British. 1919. Essay. Poet can't write significant poetry without being steeped in the tradition. Avoid romantic, autobiographical writing. Concentrate on technique and impersonal, detached poetry.

Winesburg, Ohio. Sherwood Anderson. American. 1919. Novel/Stories. Twenty-three thematically related sketches and stories. Simple, realistic language. Tales of sterility and thwarted creativity. Narrative united by character of George Willard. A Bildungsroman about Willard's developing "wholeness."

The American Language. H.L. Mencken. American. 1919/48. Nonfiction. Differences between British, American languages in vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

1919 Society (4)

1919. Captain Billy's Whiz Bang is launched at Minneapolis by former World War army captain Wilford H. Fawcett, who quickly turns his mimeographed off-color joke sheet into a 25-cent pocket-size monthly which his sons haul to local dealers on coaster wagons.

1919. Popular songs: "Swanee" by George Gershwin; "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm? (After they've Seen Pa-ree)"'; "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise"; "Let the Rest of the World Go By."

1919. Jack Dempsey wins the world heavyweight boxing championship July 4 by a third round knockout over champion Jess Willard at Toledo, Ohio. The "Manassa Mauler" will hold the crown until 1926.

1919. The Cincinnati Reds win the World Series, defeating the Chicago White Sox 5 games to 3 but heavy wagering on the underdog Reds raises suspicions.

1919. The pogo stick patented by U.S. inventor George B. Hansburg is a bouncing metal stick that thousands will ride in the 1920s.

1919. Grand Canyon National Park is established by act of Congress. The 673,575-acre park in Arizona includes the most spectacular part of the Colorado River's great 217-mile canyon.

1919. An Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting sale of alcoholic beverages anywhere in the United States is proclaimed in January to go into effect January 16, 1920.

1919. The Prohibition Enforcement Act (Volstead Act) passed over President Wilson's veto defines as "intoxicating" any beverage containing 0.5% alcohol or more.

1919. The Fleischmann Co. launches a national campaign to urge housewives to buy bakery bread instead of baking at home.

Monday, June 2, 2008

1919. Society (3)

1919. A "Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes" by U.S. physicist Robert Goddard predicts the development of rockets that will break free of Earth's gravitational pull and reach the moon.

1919. The Treaty of Versailles obliges Germany to pay large reparations that include not only billions of dollars, francs, pounds, lire, etc., but also merchant ships and fishing ships plus large quantities of coal to be delivered in the next 10 years to France, Belgium and Italy.

1919. English economist John Maynard Keynes foresees that high reparations imposed on Germany will upset the world economy.

1919. German aircraft engineer Hugo Junkers will design the first all-metal airplane to fly successfully and will establish one of the first regular mail and passenger airlines in Europe.

1919. Albert Einstein's 1905 theory of relativity is confirmed May 29 by English astronomer Arthur Eddington who photographs a solar eclipse on the island of Principe off West Africa. Einstein has insisted that his equations be verified by empirical observation and has devised specific tests.

1919. Dial telephones are introduced November 8 by AT &T.

1919. "Gasoline Alley" by Chicago Tribune staff cartoonist Frank King capitalizes on America's growing fascination with the motorcar. It will be the first strip in which characters grow and age.

Friday, May 30, 2008

1919. Society (2)

1919. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes formulates a "clear and present danger" test for defining conditions under which the constitutional right of freedom of speech may be abridged.

1919. Labor unrest rocks the United States. Four million workers strike or are locked out.

1919. Boston police strike September 9 in protest against pay scales that range from 24 cents per hour for 83-hour weeks down to 21 cents per hour for 98-hour weeks despite wartime inflation. Only 427 of the city's 1,544-man force remain on duty to deal with the orgy of lawlessness that ensues. Gov. Calvin Coolidge learns about the rioting the next morning. He sends state militia into Boston and the 1,117 strikers are dismissed. AF of L leader Samuel Gompers asks that they be reinstated. Coolidge wires Gompers, "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, at any time."

1919. A Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution granting women's suffrage is adopted by a joint resolution of Congress June 20 and sent to the states for ratification.

1919. Race riots erupt in 26 U.S. cities throughout the year.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

1919 Society (1)

1919. The Versailles Peace Conference opens January 18 outside Paris with delegates from 27 victorious nations and one week later adopts a unanimous resolution to create a League of Nations whose members will protect each other against aggression and will devote itself to such matters as disarmament, labor legislation, and health.

1919. A new German republic is established with its constituent assembly at Weimar, a Thuringian city far to the southwest of Berlin, where the traditions are humanistic rather than militaristic.

1919. The third International founded at Moscow March 2 is an organization dedicated to propagating communist doctrine with the avowed purpose of producing world-wide revolution. This Comintern will unite Communist groups throughout the world.

1919. The Treaty of Versailles signed June 28 obliges Germany to accept sole responsibility for causing the Great War.

1919. The U.S. Senate rejects the Versailles Treaty and rejects U.S. membership in the League of Nations. President Wilson has suffered a stroke October 2, his left side is paralyzed, and he is powerless to fight isolationists led by Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

1918. Literature

Cornhuskers. Carl Sandburg. American. 1918. Poetry. Collection of poems. "Cool Tombs." "Prairie." "Caboose Thoughts." "Chicago Poet." "Haunts."

Exiles. James Joyce. Irish. 1918. Play. Irish writer who has spent much of life abroad, estranged from Irish society. Artist's alienation.

My Antonia. Willa Cather. American. 1918. Novel. Bohemian immigrant settlers on frontier farmlands of Nebraska.

Tarr. Wyndham Lewis. British. 1918. Novel. Paris art students of various nationalities; attacks German romanticism, nihilism, militarism.

The Twelve. Aleksandr Blok. Russian. 1918. Poetry. The chaotic streets of St. Petersburg in the early years of the Russian Revolution.

Valmouth. Ronald Firbank. British. 1918. Novel. Fantastic English village with Eastern massage, cultured conversation; society ladies practice religion and pursue men.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

1918. Society (4)

1918. Nonfiction: Eminent Victorians by English writer Lytton Strachey, introduces a new genre of biography by injecting imagined conversations and taking other liberties while debunking the Victorian eminences of Florence Nightingale and such.

1918. Popular songs: "Till We Meet Again"; "K-K-K-Katy"; "After You're Gone"; "Somebody Stole My Gal."

1918. The Raggedy Ann Doll introduced by a New York firm is based on a doll produced to promote sales of the first book of Raggedy Ann Stories. Raggedy Ann doll will grow to become a $20 million-per-year business.

1918. Camel cigarettes are the favorite smoke among U.S. forces in France and enjoy a 40% share of the U.S. market.

1918. The Staatliches Bauhaus founded at Weimar by German Architect Walter Gropius combines two art schools in a revolutionary center that interrelates art, science, technology and humanism.

1918. Americans call sauerkraut "liberty cabbage"; "German toast" becomes "French toast."

Monday, May 26, 2008

1918. Society (3)

1918. The worst pandemic to afflict mankind since the Black Death of the mid-14th century, "Spanish" influenza," (which actually began in China) sweeps through Europe, America and the Orient killing 21.64 million--more than 1 percent of the world's population--while the European War ends after having killed some 10 million. Nearly 25% of Americans fall ill, some 500,000 die including 19,000 at New York, schools are closed, parades and Liberty Loan rallies banned, hospitals jammed,coffin supplies exhausted at Baltimore and Washington.

1918. Emergency tent hospitals go up throughout America as the Spanish influenza epidemic taxes regular hospital facilities.

1918. The International Church of the Four-Square Gospel is founded at Los Angeles by Canadian-American evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, 29, a divorcee who has arrived penniless but offers hope and salvation to Southern and Midwestern migrants newly arrived in Southern California. McPherson will build a large following that will provide funds to build the huge Angelus Temple from which her sermons will be broadcast on radio. Patriotic-religious music played by a 50-piece band will precede the sermons and the McPherson movement based largely on faith healing, adult baptism, and Fundamentalist spectacle, will attract thousands.

1918. "Believe It or Not!" is published for the first time by New York Globe sports cartoonist Robert Ripley, who sketches figures of men who have set records for such unlikely events as running backward and broad jumping on ice.

To be continued.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

1918. Society (2)

1918. Hailed as a U.S. war hero is Tennessee doughboy Alvin Cullum York, 30, whose draft board denied his petition for exemption as a conscientious objector. In the Battle of the Argonne Forest, October 8, Private York of the 82nd Infantry Division led an attack on a German machine gun nest that killed 25 of the enemy and he then almost single-handedly captured 132 prisoners and 35 machine guns.

1918. U.S. ace Frank Luke, 22, takes off in his Spad September 29 in defiance of his commanding officer who has grounded him. Luke has shot down 16 enemy planes. 10 German Fokkers have gone up expressly to seek him out. He downs two of the Fokkers before an antiaircraft shell fragment hits him in the shoulder. He goes down behind enemy lines, empties his pistol at approaching soldeirs, and is mortally wounded 16 days after he first went into combat.

1918. The Owen-Keating Child Labor Law of 1916 is an unconstitutional encroachment on states' rights, the Supreme Court rules June 3. Justice Holmes dissents.

1918. British women over age 30 gain the right to vote under terms of the Fourth Franchise Bill which also grants suffrage to all men over age 21. Emmeline Pankhurst has favorably influenced masculine opinion by persuading women to do war work and has helped obtain passage of the bill.

1918. A head-on collision between two trains on the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway in Tennessee, June 22, kills 99 and injures 171, an all-time high for U.S. railroad mismanagement.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

1918. Society (1)

1918. The Fourteen Points for a just and generous peace outlined by President Wilson, January 8, in a message to Congress are intended to counter the Russian Bolsheviks,who have released secret agreements revealing Allied plans to carve up the German Empire. Wilson calls for "open covenants openly arrived at" and for self-determination of government by Europe's peoples, asks for the creation of a League of Nations to preserve the peace, but has failed to obtain advance Allied agreement to his proposals.

1918. The tide of war has turned with the entry of U.S. troops.

1918. German air ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen, 26. leads the "Flying Circus" that downs dozens of Allied aircraft but is shot down himself April 21. The Red Baron is credited with 80 kills and the Allies bury him with full military honors.

1918. Eddie Rickenbacker engages seven German planes in a dogfight, September 25; he will win the Congressional Medal of Honor for his performance in the encounter.

1918. Russia's royal Romanov family is shot to death July 16 at Yekaterinburg by order of the Bolsheviks.

1918. Germany's Wilhelm II abdicates November 8 and hostilities on the western front end November 11 in an armistice signed by Germany and the Allies at Compiegne outside Paris.

1918. The Great War has killed 1.8 million Germans, 1.7 million Russians, 1.4 million French, 1.2 million Austrians and Hungarians, between 750,000 and 950,000 British, 460,000 Italians, 325,000 Turks and 115,000 Americans. Some 20 million have been blinded, maimed, mutilated, crippled, permanently shell-shocked, or otherwise disabled.