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.