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The Roaring Twenties When the peace treaty ending World War I was signed, people throughout the nation were ready to celebrate the end of rationing, the end of worry about loved ones overseas, the end of sadness associated with a deadly world- wide flu epidemic, and the end of hard times associated with the war. In his presidential campaign, President Warren Harding had promised to return the country to normalcy, and that is exactly what he tried to do. But the normalcy of the past was going to take a big left turn. The New Woman On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amend- ment was ratified, giving women the right to vote. Suddenly, women felt a new sense of equal- ity and a new freedom of expression. Many who had stepped into the labor force during the war years wanted to continue working. The idea of femininity changed drastically. Out were tight corsets and long petticoats. In were knee-length, free-moving dresses that ex- posed women’s legs and arms. Out was the long hair put up in buns or braids; in was a short, bobbed, boyish hair style. Out was the natural look; in was make-up such as lipstick and rouge. Out was the demure, modest, and well-behaved matron. In was the young woman who drank, smoked, and danced all night without a chap- erone. And times would never again be the same. Many of the females of the 1920s proudly took on the label flappers. The term was first used in Great Britain after World War I to describe young girls between childhood and adulthood. But writer and publisher H. L. Mencken described the flapper as “a somewhat foolish girl, full of wild surmises and inclined to revolt against the precepts and admonitions of her elders.” The Nineteenth Amendment also opened the doors for women to run for political office. In 1922, two women became the first female legis- lators in the Georgia house of representatives— Bessie Kempton Crowell from Fulton County and Viola Ross Napier from Bibb County. As you read, look for: Georgia’s first two female legislators, new forms of music, problems in agriculture, and vocabulary terms: jazz, the blues, boll weevil, and Great Migration. S ection P review S ection P review Section1 Section1 380 Chapter 11: Flappers, Depression, and Global War

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  • The Roaring TwentiesWhen the peace treaty ending World War I was signed, people throughoutthe nation were ready to celebrate the end of rationing, the end of worryabout loved ones overseas, the end of sadness associated with a deadly world-wide flu epidemic, and the end of hard times associated with the war. In hispresidential campaign, President Warren Harding had promised to returnthe country to normalcy, and that is exactly what he tried to do. But thenormalcy of the past was going to take a big left turn.

    The New WomanOn August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amend-

    ment was ratified, giving women the right tovote. Suddenly, women felt a new sense of equal-ity and a new freedom of expression. Many whohad stepped into the labor force during the waryears wanted to continue working.

    The idea of femininity changed drastically.Out were tight corsets and long petticoats. Inwere knee-length, free-moving dresses that ex-posed womens legs and arms. Out was the longhair put up in buns or braids; in was a short,bobbed, boyish hair style. Out was the naturallook; in was make-up such as lipstick and rouge.Out was the demure, modest, and well-behavedmatron. In was the young woman who drank,smoked, and danced all night without a chap-erone. And times would never again be thesame. Many of the females of the 1920s proudlytook on the label flappers. The term was firstused in Great Britain after World War I todescribe young girls between childhood andadulthood. But writer and publisher H. L.Mencken described the flapper as a somewhatfoolish girl, full of wild surmises and inclinedto revolt against the precepts and admonitionsof her elders.

    The Nineteenth Amendment also opened thedoors for women to run for political office. In1922, two women became the first female legis-lators in the Georgia house of representativesBessie Kempton Crowell from Fulton Countyand Viola Ross Napier from Bibb County.

    As you read, look for: Georgias first two femalelegislators, new forms of music, problems in agriculture, and vocabulary terms: jazz, theblues, boll weevil, and GreatMigration.

    Section PreviewSection Preview Section1Section1

    380 Chapter 11: Flappers, Depression, and Global War

  • In that same year, Rebecca LatimerFelton was honored when Governor Tho-mas Hardwick appointed her to fill theU.S. Senate seat of Tom Watson, who haddied in office. Feltons appointment wasan acknowledgment of her outstandingreform work and efforts supporting thesuffrage movement. Since the Senate wasnot in session at the time of her appoint-ment, Felton was not officially sworn into her new office. Nor did she really servetime in Congress; Walter F. George waselected to the Senate seat in a special elec-tion. But when the Senate reconvened,the 87-year-old Felton was sworn in for aday, making her the first woman to servein the U.S. Senate.

    MusicThousands of clubs called speakeasies

    opened across the country, and mostwere well stocked with illegal liquor. Of-ten, the music that was played in thoseclubs was a unique African Americancontribution known as jazz. Jazz was dif-ferent from traditional music styles be-cause it relied on improvisation. That is,jazz was on the spur of the moment;it did not follow written notes. Although jazz had been around for a longtime, it burst onto the national stage during the 1920s. Musicians such asDuke Ellington and Louis Armstrong played at jazz clubs, which opened uparound the country. The most famous club was the Cotton Club in Harlem,which was packed each night with black and white audiences.

    The blues was another popular music of the period. Blues music wasbased on black folk music. Georgias own Ma Rainey became known as

    the Mother of the Blues, and sherecorded about one hundred songsbetween 1923 and 1928. Her songsusually spoke of lost love, loneliness,poverty, and jealousy. Anotherpopular blues singer of the periodwas Bessie Smith.

    An African American musical,Runnin Wild, featured a dancethat swept the nation and becamesynonymous with the periodtheCharleston.

    SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    Rebecca Latimer Felton was the first woman to serve in theU.S. Senate. Mrs. Felton was also the senator who, having

    served one day, served the shortest term and was the oldestsenator, at age 87, at the time of her swearing-in.

    Above: The bob hairstyle waspopular in the 1920s.Opposite page: Womensfashions of the 1920sreflected social changes.

    Section 1: The Roaring Twenties 381

    ?The music of the era alsoled to a new crazedancemarathons. One marathonheld at Madison SquareGarden in 1928 lasted481 hours. Ninety-one

    couples took part.

    Did You Know?Did You Know?

  • Top : This is an early washingmachine. Center: Theseflappers of the 1920s aredancing the Charleston.Bottom: The two items in thebackground are early radios.The disks in the foregroundare 78rpm records.

    CrimeThere was a dark note to the Roaring Twenties, as the period was called.

    The prohibition of the 1920s gave rise to organized gangs in large cities suchas Chicago and New York. These gangsters made millions by supplying ille-gal liquor to speakeasies and other private clubs. The public followed themisdeeds of such mobsters as Scarface Al Capone, Bugs Moran, Baby FaceNelson, and Frank Nitty.

    Capone, dubbed Chicagos Public Enemy No. 1, was finally arrested andconvicted of tax evasion. Capone spent one year in the Atlanta federal peni-tentiary before he was transferred to Alcatraz.

    Life in the Roaring TwentiesAfter the war years, life was good. A trip

    to the doctors office was only $5, and foran extra dollar or two the doctor wouldcome to your home. Many things cameright to the front doormilk, butter andcream, ice, and even fresh vegetables. Veg-etable deliveries were short lived, however.In 1926, a man named Clarence Birdseyeperfected a method for freezing and pack-aging foods. His process freed womenfrom the chore of buying fresh foods ev-ery day and from having to cook every-thing from scratch.

    Little by little, life was becoming moreconvenient. Electricity became morewidely available, and electric appliances

    became more common. For example, in 1927, the first pop-up toaster wasintroduced. Gas ranges replaced wood and coal stoves. Convenience foodsbegan to appear. Quick-cooking rolled oats, pancake mix, and canned goods(everything from tuna to pineapple) were available. By the end of the de-cade, families could buy presliced bread. Gerbers baby foods first went onthe market in 1928.

    In November 1920, radio station KDKA started broadcasting in Pittsburgh,and it changed America forever. One year later, Americans spent $10 mil-lion on radio sets and parts. Families gathered around the radio to listen tobaseball games, news reports, and favored programs such as The Grand OleOpry. In 1922,WSB radio in Atlantajoined the ever growing number ofstations throughout the country.Those tuned in heard a jazz rendi-tion of the Light Cavalry Overture.The station became known as theVoice of the South. In 1923, WRABradio was licensed in Savannah, andin 1924 radio station WDBA was li-

    382 Chapter 11: Flappers, Depression, and Global War?The call letters for radiostation WSB in Atlantareportedly stood forWelcome South Brother.

    Did You Know?Did You Know?

  • Above: These young AfricanAmerican men from the Southmoved north and found workin shipyards, meat-packingplants and steel mills.

    censed in Columbus. The radio stations linked Americans to each other andto the world more than ever before.

    Movies were a favorite pastime. In 1927, the first talking motion picture,The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson, hit theaters. Children and adults were enthralledjust a year later when Walt Disneys first talking cartoon, Steamboat Willie,appeared. It introduced a new American movie heroMickey Mouse.

    The Destruction of King CottonFor many Georgians, the twenties were not a time of abundance. A small,

    grayish, long-snouted beetle, the boll weevil, was destroying the primarysource of income for many Georgia farmers: cotton. The boll weevil had comefrom Mexico, moved through Texas, and into the southern states in the 1890s.The beetles hatch in the yellow flower of the cotton plant. As the flowerbecomes a boll (the place were the fibers are formed), the larvae feeds on thegrowing white, fluffy cotton, making it useless.

    The boll weevil appeared in southwest Georgia in 1915 and quickly spreadacross the state, destroying thousands of acres of Georgias major agriculturalcrop. By 1923, cotton production had dropped to 600,000 bales from a highof 2.8 million bales in 1914. The post-war price was only fifteen to seventeencents a pound.

    In 1924, Georgia farmers were hitwith another natural disastera majordrought. The sun-baked fields sloweddown the destruction of the boll wee-vil, but the drought ruined most ofGeorgias other crops. Over 375,000farm workers left Georgia between 1920and 1925. The number of workingfarms fell from 310,132 to 249,095.

    When farms failed, banks that hadloaned the farmers money took hugelosses. Many farm-related businessesclosed. Georgia was in a deep depression.

    The Great MigrationWhile parts of the nation were living it up during the Roaring Twenties,

    an agricultural depression led many tenant farmers to leave the South andmigrate north looking for work. Black farmers, in particular, moved to north-ern industrial cities such as Chicago and Detroit, hoping to find work in fac-tories and assembly plants. This movement of southern blacks, which lasteduntil the 1960s, was called the Great Migration.

    In the South, most well-paying jobs went to whites. Better jobs and higherpay were available in the North. In fact, many northern companies activelyrecruited African Americans for jobs.

    There were other reasons for the mi