Portal:1920s

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The 1920s Portal


The 1920s was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1920, and ended on December 31, 1929. In North America, it is frequently referred to as the "Roaring Twenties" or the "Jazz Age", while in Europe the period is sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age Twenties"[1] because of the economic boom following World War I. French speakers refer to the period as the "Années folles" (“Crazy Years”),[2] emphasizing the era's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism.

The economic prosperity experienced by many countries during the 1920s (especially the United States) was similar in nature to that experienced in the 1950s and 1990s. Each period of prosperity was the result of a paradigm shift in global affairs. These shifts in the 1920s, 1950s, and 1990s, occurred in part as the result of the conclusion of World War I and Spanish flu, World War II, and the Cold War, respectively.

The 1920s saw foreign oil companies begin operations throughout South America. Venezuela became the world's second largest oil producing nation.[3]

In some countries the 1920s saw the rise of radical political movements, especially in regions that were once part of empires. Communism spread as a consequence of the October Revolution and the Bolsheviks' victory in the Russian Civil War. Fear of the spread of Communism led to the emergence of far right political movements and fascism in Europe. Economic problems contributed to the emergence of dictators in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, to include Józef Piłsudski in the Second Polish Republic, and Peter and Alexander Karađorđević in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

The devastating Wall Street Crash in October 1929 is generally viewed as a harbinger of the end of 1920s prosperity in North America and Europe.


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Fighting near Radzymin
The Battle of Radzymin, a key part of what later became known as the Battle of Warsaw, took place during the Polish–Soviet War (1919–21). The battle occurred near the town of Radzymin, some 20 kilometres (12 mi) north-east of Warsaw, between August 13 and 16, 1920. The first phase began with a frontal assault by the Red Army on the Praga bridgehead. The Soviet forces captured Radzymin on August 14 and breached the lines of the 1st Polish Army, which was defending Warsaw from the east. Radzymin changed hands several times in heavy fighting. The Russians wanted to break through the Polish defences to Warsaw, while the Polish aim was to defend the area long enough for a two-pronged counteroffensive to outflank the attacking forces. After three days of intense fighting, the corps-sized 1st Polish Army under General Franciszek Latinik managed to repel a direct assault by six Red Army rifle divisions at Radzymin and Ossów. The struggle for control of Radzymin forced General Józef Haller, commander of the Polish Northern Front, to start the 5th Army's counterattack earlier than planned. Radzymin was recaptured on August 15, and this victory proved to be one of the turning points of the Battle of Warsaw.

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Lillian Gish
Credit: Bain News Service

A portrait of Lillian Gish from 1921. Gish was one of the first female movie stars, called "The First Lady of American Cinema", starting in 1912 and continuing to appear in films until 1987. The American Film Institute named Gish 17th among the greatest female stars of all time and awarded her a Life Achievement Award, making her the only recipient who was a major figure in the silent era. Remarkably, she never won an Academy Award for her work, although she did receive a Special Academy Award in 1971.

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Naniboujou Lodge

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Roger Hornsby on a 1921 Exhibits baseball card wearing a St. Louis Cardinals road uniform
Rogers Hornsby (1896–1963) was an American baseball infielder, manager, and coach who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Hornsby was named the National League (NL)'s Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice, and was a member of the 1926 World Series champions. In 1915, he began his major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals and remained with the team for 12 seasons, winning his first MVP and his only World Series. He then played for the New York Giants and Boston Braves before being traded to the Chicago Cubs. He played with the Cubs for four years and won his second MVP before the team released him in 1932. Hornsby re-signed with the Cardinals in 1933, but was released partway through the season and was picked up by the St. Louis Browns. He remained there until his final season in 1937. From 1925 to 1937, Hornsby was intermittently a player-manager. He later managed the Browns in 1952 and the Cincinnati Reds from 1952 to 1953. Sportswriters consider Hornsby to be one of the best hitters of all time. His career batting average of .358 is second to Ty Cobb in MLB history. He also won two Triple Crowns, and is the only player to hit 40 home runs and bat .400 in the same year (1922). He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1942.

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  1. ^ Paul Sann, The Lawless Decade Retrieved 2009-09-03
  2. ^ Andrew Lamb (2000). 150 Years of Popular Musical Theatre. Yale U.P. p. 195. 
  3. ^ Wilkins, Mira (1974). "Multinational Oil Companies in South America in the 1920s: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru". The Business History Review. 48 (3): 414–446. doi:10.2307/3112955. 
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