The 1920s-A Short Cultural History,
Looking Back after 102 Years

1 Session, Monday, March 28

10:00 a.m. – Noon, Sink Building

Room 233

Member Fee: $20, Non-Member Fee: $30

'The Roaring 20s', 'The Age of Ballyhoo', 'The Era of Wonderful Nonsense'; these are just some of the names given to the decade of the 1920s, a decade which began with the Women's Suffrage and Prohibition Amendments and ended with the Great Crash on Wall Street in the fall of 1929. The intervening years were unique in America’s history. After years of idealism and sacrifice the country was ready to 'let its hair down' and have fun.

And have fun we did. With the movies and radio, the automobile and the airplane entering the mainstream of society, and with an ‘anything goes’ political and economic philosophy in place, American culture was rapidly subjected to new challenges. How we reacted will be the focus of this class. After a brief look at some serious issues and realities of those years, we'll look at the personalities, the entertainments, the fads, sensational events and scandals - in short, the wacky behavior of Americans at a time when the future seemed unlimited, and every day brought new adventures. Come on along for the ride! (This course was originally scheduled for 2020 but unfortunately was cancelled due to the COVID shutdown.)

Richard DeSimone is by profession a chemist, having had careers in both university teaching and industrial research. History has always been of more than casual interest to him, and American history in particular has been his main focus.