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Ad*Access Research Guide: 1921-1930

A portal into the Ad*Access digital collection that includes links to advertising categories and subcategories and historical context.

1921-1925

International Affairs

  • August 25, 1921. A peace treaty is signed with Germany in Berlin, nearly three years after World War I fighting ends.
  • 1922. Gandhi is arrested in India for civil disobedience and is imprisoned for six years.
  • January 10, 1923. U.S. occupation troops in Germany are ordered home.
  • 1924. The Dawes Plan, a program to reorganize German debt payments and stabilize the German currency, is introduced.

U.S. Politics & Government

  • 1921. Warren G. Harding is inaugurated as President.
  • October 3, 1922. The first female United States Senator, Mrs. W. H. Felton of Georgia, is appointed by the Governor after the seat is vacated mid-term.
  • August 3, 1923. At 2:30 in the morning, while visiting in Vermont, Vice President Calvin Coolidge receives word that he has become President, following the death of Harding.
  • November, 4, 1924. Coolidge is reelected.
  • The first woman Governor of a U.S. state, Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming, is elected.

Companies, Inventions, Discoveries & Technologies

  • October 5, 1921. First radio coverage of the Major League Baseball's World Series.
  • August 28, 1922. First radio commercial is broadcast over WEAF in New York City.
  • 1922. Philo T. Farnsworth, a 15 year old Idaho schoolboy, designs an image dissector system that is later used to help develop TV.
  • 1922. First portable radio and first car radio are manufactured.1922. Herbert Kalmus makes first successful use of the Technicolor process, which began to be widely used to create color films after WWII.
  • December 6, 1923. First radio broadcast of a Presidential address.
  • 1923. There are 15 million cars registered in the United States. One out of four families either bought or sold a car during the year.
  • 1924. Over 2.4 million radios are in American homes.

Humanities & the Arts, Entertainment & Sports

  • 1921. Edith Wharton wins the Pulitzer Prize in the Novel category for The Age of Innocence.
  • 1921. Knee length skirts become fashionable.
  • 1922. The Women's Amateur Athletic Association is founded.
  • 1922. T.S. Eliot's classic long poem, The Wasteland, is published.
  • 1922. The novel Billy Budd, Foretopman by Herman Melville is published posthumously.
  • 1922. Jazz music peaks in popularity.
  • 1922. Robert Flaherty, know as the "father of documentary," produces Nanook of the North, an ethnographic film about Eskimos.
  • 1923. Maude Howe Elliott and Laura Howe Richards are the first women to win the Pulitzer Prize for biography, sharing the award for their profile of their mother, Julia Ward Howe. In this same year, Edna St.Vincent Millay becomes the first women to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.
  • 1923. Yankee Stadium is built in The Bronx, New York.

Miscellaneous

  • 1921. The Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group, is resurgent in the southern United States.
  • May 30, 1922. The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC.
  • July 10-21 1925. The "Scopes Monkey Trial" takes place in Dayton, Tennessee. John T. Scopes is arrested on May 5th for teaching the theory of evolution in violation of state law. He is convicted and fined $100.
  • 1925. The name Duke University is adopted by Trinity College in Durham, North Carolina to meet the terms of a $40,000,000 endowment established by James B. Duke.

1926-1930

International Affairs

  • 1927. U.S. Marines land in Nicaragua to protect U.S. lives and property during the civil war there.
  • 1928. U.S. signs Briand-Kellogg Pact, outlawing war.
  • 1929. U.S. warships arrive in Shanghai, China to protect U.S. lives and property from war.
  • 1929. Collapse of stock market in the U.S. causes a world wide depression.

U.S. Politics & Government

  • 1926. Congress creates the Army Air Corps.
  • 1928. Radio plays a role in the Presidential election for the first time. Herbert Hoover defeats Alfred E. Smith.
  • 1929. Public Origins Plan goes into effect. U.S. consuls are told to turn away any immigrant who might become a "public charge."

Companies, Inventions, Discoveries & Technologies

  • ​January 7, 1927. Commercial transatlantic telephone service is opened between New York City and London by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T).
  • April 7, 1927. First successful demonstration of television takes place in New York City. Televisions were not for sale to the general public until after WWII.
  • July 30, 1928. First color motion picture is exhibited by George Eastman.
  • By 1929, radio accounts for $10.5 million in advertising in the U.S. It was the most rapidly growing medium in the 1920s.
  • 1929. The first flight to the South Pole.
  • 1929. Three quarters of inter-city travelers moved by automobile.
  • 1929. Advertising expenditures, only $2,282,000,000 in 1919, rose to $3,426,000,000 in 1929.
  • 1930. There is one automobile for every 4.9 Americans.

Humanities & the Arts, Entertainment & Sports

  • 1926. Don Juan, perhaps the first talking picture shown to a public audience, premiers in New York City.
  • May 20, 1927. Charles Lindbergh, a 25 year old pilot, flies 3,600 miles from Roosevelt Field, New York to Le Bourget, France. The solo trip lasted 33.5 hours and made him an international hero.
  • 1928. Women compete for the first time in Olympic field events.
  • 1928. U.S. anthropologist Margaret Mead publishes Coming of Age in Samoa.
  • 1929. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway is published.
  • 1930. Literary censorship increases. James Joyce's Ulysses is seized by custom's officials on the grounds that it is obscene. Leon Trotsky's work is banned in Boston.

Miscellaneous

  • 1928. Great Britain lowers the age of suffrage from 30 to 21.
  • 1929. National incomes statistics show that 60% of U.S. citizens have annual incomes less than $2,000, an amount which is estimated as the bare minimum on which a family can survive.
  • 1929. Gangs control the illegal liquor trade especially in Chicago, where Al "Scarface" Capone emerges as the top gangster. On February 14, 1929 seven members of "Bugs" Moran's gang are killed in a mass murder which became known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
  • September 22, 1929. Construction of the Empire States Building begins in New York City. It was completed in 1931.
  • October 24, 1929. Known as Black Thursday, on this date the New York Stock Exchange crashes, with $4 billion lost in trading. This marks the beginning of the Great Depression in the United States.
  • 1930. The world population reaches two billion.