What a Difference a Century Makes:  1921

By:  M. Callahan

Counting & confirming the presidential Electoral votes in a calm & dignified manner...the way statesmen and national leaders are supposed to behave.   Counting & confirming the presidential Electoral votes in a calm & dignified manner...the way statesmen and national leaders are supposed to behave...showing appropriate decorum.


US Population:    106,021,537    -    15% rise over 1910

Public Figures

President: Warren G. Harding
Vice President:  Calvin Coolidge
Virginia Governor:  Henry Carter Stuart
Chief Justice Supreme Court:  William Howard Taft
Speaker of the House:  Frederick H. Gillett (R-Massachusetts)
Senate Majority Leader:  Henry Cabot Lodge (R-Massachusetts)
VA Senators: Claude A. Swanson & Carter Glass

BORN:  John Glen, HRS Prince Philip, Gene Roddenberry, Ben Bradley, Mary Jackson, James Clavell, Alex Haley, Sugar Ray Robinson, Roy Campanella, Betty Friedan, Nancy Reagan

DIED:  Bat Masterson, Lady Randolph Churchill, Enrico Caruso, Prince Louis of Battenberg. Emmeline Wells, John Boyd Dunlop

Married:  French President Charles de Gaulle (30) weds Yvonne Vendroux (20), Author Ernest Hemingway (22) marries 1st wife Hadley Richardson (29) , Actor Jack Haley (22) weds Florence McFadden

HISTORICAL EVENTS

  • The Emergency Quota Act passes the U.S. Congress, establishing national quotas on immigration. Because this drastically limits immigration from Eastern Europe, Jews emigrating from there begin to prefer Palestine as a destination rather than the U.S. (1)

  • First victim of the Osage Indian murders is discovered in Osage County, Oklahoma.

  • Tulsa Race Riot (Greenwood Massacre): Mobs of white residents attack black residents and businesses in Greenwood District, Tulsa, Oklahoma. The official death toll is 36, but later investigations suggest an actual figure between 100 and 300. 1,250 homes are destroyed and roughly 6,000 African Americans imprisoned in one of the worst incidents of mass racial violence in the United States.

  • Former President of the United States William Howard Taft is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States, making him the only person ever to hold both positions.

  • A Massachusetts jury finds Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti guilty of first degree murder following a widely publicized trial.

  • White Castle hamburger restaurant opens in Wichita, Kansas, the foundation of the world's first fast food chain.

  • In Atlantic City, New Jersey, the first Miss America Pageant is held.

  • The United States formally ends World War I, declaring a peace with Germany.

  • The first radio baseball game is broadcast; Harold Arlin announces the Pirates-Phillies game from Forbes Field over Westinghouse KDKA, in Pittsburgh.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt's paralytic illness strikes while he is vacationing on Campobello Island; he is diagnosed with polio.

  • The Irish Republic and British government sign the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December 6th, ending the Irish War of Independence and paving the way for the creation of the Irish Free State. The Irish Free State officially came into existence the following year when its constitution became law under royal proclamation.  

  • Soviet Russia and Poland signed the Treaty of Riga. The treaty established a permanent border between the two countries. The borders set in this treaty were in effect until the outbreak of World War II

  • Mahatma Gandhi assumes leadership of the Indian National Congress. Leading nationwide campaigns for expanding women’s rights, building ethnic and religious peace easing poverty, ending the bigotry toward untouchability, and achieving self-rule were the aims of the National Congress.

  • One of the worst famines in modern times, grips Russia due to the failure of crops.

  • In Germany, Adolf Hitler becomes Chairman of the Nazi Party in his quest for supreme power. On 14 September 1921, Hitler and a substantial number of SA members and other Nazi Party adherents disrupted a meeting at the Löwenbräukeller of the Bavarian League. This federalist organization objected to the centralism of the Weimar Constitution but accepted its social program. The League was led by Otto Ballerstedt, an engineer whom Hitler regarded as, "my most dangerous opponent.”  One Nazi, Hermann Esser, climbed upon a chair and shouted that the Jews were to blame for the misfortunes of Bavaria and the Nazis shouted demands that Ballerstedt yield the floor to Hitler.2

    The Nazis beat up Ballerstedt and shoved him off the stage into the audience. Hitler and Esser were arrested and Hitler commented notoriously to the police commissioner, "It's all right. We got what we wanted. Ballerstedt did not speak.” (2)   Hitler was eventually sentenced to 3 months imprisonment and ended up serving only a little over one month. 

    On 4 November 1921, the Nazi Party held a large public meeting in the Munich Hofbräuhaus. After Hitler had spoken for some time, the meeting erupted into a melée in which a small company of SA defeated the opposition.  Here the horror all began. 

  • "All By Myself", the famous song by Irving Berlin becomes popular.

  • Boeing obtains orders for aircraft and abandons furniture-making.

  • Fashion Designer Coco Chanel introduces Chanel No. 5 perfume.

  • Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolate insulin.

NY Yankees player Roger Peckinpaugh with NY Giants player Dave Bancroft and umpires at Polo Grounds, 1921 World Series.  Photo credit:  The George Grantham Bain collection at the Library of Congress

The 1921 World Series featured the New York Giants and the New York Yankees, who relied on the power game demonstrated by Babe Ruth. Ruth had just finished his best season ever but was unable to start the final three games because of an infected arm and a bad knee.  This was the first World Series appearance by the Yankees, who have since gone onto play in the Series a record 40 times. The 1921 Series was a closely contested matchup that ended on a double play featuring a baser running miscue.   This was also the first World Series to be broadcast on radio, with Grantland Rice covering the games live through Pittsburgh's KDKA.

After getting outscored 6–0 in the first two games of this series and falling behind 4–0 in the top of the third, the Giants tied it with four runs of their own in the bottom half. Later on, an 8 run 7th inning highlighted by Ross Youngs' bases loaded triple turned the tide as the Giants got their first win of this series. Ruth was taken out in the eighth after again scraping his elbow sliding into a base. The Yankees announced after the game that the elbow would have to be lanced and that he would not return for the rest of the Series.  

In game 5, Ruth's arm was still bandaged, but he played again. In the fourth, with the score tied 1–1, he shocked everyone by bunting and beating it out. His teammate Meusel then doubled, scoring Ruth all the way from first base for the go-ahead run in a 3–1 Yankee win. The Giants battled back from 3–0 and 5–3 deficits to take Game 6.  Then, Phil Douglas scattered eight hits and held the Yankees to one run, the Giants winning 2-1 on Frank Snyder's RBI double in the seventh inning.   

Facing elimination, Yankee manager Miller Huggins sent Ruth out to pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth. The Babe, nursing both elbow and knee injuries, had sat out this game and missed all of Games 6 and 7. The bases were empty and the Yankees still trailed by the lone run of the game scored by the Giants in the top of the first. A HR would tie the game, and a hit or a walk would give the Yankees a chance. But Ruth grounded out, and shortly afterwards Frank Baker hit into a double play after a walk by Aaron Ward who was thrown out at third base for the final out of the Series, giving the Giants their first world championship since Christy Mathewson's record three complete shutouts in 1905.  Final score:  (5–3): New York Giants (N.L.) over New York Yankees (A.L.)  (3)

 

1921s Fashion Trends 

  • Coco Chanel, the major figure in fashion at the time, was known for her chic and progressive designs

  • The Bob hairstyle, the little black dress, & jersey knit for women's clothing were the “Bees Knees”.

  • Costume jewelry and knitwear became trendy.

  • Bell shaped hats

    Other prominent French designers of the 1920s were Jeanne Lanvin and Jean Patou.
  • Lavin trademarks: complex trimmings, dazzling embroideries, and beaded decorations in light, clear, floral colors that eventually became a Lanvin trademark.

  • Patou emphasized clean lines, geometric and Cubist motifs, and a mixture of luxury and practicality, These designs aimed to satisfy the new vogue for the outdoor life, and had a remarkable similarity to modern sportswear

  • Salvatore Ferragamo and André Perugia were two of the most influential and respected designers in footwear.  The higher 2” high heel and the two tone shoe became hugely popular.

Favorite Pastimes: 
Golf, Horseback Riding, Swimming, Tennis, Polo, Baseball, Football

Home Décor Trends
Geometric prints, oriental touches, chrome, glass and heavily polished wood, monochrome color scheme,  mirrors & mirrored chests-tables.

Art Deco, a modernist style became the rage. This included a minimalist feel far different from any previous time.    

Interior décor colors:  muted, primarily a pastel palette. including jade green, dusty peach, dusty rose, navy blue, medium blue, faded yellow, light grey, sand, burnt orange, buff, and violet (purple).

Depression of 1920–1921
A sharp deflationary recession in the United States, United Kingdom and other countries, beginning 14 months after the end of World War I. The absorption of millions of veterans into the growing economy was complicated by shifting from a wartime to a peacetime economy. Factors identified as contributing to the downturn include returning troops, which created a surge in the civilian labor force (4.1% in a single year or approximately 1.6 million workers); a decline in labor union strife; changes in fiscal and monetary policy; and changes in price expectations.

Following the end of the depression, the Roaring Twenties brought a period of economic prosperity between August 1921 and August 1929, one month before the stock market crash that triggered the start of the Great Depression.

SPORTS

World Series:  The Chicago White Sox Baseball team is accused of throwing the World Series
Stanley Cup:   Senators defeated Vancouver three games to two.
World Heavyweight Boxing:  Jack Dempsey 

USPGA Championship: Walter Hagen, US Open:  Jim Barnes
British Open:  Jock Hutchison
Horseracing-Triple Crown: 
Kentucky Derby:  Behave Yourself
Preakness:  Broomspun
Belmont Stakes-Grey Lag  

Tennis: US Men's Singles 
Bill Tilden  (USA) over Wallace Johnsom (UK)
US Women’s Singles: Molly Mallory (USA) defeats Mary Browne (USA)

Rose Bowl:  University of California defeats Ohio State 28–0 
 

NOBEL AWARDS 1921: 
Peace:  Christian Lous Lange of Norway, author-political scientist, and Prime Minister Hjalmar Branting of Sweden.

Literature:  Anatole France "in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements

Chemistry:  Frederick Soddy "for his contributions to our knowledge of the chemistry of radioactive substances, and his investigations into the origin and nature of isotopes.
Physics:  Albert Einstein for his services to Theoretical Physics

PULITZER PRIZES
Pulitzer-DramaMiss Lulu Bett, by Zona Gale 

Pulitzer-Fiction:  Edith Wharton for “Age of Innocence”

Pulitzer– Biography: The Americanization of Edward Bok, by Edward Bok

Pulitzer Journalism: The Boston Post for its exposure of the operations of Charles Ponzi by a series of articles which finally led to his arrest.


COST OF COMMON CONSUMER GOODS
Housing, fuel  and miscellaneous items have been stable for the past year while food, clothing, and furniture have declined in price. Unemployment rate soars to 11.7%.

Consumer Price Index:   17.9%

First-class stamp:   $0.02

Unemployment: 11.7%  

Family Income:  $3,300.00

Pound of Butter:  $0.55

Loaf of bread:  $0.07

One dozen eggs:  $0.45

Quart of milk:  $0.09

Pound of Bacon:  $0.48

Potatoes (pound):  $0.27

Chicken (pound):  $.37

Chuck Roast (pound):  $.16

Oranges (dz.):  $.0.30

Apple (per pound):$0.13

Movie Ticket:  $0.15

Hoover Vacuum: $39.00

Electric Wash Machine:  $81

Chevrolet:  $525

Gallon of Gas:  $0.26

Newspaper:  $0.02 daily edition

Movie Tickets:  $0.15

Ave. Home Cost:  $3,200-6,400 depending on size & area

Telephone:  The Bell Company charged a flat $3.00 per month.


Toys: 
Pedal Car: 
$10.95

Clock work train set:  $5.95

Tricycle:  $8.95

Toy Cars:  from $0.39

Erector Sets:  $0.98-9.98

Tinker Toy Sets: $0.63-1.75

Olympic Flyer Wagon:  $4.98

Boys Bike:  $15.98

Flossy Flirt Doll:  $1.98-4.98

Wind Up Airplane:  $0.87

Stick Horse:  $0.59

Swinging Horse:  $3.69


Ladies Clothing:
Georgette Crepe Blouse:  $5.98

Silk Crepe Blouse:  $3.79
Canton Crepe Dress:  $13.95
Wool Coat:  $10.50
Gingham House Dress:  $2.98


Men’s Clothing:

Shirts:  $1.79-2.39
Wool Serge Suit:  $22.75
Sport or Work Suit:  $11.75
Trousers:  $3.75-4.65
Coveralls:  $2.29 - $2.48


 1921 Washington                
DC Population:  437,571   -    32% increase over 1919

 Easter Egg roll WH 1921National Photo Company Collection _Library of Congress_Easter Egg Roll at White House in 1921 
National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress

President Warren G. Harding began: March 4, 1921, to Aug. 2, 1923.  Died suddenly of a heart attack. He presided in the period directly after WWI with soaring unemployment, changing economic times, an agricultural recession resulting in low crop prices and low farm incomes. He died of an apparent heart attack and was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge.

Looking east state_ war and Navy Building

Looking east State, War and Navy Building
now used as the Executive Office Building (OEOB)

  • Supported the 1921 Emergency Quota Act, which marked the start of a period of restrictive immigration policies
  • Vetoed a bill designed to give a bonus to World War I veterans and presided over the creation of the Veterans Bureau
  • With Treasury Sect. Andrew Mellon, one of the wealthiest men in America, he created the Revenue Act of 1921, a major tax cut that primarily reduced taxes on the wealthy
  • Promoted new technologies like the radio and aviation
  • Greatest foreign policy achievement, guided by Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes was the Washington Naval Conference. The world's major naval powers agreed to a naval disarmament program.
  • Appointed four Supreme Court justices, all of whom became conservative members of the Taft Court

    The U.S. Supreme Court in 1921 Day_ Brandeis_ McKenna_ Pitney_ Taft_ McReynolds_ Holmes_ Clarke and Van Devanter

    The U.S. Supreme Court in 1921 Day, Brandeis,  McKenna, Pitney. Taft, McReynolds, Holmes, Clarke and Van Devanter



1 Toland, John (1976). Adolf Hitler. New York: Doubleday & Company

 2:  Hoffmann, Peter (2000). Hitler's Personal Security: Protecting the Führer 1921–1945. Da Capo Press..                                                      
 3:  
Wikipedia


 
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Members of the Irish Negotiation ConferenceMembers of the Irish negotiation committee returning to Ireland in December 1921, The peacemakers - George Gavan Duffy, Erskine Childers, Robert Barton and Arthur Griffith  Photo credit:  National Library of Ireland

Washington Naval ConferenceThe Washington Naval Conference, was a disarmament conference called by the United States, held in Washington from November 12, 1921 to February 6, 1922. It was attended by nine nations regarding interests in the Pacific Ocean & East Asia.

 Hitler’s forged membership card for the German Worker’s Party.  His member number was actually 555.Hitler’s forged membership card for the German Worker’s Party.  His member number was actually 555.

SA Unit Nürnberg, in front of the main railway station Photo credit the German Federal Archive SA Unit Nürnberg, in front of the main railway station.  Photo credit the German Federal Archive

Smoke billowing over Tulsa_ Oklahoma during 1921 race riotSmoke billowing over Tulsa, Oklahoma
during 1921 race riot

Tulsa Race Riot (Greenwood Massacre): Mobs of white residents attack black residents and businesses in Greenwood District, Tulsa, Oklahoma. The official death toll is 36, but later investigations suggest an actual figure between 100 and 300. 1,250 homes are destroyed and roughly 6,000 African Americans imprisoned in one of the worst incidents of mass racial violence in the United States.

Patients recovering in Tulsa hospital from race riots
Patients recovering in Tulsa hospital from race riots


1921 Fashion at the White House:  Bob haircuts, drop waistlines,  fancy trims & collars, strapped shoes with higher & narrower heels. 1921 Fashion at the White House:  Bob haircuts, drop waistlines, fancy trims & collars, strapped shoes with higher & narrower heels.

Inaugural address by Warren Harding 1921Inaugural address by Warren Harding 1921

	New Year_s Rectption 1921 National Photo Company Collection _Library of CongressNew Year's Reception at the White House, National Photo Co. Collection

Easter Egg Roll at White House in 1921  National Photo Company Collection, LOCEaster Egg Roll at White House in 1921 
National Photo Company Collection

Thomas Edison punching a time clock on his 75th birthday 1921Thomas Edison punching a time clock on his
75th birthday 1921

 Henry Ford_ Thomas Edison_ Warren Harding and Harvey Firestone near cabin_ Firestone camp

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Warren Harding and Harvey Firestone near cabin at Firestone camp

 Haircut and radio entertainment offered at DC barbe
Haircut and radio entertainment offered at DC barber

 Pres. Harding_s new _ 9_000.00 White House locomobile_ 1921_Pres. Harding's new  $ 9,000.00
White House locomobile

Wash Monument Armistice night 1921 National Photo Company CollectionWash Monument Armistice night 1921 with the monument not yet completed.
National Photo Company Collection

Clarendon area of Arlignton 1921 National Photo Company Collection Clarendon area of Arlington
National Photo Co. Collection

 Tank_ Key Bridge in background_ Washington_ D.C
Tank 1921 with Key Bridge in background
Washington, D.C

Kids examining the trunk of the Morse Elm which stood on the NW corner of Fourteenth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.  It was cut down in 1921 during a road widening project.  The tree was named for the inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, who was reported to have held meetings beneath it in 1849 regarding U.S. government use of his newly-patented telegraph…… American Forests magazine, April 1931. Kids examining the trunk of the Morse Elm which stood on the NW corner of Fourteenth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.  It was cut down in 1921 during a road widening project.  The tree was named for the inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, who was reported to have held meetings beneath it in 1849 regarding U.S. government use of his newly-patented telegraph…… American Forests Magazine, April 1931
.

11 11 21 three years after the armistice that ended World War I_ President Harding presided over the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown SoldieNovember 11, 1921 three years after the armistice that ended World War I, Pres. Harding presided over the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

 The Phillips Collection, opened in 1921, as America's first museum of modern art. It featured a permanent collection of nearly 3,000 works by American and European impressionist and modern artists .  The museum is housed in three adjoining buildings including Phillips' Georgian Revival home.

The Phillips Collection, opened in 1921, as America's first museum of modern art. It featured a permanent collection of nearly 3,000 works by American and European impressionist and modern artists .  The museum is housed in three adjoining buildings including Phillips' Georgian Revival home.

Margaret Gorman 1st Miss America and from DCMargaret Gorman, 1st Miss America and from DC

White_Castle_Building
White Castle Hamburger Restaurant
opens in Wichita, Kansas, the foundation of the world's first fast food chain.

Dentzel Carousel building at Glen Echo amusement park, just outside Washington, D.C., in Glen Echo, Maryland.

The Dentzel Carousel building at Glen Echo amusement park, just outside Washington, D.C.,
in Glen Echo, Maryland

 

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Reproduction of this story and photographs, in part or in whole, requires the written permission of the author.  Copyright © 2011 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.

 

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