Today my dad turns 93 years old. He was born in 1920 in West Virginia. To put it in perspective, here are some facts about our country when he was he was born:
Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President. Prohibition had just begun. On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution became law and women could vote in all 48 states of the union. A stamp cost two cents.
Jazz great Louis Armstrong was a popular musician. Movies were wildly popular with most people going at least once a week. Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo were the movie stars of the time. Some popular movies of the 1920s were The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush, (1925), The Wizard of Oz, (1925) and The Phantom of the Opera, (1925).
The band aid was invented in 1920 as well as the automobile with combustion engine. A few other inventions of the 20’s include the lie detector (1921), the bulldozer, (1923) and Kool Aid (1927).
There were 105.7 million US citizens with a median income of $1236 and a teacher’s salary was $970/year. The 1920’s were an era of great prosperity, which came to an abrupt halt in 1929, and followed by the great depression of the 1930’s. By 1927, two thirds of American homes had electricity and running water.
The life expectancy in 1920 was 53.6 for a male and 54.6 for a female. It took 13 days to reach California from New York. There were 387,000 miles of paved road.
Dance crazes included the Charleston, the Black Bottom and the Shimmy. Harry Houdini was the great escape artist of the 1920’s. Cigarettes were 10 cents a pack.