Crowds panicked by the stock market plunge take to Wall Street on the morning of October 29, 1929.
The excesses of the Lost Generation and the frivolities associated with the Jazz Age made little sense to Americans during the twenties.
Most were not like that.
The majority still led traditional lives and were shocked by the decade's social turmoil and cultural rebellion.
Republican efforts to reverse the progressivism of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson mirrored the small- town backlash against modern city life.
Wilson was reelected in 1916, but the progressive political coalition splintered by 1920.
The middle class has become less interested in reform than in enjoying America's economic prosperity, the result of increased mass production, mass consumption, and labor- saving electrical appliances.
Cities with immigrants and foreign ideas such as socialism, communism, anarchism, and labor union militancy were traced by many Americans to the germs of dangerous radicalism.
The ero sion of traditional religious beliefs was feared by others.
People believed that dangers from abroad and at home must be resisted.
militant Protestantism sought to restore the primacy of traditional Christian morality during the Reactionary Twenties of western Europe.
Many people left Europe for the United States after the end of the Great War.
More than 600,000 people from southern and eastern Europe, most of them Italians, entered the United States between 1919 and 1924.
Most Mexicans settled in the Southwest and California.
More than half of the white men and a third of the white women working in mines, mil s, and factories were immigrants in the early 1920s.
Some people still have a passion for socialism or anarchism and are willing to use violence to achieve their political goals.
More than one million foreigners entered the United States between 1920 and 1921 after the literacy test was added in 1917.
Almost all immigrants from Asia were banned.
To shrink the total number of newcomers, a numerical ceiling or quota was placed to favor immigrants from northern and western Europe, and to reduce those from southern and eastern Europe.
The plan favored some people over others.
Senator Ellison D. "Cotton Ed" Smith, a South Carolina Democrat, said that it was time to shut the door.
The melting pot is what we have been called.
He charged that Immi grants from southern and eastern Europe were being treated as domestic ene mies.
The increase in number is the best hope of civilization in America.
The old race was shake out of its spiritual lethargy by them.
President Calvin Coolidge had no effect on those arguments.
The immigration restriction remained in force until 1965, after he signed it.
It had an immediate impact.
More than 2 million Italians arrived between 1910 and 1920, but fewer than 4,000 Italians were allowed under the quota system.
Congress could not raise the quota for European refugees because of Hitler's persecution of Jews.
The Immigration Act of 1924 did not place a quota on immigrants from countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Congress sought to ensure an adequate supply of low- paid laborers from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, in response to the lobbying efforts of railroads and commercial farm owners in the West.
During the twenties, people of Latin American descent became the fastest growing minority.
Between 1900 and 1930, the number of Mexicans living in Texas increased tenfold in response to the needs of Texas farmers.
Cottonpicking suits the Mexican, was the common assertion among Texas growers.
Farm owners preferred migrant workers over black or Anglo tenants because they were less likely to have established roots in the United States.
The nativism embedded in the new laws reinforced the connection between European immigrants and radicalism.
In the most widely publicized criminal case of the twenties, there was a connection.
The trial and conviction of these working class Italian immigrants became a public spectacle.
Two Italian immigrants were arrested in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 5, 1920, for planning to topple the American government.
The paymaster and a guard of a shoe factory were killed by fish peddler Bartolomeo Vanzetti and his co-conspirators.
Both men lied to the police when they were arrested, and both were identified by eye witnesses.
Several people claimed that they were with Vanzetti and Sacco far from the scene of the crime.
The men's trial would be a public spectacle because of the charged atmosphere.
Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death in July of 1921.
Their legal appeals took six years before they were killed.
Millions of people around the world became victims of capitalist injustice.
People are still debating their guilt or innocence.
The president hosted a special showing of the film at the White House and was reported to have said, "It is like writing history with lightning."
As crusading heroes and newly freed slaves, the Klansmen were working with corrupt state governments.
During the opening of the film in Atlanta, William J. Simmons announced the founding of the second Ku Klux Klan.
Only natives of the United States could be members.
The KKK marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. in 1925.
The Klan was both strange and mainstream, sponsoring baseball teams, college fra ternities, and county fairs.
It had strict personal moral ity and embraced militant patriotism.
African Americans, Roman Catholics, Jews, immigrants, Communists, atheists, prostitutes, and adulterers were all preached hatred against by it.
The Klan was known for its assaults on different groups of Americans.
Every criminal, every gambler, every thug, as a member stressed.
In the Southwest, Klansmen directed their anger at Mexicans, in the Pacific Northwest, Japanese people were the enemy, and in New York, the targets were Jews and Catholics.
Klan members were elected governors in Oregon, Texas, and Colorado, as well as mayors in Portland, Oregon, and Portland, Maine.
Wilson, Coolidge, and Hoover did not speak out against the Klan during the twenties because it became "respectable" in the eyes of many.
Big business was made of white- robed bigotry.
The initiation fee was $10 and members were required to buy an official Klan robe, a pointed hood, and other accessories.
Free membership was given to Protestant ministers.
Families attended Klan gatherings while listening to violent speeches, watching fireworks, and burning crosses.
In Texas, Klan members used intimidation, beatings, and "tar and feathers" to discipline alcoholics, gamblers, adulterers, and other sinners.
The Dal as Klan flogged sixty- eight men in the spring of 1922.
The Klan grew quickly in the Midwest.
40 percent of its members were from Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio in the twenties.
Only 16 percent of Klansmen were in the former Confederacy.
Most Klan members were small farmers, sharecroppers, or wage workers, but the organization also attracted clergymen, engineers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, business leaders, and teachers.
African Americans were worried about Klan violence.
Candidates endorsed by the Klan won the Indiana governorship and legislature.
The 1924 Republican State Convention was the scene of the Reactionary Twenties.
The man who had grown wealthy by skimming from the dues he collected from Klan members was planning to run for president.
In August 1925, some 25,000 Klansmen paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation's capital.
The Klan's influence began to fall after a female Klan staff member committed suicide after she was kidnapped, raped, and killed.
The governor would pardon him.
He told police about the political bribes he had engaged in.
The governor, the Indianapolis mayor, the county sheriff, congressmen, and other officeholders were indicted.
Many ended up in prison.
Klan membership fell because of the scandal.
More than a dozen Klan offices and meeting places were bombed, burned, or blasted.
Several states banned the wearing of masks and burning crosses.
Klan mem bership dwindled to 100,000 mostly southerners by 1930.
The impulse underlying the Klan was fed by deep seated fears and hatreds.
The Klansmen paraded through the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens on Memorial Day in 1927.
Six Klansmen were arrested after a fight with police.
The charge of "refusing to disperse" was dropped after the man was jailed.
Fred C. Trump was the son of German immigrants who later would father a son named Donald.
While the Klan fought against the nation's "growing immo rality" and the "alien menace" they also defended old- time religion against dangerous ideas in progressive or liberal Protestant churches.
Charles Darwin's theories of biological evolution were the most threatening of those ideas because they said that the Bible was not a word of God.
Conservative Protestants embraced a militant fundamentalism that was hostile to liberal beliefs and insisted on the truth of the Bible.
The civil war was caused by the result of a religious conflict.
A burst of Protestant fundamentalism swept the country, largely as a conservative reaction to the spread of modernity in mainline Protestantism, which sought to accommodate Christian teaching with mod ern science.
He explained that the Bible was a representation of God's wonders.
fundamentalists tried to "try" him for being an outspoken critic of racism and social injustice.
The only national leader who had the support, prestige, and eloquence to transform fundamentalism into a popular crusade was William Jennings Bryan, the former Democratic congressman, secretary of state, and three- time presidential candidate.
Bryan was a strange bird, a liberal progressive and pacifist Populist in politics and a right- wing religious crusader who believed in the Bible.
Bryan was in favor of banning the teaching of evolution in schools.
Darwin's theory of evolution suggested that human beings had evolved from monkeys and apes.
He maintained thatDarwin ism is not science.
The teaching of Darwinian evolution in public schools was banned in many states in the 1920s, but the only victories were in the South.
The first woman governor of Texas banned school text books that included sections on Darwinism.
In 1925 the legislature in Tennessee banned the teaching of evolution in public schools and colleges because of the fundamentalist war on Darwinism.
In the small mining town of Dayton, in east ern Tennessee, civic leaders eager to create money- making publicity for their depressed economy persuaded John T. Scopes, a high- school science teacher.
He taught Darwin's theory of evolution.
John T. Scopes clasps his face in his hands and listens to one of his attorneys in this picture.
Darrow is affected by the heat.
The streets of Dayton overflowed with people before the start of the trial on July 10, 1925.
Main Street merchants had pictures of apes and monkeys on their windows.
A tattooed man preached on a street corner while a live piano- playing monkey was paraded around town.
Coffee, ice cream, and Coca- Cola are bad for you.
Clarence Darrow, the nation's foremost defense attorney and a defender of the rights of the working class, had volunteered to defend Scopes, as had William Jennings Bryan, a national celebrity who had offered his services to the prosecution.
As the trial began, the temperature was over 100 degrees.
Bryan said the trial was about a state's right to determine what was taught in the public schools.
Scopes is not on trial.
Bryan was called an expert witness on biblical interpretation by the defense on the seventh day of the trial.
Darrow asked him about biblical stories.
As sweat poured down his face, Bryan said yes.
Everything was possible with God.
Darrow pressed on.
The crowd grew uneasy as the hero of fundamentalism crumpled in the heat.
Bryan claimed that Darrow insulted Christians.
The judge adjourned the court for the day after the men lunged at each other.
The judge told the jury that they only had to decide if John T. Scopes had taught evolution.
No one denied that he had done it.
In nine minutes, the jurors decided that Scopes was guilty.
The anti- evolution law was upheld by the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Both sides claimed victory.
Bryan died in his sleep five days after the trial ended.
At the University of Chicago, Scopes became a petroleum engineer.
The debate between fundamentalism and modernity continues.
Congress sent the Eighteenth Amendment to the states on December 18, 1917, and William Bryan died in 1925 knowing that one of his crusades had succeeded.
One year later, the Reactionary Twenties amendment banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquors.
The social reform movement was the largest since abolitionism.
There were a lot of alcohol related problems.
Between 1840 and 1910, the per capita beer consumption increased more than 1,000 percent.
During the Great War, it was necessary to use grain for food rather than make booze.
The cause of prohibition became a test of American patriotism because of the backlash against the majority of beer brewers because of their German background.
Soon to be chief justice of the Supreme Court, William Howard Taft had a different perspective.
The crusade was driven by prejudice.
The primary goal of the nativists was to police the behavior of the foreign born, the working class, African Americans, and poor whites.
Immigration restrictions were supported by many leaders of the prohibition movement.
The head of the Women's Christian Temperance Union believed that the war against foreign invaders was necessary.
She exclaimed, "Alienliterates rule our cities today."
In January 1920, prohibition took effect.
It worked for a while.
Neigh Borhood saloons closed, and drinking among the working poor dropped by half.
Commercial bootleggers sprouted like mushrooms when passenger ships anchored just off shore to serve as floating saloons.
It proved to be a huge and costly failure.
A federal agent said in 1923 that it would take a visitor less than thirty minutes to find a drink.
He said it would take thirty five seconds in New Orleans.
The Eighteenth in New York Harbor was enforced by 888-276-5932 888-276-5932 888-276-5932 888-276-5932s filled with malt whiskey.
It had so many attempts by bootleggers to smuggle holes that it guaranteed fail- alcohol during prohibition.
It wasn't stated that "torpedo" had an air compartment so it could be floated to shore.
On January 16, 1919, individuals and organizations were allowed to keep and drink liquor.
People stocked up before the law took effect.
During the 13 years of prohibition, the Yale Club in New York City had so much liquor that it never ran out.
Farmers were allowed to "preserve" their fruits by making cider and wine from them.
Doctors and even veterinarians wrote many prescriptions for "medicinal" brands such as Old Grand- Dad and Jim Beam.
700 million gallons of beer were produced by thousands of people in 1929.
"bathtub gin" was the simplest of alcoholic beverages, requiring little more than a gallon of water and some fruit, grain, or potatoes.
Most of the illegal liquor came from Mexico or overseas.
The bootleg alcohol became dangerous.
Tens of thousands of people were killed or disabled by batches of illegal liquor that had alcohol content 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611
The new law was too sweeping to be respected by most Americans.
It had unforeseen consequences.
Thousands of jobs were eliminated during the Reactionary Twenties.
The size and scope of the federal government increased as a result of prohibition.
Civil liberties were violated and prisons needed to be built to house violators.
Congress never provided funding to implement the Volstead Act because of the increases in federal power.
The number of employees at the new Federal Bureau of Investigation was less than that of the Prohibition Unit.
They weren't nearly enough to enforce prohibition.
New York's mayor said it would require a quarter of a million police officers.
The bootleg industry was second in size only to the auto industry in Detroit.
In Virginia, jails could not keep up with the 20,000 Prohibition related arrests each year.
Many prominent Americans broke the anti- liquor law.
A majority of both houses of Congress were regular customers according to the largest bootlegger in Washington, D.C. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover often went to the Belgian Embassy to buy fine wines.
Organized crime was boosted by the efforts to defy prohibition.
bootleg liquor was supplied by crime syndicates and sold in saloons called speakeasies, which police often ignored in exchange for bribes.
The entire stream of liquor's production, pricing, distribution, and sales was controlled by organized crime syndicates.
The Prohibi tion era was an orgy of unparalleled criminal activity.
More than one third of federal prisoners were violators by 1930.
In 1929, New York City's police commissioner estimated that there were over 30,000 speakeasies.
When prohibition began, there were only 15,000 saloons.
The consequences of banning alcohol became a prime example.
Organized crime made enormous income from prohibition.
Alphonse Capone was the son of poor Italian immigrants.
When he was a teenager, he shined shoes on a street corner in New York where he saw mobsters working.
He started a ring to get money from other shoeshine boys.
Capone was a bartender and bouncer at the Harvard Inn on Coney Island.
Capone insulted a woman at the bar.
Capone assumed control of the mob in Chicago in 1925.
An annual income of $60 million was brought to Capone by his bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling empire.
His army of 700 mobsters were involved in 200 murders.
The worst was when his hit men went to a garage to kill a group of people who were waiting for a shipment of booze.
Capone's men killed them with machine guns.
Capone beat to death several police officers, ordered the execution of dozens of rivals, and bribed judges and police officers.
Capone's bootlegging operations were smashed in 1929 by law enforcement officials.
He was sentenced to eleven years in prison for tax evasion.
He died in prison of cardiac arrest after eight years.
After the Great War, most Americans had grown tired of Wilson's crusading ideals and turned their backs on any leader who promoted sweeping reforms.
Wilson, despite his poor health, wanted a third presidential term.
He said that it was only once in a generation that people could be lifted above material things.
There were a number of reasons that progressivism lost its steam.
Its leaders were no more.
Theodore Roosevelt died just as he was starting to campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, and Wilson's stroke left him broken physically and mentally.
The Wilson administration's crack down on striking workers in 1919-1920 was resented by organized labor.
Farmers in the Great Plains and West thought wartime price controls discriminated against them.
Liberal intel lectuals were disil usioned with grassroots democracy because of popular support for the Ku Klux Klan and religious fundamentalism.
As the nation transitioned from war to peace, most people focused on their own concerns.
Progressivism had accomplished its main goals: prohibition and the women's vote.
Progressivism did not go away.
Republicans and Democrats dominated key leadership positions in Congress during the 1920s.
Efforts to improve public education, public health, and social- welfare programs gained steam at the state and local levels, as the progressive impulse for honest, efficient government and reg ulation of business remained strong.
Conservative Republicans returned to power at the national level, eager to reduce the size and scope of the fed eral government.
Warren G. Hard ing was the Republican presidential candidate in 1920.
One Republican sena tor said that the party chose Harding because he was from a key state and looked good.
Florence was cautious.
When he pledged to "safeguard America first", he set the tone for his campaign.
"He writes the worst English I have ever encountered," Mencken exclaimed.
It reminds me of a string of wet sponges, it reminds me of tattered washing on the line, and it reminds me of a bowl of bean soup.
He was the first president to hire a full- time speechwriter.
At their convention, the Democrats quickly rejected Wilson's desire for a third term and chose James Cox, a former newspaper publisher and three- term governor of the state.
Franklin Roosevelt, the cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, was chosen as the vice president because he was an assistant secretary of the navy.
He delivered more than 1,000 speeches during the campaign.
Cox's campaign was disorganized and poorly funded, and the Democrats struggled against the conservative postwar mood.
The Republicans increased their majority in both houses of Congress, after Harding got 16 million votes to 9 million for Cox.
Clarence Darrow said that he had heard that any body can become president.
The one-sided election was significant because it was the first time that women voted in all forty-eight states.
Some women found voting hard.
Many men in North Carolina said if their wives voted, they would leave them.
His background and limited abilities were reflected.
A farmer's son and newspaper editor, who was "old fashioned and even reactionary in matters of faith and morals", had pledged "total abstinence" from alcohol.
The president's dalli ances brought him a lot of grief.
One of his mistresses blackmailed him, demanding money for her silence.