Timeline of Events
1859 British naturalist Charles Darwin publishes his influential work, On the Origin of the Species, in which he attempts to show that different animals could have descended from common ancestors and describes changes in species over millions of years as a process called "natural selection" (also known as survival of the fittest).
1859 African American leader W.E.B. Du Bois illuminates black history, dreams, and concerns in The Souls of Black Folk.
1907 Auto manufacturer Henry Ford releases the Model T, fondly known as the Tin Lizzie, which will be much loved by the public for its reliability and low price tag.
1914 World War I begins in Europe. The results will be devastating, for an estimated ten million soldiers will be killed and twenty million wounded, while millions of civilians will also die from hunger and rapidly spreading diseases like influenza.
May 1915 The German navy sinks the British passenger ship Lusitania, killing more than one thousand passengers, including more than one hundred U.S. citizens. President Woodrow Wilson issues a warning to Germany.
April 1917 The United States enters World War I.
November 11, 1918 World War I ends....
(The entire section is 2296 words.)
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Words to Know
- assembly line:
- A factory innovation consisting of a waist-high, belt, along which parts move while workers (each performing one task over and over) gradually assemble the product.
- Pilots from the early days of aviation, who performed daring feats (such as rolling their airplanes, flying upside down, and even walking on the wings) at county fairs and other exhibitions.
- birth control:
- The use of contraceptives, which are devices or methods to prevent pregnancy. During the Roaring Twenties, it was illegal in many states to disseminate birth control or even information about it, yet growing numbers of women were beginning to use it.
- Black Thursday:
- October 24, 1929, when orders to sell stocks rose at an alarming rate while prices fell, leading to hysteria and panic on the streets of New York City's financial district and elsewhere.
- Black Tuesday:
- October 29, 1929, when the stock market crashed. Banks that were suddenly forced to pay back loans ran out of cash and closed their doors. Many people lost their...
(The entire section is 2237 words.)
Research and Activity Ideas
A World Suddenly Changed: World War I (1914–18) was such a bloody, devastating conflict that it changed many people's view of the world and profoundly affected the decade that followed. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, might be said to have had a similar effect. Think about the similarities and differences between these two historical events, and investigate the consequences of each. Write a report or essay detailing your findings and conclusions.
Ford's Vision and Accomplishments: Pretend that you are an advertising copywriter working for the Ford Motor Company in the 1920s. Create a brochure to promote sales of Ford cars. Include a short biography of Henry Ford, along with information about the Model T and Model A. Use photos and drawings as well as text.
The Two Sides of Prohibition: With a group of students, stage a debate between the "Drys" (those who support the ban on alcoholic beverages) and the "Wets" (those who oppose it). If you want to include famous people in your debate, participants could impersonate politician William Jennings Bryan and evangelist Billy Sunday on the Dry side, and New York governor Al Smith and gangster Al Capone on the Wet side.
Celebrities and Stars of the Roaring Twenties: Tape a radio broadcast made up of interviews with Roaring Twenties figures from the worlds of sports...
(The entire section is 451 words.)