In the 1920s you had a huge spike in Ku Klux Klan membership, as anti-immigrant feelings reached a peak with laws like the National Origins Act and the Emergency Quota Act. The assembly line method of production, combined with specialized labor created a new middle class and revolutionized industry, not to mention adding 30 million cars to the nation's roads by 1930.
We also underwent the worst economic time in our country in the 30s, but a huge period of art and investment in both decades. We built dams, roads, bridges, schools, national parks, and commissioned plays, murals and paintings, all with government funds.
Prohibition: 1920-1933, when alcohol was banned in the United States
The Great Depression, Stock Market Crash: October 29, 1929, an economic crash that began a worldwide depression that lasted until WWII
Dust Bowl: around 1930, dust storms that created major damage to crops in the American west, creating further problems for people already suffering from the Great Depression
New Deal: 1933-1936, relief programs that Franklin D Roosevelt put into place to try to revive the economy during the Great Depression
Gangsters (Al Capone and others): 1920s, During Prohibition gangsters controlled the illegal sale of liquor, gambling, and other illegal activities
Sacco and Vanzetti: 1927, two Italian American men who were convicted and executed for armed robbery and murder, it was questionable whether the trial was fair or not
The 1920's was a time of tremendous social change in America. American music, the radio, shifting social values, a live for today mentality contributed to the Roaring Twenties. World War I was over and Americans wanted to leave 'their troubles behind'. The 18th Amendment prohibited the sale, manufacture, consumption, and transportation of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. With the passage of the Volstead Act, Congress could never imagined the result would be rise of organized crime in America. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. The ratification of this amendment forever shifted the balance of political power, now candidates had to hear what women wanted. The 20's was a time when materialistc wants challenged intrinsic values. The 20's gave birth to the American consumer and credit. 'Buy now, pay later' became part of The American Dream. This attitude would carry over into the stock market, and when business slowed debt piled up. In 1929 the party ended.
The 1930's can be argued as the decade that Americans paid for their reckless behavior in the 20's. The 1929 stock market crash led to The Great Depression. In 1932 F.D.R. took office.His New Deal forever changed the relationship between Americans and their government, especially the role of the President. Legislation such as the FDIC, Social Security, and the SEC helped to secure economic stability,a new frontier for the U.S. government.
To me, the 1920's- 30's was a fascinating time in which many changes happened. Many of the modern ideals we hold today came from the early 20th century. However, there are far too many events from both decades to name in one answer. Here are a few examples from the 1920's:
- January 1, 1920 - For the first time, the 1920 census indicates a population in the United States over 100 million people
- April 4, 1923 - Warner Brothers Pictures is incorporated
- May 20, 1927 - Charles Lindbergh leaves Roosevelt Field, New York on the first non-stop transatlantic flight in history
- June 17, 1928 - Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly over the Atlantic Ocean
- October 29, 1929 - Postwar prosperity ends in the 1929 Stock Market crash
Hope this helps!