Why are the 1920s called the Roaring Twenties? – Antique Flapper Dress

“There are so many Roaring Twenties references,” says D.E. Smith, the author of “Inventing the Modern World.” “They’re one of the first and best-known periods in American pop culture, so we’re lucky that we really have this history of the ’20s being kind of a throwback period.” The earliest reference to the 1920s dates to a 1920 comic book titled “The Great American Songbook,” and then from a 1930 movie called “The Wild Wild West.” (In his book on “The Roaring Twenties,” Smith quotes a 1935 newspaper story headlined “A Hot Spring for Young Hollywood Stars,” which listed such Hollywood stars as Mary Pickford, Ginger Rogers, and Mabel Normand, all of whom were in the 1910s.) The 1930s were also the decade in which “The Wizard of Oz” rolled out, and a number of songs from that era inspired other movies and TV shows. (For a recent list of the best “Oz” songs, check out the “Great Song List for The ‘Oz’ Years.”)

What was the 1930s? “It was just a lot of new stuff — new stuff happening, a lot of experimentation, a lot of new art — and the way the ’20s works is you get a whole bunch of new stuff thrown into the mix,” Smith continues. “So the 30s were a lot of new stuff happening right in the middle of it. There wasn’t a real period to be seen in between. So it’s a more interesting period now to look at than the 1930s and 1940s, which was the period of mass hysteria, when everybody was crazy. But I think the 1930s are probably still better remembered because they seem to have happened right around the time that we’re all starting to figure out what’s happened to us, not necessarily the 30s and 40s, who was crazy when.”

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Smith says that the 20s’ big cultural impact came in the entertainment industry. “Music was really growing by leaps and bounds — it’s no surprise that it also had to make better movies,” he explained, “and I think it’s because the ’20s were really a great time.” (It’s also because “the 20s” — in the ’20s in general — “was a great period that could easily have been a good year for anybody, but instead it’s such a weird time in our lives,” Smith adds.) “The ’20s was one of

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