The 1920s and 30s were called the Gilded Age because the middle class took up the mantle left by the Great Depression of the 1930s. As you might imagine, the rich went straight to gilded hotels and the poor were left to languish in filthy slums.
The 1920s and 30s were called the Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties was also nicknamed the ‘Baby Boom’: the country’s first big baby boom, which came after two world wars and the rise of feminism after 1920. We think of the baby boom as the 1950s. The baby boom lasted until 1965, but it had a massive impact on American culture.
The 1970s and 1980s were the ‘Silent Age’. So, if the 1920s was just a bad decade, the Baby Boom was a big time – but this time America didn’t get its first big boom from drugs and sex and rock and roll. It got a big one from the Great Depression.
What was the Roaring Twenties really like?
As everyone likes to point out, it wasn’t really a good time. A series of devastating economic cycles led to severe unemployment for years, and it took an extra three decades until America had the money to start spending again.
Some cities really struggled in the Roaring Twenties. Chicago, the home of the American Dream, was the worst-hit city. In fact, the first American city to see a sustained period of positive income growth and unemployment was in Cleveland’s Little Italy in 1885.
There were some great innovations in the Roaring Twenties – as we just got the great depression back, many of the great inventions and creations of the century made their way into other areas of American life. People invented cars, telegraphs, televisions, airplanes, the telephone, the phonograph.
This is all part of what would later become the American Dream.
Who was a Roaring Twenties celebrity?
A group of US musicians formed and called themselves The Roaring Twenties Singers in an effort to highlight the success of the artists they were playing with.
The band included Billy Strayhorn, The Knack, Johnny Rivers and Donny Ferguson.
They began performing at nightclubs in San Francisco and Chicago and even sold enough tickets to win a record contract with Columbia Records.
In Chicago, they won gold in the Broadway musical “The Producers