Developments in entertainment
In the 1920s young people wanted to forget about the First World War, and have a good time.
They were better off and had more leisure time than thier parents.
They spent vast amounts of money enjoying themselves and so stimulated industry and business.
The decade became known as the 'Roaring Twenties' largely because of the pace of social and economic development.
The jazz age
Jazz was a new form of music that developed from early kinds of black music.
It was played in night clubs by black musicians such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.
It appealed to young people because it was often played in speakeasies
These bars and clubs sold illegal alcohol and therefore appealed to the rebelious and daring nature of the young people.
The jazz became associated with these places and it became seen as wild and dramatic - it soon became a craze.
New fashions and crazes
New dances like the Charleston, the Tango and the Bunny Hug. Although they may seem tame to us now. At the time they were considered too sexual and offensive by many adults.
Young Americans went to the cinema and watched sports such as basketball, baseball and American Football.
Many young women became 'flappers'.
- Their hair was short and bobbed.
- They wore skirts that rose to the knee.
- They used lipstick and rouge, and smoked cigarettes.
- They drove cars such as the Model T Ford.
Young men wore pin-stripe suits and trilby hats.
The older generation disliked what was happening. The Anti-Flirt Association was set up to try to control the excesses of the young by the distribution of badges and making speeches.
Film and Hollywood
The popularity of the movie industry soared during the 20s. Going to the cinema became a habit.
Soon nearly every town had its own cinema.
By 1929, over 110 million Americans were going to the cinema each week.
At first they watched silent films in black and white, words were shown on screen and cinemas employed pianists to play background music.
In 1927 people flocked to see the first 'talkie': The Jazz Singer
The new film industry mushroomed in Hollywood, which created internationally famous film stars like Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford.