What were Americans doing in the 1920s? Dancing the Charleston, listening to jazz music, and watching Rudolph Valentino at the movies. It was illegal to make or sell liquor during the 1920s, but Americans drank anyway. They sneaked into secret nightclubs called speakeasies and cooked up bathtub gin at home.
The 1920s were a time of prosperity in the United States. Americans bought new devices such as radios and refrigerators. They watched as the stock market rose higher and higher. But the decade ended tragically when the stock market crashed in late 1929, ushering in the Great Depression.
The decade's newsmakers included President Calvin Coolidge, writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, silent film star Greta Garbo, and bandleader Duke Ellington. They helped set the tone for a decade of celebration, wealth, and excitement. From flappers to Frigidaires, from bootleggers to Babe Ruth, read about this fascinating decade from start to finish.