1920's Entertainment Facts: Find Out What People Did For Fun Back Then | Kidadl


1920's Entertainment Facts: Find Out What People Did For Fun Back Then

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The 1920s is considered a time of leisure and prosperity for the people.

As it was a period when people were doing better economically, combined with the developing technologies, 1920 was a year of advancements in the entertainment industry. People were consuming media like music and movies as they were now more available to them.

The growing economic stability of the 1920s provided more significant discretionary cash for several Americans to invest in entertainment. During this time, movies and team sports grew immensely popular, and players and performers were nationwide idols thanks to mainstream radio and publications.

Since most Americans were generally employed 45 hours for five days a week, they had much more leisure time than before. Individuals were earning more cash, which they spent on radios, cinemas, and dance halls.

This was a period that saw the way in which people spent their daily lives change. This shift brought about an artistic revolution that gave talented people a stage to showcase their performances. From movie stars to singers, all kinds of entertainment blew up in the 1920s.

As the year that kicked off this extraordinary decade, there have been many instances that shaped the trajectory of the period. Some of these 1920 facts can help us learn about them!


Fun Facts About Entertainment During 1920

Apart from a series of historical events, the 1920s also witnessed a revolution in the world of entertainment and culture. This can easily be understood from the fact that this decade is famously known as the 'Roaring Twenties.' So, even the beginning of the Roaring Twenties, with the year 1920, was quite a marvelous one, especially in terms of entertainment.

The American Professional Football Organization, which would eventually become National Football League, was founded in August 1920, giving birth to American pro football. Fourteen teams played in the inaugural season of the American Professional Football Organization, with the Akron Pros being declared champions. Needless to say, with this development, team sports became an integral part of the American culture.

In 1920, Agatha Christie published her debut novel. The novel was titled 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles' and dealt with the death of an heiress who was exceptionally wealthy. This story brought attention to Christie's best-renowned protagonist, Detective Hercule Poirot.

Overall, print media was one of the most popular forms of entertainment for both young people and the older generation in 1920. For instance, F. Scott Fitzgerald's debut work titled 'This Side of Paradise' became tagged as the best novel of that decade. With this book, Fitzgerald was able to shed light on the generation belonging to the Jazz Age, meaning those who were adolescents during World War I. Hence, the world of literature evolved significantly in 1920.

The very first professional radio station in the United States, Pittsburgh's KDKA, began broadcasting in 1920. It marked a significant shift in how Americans got the news and occupied their nights. By the end of the 1920s, 12 million homes had radios. The radio shows were a part of mass entertainment that made popular music and serial stories a hit.

Facts About Movies During 1920

Movies and cinema have always been used to highlight the social and cultural features of any year. The same can be said about 1920, which featured silent films. So, continue reading to learn some interesting facts about the movies of 1920!

'Way Down East,' 'Over the Hill to the Poorhouse,' and 'The Mark of Zorro' were the highest-grossing and among the most popular movies released in 1920. All of these films helped the film industry to upgrade to new levels.

'Way Down East,' belonging to the romantic genre, featured well-known movie stars like Lillian Gish and Lowell Sherman. The commercial success of this movie, which was around 4.5 million dollars, easily overcame the enormous money that went into the film production.

Another one of the most popular movies to come out of the US film industry was 'Over the Hill to the Poorhouse.' This movie belonged to the genre of drama and featured Mary Carr and her actual children. Mary Carr was one of the most well-known faces in the film industry during this era.

Apart from drama and romance, adventure was also a popular genre in cinema, and 'The Mark of Zorro' was the most significant proof of that. Directed by Fred Niblo, the film was one of the most notable examples of mass entertainment that enticed both old and young people.

Apart from these three top-grossing movies, some of the other cinemas that entertained the people in 1920 were 'The Penalty,' 'Lady Rose's Daughter,' 'The Girl in Number 29', and 'The Copperhead.'

In 1920, regional differences were overcome with a diverse form of mass entertainment.

Facts About Pop Culture During 1920

The popular culture of 1920 was filled with various forms of music, dancing styles, sports, and cultural changes. Some of the popular forms of entertainment that we see today became popular in 1920.

The 1920s were rightfully known as the Jazz Age, with Jazz music dominating the lives of the people. 'Avalon,' a famous number belonging to the Jazz music genre, was released in 1920. This song was written by Vincent Rose, Buddy DeSylva, and Al Jolson. In 1921, this song rose through the music charts to hold the second position.

Another standard of Jazz music was the song titled 'Margie,' which was written by the lyricist Benny Davis and composed by J. Russel Robinson and Con Conrad. This song was later recreated by several Jazz artists and also featured in several films.

A subgenre of Jazz music, known as Symphonic Jazz, was also introduced in 1920, with the release of the song 'Whispering' by Paul Whiteman.

Apart from Jazz, Blues music, which was already a popular form of music, gained a lot of traction this year.

With the onset of Jazz, new dances also started evolving this year. Eventually, some of the popular dance forms of the 1920s were the Swing, the Charleston, and the Lindy Hop. These dance forms had their inception with the rise of Jazz.

Coming to the world of sports, this part of mass entertainment also had a number of highlights. One of the major pop culture events related to sports in 1920 was the Summer Olympics, which took place in Antwerp, Belgium. Over 2000 athletes from 29 countries participated in this event. The US won a total of 41 gold medals at this sporting event.

Other major sporting events to be highlighted from this year were the Tennis Australian Open, US National Championship for tennis, Cycling Tour de France, and Wimbledon.

Facts About Different Forms Of Entertainment During 1920

The year 1920 witnessed a number of different forms of entertainment, which further shaped the overall culture of society. While it may seem like, in comparison to present times, the options of entertainment were quite limited, and it was still impressive. Overall, the 1920s witnessed a substantial rise in mass production of goods and forms of entertainment.

One of the most familiar forms of entertainment were radios. Around 1920, a significant development occurred with the establishment of Amplitude Modulation and Amplitude Modulation Broadcasting. Before 1920, crystal radio receivers were the radios to be found in most households. However, in 1920, amplifying receivers replaced the crystal sets and marked the advancement in radios and the beginning of radio broadcasting.

While the late 1920s saw the transition from silent film to sound film, 1920 was the year of some of the best silent films. A number of production houses were active and influenced American culture. Some of these production companies were Paramount Pictures and United Artists.

In addition to auditory and visual media, books were also a sought-after option for entertainment. While authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Agatha Christie debuted in 1920, some of the most well-known authors like T.S. Eliot and H.G. Wells were already active and sources of entertainment.

Magazines were also quite popular in 1920. Some of the most popular magazines of the time were Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Time Magazine, and Vanity Fair. These magazines were not only informative but also a light read that could be used to extract entertainment.


Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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