Albert Snyder Murder
March 19, 1927 - Magazine editor Albert Snyder is murdered in Long
Island, New York, by his wife Ruth "Momsie" Snyder and her lover Judd Gray.
The Murder weapon is a window-sash weight. The most covered trial of the
decade, mainly because of the incredible clumsiness in how the murder was
committed with obvious evidence left everywhere, a double indemnity insurance
policy had been taken out, etc., it was a sensational display of histrionics,
sexual innuendo and dramatic, conflicting testimony. The jan
12, 1928 execution of Ruth Snyder, in the electric chair at Sing
Sing prison, was the subject of one of the most famous news photos in history.
It was taken by a reporter for the New York Daily News, with a hidden camera.
[mar 1927][jan 1928]
1928 - A woman who goes by the name of Anna Anderson Manahan becomes a public curiosity in New York when she claims to be Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolayevna, the daughter of Czar Nicholas II, who was executed with his family during
the Russian Revolution. The Anastasia claim was eventually proved to be
a hoax. After Anna Anderson's death in 1984,
a 1993 comparison between her DNA and samples
unearthed of the Romanov family showed no genetic link.
Art Deco Fair
jul 18, 1923 - First comprehensive art deco fair opens in Paris.
The very term comes from the name of the fair, the Exposition Internationale
des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. From clothes, jewelry, furniture,
art and more, the event showcased an emerging new design style, that would
have a major impact especially in architecture.
sep, 1920 - "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and 7 other members of the Chicago
White Sox baseball team are accused of conspiring to lose the 1919 World
Series as part of a deal with gamblers. On September
28, 1920, three players confessed and implicated the other five
before a grand jury.
12, 1920, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is appointed baseball commissioner,
and is granted dictatorial control to restore the game's reputation. On
02, 1921, a Chicago jury acquits the players of wrongdoing, but commissioner
Landis ignores the court and bans Jackson and other Chicago players from
Daddy and Peaches
January 25, 1927 - The "Daddy and Peaches" separation trial begins in New York. An ongoing saga, the sex-drenched tale of the courtship and stormy
marriage of millionaire Edward West "Daddy" Browning (age 52) and his 15-year-old
child-wife Frances Belle "Peaches" Heenan, was one of the most publicized
stories of the decade that gripped the lurid imaginations of the press
and public, despite its complete unimportance. Peaches sued Daddy for separation,
claiming mental anguish from practical jokes and sexually perverse behavior.
The judge ruled that Peaches' testimony was not credible and Daddy won
The Dawes Plan
Germany accepts The Dawes Plan,
which sliced war reparations into more easily payable installments and
provided for foreign loans; designed to fix the German banking system,
ease hardship to the German economy and arrest rampant hyperinflation.
It was adopted August 16 by a London conference.
The plan's co-authors, Charles G. Dawes of the U.S. and Sir J. Austen Chamberlain,
won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925
for the plan.
[Nobel Peace Prize]
[aug 1920][dec 1921][feb 1922][mar 1922][feb 1924]
Fritz Lang [b.1890-d.1976], an Austrian-American
motion-picture director, who developed narrative and created atmosphere
through expressionistic, symbolic sets and lighting, as well as through
Since Lang is a self-proclaimed,
“visual person” German expressionism was the perfect style for him to work
from for his epic science fiction film, Metropolis. This 1926
silent, tinted film relies on innovative visual imagery that was well ahead
of its time. It was produced by UFA (Universum-Film-Aktiengesellschaft),
directed by Fritz Lang, and his wife Thea Von Harbou. Cinematography was
by Karl Fruend and Guenther Rittau. The production design was by Otto Hunte,
Erich Kettelhut, and Karl Vollbrecht. The fantastically creative costume
design was the work of Aenne Willkomm. Metropolis was produced by
Fritz Lang made more than
30 films in Germany and the United States, his first successful one being
müde Tod (Weary Death, 1921), issued
in the U.S. as Between Worlds. Lang's masterpieces include Metropolis
(US release,1927), in which a magnificent
futuristic city is maintained by workers enslaved underground;
(1931), his first sound film, a psychological
thriller about a compulsive murderer; and two studies of the criminal mind,
Mabuse (1922) and The Last Will
of Dr. Mabuse (1933). The latter won the
approbation of Nazi officials who sought Lang's collaboration. Lang, who
was half Jewish, fled Germany immediately. He became an American citizen
in 1935. Among his films made in the U.S.
were Fury (1936), about a lynch mob;
Only Live Once (1937);
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
In Germany, psychiatrist Karl Binding and magistrate Alfred Hoche argue for the killing of
those who are "Ballastexistenzen," i.e. whose lives are seen merely as ballast,
or dead weight, within humanity.
The concept of Lebensunwertesleben, or "lives unworthy (or undeserving)
of life," becomes central to Nazi race policy in 1933,
when a law incorporating this same phrase is issued by Hitler on July
14 that year.
Amie Semple Macpherson
[b oct 09, 1890 - d sep 27, 1944 ] Converted by her first husband, Robert
Semple, a pentecostal evangelist, she joined him in revival campaigns and
then in the mission feild in asia. When he died in 1910,
she returned to the U.S. with her infant daughter and married a rhode island
grocery salesman, Harold MacPherson.
After settling in Los Angeles in 1918
she opened the Angelus temple, a 5,300
seat auditorium in 1923. She also founded
a radio station, a Bible college, an evangelistic association and the International
Foursquare Gospel .
Scandal touched her life
repeatedly, most notably in 1926 when she
disappeared for a month, reappeared with the story that she had been kidnapped,
later speculation was that she was actually in hiding with a lover. She
was tried for perjury, but the case was dismissed. She died from an overdose
sep, 1921 - A "bathing beauty" pageant is held in Atlantic City, N.J.; an event that would soon be known as the Miss America Pageant. With
the invention the year before of the Jantzen elasticized one-piece bathing
suit, more comfortable and revealing swimwear was becoming popular. Though
not the first bathing beauty contest, this event was the first to feature
women in skin-tight suits with knees exposed. Reporters and photographers
played up the event with sensational coverage, and it was the impetus for
the swimsuit show craze of the twenties. Miss Washington, Margaret
Gorman, 16 years old, was the first winner, with measurements of 30-25-32,
judged the finest specimen of womanhood.
jan 02, 1920 - The Red Scare continues.
U.S. Attorney-General A. Mitchell Palmer orders Justice Department raids
on meeting halls and homes in 30 cities nationwide to round up all suspected
communists. 2,700 people arrested without being charged with any explicit
crime. In all, more than 6,000 are arrested. The raids end after a May
5 government ruling that mere membership in the party is not in
itself a crime. Most arrested are released; few real anarchist criminals
are found. Hysterical propaganda by Palmer and others set the tone for
the rest of the twenties, spurring a spate of anti-immigration laws.
[jan 1920][apr 1920]
Gypsies are a people dispersed
over the world known for their distinctive customs and migratory way of
life. Many Gypsies speak Romany and call themselves Rom. Others do not
speak this language but are still recognizable as gypsies because of their
origins and lifestyles. Those known as manouches in France and sinti
in germany they speak a languge similar to Romany but with a large mixture of
It is thought that the Gypsies
originated from northwest India in the 1st millennium. The first written
reference of them in Europe is from the 14th century. By the 16th century
they had been encountered in every part of Europe.
apr 25, 1925 - The Russo-Polish War begins. Poles attempt to take Ukraine
from the Bolsheviks, themselves preoccupied with civil war. The conflict
see-saws for about six months with little territory gained. The Treaty
of Riga, mar 18, 1921, sets the border of
Russia and Poland until World War II in 1940.
Sacco & Vanzetti
[apr 1920][may 1920] [jul 1921][aug 1927]
may 05, 1925 - Another "trial of the decade;" John T. Scopes is arrested
for teaching evolution in a Tennessee school in violation of state law.
He was indicted may 25. The "Scopes Monkey
Trial" pitted the country's best lawyer, Clarence Darrow (representing
Scopes), against the formidable politician William Jennings Bryan for the
prosecution. The fiery oratory and clash of ideologies, mixed with venomous
name-calling and personal attacks, made for one of the century's great
debates. The guilty verdict for Scopes on jul 21
was anticlimactic; he was ordered to pay $100 plus court costs, but his
fine and the case were dismissed on a technicality on appeal in jan
1927 by the Tennessee Supreme Court.
[may 1925][jul 1925]
sep 03, 1923 - The navy dirigible Shenandoah crashes in Ohio and
kills 14 airmen, setting up a confrontation between U.S. Air Service General
William "Billy" Mitchell and the military establishment. Mitchell, a hero
of World War I and early air power advocate, was long a thorn in the side
of his older superiors, most of whom didn't believe that airplanes would
ever be decisive factors in warfare. When Mitchell criticized government
administration of its air fleet as incompetent, following the airship crash,
superiors summoned him to Washington on sep
21 to testify. His criticisms continued and he was subsequently
found guilty by court martial of insubordinate conduct on dec
17. He resigned his commission rather than agree to a five-year
suspension. His prophetic view of air power, that came to pass with World
War II, made Mitchell a legendary martyr in the annals of military history.
Teapot Dome Scandel
feb 25, 1920 - Passage of the Oil and Coal Land Leasing Act lays the foundation for the biggest Washington scandal of the decade, the Teapot
Dome affair uncovered in 1923. The act opens
up mineral deposits on public lands to private mining interests, a system
that would later become rife with bribery and corruption.
may 10, 1921 - U.S. President Harding issues executive order transferring
management of the navy's emergency oil field deposits to the Department
of the Interior. One of the oil fields was located at Teapot Dome, Wyoming.
The rationale was that private development of the lands would protect emergency
military oil stocks from being siphoned off by wells on adjacent lands.
The deal is thought to be a win-win situation, allowing developers to profit
from the oil while setting aside part of it in reserve for naval emergencies.
apr 07, 1922 - Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall leases the
Navy's Teapot Dome oil field secretly, without competitive bidding, to
Harry F. Sinclair and the Mammoth Oil Co. Later, on apr
dec 11, Fall leases the
Elk Hills Reserve to Edward L Doheny in similar fashion. It was later found
in investigations that Fall had taken bribes for these transactions.
oct 23, 1923 - Teapot Dome Affair heats up as U.S. Senate investigative
committee grills Interior Secretary Fall about alleged payments to him
from oil interests in exchange for oil leases. Fall denies the charges.
feb 28, 1927 - After years of court wrangling, the U.S. Supreme
Court declares oil contracts and leases granted to Edward Doheny by Interior
Secretary Albert Fall in
1921 as illegal and
oct 10, 1927 - U.S. Supreme Court upholds lower court rulings that
Teapot Dome oil leases with Harry Sinclair's Mammoth Oil Co. were fraudulently
obtained and should be declared illegal. Earlier, on feb
28, the court ruled that oil contracts and leases granted to Edward
Doheny by Interior Secretary Albert Fall in 1921
to be illegal and fraudulent.
apr 08, 1929 - After seemingly ceaseless court appeals and congressional
inquiries, the Teapot Dome scandal nears an end with the U.S. Supreme Court
upholding lower court contempt judgments against Harry Sinclair of Mammoth
Oil Co. for his earlier refusal to answer congressional questions about
his governmental oil deals. His jail sentence began may
November 01, 1929 - Former U.S. Interior Secretary Albert Fall convicted
of accepting a bribe in the Teapont Dome oil lease deal and is sentenced
to year in prison.