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1920 Trivia & History

1921 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1920

1921 History Snapshot

  • Civil Rights: "Black Wall Street" was the wealthiest Black community in America (in Tulsa, Oklahoma,) before being attacked by an angry mob which killed hundreds of Black residents and destroyed 35 city blocks. A memorial park was dedicated the vict1ms in 2010.
  • Influential Songs include: My Man, by Fanny Brice was one of the first popular 'Torch Songs' and pop standard I Ain't Got Nobody.
  • The Big Movies included Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Kid and Destiny
  • Price of a pound of bacon in 1921: 10 cents
  • The World Population was ~ 1,962,000,000
  • Now You Know: The Rorschach Test does not use a series of random inkblots, but 10 specific prints selected in 1921 and always shown in the same order
  • And... Thousand of frogs reportedly fell during a thunderstorm on Gibralter on the Iberian peninsula, alive and jumpy. It also reportedly happened in France in 1889, Minneapolis in 1901 and England in 1894. Frog rain happens more often than you'd think.

World Series Champions

New York Giants

NFL Champions

Chicago Staleys

Stanley Cup Champions

Ottawa Senators

US Open Golf

James M. Barnes

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

William T. Tilden/Molla B. Mallory

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Bill Tilden/Suzanna Lenglen

NCAA Football Champions

California & Cornell

Bowl Game

Rose Bowl: January 1, 1921 - California over Ohio State

Kentucky Derby

Behave Yourself

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Midkiff Seductive

1921's Fresh Faces and Top Celebrities

Theda Bara, Pola Negri, Mary Pickford

Miss America

Margaret Gorman (Washington, DC)

"The Quotes"

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?' "
- George Bernard Shaw

The phrase "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words" first appeared in Printer's Ink (a trade journal)

"Id walk a mile for a Camel."
- Camel Cigarettes

Hungarian mathematician named Alfréd Réyni (1921-1970) was quoted saying "A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems."

1921 Pop Culture History

Wonder Bread began distribution. It went national in 1925 when the Continental Baking Company bought out Taggart baking, the originators of the product.

There is a one square mile piece of land called "The Wedge" between Delaware/Pennsylvania/Maryland that was disputed until 1921.

Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, borrowed a Greek phrase from his friend, Father Henri Didon, for the Olympic motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius ("Swifter, Higher, Stronger").

Sobhuza II of Swaziland has the longest verifiable reign of any Monarch in History. Officially becoming King in 1899 at four months old (But not ruling until 1921) to his death in 1982.

Betty Crocker was not a real person - the name was created as a way to give a personalized response to consumer product questions. The name Betty was selected because it was a cheery all-American name, and Crocker was the last name of one of the company directors at the time.

Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on Solar Power, not his 1916 work 'The General Theory of Reativity'.

There is a small tract of land (termed "The Wedge") along the borders of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Ownership of the land was disputed until 1921. Mechanicsville, Delaware, lies within the area today.

"Andy's Candies" was founded. Andy realized that men would never buy chocolates for women with another man's name written on them. He renamed the company "Andes".

John Larson invented an early polygraph (lie detector).

Pennsylvanian surgeon, Evan O'Neill Kane removed his own appendix at the age of 60. His intention was see if a patient would be able to tolerate the surgery under local anesthetic rather than using the more dangerous general anesthetic.

The largest civil uprising in US history since the Civil War occurred when 10,000 Coal Miners battled 3,000 cops and "strikebreakers". The coal miners were attempting to unionize the coal mines of West Virginia. US Troops were eventually brought in by Presidential Order.

The first aerial refueling occurred when Wesley May climbed from a Lincoln Standard to a Curtiss Jenny with a 5 gallon can strapped to his back.

Guccio Gucci started selling his handbags.

A dog named Dormie went on trial in San Francisco for allegedly murdering 14 cats. He walked.

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaug in Massachusetts actually does exist, but its "Native American" etymology is a myth. While it does loosely translate to "You fish on your side" etc, it was meant as a joke perpetrated by newspaper editor Larry Dale in 1921, and somehow it stuck.

The Rorschach Test does not use a series of random inkblots, but 10 prints selected in 1921 and always shown in the same order.

Radio Shack opened in Boston, Massachusettes.

The shortest-lived team in NFL history was the Tonawanda Kardex Lumbermen, who played in one NFL game in 1921. Tonawanda is in New York, and a suburb of Buffalo.

Frank Coughlin, the head coach of the Rock Island Independents, was fired in the middle of a game against the Chicago Cardinals. The Independents were leading the game 14-7 at the time. Coughlin is the only coach in NFL history to be fired in the middle of a game.

The first White Castle restaurants opened in Wichita Kansas.

The "Bloody Mary" drink was invented by Pete Petiot.

The first actor to ever to play Jesse James on film was his own son, Jesse James Jr, in the 1921 film Under the Black Flag.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

The Black Sox Scandal - Eight Chicago White Sox players were banned for life for purposefully losing the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. They were all aquitted in criminal court, however.

"Black Wall Street" - the community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was the wealthiest Black community in America before being attacked by an angry mob which killed hundreds of Black residents and destroyed 35 city blocks.

Nabokov's book, Lolita was inspired by Charlie Chaplin's relationship with young girl named Lillita

Workers at an ammonium nitrate factory tried clearing a clogged silo with dynamite. The resulting explosion killed 500 people and left 6500 homeless in Oppau, Germany.

The Buffalo All-Americans were announced as NFL champions until the Chicago Bears challenged them to a final game. This became the first ever postseason NFL game which the Chicago Bears won 10-7, stealing the championship title from Buffalo

Fatty Arbuckle was tried three times for the rape and death of Virginia Rappe, but acquitted. His career never came back.

Why did the British think it was a good idea to group the three ex-Ottoman provinces of Mosul, Baghdad and Basra, containing Kurds and Sunni and Shiite Arabs with such stark ethno-sectarian differences, into the modern state of Iraq in 1921?

Most of the 1890 US census data no longer exists due to a fire in 1921.

On August 25, 1921, the largest civil uprising in US history since the Civil War occurred when 10,000 Coal Miners battled 3,000 cops and "strikebreakers". The coal miners were attempting to unionize the coal mines of West Virginia. US Troops were eventually brought in by Presidential Order.

Thomas Lynn Bradford, a Detroit man, went so far as to actually kill himself, apparently in order to then communicate with a chosen spiritualist medium, thus proving that the afterlife was real. It didn't work.

Willis Meadows coughed up a bullet 58 years after he was shot in the eye during the Civil War.

The Habit

Reading Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1921 include:
Nora Bayes, Eddie Cantor, Frank Crumit, Carl Fenton and His Orchestra, Mariona Harris, Art Hickman & His Orchestra, Al Jolson, Billy Jones, Isham Jones and His Orchestra, Benny Krueger and His Orchestra, Ted Lewis and His Band, Billy Murray, The Original Dixieland Band, The Peerless Quartet, Leo Reisman and His Orchestra, Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds, Van & Schenck, Ethel Waters, Reinald Werrenrath, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, Yerkes Jazarimba Orchestra

Popular Movies

Destiny, Disraeli, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Kid, Orphans of the Storm, The Phantom Carriage, The Sheik

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1921
# 1 Hits of 1921
Pop Culture News

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