Pop Culture Madness!
Pop Culture Madness!

1926 Trivia, Facts & History

<< - 1925

1926 History Snapshot

  • Politics: In 1926, Poland sent the US a birthday card with over 5 million signatures. Polish citizen Leopold Kotnowski visited the White House to present the card for America’s 150th birthday. It has 30,000 pages full of art, photos, poems and pressed flowers.
  • Influential Songs include: The Prisoner's Song by Vernon Dalhart and I'm Sitting on Top of the World by Al Jolson (and many others in the following decades).
  • The Big Movies included Aloma of the South Seas, What Price Glory? and The General
  • Price of a New Dodge Touring Car in 1926: $795.00
  • The World Population was ~ 2,043,000,000
  • Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fuel rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts.
  • And... Haven High School of Haven, Kansas defeated Sylvia High School by a score of 256–0.
1926 Books

World Series Champions

St. Louis Cardinals

Stanley Cup Champs

Montreal Maroons

US Open Golf

Bobby Jones

US Tennis (Men/Ladies)

Rene Lacoste/Molla B. Mallory

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Jean Borotra/Kathleen Godfree

NCAA Football Champions

Alabama & Stanford

Kentucky Derby

Bubbling Over

1926's Fresh Faces, Top Stars, Models and Actresses

Josephine Baker, Louise Brooks, Dolores Costello, Marion Davies, Greta Garbo, Myrna Loy, Mary Pickford, Dolores Del Rio, Anna May Wong

"The Quotes"

"Every woman knows all about everything"
- Rudyard Kipling (The Eye of Allah)

"Good to the last drop"
- Maxwell House Coffee

Cranbrook Ed, one of 14 circus elephants to escaped their circus train. The hunt prompted the most unusual telegraph in railway history: "All trains East. Keep lookout for elephants on track; advise if sighted from first telegraph office."

Miss America

Norma Smallwood (Tulsa, OK)

Scandals, RIP and Odd News

Harry Houdini died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix on October 31 (Halloween), at the age of 52. He was unprepared for several punches to his gut, on a dare, on October 22nd.

When Agatha Christie mysteriously disappeared in 1926, the police asked Arthur Conan Doyle to help find her. Gone for 11 days, 1,000 officers and 15,000 volunteers searched for her until she was found in a hotel, registered under a different name. #neededabreak

The City of New York passed several laws banning dancing in public spaces without a special license. The laws are still enforced today. "Prohibiting dancing by more than three persons in any 'room, place or space'in the City of New York that lacks a cabaret license".

Bobby Leach, a daredevil in the early 1900s, died in 1926 when he slipped on an orange peel. He also broke his leg.

Antoni Gaudí, the architect of the famous Sagrada Família in Barcelona, was hit by a tram during his daily walk. Assumed to be a beggar because of his lack of ID and shabby clothing, the unconscious Gaudí did not receive immediate aid and died three days later at a hospital.

Oregon's constitution forbade black people from living in the state, working or owning property there, and black people could not move to the state until 1926.

The Freaky Events

A boy named Phillip McClean was killed when he and his brother came across a Cassowary bird on their property. They tried to kill it, but it kicked Philip in the neck, cutting him, and he bled to death. McClean is the only person to be killed by a Cassowary.

A 1915-1926 epidemic swept the world and afftected about 5 million people. Referred to as the greatest medical mystery of the 20th century, it left victims in a statue-like condition, speechless and motionless. Of the 2/3 who survived, many never returned to their pre-existing "aliveness".

The BBC's 1926 Broadcasting from the Barricades was the first radio show to depict the end of the world, causing panic in the UK - this inspired Orson Welles' more famous The War of the Worlds over a decade later.

When silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in 1926 at the age of 31, over 100,000 people swarmed the streets of New York City in riots during the funeral and several women committed suicide.

(Near Event) Texas A&M cadets mounted a cannon to a train with the intent of shelling Baylor after a cadet was killed in a fight at the previous football game. It was only stopped when Texas Rangers caught wind and confiscated the cannon.

Author Sinclair Lewis refused to accept the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1926 because he felt the winning book, Arrowsmith, was chosen for its popularity more than its literary merit. He remains the only person to decline the award.

Rin Tin Tin, a dog found during WWI, came back to the US and stared in 26 films and his own radio show. By 1926 he was making 6k per week and according to legend received more votes for Best Actor then any other person but to avoid embarrassment The Academy gave the award to someone else.

1926 Pop Culture News

The Great Stork Derby was a contest held in Toronto from 1926-1936, in which women competed to produce the most babies in order to win $750,000 as stipulated in the will of a wealthy lawyer. The prize ended up being split among four women who each had 9 babies.

Invented in 1926, the machine used to measure shoe size is called a Brannock Device. It was patented (#1682366) in 1928.

US President Calvin Coolidge enjoyed "buzzing for his bodyguards and then hiding under his desk as they frantically searched for him".

There was a Great Gatsby film in 1926. There are no existing copies of it.

On May 1, 1926, Ford Motor Company becomes one of the first companies in America to adopt a five-day, 40-hour week for workers in its automotive factories.

Before 1976, Black History Month was Negro History Week, which was created in 1926 with the hope that it would be eliminated once Black history would become fundamental to American history.

Facial tissues in the US were initially sold as cold cream removers, not disposable handkerchiefs: "It was the customers that started the habit and a reader comment in 1926 by a newspaper in Peoria, Illinois found that 60% of the users used it for blowing their nose. "

The first SATs took place on June 23, 1926. They were called the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The SATs changed names in 1990, becoming the Scholastic Assessment Test. The first 'college board' exams were in 1901.

Maidenform's uplifting brassiere was patented in 1926. The adjusted strap fastener came out in 1942.

An expedition led by W. Douglas Burden to Komodo Island in 1926 yielded 12 preserved and 2 live Komodo Dragon specimens. This expedition is what inspired the 1933 movie King Kong.

Dr. Robert Gioddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket on March 16th... it traveled about 184 feet.

Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English channel in 1926, beating the previous time record by nearly two hours. The first person to greet Ederle as she came ashore on Kingsdown beach was a British immigration officer who requested to see her passport.

Q-Tips Baby Gays (invented as 'Baby Gays' in 1923) were rebranded and sold. The "Q" stands for quality. The "Tips" are the cotton thingys on both ends.

The Latin translation of the Winnie The Pooh 1926 book was the first foreign-language book to be featured on the New York Times Best Seller List, and the only book in Latin ever to have been featured there.

The Orange Julius grew out of an orange juice stand opened in Los Angeles by Julius Freed. People began lining up at the store and shouting, "Give me an Orange, Julius!" Eventually, the new drink would simply be called "the Orange Julius".

Stella Artois was initially launched as a seasonal beer for Christmas in 1926. Due to its success, it became available all year round.

Nikola Tesla predicted and accurately described the smartphone in 1926 - "A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket".

Parents Magazine began publication

The American Legion Magazine began publication

The Habits

Reading The Private Life of Helen of Troy by John Erskine
Reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Popular Music

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1926 include:
Gene Austin, Franklyn Baur, Ben Bernie & His Orchestra, Henry Burr, Vernon Dalhart, Ruth Etting, Johnny Hamp and His Orchestra, Al Jolson, Isham Jones & His Orchestra, Roger Wolfe Kahn and His Orchestra, Benny Krueger & His Orchestra, Ted Lewis & His Band, Vincent Lopez & His Orchestra, Nick Lucas, Johnny Marvin, Jogn McCormack, George Olson and His Orchestra, The Revelers, Harry Richman, Bessie Smith, Whispering Jack Smith, Fred waring's Pennsylvanians, Ethel Waters, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

Popular Movies

The Adventures of Prince Achmed, Aloma of the South Seas, The Black Pirate, Faust, Flesh and the Devil, The Great Gatsby, For Heaven's Sake, La Bohème, Napoleon, The Scarlet Letter, The Son of the Sheik, The Temptress, What Price Glory?

More Pop Culture Resources

Popular Music in 1926
# 1 Hits of 1926
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