Who were the Britney Spears’, Robert De Neros, and Michael Jordans of the 1920’s? The stars of yesterday, forgotten today. You may not have heard of them all, but you may be surprised about how much you really do know about the 1920’s. These years were the rise of what we now know as,”super-stars.” At a time when the media had begun to mass produce, people were attracted to the silver screen, books, sports, and Broadway theatre in a way like never before. But who were the famous actors and actresses? Who were the athletes that led their leagues?
Who were the legends of Hollywood style? One that you may have heard of, and is popular again today more than ever, Coco Chanel, a famous fashion designer. This was a time when getting paid to act, dance, or play a sport was a dream job, rare among those who walked the earth. Some of the most famous athletes in this time included one we all know, George Jr. Ruth, more commonly known as, Babe Ruth. Ruth died of cancer on August 16, 1948. Another person to be considered one of the first great sports heroes of all time is Jack Dempsey, a world famous boxer born in 1895. Jack passed away on May 31, 1983. There were many great athletes in that time, Ty Cobb, Grover Cleveland Alexander, and Lou Gehrig. As for acting, there were quiet a few at the time, like Jobyna Ralston, Emil Jannings, Brigitte Helm, and Douglas Fairbanks. But none more popular than people we know today, like Mickey Rooney, Charles Bronson, and of course, Charlie Chaplin. Music in the 1920’s wascompletely different from the music industry we know today. This time was known as the “Jazz Age.” Most people know who he is today, which informs you that Louis Armstrong made quiet an impact during these vital years in the music scene. Another notable person to have effected music, and how it sounded was Duke Ellington or Edward Kennedy Ellington.
Duke was a godfather of the Blues era, and his name will continue to carry the title of one of the most famous musicians of all time. Bessie Smith was another widely known musical artist of the time. Nicknamed the “Blues Empress,” Bessie was considered the most famous Blue’s singer of the time. The 1920’s were a time when cartoons had first been brought to the silver screen. Characters like Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh were all born in the ’20’s. In 1920 the first commercial radio station in the United States went on air in Pittsburgh, quickly becoming a very popular entertainment medium, with disc jockeys like Amos & Andy. Artists of the time included Rene Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, and arguably the most famous artist of all time, Pablo Picasso. This was also a huge era for authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of notable books like The Great Gatsby.
Others included Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, Ernest Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw, and Virginia Woolf. Fads of the time included Yahtzee, crossword puzzles, as well as the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter in 1922. World leaders of the time included United States presidents like Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover, as well as other country leaders like Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Pope Pius XI. This was a great time for scientists as we had the rise of a more popular-than-ever, Albert Einstein. Others included Sigmund Freud, Nikola Tesla, and Niels Bohr. The 1920’s were not short on celebrities, and we may one day, ninety years down the road, look back and ask, “Who were the stars of 2010?”