True Stories from the Roaring Twenties

By Hannah K.

Welcome to 2020!

I’m a little late in wishing you a Happy New Year, but it’s still January, so I’m going to ask you to let this one slide.

2020 New Year’s celebrations were awash in Jazz Age finery. People wanted to celebrate like a Great Gatsby party, with flapper fashion, craft cocktails, and a Roaring Twenties attitude. I don’t blame anyone for that. The 1920s launched some fabulous cultural trends. It was a time with extravagance and decadence- jazz, art deco, speakeasies, film stars, flappers, and more. Why wouldn’t you want to channel that glitz and glamour into your celebration?

As usual for popular culture, it’s a very narrow view of the world. We have musicals, award winning movies, and TV shows dramatizing the era. Pop culture about the Roaring Twenties focuses heavily on the rich-and-famous and those living large on crime. This excludes the experiences by most people at the time and neglects other important historical events, but Hollywood loves it. And it’s easy to plan a party around that aesthetic.  Gangsters and bootleggers abound, with flappers enjoying speakeasy drinks and dancing the Charleston. It’s a romanticized view of the past, but truth can be just as riveting as fiction.

While the real Jazz Age parties didn’t kick off with a Baz Luhrmann soundtrack, the decade still held spectacle and scandal. When you look back at it, the real events are just as shocking as the fictional ones.

Here are some true stories from the Jazz Age– bootlegging, murder, organized crime, con-artists, and old Hollywood. What a way to remember a decade!

 

 

Happy New Year!

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