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1920's Journal

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FC: Journal

1: August 26, 1920 Today the nineteenth amendment was passed in congress. By this amendment women are finally granted the right to vote. For years we have been fighting to be equal with men and now we have finally taken the first big step towards equality. This battle, led by heroes such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, has been centuries of demonstrations and protests and they have finally paid off. Countless other countries were already allowing there women to vote. New Zealand and Australia passed laws for these rights decades ago. Finally, America can join this list. The presidential election is coming up and I cannot wait to take part. Mildred thinks there will be more women voting than men, the way it should always be. My friends and I agree the government will be much more successful with women at the helm. This country is certainly on a good track. I can sense that this century will be prosperous and enjoyable.

2: November 2, 1920 Today is presidential Election Day. It is the first election in which women can participate. The republican candidate is Warren Harding with Calvin Coolidge as his vice president. Dorothy says Coolidge was a newspaper editor from Ohio before he became a US Senator. The democratic candidate is also a newspaper editor from Ohio. A governor, named James Cox. His vice president is to be Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The campaign for this election was spread through record albums released by the candidates. I was so excited about voting I bought each album to prepare myself. Through much consideration I decided on the democratic candidate James Cox. I think he will do a lot to progress our country. I’m meeting Dorothy, Mildred, and Ruth at the polls where we will all cast our first votes together. We’re all very excited to finally be taking part in governing our nation.

3: September 9, 1921 This morning I was over to Mildred’s for breakfast and she told me all about the Miss America Pageant that took place in Atlantic City the other day. Girls from all around the country came and got all dressed up to compete. The girl who won was from Washington, D.C.. Her name is Margaret Gorman and she’s only 16 years old! Can you believe that? Only sixteen and she’s already considered one of the most fashionable ladies in America. It’s incredible how times are changing. Why, just a couple years ago it was unacceptable for a lady to show even the slightest bit of ankle and now there are girls wearing dresses almost up to their knees! I find it so very exciting. Dorothy and I have decided to go shopping to try to keep up with all the latest styles.

5: June 14, 1922 Ever since the war ended the country has made such large social, political, and technological strides. Women are progressing in Politics and society. The Radio is becoming quite the commodity. Soon everyone will have one in their own home. Everything will be broadcasted on radio for the world to hear. I don’t have a radio but my friend Doris does. Today I am going to Doris’s house to listen to the first presidential speech to be broadcasted on the radio. President Harding will be addressing all of America at once! Dorothy, Mildred, Ruth, and I are all going to huddle around Doris’s radio and listen while history is made. It’s so exciting that no one will have to travel far to hear the president speak anymore. Everyone will be more involved in politics and current events. It really is a huge step in our nation’s progression.

6: August 12, 1922 Today I joined the molly pitcher club. It’s an organization fighting to repeal Prohibition. It was created by M. Louise Gross. It’s named after Revolutionary War folklore hero Molly Pitcher. It’s the name given to women who brought water to soldiers on the battlefield. She helped her country fight for freedom by supplying the soldiers with what they need. Now we are fighting for our rights just as she did. Evelyn joined with me. We attend weekly meetings at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. It’s difficult to find enough people to join because of the fact that we only accept women. Many people decide to join the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment because of the fact that they accept men and women. We are doing our best, however, despite our low numbers. Hopefully we can make a difference.

7: May 12, 1923 Tonight, Ruth is taking Mildred and me to a speakeasy she heard about from her neighbor. Doris says speakeasies are places where they illegally sell liquor. It’s highly secretive because of the Prohibition amendment. I’m excited but also a little nervous. What would happen if the police should catch us? What if we can’t get in? Any number of terrible things could result. I’m sure everything will turn out fine, though. I’m very excited to see what it will be like. I am wearing my red fringe dress with my new shoes I bought the other day with Evelyn. It’s sure to be a great time. There will be music and dancing and of course, liquor.

8: March 3, 1924 Last night I went to the Apollo Theatre with Alice. It’s one of the most popular clubs in New York. We saw Billie Holliday perform. The music was so upbeat and lively! Everyone there was happy and dancing. You would be hard-pressed to find one gloomy person in the room. The art on the walls was as colorful as the music. Everywhere you looked was a burst of energy. Next week I think we might go to the Savoy Ballroom for some swing dancing and jazz. All these new forms of art and music are so exciting! Everyone is happy these days. I could never imagine anything going wrong. Everything is progressing and happening so fast. Everyone is having the time of their lives.

9: April 7, 1927 Today the Bell Telephone Company actually transmitted a live image of Secretary of State Herbert Hoover from Washington, D.C. to New York City. Helen’s husband says they transmitted moving images from a 50-aperture disk producing 16 frames per minute over a cable. I’m not sure what any of that means but he seemed to know what he was talking about. Whatever it means, it’s very exciting. Now politicians can discuss things face to face without actually meeting. It’s another new technological advancement this decade has brought us. They’re calling it “television.” Helen thinks one day we will all be able to use television to see news and hear stories and all kinds of other things in our homes. I think that’s a ridiculous idea. Helen is a bit flighty sometimes. It is a nice dream though. Even if it will probably never happen. It would be exciting if we could all use this ‘television’ contraption in our homes.

11: October 7, 1927 Last night Ruth, Alice, and I were lucky enough to see the World premiere of the very first talking movie! The Jazz Singer, produced by Warner Brothers, was the most exciting movie I’ve ever seen. It had a captivating story and the actors were terrific. Most of all, they talked! I’ve seen plenty of silent films before but never did I think they would be able to make movies where people talked. I can’t wait to see another. Al Jolson starred along with May AcAvoy and Warner Oland. It was directed by Alan Crosland, he’s such a genius. It’s actually based on a play by Samson Raphaelson. The incredible music was by Louis Silvers. It was 89 minutes long and sheer perfection! We have decided, if we ever get a chance, we will see it again. Maybe Mildred will come next time.

12: October 29, 1929 My husband, Tom, says today is the end of all the prosperity we have enjoyed this past decade. He says the stock market crashed. Thousands of people nationwide lost huge amounts of money, us included. It came as such a shock. Everything was going so well. Everyone was happy and prosperous, and then all of a sudden, no one was. It just goes to show how quickly things can change. My husband says this happened because too many people were taking out loans they couldn’t pay off, and using the loaned money to buy stocks, which then couldn’t be paid for. I’m afraid of what will happen next. Who knows how long it will take for the economy to be restored. I knew all along that the energy of the 20’s was too good to last. Now all we can do is pray for our health and happiness and hope the worst is over.

14: January 3, 1930 Today Tom lost his job. He worked in a bank. Since the stock market crash, a lot of banks have had to close and downsize. His bank just fired over half their workers. We dont know what we're going to to now for money. Hopefully we will figure it out somehow. I am praying to god for an answer. Maybe we will move somewhere else so that he can find work. Maybe I will have better luck finding a job myself than he will. Either way we will have to figure out something. We have to feed ourselves, and keep a roof over our head. I must try to stay optimistic.

16: June 14, 1930 Today Tom recieved word of a job from his cousin in New Jersey. He will be working at a textiles mill. The pay is low and the work conditions are bad but its better than nothing. It will be enough to support us. When we need extra money I will travel back to New York and sell apples for a few extra cents here and there. We continue to pray for better times. We are thankful that my husband is one of the few who have been able to find work. Hopefully these rough times will be over soon.

17: December 12, 1930 This morning I got a letter from my sister. She says she and her husband have lost their house and are living on the streets. They begged me to take in their daughter, Caroline. She is only 7 and is far too young to be living on the streets in New York City. Even though Tom and I have enough trouble keeping ourselves fed, I couldn't say no to my dearest sister. I'm not sure when the girl will be arriving. Hopefully we will get on well. The poor child must be terribly frightened. I can only pray that I will be able to give her a better home than she has now.

18: January 10, 1932 Caroline arrived this morning. I picked her up from the train station at 9 o'clock. She is frail but pretty. She seems unhappy, but that is understandable. I brought her back to the small house where Tom and I live around the corner from his factory. It only has one bedroom so Caroline must sleep on the couch. I cleared a couple of drawers in my dresser for her few belongings. I am trying to make the house comfortable for her but I fear that we are ill-suited to provide for her. I pray that we can give her a good and comfortable home and that I may be a good Aunt and raise her well.

19: November 8, 1932 Today, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the 32nd president of the United States. In his campaign he kept promising to make things better for us here. He said "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people." Hopefully he actually does something to help us. Caroline is getting on fine. She started school in September. Its a small school with only a small amount of students but she seems to be enjoying herself and adjusting well since she moved here. Tome is doing well at the factory and is in line for a promotion to assistant supervisor. I have been selling apples less and less because I have been plenty busy with Caroline around, but we haven't been missing the extra money too much.

21: June 30, 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt has only been president for barely 3 months and already he has made countless efforts to help America recover from this depression. Through his First New Deal he has passed laws such as the Emergency Banking Act, the Glass–Steagall Act, and the National Industrial Recovery Act. He has created agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Civilian Conservation Corps. It is refreshing to have a president make such an immediate and ardent effort to help his people. Who knows if any of these things will make a difference, but at least he is trying.

22: December 6, 1933 As Roosevelt promised, he continued to fight against the 18th Amendment and repeal Prohibition. Yesterday, the 21st Amendment was passed. This amendment nullified the 18th Amendment and allowed alcohol in the United States once again. Even if this is only a small portion of progress, it is nice to know that our president is good on his word. Hopefully he will keep his other promises to rebuild the nations economy and provide jobs for the thousands of unemployed.

23: June 12, 1935 The economy under president Roosevelt continues to increase. More people are getting jobs and earning money to feed their families. As he promised his new deal policies are working. He has recently proposed his Second New Deal plan. This plan includes bills such as a Works Progress Administration and Social Security. The Nation is trusting Roosevelt fully now as he leads our nation to recovery. Soon enough, we will be back on our feet. The good times are just around the corner.

24: August 14, 1935 Today is Caroline's birthday. She is turning 13. I have been saving up for weeks to buy some sugar to make her a birthday cake. As a special surprise, her mother is coming to visit. She hasn't seen her mother in several years and they are both anxious to reunite. Her father has recently acquired a job and as he will be making enough money to purchase a small house in the near future she will be rejoining them in New York City next year. I will be sad to see her go. We have spent a lot of time together over the past years and she has become like a daughter to me. Hopefully we will be able to keep in touch. I will be anxious to visit her and she will be always welcome to visit me. Still, it will be a difficult adjustment.

25: September 1, 1936 Today Caroline is leaving me. Her father has been working for over a year now and they have saved up enough money to buy an apartment in New York. It will be good for her to live with her parents but I will miss her terribly. Tom has been very successful at the factory and is now a supervisor. He will also miss Caroline as he has grown very fond of her. Roosevelt's New Deal Policies have been working swiftly. Although the nation is not completely recovered, and we are fortunate to be financially stable, America is well on its way to a new age of prosperity.

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