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The age of technology and tragedy

Photo courtesy Touchstone 1930 MU’s library in 1930.
Photo courtesy Touchstone 1930
MU’s library in 1930.

The years 1925-1945 were an age of expansion and development. During these decades, the world was introduced to many new technologies and experienced many tragedies. The events of this time period were influenced by the achievements of the Women’s Right’s Movement, which culminated in an amendment that granted all women to right to vote nationally in 1920.

Those who were born in the years 1925-1945 are considered members of “the Silent Generation.” In total, approximately 49 million people are members of this generation. Included in these 49 million people are Marylin Monroe, Martin Luther King Jr., Clint Eastwood, Elvis Presley, James Dean and Barbara Streisand.

A few of the technological advancements from  the 1920’s to the 1940’s have become icons that are often included in the stereotypical “American Dream.” Some of these include the commissioning of Route 66 in 1926, and the development of black and white TV. On June 6, 1933, the first drive-in movie theater was opened in New Jersey, which inspired a crop of new theaters across America. Many of the greatest buildings of the 20th century were built during the 1920’s to the 1940’s. Construction for the Empire State building began in 1930, and was completed and opened in 1931. Other notable building developments included the Hoover Dam (completed in 1935) and the Golden Gate Bridge (completed in 1937).

Those who experienced these decades also knew tragedy. The Eighteenth Amendment went into effect in 1920, effectively banning all alcohol beverages in America until 1933. The Great Depression spanned from 1929 to 1939. The Spanish Civil War happened simultaneously, from 1936 to 1939. World War II began in 1939. American military forces became involved in the Second World War in 1941, after the Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base. The Hindenburg, a German passenger zeppelin, exploded at the end of the ship’s 36th flight in 1937.   

International Education Week