A Changing Society
A Changing Society
In a book written just a few years after the end of the 1920s titled Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s, Frederick Lewis Allen noted that this decade had involved a "revolution in manners and morals." Indeed, many changes in ways of thinking and behaving, most of them actually rooted in the years leading up to the 1920s, were unleashed by this decade's special circumstances and atmosphere.
These changes were influenced by such factors as the impact of World War I (1914–18) and a falling birth rate, as well by the new work patterns, cultural diversity, and general prosperity that marked this period. They involved different roles for women, who entered the workforce and attended college in greater numbers, were more likely to use birth control, and interacted in society more freely. Families were smaller and were now more focused on emotional attachment and the nurturing of children. Young people were not as pressured to enter adulthood as they had been in previous years, and they spent more time in school. The 1920s saw the development of a distinct, lively youth culture and of a society that was much more youth-oriented than ever before.
Exciting and positive as these trends were for some, others found them alarming. The belief that the changes in society meant the downfall of traditional moral values led to an upsurge in religious fundamentalism. This kind of very conservative Christianity revolves around a literal interpretation of the Bible; that is, considering the Bible a true account of factual events, rather than a collection of poetic, mythical stories told to illustrate moral lessons. The success of evangelists (people who seek to convert others to their faith) like Aimee Semple McPherson (1890–1944) and the issues brought up in the Scopes Monkey Trial, which pitted fundamentalists against defenders of a teacher's right to teach the scientific theory of evolution (see William Jennings Bryan's undelivered closing statement from the Scopes Trial Primary Sources entry), demonstrate the resistance to the changes occurring during this period.
The roots of change
As the twentieth century began, a transition in U.S. society was already under way. The nation's population had shifted from one dominated by people of northern European ancestry (such as Great Britain, France, and Scandinavia) to a more diverse mix that included not only the African Americans and Native Americans who already lived in the country but also new immigrants from such places as Italy, Poland, and Mexico. For the first time, more U.S. citizens were living in cities than in rural areas, as the nation became increasingly industrialized. New technology and management methods that allowed for fast, efficient mass production changed work patterns, as fewer people became farmers and skilled craftsmen and more went to work in factories and offices. Technological improvements also increased communication between regions and broadened people's knowledge of the world around them. The expansion of print publications and radio broadcasting during the 1920s would help to blur the lines between people even more.
Then there was World War I, a global conflict so bloody and destructive that it seemed to shake the very foundations of society. Afterwards, many people, especially the young men who had fought in the war, were less innocent and more aware. Their perspective on life and on the world had changed, resulting in a new, inward focus and a willingness to embrace different ways of thinking and behaving.
New roles for women
One group with just such an altered perspective was women. During the war many of them had taken up a much more public role than in previous years, when they had been expected to remain behind the scenes, caring for homes and children and allowing men to take charge of society. Through involvement in volunteer work to support the war effort and by taking up jobs left by soldiers, women had enjoyed a degree of freedom that most had not experienced before.
Then came the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the result of decades of effort that had begun in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention, where suffragists (those who worked to gain for women the right to vote) had first discussed how to achieve their goals. On August 18, 1920, twenty-six million U.S. women earned the right to vote. A number of them rejoiced, sure that women would now have the power to directly influence and change their society and to be a force for progress. As it turned out, though, the Nineteenth Amendment would not have as much political impact as the suffragists had hoped. Women had been united in the drive to gain the ballot box, but now they would be divided by differences of race, class, religion, and region. Different groups would express different ideas about needed reforms and how to achieve them.
Particularly divisive was the issue of the Equal Rights Amendment, which was supported by the most radical group of suffragists, the National Women's Party. They believed that equal rights could only be achieved through the passage of another constitutional amendment, this one making it illegal to discriminate against women in any way. Others, however, felt that such a broad amendment would sweep away laws meant to protect women. In addition, black women who had joined the struggle for suffrage now felt abandoned by women's organizations. They turned their energies toward the fight for racial justice, becoming especially active in the movement to end lynching (a brutal form of murder by hanging, often accompanied by torture, practiced by white terrorist groups against mostly African American victims).
A few women were elected to political office during the 1920s. Most prominent among them were Winnifred Mason Huck (1882–1936), who was elected to the House of Representatives in 1922, and Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876–1977), elected governor of Wyoming in 1925. By the end of the decade more than two hundred women were serving in state legislatures, compared with ten thousand men.
Women in the work force
Some accounts of the 1920s suggest that women achieved a very high level of equality during that decade, as if they suddenly became free to do and be exactly what they wished. The truth is more complicated. When the 1920s ended, opportunities for women were still very limited, and traditional views about their role in society and the family were still, for the most part, closely held. Still, some significant changes did occur. An important one was the entrance of more women into the workforce: their number rose from 8.3 million (23.6 percent) in 1920 to 11 million (27 percent) in 1930.
The fact was, however, that most still worked in the lowest-paying jobs, either in factories or as clerical workers in offices. Significant numbers also worked as domestic servants or farmworkers, especially African American women who faced particularly harsh discrimination and unpleasant working conditions, and recent immigrants. Women did obtain professional jobs, but the vast majority were in traditional female fields such as nursing, teaching, and social work. It was still quite unusual for women to become lawyers or doctors, as obstacles were placed in their way before, during, and after they obtained the education they needed. And the practice of paying women less for the same work performed by men was still widely accepted by much of society. There were more married women in the workforce now, most by necessity, some by choice, but they faced not only disapproval from those who believed that wives and mothers should stay at home, but also the stress of balancing work with domestic duties.
Flappers symbolize the 1920s
A small group of women did manage to achieve a greater degree of freedom, at least on the surface, to have a lot of fun, and to make a lasting name for themselves. These women were called flappers, a term of British origin that referred to the unbuckled, floppy galoshes, or rain boots, worn by some of them. Though their number was small and their time in the spotlight short, flappers came to symbolize for many years to come the free-spirit of the 1920s.
The previous generation of women had worn high collars and ankle-length skirts, under which were layers of petticoats. Their long hair was coiled or piled on top of their heads. They wore uncomfortable corsets (stiff, laced undergarments meant to shape a woman's body in a certain way) in order to achieve the ideal "hourglass" figure: a small waist and wide hips. The women of the Victorian Age (roughly referring to the years 1837 to 1901, when Queen Victoria ruled England) were expected to be the guardians of morality and innocence; they were to obey their husbands, bear and raise children, and run their homes efficiently. Sex was a duty, the price they paid for the privilege of marriage and having babies, not something pleasurable. The flapper turned all of these expectations on their heads.
The flapper created a stir by her very appearance. Her hair was bobbed (cut short), her skirts short, her clothing simplified. She wore silk stockings, makeup—especially rouge for her cheeks, eyeliner to make her eyes look dramatic, and bold lipstick—long strings of beads, and close-to-the-head hats called cloches. The ideal flapper figure was thin and boyish, and in fact some women taped down their breasts to create that effect. In manner the flapper was independent, free-spirited, and funloving. She felt free to smoke and drink illegal liquor (both much-frowned-upon activities for women in the previous generation), to kiss her boyfriend in public, and to dance wildly to the daring new jazz music being played in the nightclubs of the nation's big cities. In general, the flapper thumbed her nose at tradition. Supposedly this extended to sexual freedom as well, but it is likely that few women were as sexually active as it seemed.
The flapper's energy, independence, and provocative beauty were embodied on the motion picture screen by a number of movie stars, such as Louise Brooks (1906–1985) and Clara Bow (1905–1965). The latter, in fact, was nicknamed the "It Girl" because she seemed to possess a special quality, called "animal magnetism" by novelist Elinor Glyn as quoted in Nathan Miller's New World Coming: The 1920s and the Making of Modern America, that was popularly referred to as "It."
Here She Comes…Miss America
In the Roaring Twenties, it was becoming clear that the notions about women's roles, appearance, and behavior that had prevailed during the Victorian Era were changing. In earlier decades, women had been expected to focus their energies on home and family, maintain a modest appearance, and behave in a quiet, polite, obedient manner. But by the 1920s, the bold young women called flappers were overturning these standards with their bobbed hair, short skirts, cigarette smoking, and modern attitudes about jobs, child-bearing, and sex.
Another sign of the times was a display of female beauty that had its start in 1921. A group of Atlantic City, New Jersey, businessmen who were looking for a way to improve the tourism business after Labor Day came up with the idea of a beauty contest. On September 8, 1921, the first Miss America pageant took place, featuring eight young women dressed in daring, close-fitting, one-piece bathing suits. The winner was sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C., who was said to resemble the famous movie star Mary Pickford.
Some people were shocked by this open display of flesh, which was extensively covered by the media. Nevertheless, the annual event grew increasingly popular, and by 1924 there were eighty-three contestants vying for the Miss America title.
To many older or conservative people, the emergence of the flapper seemed proof that society was coming apart at the seams. Further, those who had fought for women's suffrage and who had hoped the younger generation would jump at the chance to become politically active were disappointed by the flappers' preference for fun and fashion over working to improve society. (This lack of interest in the wider world or in social reform seemed to apply, in fact, to most young people of the 1920s.) Nevertheless, modified versions of the fashions introduced by the flappers, if not some of their wilder behaviors, caught on with a wide variety of women, who needed more comfortable clothing for their new, more active lifestyles.
The fight for birth control
One of the most important women's issues of the 1920s was that of birth control. For women, the ability to avoid pregnancy could have a significant impact on economic status, freedom of choice regarding family size and work, and health. Contraceptives were already in use by some women, but most of these were members of the upper classes. Working-class and poor women still had little access to or knowledge about birth control, and as many as fifty thousand U.S. women per year died from illegal abortions. In many places, it was against the law to use, make available, or even give out information about birth control. Contraceptives were considered immoral because they interfered with nature, and printed material about birth contro lwas viewed as a form of pornography (material intended to stimulate sexual excitement).
Even before the 1920s, a reformer named Margaret Sanger (1883–1966) had begun an effort to change this situation. As a nurse working among underprivileged people, Sanger had seen for herself the sad results of unwanted pregnancies. She became determined to make information and advice about birth control available to as many women as possible, through public speaking and free birth control clinics that she hoped to establish around the country. "No woman can consider herself free," declared Sanger, as quoted in Miller's book, "until she can choose conscientiously whether she will or will not be a mother."
Arrested eight times for violating laws against birth control, Sanger fled to Europe in 1915. There she learned about a new, highly effective contraceptive device called the diaphragm, which she managed to smuggle back to the United States. Eventually Sanger felt she had to abandon some of the ties she had forged with more radical groups and activists in order to attract support from physicians and other, more conservative members of society. In 1921 she founded the American Birth Control League, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation. By 1938 Sanger had opened more than three hundred clinics across the United States. Her efforts helped to bring about a shift in the way birth control was viewed, so that by the early twenty-first century most people considered it a legitimate medical service.
A new kind of family
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the United States was being settled and developed and was primarily an agricultural nation, large families were common. More children meant more help with farmwork. As the country became more industrialized, though, children no longer represented an economic advantage. Most families of the 1920s were smaller, with two or three children being the norm. Both the lessened need for extra labor and new laws abolishing child labor meant that children stayed out of the workforce longer. At the same time, parents could focus more attention on their individual offspring, and childhood could be viewed as a sheltered, leisurely period of life.
In previous years family members had generally conformed to rigid roles: the father was the head of the family, in charge of laying down and enforcing the rules; the mother was obedient to the father and wholly devoted to her husband and children; and children were to obey their parents and to be "seen and not heard," as a popular expression said. Although these traditional values were deeply implanted and would take a long time to completely change, they did begin to shift somewhat during the 1920s.
This shift in ideas was partly due to a new interest in psychology and especially in the work of Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), who emphasized the importance of childhood trauma as a source of later mental imbalance. It now became accepted for family members to express their feelings openly, especially their affection for each other. In what became known as the "companionate" family, the parents were expected to be both friends and romantic partners, while parents and children were, in the slang of the day, "chums." This made for a somewhat more democratic family structure, even if basic roles remained the same.
With the increasing dominance of science as a source of knowledge and faith in the theories of those who claimed to be experts, parents also began to take a more scientific approach to child rearing. Whereas they had previously relied on instinct or their own parents' example, the adults of the 1920s read books, articles, and manuals to determine the best ways to handle such matters as feeding, toilet training, and discipline. One especially popular guide was child psychiatrist John B. Watson (1878–1959), who recommended a no-nonsense, strict approach to parenting. Contrary to the new tendency to show more affection for children, Watson recommended that parents control their emotions and enforce rigid rules and schedules to keep their offspring on the right track.
The younger generation
While parents of young children grappled with the correct ways to raise their children, parents of teenagers had different concerns. It was during the 1920s that, for the first time, a sharp division appeared between the older and younger generations. A lively youth culture emerged as young people created new ways to dress, amuse, and express themselves. One reason for this development was that teenagers and young adults were spending more time in school. During the 1920s, high school attendance doubled (between 1900 and 1930, it increased by 650 percent), going from 2.2 million to more than 5 million. During the first three decades of the twentieth century, college enrollments went up by 300 percent.
School now became more than just a place to acquire an education. It was a center of social interaction and recreation. Young people joined groups like the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), the Boy Scouts, and the Girl Scouts and took part in other after-school and evening activities. They also took advantage of the new freedom provided by the family automobile to escape from watchful parental eyes and attend movies and dances with their friends. The increase in privacy resulted in the pairing-up of couples and the phenomenon of dating (previously, courtship had mostly consisted of boys and girls visiting each other in their homes, with parents present). The practice of petting, which involved various forms of kissing and touching, but not usually sexual intercourse, and petting parties also became popular, much to the dismay of the older generation.
During the 1920s, one in eight U.S. citizens between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two attended college, which was a much higher number than in any other developed nation in the world. College students of this period established many fads and trends that eventually influenced the rest of society. Young men and women, known respectively as "sheiks" and "shebas," were both satirized and glamorized in cartoons by artist John Held (1889–1958), whose work appeared in some of the decade's most popular magazines. Sheiks drove topless Model Ts (the inexpensive, very popular car produced by the Ford Motor Company; see Chapter 4), wore long coats made of raccoon pelts, and carried small containers full of illegal liquor and cigarettes in long, fancy holders. A sheba was either a full-fledged or modified flapper, dressed in a short skirt, adopting a breezy manner, and shocking her mother by failing to keep her knees together when she sat down. Both sheiks and shebas took great joy in dancing to jazz in a manner that looks tame to modern eyes but was quite outrageous at the time.
The sexual behavior of these young people was not as wild as it seemed. Despite all the talk about sexual freedom and the wider availability of birth control, most sex outside marriage generally seems to have taken place, if it took place at all, between very committed or engaged couples. Taboos against casual sex were still firmly in place. (The sex lives of married couples, however, did shift toward a new emphasis on romantic love and the pursuit of sexual pleasure for both partners.)
Fundamentalists react to change
Some members of U.S. society saw the changes in women's roles, in the family, and in young people, as well as the increasing mechanization of life in general, as
signs of moral collapse. An increasingly high divorce rate seemed to point to this conclusion; indeed, from 1914 to 1928, the number of marriages ending in divorce climbed from one in ten to one in six. The idea that traditional beliefs and values were apparently being replaced by faith in science and that society was becoming excessively secular (not bound by religious rules or standards) caused great alarm in some quarters.
The United States had traditionally been dominated by white Protestants (members of non-Catholic, Christian churches such as Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists). The influx of immigrants that took place in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, however, had brought people of other religions, especially Catholics and Jews, into the mix. Worries about the radical ideas and negative influences these immigrants might introduce resulted in a number of efforts to curb them, such as the Red Scare of 1920 (see Chapter 1).
Many Protestants particularly disapproved of the role that alcoholic beverages played in the cultures of some immigrants. It was in large part the activism of traditional religious groups that had been responsible for bringing about Prohibition, the ban on the production and sale of liquor that was made law in 1919 in the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Supporters of Prohibition rejoiced in its passage, believing that now the whole U.S. population would again be held to the Protestant moral values established by those who had first founded and settled the United States. Prohibition would, however, prove to be a failure overall (see Chapter 6), and white Protestant dominance would be weakened during the 1920s.
Creationism versus evolution
One factor in this development was the splintering that occurred between Protestant groups on the basis of theology (religious beliefs and theory). On one side were those who felt that people of religious faith could and should adapt to the modern world, despite the sometimes unsettling changes it brought. On the other side were the fundamentalists, conservative Protestants who accepted the word of the Bible as literal truth. This conflict came to a head over the issue of evolution.
Since the nineteenth century, science had increasingly been replacing religion as a source of knowledge and guidance. The fundamentalists resisted this trend, and they focused their resistance particularly on the teaching of the scientific theory of evolution in public schools. During the previous century, the work of naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) had provided an explanation for the origins of humanity by tracing the changes in human beings, animals, and plants over the millions of years of Earth's history. But this theory, known as evolution, contradicted the biblical story of the Creation, which traced the origin of humans back to Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.
People called "creationists" believed that the teaching of evolution would corrupt young people's minds, weaken their religious faith, and generally help to erode society's already endangered moral values. They misinterpreted Darwin's theory to mean that humans had descended directly from monkeys, and they concluded that hearing about this theory would lead children to behave like monkeys. Thus fundamentalist groups joined together to urge states to prevent teachers in public schools from educating their students about evolution.
The Scopes Monkey Trial
Their efforts reached a climax in Tennessee, which in January 1924 became the first state to pass such a law. A few months later the newly organized American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offered to defend any Tennessee teacher willing to test the law's constitutionality; that is, whether it violated the right to freedom of speech guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, as the ACLU believed it did. Persuaded by a group of his fellow citizens in the small town of Dayton, high school biology teacher John Scopes agreed to get himself arrested by teaching a lesson on evolution. His subsequent trial for violating Tennessee's ban was a much-publicized, colorful affair and one of the most famous court cases in U.S. history.
William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925), a well-known public figure and former presidential candidate who was also active in the fundamentalist movement, signed on to help prosecute Scopes. Clarence Darrow (1857–1938), a Chicago attorney famous for his successful defenses of many underdog clients, led the defense team. Dayton filled up with journalists, street-corner preachers and evangelists, hot dog and soda vendors, and souvenir sellers hawking stuffed monkeys (the event was called the "Monkey Trial" in reference to the supposed connection between monkeys and humans). In a series of articles about the trial, Baltimore Sun reporter H.L. Mencken (1880–1956), nationally famous during the 1920s for his biting social criticism, called the scene, as quoted in The Vintage Mencken, "better than a circus."
The defense team was disappointed early in the trial by the judge's ruling that testimony on the scientific validity of the evolutionary theory could not be allowed because it did not involve the central question of whether Scopes had violated the law. Then Darrow made a bold move, calling Bryan to the witness stand as an expert on the Bible. Darrow spent an hour and a half mercilessly grilling Bryan on his religious beliefs, asking him whether he considered various Bible stories true in
the literal sense. To much of the U.S. public, Bryan seemed confused and foolish on the stand.
Even though Scopes was found guilty, and he was ordered to pay a $100 fine, it was generally believed that the fundamentalists had suffered a serious blow. In the wake of the trial, religious conservatives like Bryan, who died in his sleep only five days after the end of the trial, were increasingly seen as intolerant, backward remnants of a bygone era. The law was overturned a few years later, but the debate about creationism has continued into the twenty-first century.
A female evangelist gains followers
A significant number of people continued to cling to fundamentalist beliefs and practices, and many became followers of religious leaders calling them to turn away from the modern world and return to an older, stricter morality. Perhaps the most famous and effective of these leaders was Aimee Semple McPherson, whose flamboyant style would earn her a big enough following to allow her to establish her own church.
Born in Canada in 1890, McPherson converted at the age of seventeen to the Pentecostal Church, which emphasized such practices as speaking in tongues (when a participant in a worship service goes into a kind of trance and speaks in unidentified words, thought to be from a language of Biblical times), prophecy, and divine healing (in which God heals a person through a human being endowed with special ability). She married a preacher named Robert Semple and went on the road with him, appearing at revivals (large religious meetings, often held in the open air or under tents) and eventually starting to preach herself. She and Semple traveled to China to work as missionaries (people who attempt to convert the native residents of various places to their own Christian faith) in 1910. After the birth of a daughter and the death of her husband, McPherson returned to the United States.
She married again but eventually left her husband (who divorced her) and began to travel around the country, preaching to crowds of people wherever she could gather them. McPherson finally settled in Los Angeles, California, where she established the Full Square Gospel Church. Her ministry became so popular that she was able to build a new temple with space for three thousand worshipers. Converts were attracted not only by McPherson's impressive speaking skills but also by her magnetic personality, her great energy, and her physical appearance. Like other fundamentalists, McPherson preached salvation through an acceptance of Jesus Christ, a literal interpretation of the Bible, and a belief in the Second Coming of Christ. She prayed for the sick and was believed to have healed many. McPherson's many activities included opening the first full-time religious radio station in the United States.
Though beloved by her followers, McPherson was not immune from scandal. The most colorful one occurred in May 1926 when Aimee, as she was known by all, suddenly disappeared after going for a swim in the Pacific Ocean. For several weeks she was presumed dead. Then her mother received a ransom note demanding $500,000 for McPherson's safe return. A few days later, the missing evangelist called her mother from Arizona, reporting that she had been kidnapped, beaten, and taken to Mexico. She said that she had made a daring escape and walked for hours through the desert before being found.
Though joyfully welcomed home by her flock, McPherson was accused by the local authorities of having made up the whole story. For one thing, she had presented no evidence, including no physical injuries from her supposed ordeal, that it had actually happened. For another, several witnesses claimed to have seen her in the company of a male employee of her radio station, whose wife had recently accused him of having an affair with McPherson. Still, the case against McPherson came to nothing, and she returned to the revival trail, becoming even more famous due to the controversy. Her ministry continued successful, but McPherson herself was nagged by personal problems and lawsuits. She died of an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of fifty-four, but the church she established still exists.
In Middletown (1929), their detailed study comparing the beliefs and values of residents of a small Indiana town in 1920 with those of a previous generation, Robert and Helen Lynd reported that fewer people were attending church and that the values dominant in the nineteenth century seemed to be on the decline in the 1920s. Other commentators have since agreed. One of them, historian Geoffrey Perret writing in America in the Twenties, notes the "steady decline in the vitality of religious belief," asserting that fundamentalism was a "sad, distorted protest against the modern world, with its industrial disciplines, its lonely cities, and its economy of hard cash."
For More Information
Allen, Frederick Lewis. Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s. New York: Perennial, 1964.
Chesler, Ellen. Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.
Cooke, Alistair. The Vintage Mencken. New York: Vintage Books, 1955.
De Camp, L. Sprague. The Great Monkey Trial. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968.
Deutsch, Sarah Jane. From Ballots to Breadlines: American Women 1920–1940. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Epstein, Daniel M. Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson. New York: Harcourt, 1993.
Glabb, Charles N., in John Braemen, Robert H. Bremner, and David Body, eds. Change and Continuity in Twentieth Century America: The 1920s. Columbus: Ohio University Press, 1968.
Hanson, Erica. The 1920s. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, 1999.
Herald, Jacqueline. Fashions of a Decade: 1920s. New York: Facts on File, 1991.
Larson, Edward J. Trial and Error: The American Controversy over Creation and Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Lynd, Robert S., and Helen M. Lynd. Middletown. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1929.
Marsden, George. Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth Century Evangelism, 1870–1925. New York: Oxford University, 1980.
Miller, Nathan. New World Coming: The 1920s and the Making of Modern America. New York: Scribner, 2003.
Mowry, George E., ed. The Twenties: Fords, Flappers, and Fanatics. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith/Prentice Hall, 1963.
Perret, Geoffrey. America in the Twenties. New York: Touchstone, 1982.
Aimee Semple McPherson Resource Center. Available online at http://members.aol.com/xbcampbell/asm/indexasm.htm. Accessed on June 17, 2005.
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Best of History Websites. Available online at http://www.besthistorysites.net/USHistory_Roaring20s.shtml. Accessed on June 17, 2005.
"Biographical Sketch." The Margaret Sanger Papers Project. Available online at http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/msbio.htm. Accessed on June 17, 2005.
Clash of Cultures in the 1910s and 1920s. Available online at http://history.osu.edu/Projects/Clash/default.htm. Accessed on June 17, 2005.
Interpreting Primary Sources. Digital History. Available online at http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/us16.cfm. Accessed on June 17, 2005.
Linder, Douglas. "Tennessee vs. John Scopes, The Monkey Trial, 1925." Famous Trials in American History. Available online at http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/scopes.htm. Accessed on June 17, 2005.