Tuesday, June 15, 2010


by Jenny J.

Prohibition was a law restricting the manufacturing, selling, exporting, importing, and transportation of any alcoholic beverage.

It started on January 16th 1919. This law was lifted December 5th 1933 when the law was replaced by the 21st amendment.

Prohibition started because of medical, economic, political and social problems. By the time people started realizing that alcohol damaged our health and lives, many men started suffered from a disease called Sclerosis. Many workers got drunk and so they could not perform their job properly. The absence of people working got so high that the companies could not afford to produce products in the time that they should. Also many votes in the rural areas were won because politicians promised to back up prohibitions, which helped politicians to win the election. Last, prohibition was started because husbands were spending their family’s savings on alcohol instead of essential items.

Prohibition affected everyone in North America.


John Dillinger: Bank Robber

by Mitch D. and Travis W.

John Herbert Dillinger was a hard working man who got himself involved in crime in the early 1920s. He led a big gang of bank robbers around the United States in the early 1930s, and robbed banks in many of the major cities. He led a rich criminal lifestyle and had the cops and the FBI after him for his label of public enemy number 1.

John Herbert Dillinger was born on June 22, 1903, in the Oak Hill area of Indianapolis. He didn’t like his step mom and was bored with where he worked, so he got into trouble at a young age. He joined the Navy and got in trouble for deserting when the ship he was on docked in Boston. He left home and married 16-year-old Beryl Hovius in 1924. Dillinger had no luck finding work in the city and joined the town pool shark, Ed Singleton, in his search for easy money.

In their first attempt at robbery, they tried to rob a Mooresville grocer, but were quickly apprehended. Singleton pleaded not guilty, stood trial, and was sentenced to two years. Dillinger, following his father's advice, confessed, was convicted of assault and battery with intent to rob, and conspiracy to commit a felony, and received joint sentences of 2 to 14 years and 10 to 20 years in the Indiana State Prison, but his dad petitioned to let John out on parole on May 10th, 1933. The reason for him robbing the banks was because he couldn’t get a job and didn’t want to be poor.

When John left prison, the United States were fully into the “Great Depression”. Since he couldn’t find a job, he immediately went back to the life of crime. He was once involved in. On September 22 he robbed a bank in Bluffton Ohio, but was soon tracked down and imprisoned in Lima. When he entered the prison, the guards found prison escape plans, but when asked to interpret John refused. His accomplices later snuck guns in through the laundry room and they made their escape, but John could not escape the law forever. He was shot and killed by FBI agents outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

John Dillinger robbed many banks in the United States including his first bank robbery in New Carlisle Ohio, on June 10, 1933. After his first bank robbery John and his gang robbed another 10 banks and only got caught once.


Harry Houdini

by Brian H.

Harry Houdini was magician and escape artist that lived in the 1920’s and was famous for his amazing and daring escapes.

Early Life:
Harry Houdini was born as Ehrich Weisz on March 24, 1874, in Budapest, Hungary. After his first wife died in childbirth he moved his family to America in 1876 hoping for a better life in the new world. Houdini’s mother said that he learned as a child how to open locks to get at the pies and cookies she had baked although this might not be true. The family moved to Milwaukee when Ehrich was eight. They didn’t have much money so Ehrich had to shine shoes and sell newspapers to support the family. His first appearance in front of an audience was when he was nine doing a routine on a trapeze. He ran away when he was twelve.

Professional Career:
Harry became interested in magic and started performing when he was 17 and travelled with his brother Theo as The Houdini Brothers. While performing in Coney Island Harry met Bess, a singer and dancer. They got married in 1894 and remained devoted companions for the rest of their lives. Harry became an expert on handcuffs and asked the police in each town they visited Harry challenged the police to handcuff him but he always escaped. He offered anyone $100 dollars if they could make a pair of handcuffs that he could not get out of. Althougth no one ever claimed the money the inventor of the mirror handcuff came close. Although he was a headliner in the vaudeville circuit Harry was not happy with the low level of his fame and decided to take his act to England.

In 1900 he arrived in London with no bookings and very little money. Harry managed to get a place in a London theater but his breakthrough came when he broke free from the Scotland Yard after being wrapped around a pillar and handcuffed. This stunt increased his fame and sold out bookings followed all over Europe. By the time he returned to America in 1905 he was an international celebrity.

On October 23rd, 1926 after a show he met with two university students. One was a boxer and asked if Houdini could actually withstand ant blow to the stomach. Harry started to get out of his chair but the boxer punched him three times before he could tighten his stomach muscles. Harry did not go to a hospital and continued doing shows. When he finally went to a hospital he found out that he had peritonitis a fatal disease caused by the appendix bursting. Harry Houdini died on October 31, 1926.


Babe Ruth: The Baseball Legend

by Colton S. and Michael W.

This article is going to be about Babe Ruth and why we like him.

Babe Ruth is one of the most famous baseball players in the world, and one of the best. He had two wives, one named Helen. Babe Ruth also loved kids and in his time off from baseball, he went and saw injured or sick kids in the hospital. Babe had two little girls of his own.

He played back in 1895-1948.

He began his career in New York, and then was traded to the Red Sox. He played in the city of New York and Boston, for the team New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Why was he so well remembered? He was remembered because he was one of the best baseball players alive. There are rumors about him hiring someone to run bases, but these are not true. Did he invent the chocolate bar ‘Bath Ruth’? No, the chocolate bar was named after President Cleveland.

Babe Ruth hit 726 home runs in 22 years, and he played for the Yankees and Red Sox. He was a famous baseball player; he was one of the best baseball players.


Disney's "Mickey Mouse"

By Sarah C.

Who was Mickey Mouse?
Mickey Mouse first appeared in theaters with sound for the first time ever on November 18th, 1928. Mickey symbolizes everything that Disney was back in the ‘Roaring Twenties’ which was positive, upbeat, popular, and all for family. The birthplace of Mickey Mouse was on a four day cross country train ride by 26 year old Walt Disney and ideas from his wife and friends. He was returning from a business trip along with his wife Lillian. Mickey original name was Mortimer until Walt’s wife convinced him to change the name to Mickey.

Why and how was he was created?
Mickey was created by Walt Disney but while they were on the train a man named Ub Iwerks gave him an idea for a mouse character after he lost his other cartoon character Oswald the Rabbit.

What was Mickey Mouse?
Mickey Mouse was and still is a cheerful rodent with white gloves, yellow shoes, and red shorts. After the introduction to the local market Mickey became famous beyond anything. Mickey’s Popularity continued strong even in the dirty thirties when the stock market crashed. The cartoons were popular for adults just as much as they were for kids. Walt Disney produced 87 cartoon shorts during the 1930’s.

When did this all take place?
Mickey’s career first took off on November 18th 1928 when he first appeared in theaters with sound for the first time as Willie Steam Boat. Mickey acted everything from giant killer, cowboy, detective, and inventor. Other cartoons back then were repetitive, boring musicals with silly images and lacked in storyline. Then World War two interrupted Mickey’s career and discontinued commercial production to manufacture war effort projects such as training films, posters, armed forces insignia designs, and good will tours. Mickey appeared in a feature film ‘Fun and Fancy free’ in 1947. He starred alongside Donald duck and goofy in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

Where did this all start?
His first cartoon was showed in theatres in colony Theatre in New York in November 1928. Then 4 years after Mickey Mouse was created and was the most popular cartoon Walt Disney got an Oscar for creating Mickey in 1932. Eventually Walt died December 15th 1966 at the age of 65 in Burbank California. He died from complications from Lung cancer across the street from his studio.

Today Mickey is still remains popular and well appreciated character who served valuable purpose by bringing generations of children and adults through difficult times of the depression, and years of war.


The Stock Market Crash

by Angus T.

I am going to attempt to write an article on the stock market crash of 1929. I will talk about who was involved and affected, what actually happened, where the crash started, what places were affected, and how it started, in roughly that order.

The Stock market crash on Black Tuesday affected the entire western world. Stocks in almost every country lost their value. Most stocks dropped so far that almost everyone who had invested lost everything.

A stock market crash is when the prices of stocks decrease dramatically. This happens when there is not enough demand for stock. When stock is in high demand and many people are trying to buy it, it costs more. When it is not in demand and few people want it, it costs less. A crash happens when no-one wants to buy stock, and the shares become almost worthless.

The stock market crashed famously and spectacularly on October 24, 1929. This is the legendary Black Tuesday. In the days leading up to the crash, the market was very unstable.

The stock market crash started on Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City. From there it spread throughout the western economy, bringing almost every market to its knees.

What caused Black Tuesday? In the 1920s, the overall attitude was that the stock market could keep its bull market indefinitely. This led many Americans to get loans from banks to buy stock, which lead to a money shortage in the banks. In order to regain money, the banks called in loans from companies. They just told the companies to give their money back. The companies did not have the money to pay off the loan immediately, so were forced to file for bankruptcy. When a company goes bankrupt, its shares become worthless. All the people who had loans in order to buy the stocks lost everything.

People just kept buying into the stock market, buying more and more stocks. This lead to what can be thought of as some sort of stock market bubble. When the banks ran out of money, the bubble popped.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Louis Armstrong and the Jazz Movement

Louis Armstrong was a jazz musician. He was famous for his amazing sounding jazz. Armstrong was also an influential singer.

Louis Armstrong was a famous jazz player and made it famous. The instruments he played were the vocals, cornet and the trumpet; he was a very talented man. He came from a poor family that didn’t have that much money. He also got married in 1918 and adopted a three-year-old boy named Clarence Armstrong. Louis Armstrong won a Grammy in 1964 for the best male vocal performance.

Louis Armstrong played all over the United States with many different acts. One of his biggest spots to play was in Chicago that was the main spot for all jazz fans.

He was born on August 4th, 1901 and died on July 6th, 1971at age of 69. He played jazz from 1914-1971 and his music kept going till the end of the 1980’s. He dropped out of school at age 11 years old.

He had a passion for jazz music and made lots of albums. He would like to take pop music and recompose it to make it more interesting. Armstrong's playing technique,and constant practice, which extended the range, tone and capabilities of the trumpet caused him to be so famous.

His early life started in a poor family. He didn’t do very well in school and dropped out at 11. He continued to work for people, doing odd jobs and when he started playing trumpet he got interviewed and that was the start of his career.


The Crime of the Century

By Merel M.

On the evening of March 1, 1932, 20-month-old Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., was taken from his crib upstairs. No one knows how the kidnapper was able to get around without being heard by the child's parents.

A ten-week nation-wide search was undertaken. Ransom negotiations were also conducted. These resulted in the payment on April 2 of $50,000 in cash, part of which was made in soon-to-be withdrawn Gold certificates, in exchange for information. The information was false.

The search finally ended on May 12 when the remains of an infant were discovered by a truck driver close to the Lindbergh’s home. The child's body was soon identified as Charles himself, 2 miles from the family home in East Amwell, New Jersey.

A month later, the "Lindbergh Lawz" was started. This law stated that it would be a federal offense if a child was kidnapped and taken across state borders, unless the child had proper documents, or if mail was used to transport ransom notes across state lines.

Tracing of many Gold certificates passed in the New York City area over the next year eventually led police to 34-year old German immigrant carpenter, Bruno Richard Hauptmann. He was arrested near his home in The Bronx, New York, on September 19, 1934. A stash of $13,760 was found in his home: it was the ransom money. Six weeks later, he was convicted on all counts when, following just eleven hours of deliberation, he was immediately sentenced to death.

The Lindbergh family learned to get over their loss, but were tired of the never ending spot light on the family, so they moved to England.

No one knows whether the crook did it for the money or the kill. No one knows why Charles’s parents didn’t wake up to rescue their little boy. What we do know is that this crime was horrible, but also made it just a little safer for every child out there.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Amelia Earhart: Famous Flyer

by David L.

In this blog entry, you are going to be reading about Amelia Earhart’s free thinking ways and her marriage to the famous author and publisher George Putnam.

Who was Amelia Earhart?
Amelia Earhart was someone who wanted to try everything she saw. Most people think of Amelia as a flying lover and daredevil. But when she first saw airplanes, she did not like them and wondered why anyone would want to do anything like that. However, when she got asked to go flying by her father at an air field stunt show, and saw the great wonder of being up in the air, it set a new love. She married George Putnam, who was an author of many books like ``Hot Oil`` and ``In the Oregon Country``. When his business took off, he made a publishing business named George Palmer Putnam Inc, which published books like the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, and Nancy Drew, as well as the Charles Lindbergh autobiography.

What did Amelia Earhart do?
Amelia lived near Kinner air field where she learned to race planes. She became the 16th woman to get a plane license.

Where did she live and travel?
Amelia Earhart moved around a lot and lived in places like Des Moines, Iowa. When she married George Putman, they lived in New York City.

When did her life occur?
Amelia Earhart was born July 24, 1897, and she was declared dead January 5, 1939. George was born September 7, 1887 and died of a kidney failure on January 4, 1950.

Why do we remember her?
The main reason Amelia wanted to fly was a result of a childhood experience. She was on a rollercoaster, and she liked the roller coaster so much that she wanted to do it again and again. One day, she sat on the roof in a box and slid down! She landed in a mangled mess at the bottom, emerged from the box and said to her friend, "Oh, Pidge, it's just like flying!" That was when everything took off.

How did she disappear?
Amelia’s disappearance is yet to be figured out, some people think that she ran out of fuel and crash landed in the ocean. No one has found the plane but remains of the flight suit have bean found.    

George Putnam was related to me by marriage.


Betty Boop

by Meghan D. and Ranelle M.

Betty Boop was a famous cartoon character created in the 1920s by Grim Natwick. In an interview, Fleischer Studios said that Betty was only 16 in her films. Betty Boop wore short dresses, high heels, fake lashes, and a garter belt. She would also always show cleavage, and on screen they made her with a bit larger head to make her look younger but still like a flapper. When Betty Boop started her cartoons in no color or sound, the cartoons were quite popular. When she started in color, Fleischer said that the cartoon went slightly down in popularity. When sound came into play, she was first voiced by Margie Hines, but was soon joined by many other voice actresses. The most memorable was Mae Questal, who continued voicing this character until she died and was replaced with Tress MacNeille and Tara Strong.

Betty Boop symbolized the flappers in the Roaring Twenties era. One of the reasons she was so popular was because she reminded people of the more carefree times before the Great Depression. She was also very popular because of her sexual appeal and is still popular now because of this. Because of her sexual contact and referral, her shows were mainly meant for adult audiences.

Betty Boops first appearance was on August 9, 1930 in a cartoon called Dizzy Dishes, then carried on to Mini Moocher, her first film. In it she runs away from her parents with her boyfriend ‘Bimbo,’ and then they get trapped in a haunted cave. While trapped in the ghostly cave, a ghost named Walrus sings the famous song Mini Moocher and scares Betty back to the safety of her home. Also in 1930, she was named the ``Queen of Animated Screen` and her shows were popular all the way through the 1930s. Her appeal was slightly toned down in the mid-thirties. In 1933, Betty Boop’s sexual content in her films was restricted because of the film laws of the National Legion of Decency.

Betty Boop was first started and created by Grim Natwick in New York City. After that, she soon started her T.V. series which she also did in New York City, produced by Fleischer Studios.

Betty Boop represented the better times before the dirty thirties. People in the thiries were going through rough times and looked to Betty for a pick up. Grim Natwick created Betty Boop to earn money, and he needed to earn enough money to start his carrier as an illustrator. So when he started with Fleischer’s, he created Betty Boop to gain publicity.

Betty Boop was first drawn in pen and ink by Grim Natwick, and produced by Fleischers Studios. Knowing that Betty Boop started in pen and ink ties in with one of her famous sayings: “Made of pen and ink, she will wink you with a wink.”


Babe Ruth

by Amy R. and Jenna D.

Who was he?
Babe Ruth is often referred to as the greatest baseball player of all time. He broke many records and had a very successful career in the sport of baseball.

Where was he born?
He was born on February 6th, 1895 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the son of George Herman Ruth and Kate Schamberger and one of eight children, but only he and his one sister, Mamie, survived.

When did his baseball career take place?
Babe Ruth was 19 years old when he was launched into his very successful baseball career. He first played in the big league on July 11th, 1914 with the Boston Red Sox. His very last game was played on May 30th, 1935.

What is he famous for?
Babe Ruth is famous for many baseball records such as getting 714 home runs in 22 seasons. All together his talent and great personality made him famous and a fan favorite.

Why do we remember him?
We remember Babe Ruth for his all time record breaking career in baseball and for being a true American hero and role model for many. Not only was he a phenomenal baseball player, but also was a great person all around. He was very warmhearted and didn’t think of himself as being high and mighty just because he played with the Yankee’s. He wasn’t stuck up because of his fame. He was known for his love of children and was always seen helping out at orphanages and visiting sick children.

How did Babe Ruth affect the 1920s?
Babe Ruth is most recognized for his many record breaking accomplishments and for being a role model for any sport fanatic in the 1920s. He was known as the greatest player of the century. In 1919, he played for the Boston Red Sox and during that time set a record for the most scoreless innings in the World Series. Also during that time with the Red Sox, he hit 29 home runs, which was a new record. In 1920, he went and played with the New York Yankees. In his career, he set many records some of which were hitting 60 home runs in a year. That record stood unbroken for at least 34 years.

Interesting Facts about Babe Ruth:
For many years there has been a rumor floating around that Babe Ruth had to get someone else to run his bases for him due to his weight. After much research we have found that rumor to be not true. We found no evidence suggesting that someone had to run his bases for him in baseball. One of Babe Ruth’s friends, Ty Cobb, once said, “He runs okay for a fat guy.”


The Evolution of Twenties Dance Styles

Quickstep, Charleston, and Dance Marathons

by Morena S.

Where did it all start?
It started in America, influenced heavily by the Harlem area’s timed moves and short beats.

What dances were invented in this time?
Many dances were invented in the 1920s due to the US sponsoring dance contests where professional dancers invented new moves. The most influential and popular dances during this time are the Charleston, the black bottom, and the Lindy hop.

When were the dances invented?
Most of the dances were invented in the 1920’s. The Charleston was one of the first, becoming popular from its feature on two Broadway shows in 1922. After came the Black Bottom, most popular from 1926 to 1927. Then in 1927, the Lindy Hop took over and became the most popular social dance. The Lindy Hop eventually evolved into Swing dance.

Why did dancing become so popular?
In the 1920s, the introduction of electric lighting made dancing late into the night more comfortable. These places were called dance halls, which had live music playing for the dancers. It also helped that the restrictive clothing of the Victorian era was over, and that the new style was quite free and flowing.

Who were the dancers?
The general population who partook in the new generation of dancing was the youth at the time. The older and more conservative generation thought these styles of dancing scandalous, besides most of the dancing took place at parties or nightclubs.

How did dance marathons come to be?
Dance Marathons, or Walkathons, came around as human endurance competition. They became more popular during the depression because of their promise of a roof over the contestants heads and food twelve times a day. It also helped that there was prize money involved. They were called walkathon’s at the time because the churches still considered dancing a sinful act. Only later on were they remembered for what they truly were.


Amelia Earhart

By Danya B.

Amelia Mary Earhart, also known as “Lady Lindy” (or “Meelie” which was what her family called her), daughter of Samuel "Edwin" Stanton Earhart and Amelia "Amy" Otis Earhart, was born July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, USA. She was the 16th women in the world to be permitted her pilot license, and was well-known for being the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Her husband was George P. Putnam, whom she married in 1931.

Amelia had planned to enter Smith College, but changed her mind to go to Columbia University, and enrolled in Medical Studies. Earhart was a nurse when the Spanish Flu pandemic hit. She had been helping many patients and even got diagnosed herself. She was hospitalized in November 1918, and was released in December of the same year. Eventually she decided to become a pilot.

When she was little, her dad took her to an air fair and she decided she absolutely hated planes, because they weren’t interesting at all. It wasn’t until her dad took her to a stunt show that she started enjoying planes, and dreamed of being a pilot because she liked the rush it gave her. A couple of years later, her dad took her to an amusement park, and while on the roller coaster it made her feel like flying, and since then, wanted to fly. She took flying lessons from Anita “Neta” Snook, an experienced female pilot. She had her very first flying lesson for only $0.75 on January 3, 1921.

When Amelia married George, they started planning their round-the-world trip and bought a new plane: the Lockheed Electra 10E, which she got in July 1936. Their first attempt was on St. Patrick’s Day 1937, but only made it to Honolulu when there were problem with the propeller hubs. After they were fixed, they ended up in the United States Navy’s Luke Field on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. From there they packed up and carried on 3 days later from Luke Field, but had a tire blow on Luke Field and the plane had to be shipped back for repairs.

On the second try, they flew west to east because of weather problems¸, and left from Oakland to Miami, Florida, where they would officially announce their flight. Earhart and Putnam departed Miami on June 1, and arrived in Lae, New Guinea on the 29th with only 7000 miles left.

On July 2, Amelia and her co-pilot, Fred Noonan, left New Guinea and headed towards Howland Island. While in flight to Howland Island, Earhart and her partner had been experiencing trouble with their radio signals, which is most likely because of an antenna that was torn off during takeoff at Lae. In one of the last signals received, Amelia said that they were running low on gas, and in the very last transmission received, she stated their position (running line north to south), and speed (6210 kilocycles). The transmissions received were believed to have been sent close to or at Howland Island.

Spasmodic signals over the next couple of days were reported but were not accommodating to any information of where they could be. After there weren’t any new signals, Earhart’s crew started worrying and went searching. All searches for Amelia and Noonan ended on July 19, 1937, with total search costs at $4 million, mostly funded by her desperate husband! They were declared dead January 5, 1939. They were never found, but during the search they did find two skeletons: one which was a male, and the other which was a female - they seemed to be European, and had all the features of Amelia and her co-pilot.

There are many beliefs and stories of how they went missing, such as the plane they were flying ran out of gas and they bailed into the ocean. Another theory is that after they were out of reach to send transmissions, they flew for another 2 and a half hours to Gardner Island, but landed on a reef and died. There is still no explanation on how Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan went missing, but it is unlikely that we will ever know.

Amelia Earhart Podcast from Stuff You Missed in History Class

Al Capone's Life Story

by Kyle M.

One of the best gangsters of all time was the one and only Al Capone, or better known as Scarface. Al Capone was born in 1899 and died on January 25, 1947.

Al Capone was of the best gangsters of all time. He dropped out of school while in the sixth grade, at the age of fourteen. Al Capone was involved with two kid gangs when he was a kid, and he grew to be one of the best gangsters of all time. Capone's most notorious killing was the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. On February 14, 1929, four of Capone's men entered a garage at 2122 N. Clark Street. The building was the main liquor headquarters of bootlegger George "Bugs" Moran's North Side gang. Because two of Capone's men were dressed as police, the seven men in the garage thought it was a police raid. As a result, they dropped their guns and put their hands against the wall. Using two shotguns and two machine guns, the Capone men fired more than 150 bullets into the victims and that is how it got its name: the St. Valentine Day Massacre.

Capone worked mainly out of Brooklyn, New York.

Al Capone's criminal activity occurred throughout the 1920s. When Torrio, Al Capone's gang boss, was shot by rival gang, his members consequently decided to leave Chicago. Al Capone inherited the "outfit" and became boss. The outfit's men liked and trusted him and obeyed Al Capone, calling him "The Big Fellow.”

Al Capone dropped out of school in sixth grade at age fourteen, after he beat a female teacher, and after the principle verbally chastised him for the incident. After Al Capone quit school, he faced a life of low-paying jobs, so he joined the street gang led by Johny Torrio and Lucky Luciano.

Al Capone was finally caught and jailed due to tax evasion. The jury found Capone not guilty on eighteen of the twenty-three counts. Judge Wilkerson sentenced him to a total of ten years in federal prison and one year in the county jail. In addition, Capone had to serve an earlier six-month contempt of court sentence for failing to appear in court. The fines equalled $50,000, and Capone had to pay the prosecution costs of $7,692.29.


John Dillinger: Public Enemy #1

by Jamie O. and Lori M.

Who was John Dillinger?
John Herbert Dillinger was an American bank robber in the early 1930’s. He was born on June 3rd, 1903, and was considered a dangerous criminal. He was born in the Oak Hill section of Indianapolis, Indiana. As a child, he was already in trouble for things such as fighting and petty theft, along with bullying those younger than him. He was actually arrested in 1922 for auto theft. Dillinger was also in the US Navy and was honorably discharged. He married Beryl Ethel Hovious on April 12, 1924. They were divorced in June of 1929.

How was his jail time spent?
He went to Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. During his physical examination, they found out that he had gonorrhea. He was paroled on May 10th, 1933, after serving 8 and ½ years. Then again, after robbing a bank in Buffton, Ohio, they captured him and he was jailed in Lima. When they searched him, the police found a document that looked like an escape plan from jail. He had made up a plan to escape from jail with Russell "Boobie" Clark, along with six others he had met in prison. They escaped 4 days later, killing 2 guards.

Where were his head quarters?
His headquarters are unknown, but his highest profile crimes mainly occurred in Chicago.

Where and why did he become famous?
He became known as Public Enemy Number One, and was reported about in newspapers from 1931 to 1935 as the most wanted bank robber in America. John Dillinger was famous because he had killed police officers, robbed 2 dozen banks and 4 police stations, and had escaped from jail twice. He was seen as a modern-day Robin Hood, sort of. The public initially liked Dillinger, as he never robbed an everyday average person.

What happened to him?
John Dillinger died at the age of 31 on July 22, 1934, by being shot 3 times. One bullet entered through the back of his neck and exited from his face, killing him. He had been at the Biograph Theater in Chicago, watching a gangster movie called ‘Manhattan Melodrama". He had been accompanied by ‘the woman in red’ or Anne Sage, a woman who supposedly helped police to identify him.


The Sacco and Vanzetti Trial

by Morgan D. and Emily J.

Who were Sacco and Vanzetti?
Ferdinado Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italians. Sacco was born April 22, 1891 and died August 23, 1927. Vanzetti was born June 11, 1888 and died August 23, 1927. They both executed because they were accused of murder and theft. They were executed on August 23, 1927.

What did they do?
They were arrested with the charge of murder and robbery of a bank. Sacco and Vanzetti were accused of murdering Frederick Parmenter, a paymaster, and Alessandro Berardelli, a security guard of the bank. Sacco alone was accused of theft of over 15 thousand dollars. There was a lot of racism involved in this case and I think that Sacco and Vanzetti shouldn’t have been arrested and executed.

Why were they arrested?
Sacco and Vanzetti were people of Italy and the people of Italy were known to be gangster-type people. I believe this was the only reason they were arrested. The police didn’t have that much information on this case and it was a scandal based on racism and stereotypes. Some of the only evidence the police had was that Sacco and Vanzetti both had a previous criminal record.

When they were arrested?
They were arrested May 5, 1920, and were executed August 23, 1927.

How did the robbery occur?
Sacco and Vanzetti were accused of the murders of Frederick Parmenter, a paymaster, and Alessandro Berardelli, a security guard, and Vanzetti alone of the theft of $15,776.51 from the Slater-Morrill Shoe Company, on Pearl Street in South Braintree, Massachusetts during the afternoon of April 15, 1920.

Where they were from?
Sacco and Vanzetti were from Italy. The trail happened in Dedham, Massachusetts. The funeral was held in the funeral parlor in Hanover Street. Sacco's ashes are in Torremaggiore, the town of his birth. The location of Vanzetti's ashes is unknown.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Betty Boop

By Karley B.

"Betty Boop" was a long running series of shows made by the animator Grin Natwick. She was originally sketched as a cartoon poodle, but evolved into a flapper-style woman during her cartoon career. She had to be toned down in the mid-1930s and appeared in two comic strips; one from the 1930s and in the 1980s. She made her first appearance in “Dizzy Dishes”, the sixth edition to the series “Talkertoon”. She was created from a combination of Helen Kane, a popular singer, and Clara Bow, a famous actress, both from the 1920 era.

Betty Boop’s personality was stated as “more heart than brains”. Betty’s voice was first performed by Margie Hines. She originally had the characteristics of a French poodle. Today the voices are by Tress MacNeille and Tara Strong for commercials. Betty appeared in the first “color classic” cartoon called “Poor Cinderella”.

Betty Boop was the sex symbol crown queen of the animated screen. She still remains popular to this day and collectibles are still being made, as well as DVDs of her long-running collections.

Betty Boop was first created in the late 1920’s and into the 1930’s by Grin Natwick as a poodle character. Max Fleischer finally made Betty human in 1932 in the cartoon called “Any Rags”. Her poodle ears turned into hoop earrings, and her poodle nose turned into a girl’s button nose.

Grin Natwick first started creating Betty Boop in New York City by Fleischer Productions.

Betty was representative of the 1920’s flapper girl and their rambunctious acts of fun, when the economy crash came and the flapper trend never made it through. Through the devastation, Betty Boop warmed the hearts of people worldwide.

Grin Natwick started making Betty with pen and ink. All the quotes were also written down the same way.


Prohibition and the Speakeasies

By Jen S. and Ceyana A.

Many things happened in the 1920’s. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly, the invention of bubble gum occurred, and many other exciting events and happenings made headlines. However, after a certain law was set into place, a rebellion began, one that was dark and devious. What was used to bring crime rates DOWN resulted, ironically, in the sky rocketing of gang activity and other criminal offences. This was the prohibition of alcohol in the United States and Canada, commonly referred to as Prohibition. People were not willing to accept these terms, and so the birth of the “speakeasy” came forth.

Speakeasies were hidden sections of an establishment that were used to illegally sell alcoholic beverages during Prohibition. Some speakeasies were similar to today’s clubs, as there was singing and jazz performances. To enter a speakeasy, one would need to say a password to the doorperson so that the doorperson would know whether or not they were really secret agents. It has been said that for every legal saloon before Prohibition, at LEAST half a dozen speakeasies were put up AFTER Prohibition. This was most likely because being the manager of a speakeasy was easy money. The word “speakeasy” came from a bartender’s term: people were supposed to “speak easy” when at a bar, meaning not to draw any suspicion towards buying alcoholic beverages by looking nervous or talking quickly. Slang words used for alcohol included, among others:

•coffin varnish
•white mule
•horse liniment
•monkey rum
•panther sweat
•rot gut
•tarantula juice

These code words were used so that people could fool law officials and the government from finding out about the speakeasies.

The people involved with speakeasies mainly revolved around gangs, who supplied the liquor, in particular Al Capone and his gang. People went to these speakeasies, or “blind pigs”, as a means to get alcohol after Prohibition came into effect. Speakeasies often featured jazz bands playing within their walls, and the flappers would dance the night away to the tunes of the twenties. The bartenders were often in cahoots with gangs, as well as the owners of the establishment, in concealing these hidden saloons. The owners often acted as doormen to the speakeasies, accepting the passwords to enter within the walls of the hidden bar, and got paid a fine profit for their efforts.

Speakeasies were found everywhere in the United States of America and Canada. Whether they were established underground, or hidden within stores and other businesses, in every urban establishment you entered, you were most likely not far off from an illegal party. These “secret gin joints” were most common in New York, especially in between 45th and 52nd street on 5th and 6th avenues, where almost every single building contained illegal liquor. Manhattans “21” club was probably the most secure club, with four safety switches that could be used during a raid to short circuit and cut the access to all of the doors that contained alcohol.

These establishments came into distinction in the United States during the period known as Prohibition, which was from 1920 to 1933. This lasted even longer in some states. Speakeasies became much more numerous as the Prohibition years progressed. The Volstead Act, which was passed on October 3, 1919, was the act stating that beverages over a 0.5 alcohol volume were illegal. After that day, more and more speakeasies started popping up all over the United States.

Speakeasies were established because of the Volstead Act. The Volstead Act was the act in which the prohibition of alcohol was enforced. Not long after the Act was put in place, people started hustling alcohol into illegal and concealed saloons. The provider of the alcohol would become very wealthy, as many people felt the need to indulge in alcoholic beverages. Therefore many gangsters and criminals or even just regular people found hustling illegal beverages a very profitable act.

To transport liquor to the speakeasies, they used hip flasks, false books, coconut shells, hot water bottles, and garden hoses. People stored the illegal liquor in carriages with babies perched on top and in carpenter’s aprons. There were even men caught hustling liquor over the border in boxes of eggs. They had drained the eggs of the original contents and refilled them with liquor.

In between all of the wild parties going on behind closed doors, the illegal transportation of liquor, and the skyrocketing of gang activities, Prohibition and the Speakeasies that resulted were definitely some of the most secretive and rebellious things to happen in the 1920s.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Model T

by Brett C.

What -
Today I am going to talk about the model T. A Model T is a vehicle produced by Henry Ford between 1908 and 1927. The Model T had an in-line 4 cylinder bloc engine, which means all four cylinders in this engine could produce a whopping 20 horse power, and had a top speed of 40 to 45 miles per hour. The four cylinder side valve was the first engine with a removable head, making valve service jobs way easier. Model T was the first automobile produced on assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts, sold into the mid range class.

Who –
The Model T was created by Henry Ford in the 1920s.

When -
The first Model T was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908.

Where –
It was first produced at the Piquet plant in Detroit Michigan.

How -
By 1918, over half of the population of cars in America were Model Ts. The standard 4-seat open tourer of 1909 cost $850 (equivalent to $20,513 today). Cars built before 1919 are classed as veteran cars and later models as vintage cars. Today, three main clubs exist to support the preservation and restoration of these cars: some of the clubs are The Model T Ford Club International, the Model T Ford Club of America and the combined clubs of Australia.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Walt Disney's Rise to Fame

By Sam H. and Katie M.

Did you know that Oswald the Rabbit was Walt Disney’s first creation? Would you guess that Steamboat Willie was not Mickey Mouse’s first appearance? Walt Disney is full of surprises…

Walter Elias Disney was born December 5 in Chicago, Illinois 1901. His parents were Elias Disney and Flora Call Disney. Walt Disney moved around quite a bit during his childhood. He moved to a family farm in Missouri and his two older brothers ran away while on the farm. He also had a younger sister named Ruth. The farm failed after 4 years. Disney then moved to Kansas City, where his father bought a newspaper distributor. He enlisted Walt and his brother, Roy, as paper boys.

Disney and his brothers were frequently beaten by their dad, who often lost his temper. When Walt was ten, Roy left home. When Roy left, Walt was lonely. He created imaginary characters with pen and paper. When he moved to Chicago, he was the junior art editor for the school newspaper. At age sixteen, Walt volunteered as a driver for the American Red Cross ambulance corps. He ended up driving more trucks than ambulances, because the war ended.

After the war he went to Chicago then went to Kansas City, where Roy was working as a banker. While in Kansas, he learned how to do basic animation which started his career in animation and TV shows.

Walt Disney founded the animation and entertainment empire which still bears his name. He began as a cartoonist in the 1920s, creating Mickey Mouse and eventually moving from short films into much-acclaimed animated features like Snow White.

The birth of Mickey Mouse occurred on a cross-country train ride in early 1928. Walt was returning from a business meeting along with his wife. At the age of 26, and with an active cartoon studio in Hollywood, Walt had set out to arrange for a new contract for his creation, Oswald the Rabbit, but the backers turned him down. As they owned the copyright, they took control, leaving Walt with nothing. He was preparing to announce the unpleasant news to workers back home but instead, Walt gave birth to a mouse, called Mickey.

In 1928, Walt Disney began work on his third Mickey Mouse cartoon, this time a talkie, entitled, "Steamboat Willie." To add sound to the film, Walt had to take the animated portion to New York since West Coast studios did not have the equipment. Mickey Mouse, originally a theater animation, appeared on the big screen for the first time on November 18, 1928,

According to legend, Disney planned to name the mouse "Mortimer" until his wife suggested the name of Mickey... Mickey's longtime girlfriend is Minnie Mouse and his dog is named Pluto...

Gross, Daniel. Forbes: Greatest Business Stories of all Time.

Al Capone

By Matt K.

Alphonse Gabriel Capone was one of the most famous gangsters of all time in the roaring 20’s. He stole and smuggled liquor into Chicago, and did other criminal activities. His 'public' job was as a used furniture dealer.

He was born in one of the tough sections of Brooklyn Named Williamsburg, NY. He was the fourth child out of nine children from Italian descent.

The way Al Capone got started in crime was in grade six. He got in an argument with his grade six teacher, and beat her up, but was beaten in return by the principal. He then ran away from school and never came back. By Capone’s late teens, he had been hired by Torrio and Frankie Yale as a bouncer at a saloon in Brooklyn. This was his start in gangs.

One of the worst things Al Capone organized or did was the St. Valentine Day Massacre. The St. Valentine Day Massacre was the name of the seven killings on February 14, 1929. The primary target was Bugs Moran, the leader of the North Side Gang, a rival gang of Al Capone’s. The seven people that were killed were all members of the North Side Gang. Al Capone's main target, Bugs Moran, was not actually one of the men killed. Capone had arranged the killings, but he himself had a solid alibi and was not arrested for this crime.

He was born on January 17, 1899 in Brooklyn New York and he died on January 27, 1947 at the age of 48. He was sentenced to federal prison for tax evasion in 1931. He spent ten years in the infamous Alcatraz prison, and got out in 1941. He later died of an S.T.D. disease called syphilis that made you go crazy.

• Al Capone: Wikipedia
• Biography - Al Capone: imdb.com

Henry Ford and the Model T

by Simon S.

Who was he?:
Henry Ford was a famous car inventor who was good at mechanics. Henry died on April 7, 1947 at the age of 83. Because of his bad health, he handed the presidency to his grandson Henry Ford II in 1945, and retired after. He died in 1947 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Where was he born?:
Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 in Greenfield Township, Dearborn, Michigan U.S.A. He was the son of a farmer, William Ford, who was born in County Cork, Ireland, and his mother, Mary Litogot, who was born in Michigan.

What did he invent?:
He introduced the Model T automobile as an owner of the Ford Motor Company. He became the richest and best known man in the world at that time. He produced many cars that were not so expensive using the assembly line. His workers got paid way more than anybody else. His famous invention of the car cost $850 which was a reasonable price for back then.

After World War I, Henry joined the Stout Metal Airplane Company. Henry’s most successful aircraft was the Ford 4AT Trimotor- also called the “Tin Goose” because of its corrugated metal construction. The Trimotor first flew on June 11, 1926, and was the first successful US passenger airliner. It could carry 12 passengers. The Ford airplane division closed down in 1933, because of bad sales during the GREAT DEPRESSION.

When did he invent it?:
The Model T’s production began on August 12, 1908, and left the building on September 27, 1908 in Detroit. He paid the workers $5 dollars per day that they worked.

Why did he invent the Model T?:
Ford invented the Model T because he had a mechanical talent. As a boy it started when he got a pocket watch from his dad. He learned its mechanics by taking it apart. He invented the car to help make transportation easier.

How were other cars invented?:
In response to the many cars built by Henry Ford, Malcomson brought in another group of inventors and convinced the Dodge brothers to accept a part of the new company.


Monday, June 7, 2010

The Life of Bonnie and Clyde

By Taylor L. and Taylor J.

What Happened?
Bonnie and Clyde were well-known gang members who robbed lots of banks and hurt many people. They never got caught; they always ran away before the police would get there. They died when they were driving down the road and the police shot at them. The shots were fatal.

Who Were They?
Bonnie Parker was born on October 1st, 1910 in Rowena, Texas. She was in a family of five until her dad, Charles Parker, died when she was at the age of four. After the death of her father, she and her family moved to their grandparent’s house in Cement City. Bonnie was a straight A student at her high school. Bonnie was an independent teenage girl until the second year of high school. Her first love was a classmate named Roy Thornton. Later in their relationship, they dropped out of school and got married on September 25th, 1926. Later on, after they were married, they turned in different directions. They were never divorced; she still wore the ring that Thornton gave her at the wedding while she was with Clyde.

Clyde Barrow was born on March 24th, 1909, in Ellis County, Texas. He was born just south of Dallas. He had nine people in his family, and he was the fifth born out of the seven children. They were not the richest family in the world. They all were happy when their Dad got a bit of money. They used the money to upgrade on their little individual flimsy sheds to a big tent. Clyde was first put behind bars because he outran the police, because he didn’t bring a rental car back in time. Then the next time he was in jail was for stealing some turkeys. When he was in jail he was sexually assaulted for over a year by his jail mate. Then he killed his mate by hitting him with a pipe; he fractured his skull. That was his first murder. When he got out of jail, he finally tried to get a job at a little gas station.

Where Did They First Meet?
They met when Bonnie was at a friend’s house to assist her with her broken arm in West Dallas. Then Clyde came to visit the friend, but when he came into the house, Bonnie was in the other room making hot chocolate. They say that she was in love with him and that’s why she went with Clyde. Clyde met Bonnie at the age of 19. When he first saw her, he knew she was a girl that would help him through his horrific crimes.

When Did This Occur?
Bonnie was born on October 1, 1910, and Clyde was born on March 24, 1909. They both died on the same day which was May 23, 1934. In-between those dates Bonnie and Clyde made numerous criminal acts.

Why Did They Rob Banks?
It is believed that the reason Bonnie and Clyde started robbing banks is because they didn’t have a lot of money and they wanted more of it. Bonnie was known to have anger issues, which is the reason for some of her criminal acts.

How Did They Die?
They died on March 23,1934. The police had been chasing them since their murders and robberies in 6 different states. On their final day of life, the police knew where Bonnie and Clyde were traveling on the day of their death. They waited for Bonnie and Clyde as they were coming on highway 154. They used the son of the guy they kidnapped, and put his truck on the road with a tire removed, so that Clyde would slow down and investigate the truck. At 9:15 am, Clyde, who was driving a Ford V-8, spotted the son’s truck. Sure enough, he slowed down to look. The police started to fire, and the surprised couple could not react to it. Clyde and Bonnie died after 130 bullets. The police went to investigate their bodies. Clyde had been hit in the head, and Bonnie’s right hand was damaged by bullet fire. They took the bodies back to Dallas and put them on display. Afterward, they were buried in separate cemeteries, according to the families' wishes, despite Bonnie's request to be buried beside Clyde.


The Invention of Bubble Gum

By Matthew H.

Who – Bubblegum was invented by Walter Diemer; he spent his spare time playing around with different gum recipes. He lived from January 5, 1904 until January 9, 1998. He was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was married, but had no kids.

What - Bubble gum is a type of chewing gum that is specifically designed for blowing bubbles of all sizes. It is usually pink in color and has its own unique ‘bubble gum’ flavor. Today you can get many flavors.

When - It was invented in 1928 by Walter Diemer.

Where – The first gum was invented at the Fleer Chewing Gum Company in Philadelphia.

Why – This invention was a complete accident. Diemer was playing around with the recipes and made a less sticky batch, and what he ended up with was bubble gum.

How – Bubble gum changed from regular gum that had already been invented. It was more fun to chew, because you could make bubbles and this gum didn’t have nicotine in it, so it was more appropriate for children to chew, which made it very popular.


The Invention of Sliced Bread

By Eric F.

Who – Otto Fredrick Rohwedder was the inventor of the bread slicer. Otto was married to Carrie Johnson and had 2 kids. He was the owner of a jewelry store.

What – The first prototype built and was destroyed in a fire and it was not till 1928Otto had another prototype working.

When – Sliced bread was made on July 7, 1928.

Where – Chillicothe Missouri Bakery was the first commercial use of the bread slicer.

Why / How –In January 18, 1943 was sliced bread was banned due to the military needing more metal. Sliced bread factories used metal in their slicers, and the military needed that metal. Then on March 18, 1943 it was allowed back on the market because of a letter from a lady in New York. She wrote a letter complaining that it took too long to slice bread when her family was in a rush.


J. Edgar Hoover and the Birth of the FBI

By Mat O.

Who was J. Edgar Hoover?
J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hoover was born January 4, 1895 and died on May 2, 1972. He was the director of the FBI until he died 37 years later. It was rumoured that he was a homosexual, and that he had an intimate relationship with his associate director, Clyde Tolson.

When was the FBI established?
The FBI was established on March 22, 1935.

Where is the FBI?
The FBI is an American Police Agency. The FBI headquarters is in Washington DC, and there are many other offices in most major American cities (ex. Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, etc).

Why was the FBI established?
America didn’t have a national police force, so on March 16, 1906, Attorney General Bonaparte and President Theodore Roosevelt and created the BOI (Bureau of Investigation). The BOI consisted of 12 agents from the Secret Service. On June 25, 1910 the name was changed to the United States Bureau of Investigation. The next year, the name was changed to the Division of Investigation. Later in the same year, the name was finally changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI currently consists of 13,249 sworn members and 19,460 members for a total of 32,709 members.

What is the Organizational Structure of the FBI?
The FBI has many separate sections, each with other sub-sections. There is the Office of the Director, with the Office of Congressional Affairs, the Office of Professional Responsibility, the Finance Division, and the Security Division to name a few. Then there is the Human Resources Branch, with the Training Division, and the Human Resources Division. There is also the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, with the Criminal Investigative Division, the Office of Law Enforcement Coordination, and the Office of International Operations. There are also many other offices and sub-offices.


A Curse Long Dead: The Discovery of King Tutankhamun’s Tomb

By Caleb F.

Lord Carnarvon did not actually discover the tomb of King Tut, but an Egyptologist/archeologist and long time friend of Carnarvon’s did: Howard Carter.

The two started the dig in 1914, but had to abandon it due to the war. After the war died down, the dig was restarted but turned out to be fruitless (or more like tomb-less) and Lord Carnarvon ran out of money. He said that the dig would have to stop. Carter whined, cried, and groveled for Carnarvon to fund him one last expedition, and if it failed Carter promised he would pay for it himself. They started digging near the tomb of King Ramses I, and they found a step that led down, and then another, and another, and then a wall! Carter immediately called Lord Carnarvon, who was in England, and had him come over to Egypt. The date was November 1, 1922.

At last they had found some promising evidence of the royal tomb: a sealed door with the royal necropolis (whatever that is), so they decided to bust through the door. They came into the greatest intact Egyptian treasure room that has ever been found in history. It contained chariots and other burial furniture in that room.
To protect this find, Carter filled in the steps and had his most trusted workmen stand guard on the site.

This was not the only thing about the tomb that was intriguing. There supposedly was also a curse inscribed on the tomb that basically said, “All who disrupt the king will die a horrible death.” After uncovering the tomb, Carnarvon died of an infected mosquito bite on his cheek, and a short time later, his dog died as well. The media went wild, coming up with all sorts of stories about his death. Strange thing though: Howard Carter, the first to enter the tomb, survived a decade after the tomb discovery and spent the rest of his life logging every inch of visible space in that tomb.

Nobody really knows what killed Carnarvon. Maybe it was a curse, or maybe it was just some natural phenomenon that killed him. Either way, now a curse that was long dead and unknown is now circulating among the scientific world and unfortunately also the media.


Charles Lindbergh the Spirit of St. Louis

By Jordan L.

Who was Charles Lindbergh?
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator. He was born on February 4, 1902, and he died of cancer on August 26, 1974.

What did he do?
Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean nonstop in 1927.

When did he accomplish this?
He accomplished the flight on May 21, 1927 at 10:21 p.m.

Where did he fly?
Charles flew from Roosevelt Field, near New York City across the Atlantic Ocean to the city of Paris.

Why did he decide to do the flight?
Charles Lindbergh decided to do this flight because he thought he was capable of doing it if he had the right aircraft.

How did he accomplish the flight?
Charles Lindbergh was part of the St. Louis Flying Club and Harry Knight, who was president of the club, had great respect for Charles. Harry made Charles his personal flight instructor, and in turn Charles came to Harry when seeking people to back him on his flight. Harry put Charles in contact with Harold Bixby, the head of St. Louis Chamber of Commerce. Charles convinced Harold to help him and a budget of $15 000 was agreed upon.