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.