Tag: Prohibition

Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself (and Possibly Godzilla): The ’30s

Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself (and Possibly Godzilla): The ’30s

Hello! Welcome back to our romp through history. Remember all the jazzy fun and debauchery from last week? Well, it’s over. It’s the ’30s. The stock market has crashed, the banks have failed and the crops have dried up. Hitler’s on the rise, a world war looms and worst of all? You still can’t drink legally!  What the F, 1930s?

Luckily, we have distractions in the form of radio, movies and art deco, so at least there are pretty buildings to look at while we’re selling pencils on the street corner.

Mo’ money, mo’ problems, amirite?

Here are some major (and not so major) events of the ’30s:

1930

Aug. 12: Clarence Birdseye invents frozen food. Unfortunately, no one can afford ice so his idea is a bust.

1931

March 3: Congress approves The Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem so we’d have something to fight about on Twitter in 2016.

March 14: Nevada legalizes gambling and Fredo Corleone begins banging cocktail waitresses two at a time.

May 1: After just over a year of construction, the Empire State Building opens, becoming the world’s tallest building until the Twin Towers are topped off in late 1970.

Beloved NYC mascot King Kong arrives in 1934, serving as an ambassador for the city until his purported death at the hands (paws?) of Godzilla in the early ’60s.

1932

Nov 8: Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected president, introducing the tradition of referring to presidents by their initials.

WTF

May 9-June 16: Congress passes FDR’s New Deal, replacing the Old Deal with gluten-free, paleo and vegan options.

Dec 5: Prohibition finally ends with passage of the 21st Amendment and everyone asks themselves what the F they were thinking for the last 13 years.

We were too drunk on bathtub gin to think

1934

March 22: The first Masters golf tournament is held in Georgia, but it fails to make golf any less boring.

1935

June 2: Babe Ruth retires and uses his farewell speech to curse the Boston Red Sox.

Aug 14: Congress passes the Social Security Act, ensuring that future Judge Judy litigants have a means to support themselves when not suing each other over pit bull attacks.

1936

May 30: Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind is published, romanticizing the Old South, slavery and Rhett Butler.

Butler? I don’t even know ‘er! (#sorrynotsorry)

Aug 1: The Summer Olympics get underway in Berlin as Adolf Hitler tries to pretend he’s just a normal, run-of-the-mill führer and not a homicidal lunatic.

What are you talking about? I love Jews!

American track star Jesse Owens goes on to win four gold medals and inspire Carly Simon’s 1980 hit song Jesse.

1937

May 6: The Hindenburg explodes over Lakehurst, New Jersey, crushing the fledgling airship industry, but eventually giving us Stairway to Heaven.

Anyone else suddenly in the mood for a hot dog?

May 27: The Golden Gate Bridge opens.

And remains open until Godzilla destroys it in 2014

1938

March 12: Still pretending he’s not up to anything nefarious, Hitler annexes Austria.

What are you talking about? I’m just here for the wiener schnitzel.

Oct 30: Orson Welles trolls millions with his #fakenews radio broadcast that Martians have landed in New Jersey and are meeting in Holsten’s with Tony Soprano. Unfortunately, the air goes dead and no one knows for sure what really happened. (Although there is plenty of speculation on Reddit.)

1939

June 12: The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, NY. The first inductees include Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and A-Rod*.

*Definitely not A-Rod.

Sept 1: Hitler invades Poland, kicking off World War II.

What are you talking about? I just really like Chopin.

The good news is, WWII helps to end the Great Depression. The bad news is, everything else. Stay tuned for next week when we move into the 1940s and get to talk about WWII in depth. Until then, thanks for reading and be sure to save the date for April 22 when we will bring you Decadent: 100 years of Burlesque. Check back soon for ticket info!

See you next time!

Gettin’ Jazzy with it: The ’20s

Gettin’ Jazzy with it: The ’20s

Hello friends,

On April 22, LFF will take you on a whirlwind journey through the 20th and 21st centuries with Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque. Before that though, we thought we’d tease you by highlighting each decade, one by one, in the weeks leading up to the show…

…So roll your stockings, bob your hair and pour yourself some bathtub gin because it’s time to get your Charleston on. Welcome to the Roaring Twenties!

Ain’t we got fun

The decade begins on an upswing, with WWI (known then just as “War”) having ended and a housing boom underway. People are moving off the farms and into the cities. Mass production and technological advances bring never-before-seen wonders like automobiles and phones to the masses, paving the way for all those melodramatic “Don’t Text and Drive” PSAs that will pop up in your Facebook feed 90 years later.

“It can wait”…until they invent the iPhone

The economy is thriving and despite prohibition, booze is plentiful, thanks to Al Capone and Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire.

But don’t get too excited, because every awesome bender ends in a hangover and the Roaring Twenties’ bender is no exception. On October 29, 1929, the stock market crashes and the Twenties finds itself puking up its guts in a warehouse parking lot while getting beaten by the pimp who stole its wallet. But hey, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. A lot happens before that.

Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights):

1920

Jan. 16: The 18th Amendment goes into effect, making prohibition the law of the land.

What could go wrong?

Speakeasies and bootleggers immediately pop up everywhere, while young women known as “flappers,” drunk on jazz and actual booze, embrace new-found freedom by shortening their skirts, cutting their hair and posting selfies in Collier’s magazine.

#itgirl

Aug. 18: The 19th Amendment passes, giving women the right to vote. In 2016, they consider giving it back when they see who their candidates are.

1923

April 18: The first home game is held at Yankee Stadium between the Yankees and Red Sox. It’s also the first time Yankee fans chant “1918,” although it doesn’t have quite the same cachet as it will in 2004.

Wanna see my big bat?

1924

Nov. 27: The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade marches through Manhattan, cheered on by 10,000 spectators, 243 of which will be trampled to death the next day at the first Wal-Mart Black Friday Sale.

1925

April 10: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby is published, making Daisy Buchanan a household name, and, for several generations of Boston-area college students, synonymous with date rape and Jaeger-induced blackouts.

Ah college

1926

Oct. 22: Ernest Hemingway publishes The Sun Also Rises, a novel about horrible people drinking and sleeping their way around Europe, which introduces us to bullfighting and the “Lost Generation,” AKA the 20th century version of the whiny millennial.

1927

May 20-21: Charles Lindbergh makes first nonstop transatlantic flight from NYC to Paris.

Let me show you why they call me “Lucky”

1928

Aug. 28: Not to be outdone by C-Lind, Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, from Newfoundland to South Wales. Nine years later she will disappear while trying to fly around the world. Maybe she should have quit while she was ahead? (Just sayin.)

Nov. 6: Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover elected president. Since there is no late-night TV, it’s up to Dorothy Parker to make the requisite “Hoover? I don’t even know ‘er!” joke.

1929

Feb. 14: In what will become known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Al Capone’s men murder seven rival gang members in a bid to take control of Chicago’s organized crime syndicate, compelling authorities to dub him “Public Enemy #1.”

Geez, gun down a coupla dudes in a parking garage and you never hear the end of it

Capone was convicted of tax evasion two years later, got sent to Alcatraz, went crazy from syphilis and died in 1947 at age 48 of a brain hemorrhage. However, his greatest accomplishment will still be posthumously trolling Geraldo Rivera in the 1986 special, The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault.

Oct. 29: AKA “Black Tuesday.” Wall Street crashes, turning the Roaring Twenties into the Whimpering Twenties and ushering in the Great Depression.

Italy’s Crown Prince apparently had a shitty day too

The economic downtown will last until 1939, and if that isn’t bad enough, the 1930s also gives us Hitler, the Dust Bowl and The Wizard of Oz. But I guess that’s a tale for next week, so be sure to check back on Wed.

Until then,

Flapper? I don’t even know ‘er!

Stay tuned for info – tickets will be on sale soon!

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