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1919 - United States Year in Review

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Returning World War I Troops in parade in Buffalo, New York.

Returning World War I Troops in parade in Buffalo, New York.

Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.



U.S. Statistics



New Words

1919 in Pictures


I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it.

-- Woodrow Wilson, Omaha, Nebraska September 8, 1919


Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein by Doris Ulmann

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United State is Voted Dry

President Woodrow Wilson, 1919World War I was over and most Americans were eager for peace and security; but, 1919 would prove to be anything but. Revolution and unrest ran rampant across Europe and North America, the Flu Pandemic continued from the prior year with a third brutal wave in the Spring, terrorist bombings rocked seven U.S. cities in June, the first of a series of “Red Scares" began when the government passed an act that blacklisted anyone thought to be involved with communism, race riots rocked the nation, and hundreds of workers went on strike across the country. The adoption of constitutional amendments giving women the vote and establishing Prohibition denoted the high-water mark of the moral impulses of the Progressive era.

Voters grew disillusioned during the Wilson years, with many feeling the President and the Progressives went too far, the terrorist bombings further alienated people from the government, and that World War I did more to feed these ideals as citizens questioned the reasons and results of the conflict. In 1920, America elected Warren Harding with over 60% of the vote and Progressive Democratic candidates suffered for Wilson's sins and the events from 1919.

Many historians today summarize 1919 as rivaling 1968 as the worst year in twentieth century American history.


U.S. Statistics

President: Woodrow Wilson
Vice President: Thomas R. Marshall
Population: 104,514,000

Federal spending: $18.49 billion
Consumer Price Index: 17.3
Unemployment: 1.4%


1919 Timeline


1919 After moving from its southern rural roots, jazz establishes Chicago as its capital. The city will become home to such jazz greats as trumpeter Louis Armstrong and pianist Jelly Roll Morton.
1919 185,440 people die in the third wave of the Flu Pandemic.
1919 Dial telephones are introduced by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. The first rotary dial telephones in the Bell System installed in Norfolk, Virginia.
1919 Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity is confirmed when the Royal Astronomical Society sees the predicted effect during a solar eclipse.
1919 Eighty three African-Americans are lynched--many of them soldiers returning home from World War I. At the same time, the Ku Klux Klan is operating out of 27 states. The pamphlet, Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States: 1898-1918 is published by the NAACP. The report is used to appeal to lawmakers to end the social, political and economic terrorism associated with lynching.
1919 The pop-up toaster, short wave radios, and arc welders were invented in the US in 1919.
1919 The most popular baby names for boys were John, William, James, Robert and Charles. For girls, Mary, Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, and Ruth.
January 1 Edsel Ford succeeds his father as head of the Ford Motor Company.
January 6 Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, dies in his sleep at the age of 60.
January 15 The Boston Molasses Disaster: A wave of molasses released from an exploding storage tank sweeps through Boston, killing 21 and injuring 150.
January 16 The 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition, goes into effect in the United States.
January 25 The Hotel Pennsylvania is built in Manhattan, New York and becomes the world's most popular hotel.

February 5 Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith launch United Artists in an attempt to control their own work.
February 6 After two years of World War I wage controls, the Seattle General Strike begins. The five-day general work stoppage by more than 65,000 workers in the city of Seattle, Washington lasted from February 6 to February 11.
February 11 The Seattle General Strike ends when Federal troops are summoned by the state of Washington's Attorney General.
February 25 Oregon places a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.
February 26 An act of the United States Congress establishes most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park.

The first natural lands east of the Mississippi River are established as a national park in legislation signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. The area, known as Lafayette National Park in Maine is located at Mount Desert Island and known since then as Acadia National Park.

March The Red Scare begins when Vladimir Lenin starts a revolution in Russia that changes the Russian government to communism. As a result, the U.S. passed an act that would blacklist anyone that had been thought to be involved with communism.
March 5 A. Mitchell Palmer becomes Attorney General of the United States through recess appointment.
March 15 The American Legion forms in Paris.
April 13 Eugene V. Debs enters prison at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia for speaking out against the draft during World War I.
April 15 The Boston Telephone Strike begins. It ends successfully for the telephone operators and supporters on April 20th.
April 30 Several bombs are intercepted in the first wave of the 1919 United States anarchist bombings.



Continued Next Page


Seattle Strike Called, 1919

Seattle Strike Called


Theodore Roosevelt funeral procession

Theodore Roosevelt funeral procession. He died in his sleep on January 6, 1919, at the age of 60.

Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.


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