History in the making
The 1920s was the first decade to have a name: “The Roaring Twenties”. It was ‘roaring’ because people felt full of energy and excitement after years of war. So, what did they do with all their exuberance? They built houses, they had babies, they hoped for peace and unity, and they read books: just like us.
An Explosion of House Building in Britain
Britain started to build the ‘Homes Fit for Heroes’ that were promised to soldiers returning from World War I by Prime Minister Lloyd George. The government even published The Housing Manual of simple house designs. New, large housing estates started to spring up across the UK. Houses cost £850 and owners would need to put down a deposit of £50 – less than 6%
Peace and Unity Celebrated at the Summer Olympics
The Summer Olympics were held in Antwerp and the theme was all about reconciliation between the nations that so recently had been at war. To support the theme of peace and unity, doves were released and the flag with five interlocking rings was introduced – key elements of the Olympics, even today.
Britain’s Biggest Ever Baby Boom
Although the population stood at about 40 million (it’s over 67 million today), 1920 remains Britain's biggest year ever for babies with 1.1 million live babies born. To put this into perspective, just 657,076 live births were recorded in Britain in 2018. In the three years preceding 1920, birth rates had dropped by about a quarter of a million because of both the First World War and the Spanish Flu of 1918-19, which, it has been estimated, killed 50 million people worldwide.
Agatha Christie releases her debut novel
Who could have guessed Hercule Poirot was 100 years old? He first appeared in The Mysterious Affair at Styles and has since become one of the most well-known figures in both detective and literary history. Agatha went on to become one of Britain’s most prolific novelists and this book later became one of the first to be published by Penguin (1935).
Captain Tom born
Captain Sir Thomas Moore, better known to us as Captain Tom, was born in 1920. He recently walked 100 laps of his garden and raised £30 million for charities supporting the NHS – an organisation that did not exist until Captain Tom was 48 years old.