Blogging about the 1920s

This assignment is from my Discovering Digital History course and part of a class blog called Discovering the 1920s.

Historical Person/Event Post

Select a topic that introduces an event or a person that tells us something about the world in the 1920s. Your initial topic can range from large watershed events or famous people, to smaller stories or individuals that few may have heard of.

If you are interested in a major event, for example, the Stock Market Crash of 1929, see if you can select a smaller part of it, such as Black Thursday, Black Monday, or Black Tuesday, or choose a person that was integral to the story. Having a smaller topic will allow you to do more in-depth research and use primary sources. Wikipedia is out there — there is no need to repeat things that are already done.

Before you finalize your topic, ensure that it has not already been done on the Discovering the 1920s site by another student. If it has, you can switch topics, or focus on a specific event or person’s story

The purpose of the posts are to:

  • Inform a general audience.
  • Provide links to quality resources where they can learn more.
  • Include a section that contextualizes the topic in the story of the 1920s.

Students will write three blog posts totaling at least 4,500 words (est. 1,500 each),  accompanied by visuals and a bibliography. Posts for major events can be longer, but no post should be shorter than 1,000 words.

Note that one of your posts must include a digital timeline and one must include a digital map. (It can be the same one.)


All posts must follow the style guide so that our site has an internal consistency and design.


For people, provide a short biographical overview, and then focus in on the things that they did in the 1920s that led you to select them. Try to situate them in the larger story of the 1920s, how did they fit in to the various movements of the day? How do their life and experiences tell us something about the decade? If you are struggling to do this, you might want to select another person.

Your person does not need to be famous. If you are interested in gangsters during the 1920s, you might feature Chicago’s Genna Brothers, three of whom were gunned down in 1925. Dig a little deeper and you will find interesting people and different stories.

Always try to link the story to a why question rather than just a what happened question.


For events, provide a narrative of what happened, who or what were the forces involved, how well known it was, or how it was perceived at the time, and how it fits in to the larger story of the 1920s.

Smaller events allow you to explore the details. Rather than talk generally about movies, select a single popular movie to discuss its impact, messages, and how it fit into the times.

Be specific about the dates that things happened, and in general, proceed in a chronological way.

Always try to link it back to a why question rather than a what happened question.


You must use a variety of high-quality historical sources. Make sure that you include:

  • Primary sources (newspaper reports, documents, photographs, and audio-visual materials if possible)
  • Scholarly journal articles and monograph chapters and books.
  • DO NOT just grab material from other blogs, Wikipedia, and un-sourced materials.

Add it to the Summary Page

If your post is a Year, add it in date order to the Year page on Discovering Digital History.  If it is a person, add it in alphabetical order to the People page.

To add a new link, press the + button in the correct location. This will add a new block to the site. 

  • Choose “Media and Text” as the block type.
  • Add an image for your link from the Media Library, or upload one.
  • Write the title of your blog post here, with the date of the event or a short occupation note for a person.
  • If you have completed the post, highlight the title and select the link icon. You can search for the title of your post, or paste the public URL for it here.

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