F308 Fall 2019 The Turbulent Years: America in the 1920s and 1930s
Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, Oct. 24–Nov. 14
Instructor: David Heymsfeld
In the years between the two world wars, Americans dealt with issues which have not been fully resolved to this day. The 1920s were a period of strong economic growth and improved standards of living, but the benefits were not equally shared and income inequality increased. There were major cultural divisions shown in the battles over prohibition, anti-immigration legislation, the Red Scare, the rise of a national Ku Klux Klan, Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism, and the Scopes trial. The depression of the 1930s led to major reforms, giving the federal government a much greater role in the economy. There were also divisive issues shown in labor disputes, the rise of radical movements on the right and left, the fight over the appropriate role of the Supreme Court, and the long and bitter battle between isolationists and internationalists. These issues continue to be important in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
David Heymsfeld, an OLLI member, was a congressional professional staffer for 35 years. He has taught several OLLI courses on history and is a volunteer guide for the Newseum.