Roaring 20s Research Article from History Firsthand

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Frederick Nelson

Fueled by the rise of radio reporting and tabloid journalism, the Roaring Twenties were a time of fads and foibles. Americans went crazy for dance marathons, a Chinese game called mah-jongg, fashions based on King Tut, and other silly distractions. One of the more inexplicable fads was flagpole sitting, initiated in 1924 by Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly, a professional stuntman. Kelly's first effort saw him sitting atop a flagpole for 13 hours, 13 minutes, utilizing saddle stirrups to keep himself from falling off while dozing. Later, "Shipwreck" spent 49 days on a flagpole in Atlantic City, New Jersey, with more than 20,000 people watching some portion of the stunt. After Kelly became a national celebrity for his feat, hundreds of others, including dozens of children, attempted to break his record. For reasons unknown, this fad was particularly popular in Baltimore, as journalist Frederick Nelson writes in "The Child...

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This section contains 1,004 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Roaring 20s Encyclopedia Article
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Roaring 20s from Greenhaven. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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