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Do you know your American history?

  • Do you know your American history?

    U.S. history books are filled with tales of brave heroes who fought and died to stay true to the ideals of a wild, new world order focused on equality and freedom. Those iconic characters you read about—from Harriet Tubman and Crazy Horse to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.—represent revolutionaries with progressive ideals who fought relentlessly for what they hoped to make a more perfect union bolstered by a government that would support each of its people in their individual quests for happiness.

    Some of our country’s greatest civil advancements have come at a terrible price; paid for with bloody battles, imperfect leadership, and the scars left behind from racism, sexism, and even genocide. Our history includes the mass killing of Native Americans and the scourge of American slavery as much as it includes the Declaration of Independence and the liberation of people from Nazi camps.

    America’s greatness comes in even measure with her complex past, with countless demonstrations of unchecked power and the foolish notion of boundless growth; but it is also borne of great showings of empathy and what is possible when, as a nation, we defer to our “better angels.”

    To take a look at the rich history of the United States—from battles won in favor of righteousness and equality to periods of extreme darkness—Stacker used a variety of historical sources and photographs to put together a quiz highlighting key events in American history. On each slide, you’ll find part of a historic photo that matches a clue about American history from that year. On each subsequent slide will be the answer, along with some background on the significance of that event.

    Keep reading to test your knowledge of American history, from the Roaring ‘20s and Mickey Mouse’s debut film to the civil rights movement and Watergate.

    You may also like: 50 ways American city life has changed in the last 50 years

  • Clue: 1920

    What landmark legislation was signed in 1920—after first being proposed in 1878?

  • 1920 Answer: The 19th Amendment

    The 19th Amendment, passed June 4, 1919, and ratified Aug. 18, 1920, secured all American women’s right to vote. The legislation came on the heels of decades of organizing, protesting, appealing to government officials, and working to push through suffrage acts in individual states—which resulted in nine western states passing suffrage laws by 1912.

    [Pictured: Three women suffragists cast votes.]

  • Clue: 1922

    Two years after the legislation was passed, what national law actually saw increased use of the very thing it banned?

  • 1922 Answer: Prohibition

    Reporting from the Cato Institute suggests alcohol consumption began to rise in 1922 after a period of decline. Prohibition was in effect from 1920 to 1933, during which time the black market and mob activity spiked—not to mention tax dollars toward enforcing the law.

    Federal agents were tasked with enforcement, which meant regular Prohibition raids at speakeasies, restaurants, coffee houses, saloons, vehicles, and private property. New Orleans alone saw thousands of raids throughout Prohibition.

    [Pictured: New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition.]

  • Clue: 1923

    Which U.S. president died in 1923 from a heart attack?

  • 1923 answer: Warren Harding dies

    President Warren Harding served from 1921 until 1923 when he died from a heart attack while on a tour out west. Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the United States on Aug. 2, 1923, the same day Harding died. Harding’s funeral was held at the Capitol on Aug. 8.

    [Pictured: People in a long line waiting to pay respects to President Warren Harding in August 1923. He laid in state at the Capitol before his funeral there Aug. 8.]

  • Clue: 1924

    What milestone did Ford Motor Company reach in 1924?

  • 1924 answer: The production of its 10 millionth vehicle

    The 10 millionth automobile produced by Ford Motor Company was a Model T. Company founder Henry Ford sent the vehicle on a publicity tour along the Lincoln Highway.

    [Pictured: A view inside the Ford Motor Company factory.]

  • Clue: 1925

    Tens of thousands of members from what group marched brazenly in Washington in 1925?

  • 1925 answer: The Ku Klux Klan

    The KKK was not only normalized in 1920s America—it was mainstream. The hate group, which even then did not hide its anti-Semitism, anti-Catholic, and anti-Black stances, had its own baseball team, sponsored father-son outings and beautiful baby contests, and even hosted road rallies and festivals. The relative public acceptance of the KKK was perhaps most grossly apparent at a Klansman parade in Washington D.C. in August 1925 when 40,000 unmasked KKK members marched along Pennsylvania Avenue.

    [Pictured: Unmasked Klansman parade on the nation’s capital.]


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