Happy July 4 1921, Sarasota!

4 flagWhile Sarasota was still excited about becoming its own county on July 1st 1921, and celebrating the 4th in grand style, here’s the world they lived in. Some of these 1921 events might surprise you and others amuse. Isn’t history fascinating?

On July 2, 1921, President Warren Harding signed a joint congressional resolution declaring an end to America’s state of war with Germany, Austria and Hungary. (Calvin Coolidge was Vice-President in case you were wondering.)

330px-Bessie_Coleman_in_1923Brave Bessie: Bessie Coleman was an early American civil aviator. She was the first African-American woman and first Native American to hold a pilot license, earned in France on June 15. She became a high-profile pilot in notoriously dangerous air shows in the United States. Read more about a woman who went her own way.

On July 14, a Massachusetts jury finds Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti guilty of first degree murder following a widely publicized trial.

The Emergency Quota Act went into effect in May 1921. It was a response to anti-immigrant sentiment and the high unemployment that followed World War I. The quotas mainly effected Eastern and Southern European immigrants, greatly limiting the number of people from those war-torn countries that were allowed into the United States. It also marked an important point in US immigration policy, becoming the first instance of restrictions on European immigration and the first use of a quota system. More on this.

In February, the first transcontinental flight in 24 hours flying time arrives in Florida (San Diego to JAX. Read more aviation history.)  Brave Bess was not the pilot. Also in February, the Yankees purchase 20 acres in Bronx for Yankee Stadium.

coco and boyMay 5, 1921 was the day Chanel No. 5 was released by fashion designer Coco Chanel. Women have been smelling good for over 100 years.

In 1921, British crime writer Agatha Christie published her first novel “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” introducing the character Hercule Poirot.

W514Ruth

In 1921, at the Indianapolis 500, Tommy Milton won in 5:34:44.578; average speed: 89.621 mph.

And because history is always a bit hazy 100 years later, either on July 12 Babe Ruth set a record of 137 career home runs, or maybe on July 18 Babe Ruth achieved 139 home runs and became the all-time home run leader in Major League Baseball, taking the title from Roger Connor. (Just so you know, Babe held the record for 53 years, only bested by Hank Aaron in 1974, who was bested by Barry Bonds in 2001. You’re welcome.)

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