The 20th Century

Today’s assembly, led by U4H, was all about the 20th Century and its developments. They told us about many important historical events and new innovations throughout the century, decade by decade. Some significant events and characteristics of the 20th Century include:

1900s:

Death of Queen Victoria,

Immense scientific progress (Curie’s discovery of radioactivity, Einstein’s special relativity theory

First zeppelin flight takes place in Germany and the Wright brothers create the world’s first fully controllable aircraft

World powers are attempting to build their armies and form alliances in preparation for war, and the Entente Cordiale is signed

In literature: Wind in the Willows, Anne of Green Gables and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

In art: cubism and Art Nouveau start to gain extreme popularity

The film industry is growing – the US opens its first movie theatre and the world’s first feature film is shown

Fashion – tall stiff collars, wide hats and floor-length dresses with long sleeves

The first modern hamburger is made!

1910s:

Father’s Day is first celebrated in Washington State

The Oreo cookie is invented (but there have been many changes since)

The crossword is invented

The zipper is invented – and revolutionizes the world

Use of tanks during World War One

1920s:

Women at Oxford University allowed to receive degrees, and gender-based discrimination in employment is made illegal.

In 1928 women over the age of 21 given the right to vote. Women could go out and work and earn money for the family, and they started to drink and drive cars.

Fashion – hair was cut short, dresses and skirts became shorter.

The invention of the Milky Way and Crunchie chocolate bars.

Household appliances such as toasters, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners were invented.

Health breakthroughs including the discovery of Vitamins C and E, penicillin, and insulin (which made treatment of diabetes possible).

1930s:

Discovery of Pluto

The Empire State building is completed and the Christ Monument is built.

First ‘splitting’ of the atom

Worrying developmentS in Germany, with Adolph Hitler being appointed as Chancellor and first Nazi Concentration Camp being established.

The invention of Monopoly and Penguin paperback books.

The “extinct” fish, the coelacanth, was found.

Superman appears in comics and the Volkswagen Beetle is first produced

The cheeseburger is invented

At the end of the 30s, World War Two begins

1940s:

Winston Churchill became Prime Minister and Britain stood alone against Hitler, until joined by two powerful allies, the Soviet Union and the US.

Rationing of food, clothes and other household items.

Bombing of towns and cities across Britain – 60,595 civilians killed and 86,162 seriously injured.

1950s:

Technology becomes much more widespread – small portable radios become popular and television sets begin to appear in every household (Golden Age of Television)

New artificial fibres help to boost retail particularly in fashion

Coca-Cola first release plastic bottles

In the world of music – Rock and Roll becomes popular; Elvis Presley becomes one of the biggest names in music

1960s:

New technology – first compact audio cassette is invented as well as Spacewar, the first computer game. The computer mouse and lava lamps are invented

The first successful human donor heart transplant takes place in Cape Town (the patient lived for 18 days)

Apollo 11 mission lands Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon’s surface

1970s:

Computer floppy discs introduced

Breakup of the Beatles

Discovery of the Terracotta Army in China

Microsoft is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, as well as the Apple computer one year later

The first Ebola virus outbreaks in Sudan

Premier of the Muppet Show and Star Wars

Death of Elvis

The first test-tube baby is born

1980s:

Advances in biology and medicine – research in genetic engineering and development of gene therapy

Rise in computer technology and development of the synthesizers which defies 80s music. Walkmans and boomboxes become popular, and Duran Duran, Michael Jackson and Madonna are some of the greatest musical icons of the decade.

Films become ever more popular with special effects becoming more realistic

Fashion – Big hair, shoulder pads, miniskirts and sunglasses.

Rubik’s Cube craze

1990s:

The Soviet Union of Russia Belarus and Ukraine peacefully disband.

The first text message is sent, and Pokémon becomes popular.

Nelson Mandela ended Apartheid in South Africa

Dolly the sheep was cloned – a massive but controversial breakthrough in the development of biological research

Fashion – not as loud as the 80s, Denim was very popular, along with oversized sweaters and black leggings which are still seen in the present day.

The World Wide Web gained huge popularity.

It is difficult to imagine a life without all these things that have been contributed to humanity during the last century. In our moment of silence, we gave thanks to our ancestors for their hard work and progress which enabled the many discoveries and development which have made our lives the way they are today.

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