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1920 Trivia & History

1923 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1922

1923 History Snapshot

  • Pop Culture: Roy and Walt Disney founded The Walt Disney Company on October 16.
  • Influential Musical Artists include: Al Jolson, Paul Whiteman, Jelly Roll Morton and Bessie Smith.
  • The Big Movies included The Covered Wagon, The Ten Commandments and Safety Last!
  • Price of a dozen oranges in 1923: 50 cents
  • The World Population was ~ 1,999,000,000
  • Time Magazine began publication on March 3.
  • The first 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race was held, won by André Lagache and René Léonard.
  • Frozen Food was invented by Clarence Birdseye in 1923.
  • And... The Hollywoodland Sign was inaugurated in California. When rebuilt in 1949, it became The Hollywood Sign.

World Series Champions

New York Yankees

NFL Champions

Canton Bulldogs

Stanley Cup Champions

Ottawa Senators

US Open Golf

Bobby Jones

US Open Tennis (Men/Ladies)

William T. Tilden/Helen Wills

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Bill Johnston/Suzanne Lenglen

NCAA Football Champions

Illinois & Michigan

Bowl Game

Rose Bowl: January 1, 1923 - USC over Penn State

Kentucky Derby


Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog


Miss America

Mary Katherine Campbell (Columbus, Ohio)

1923's Fresh Faces and Top Celebrities

Theda Bara, Marion Davies, Pola Negri, Mary Pickford

"The Quotes"

"Always a bridesmaid, but never a bride"
- Listerine

"It is well to give when asked but it is better to give unasked, through understanding"
- Kahil Gibran

1923 Pop Culture History

All chinchillas in the US are descendants of only 11 original imported in 1923.

The longest heatwave ever observed happend in Marble Bar (Australia) and consisted of 160 consecutive days of temperatures reaching 100°F / 37.8°C or more in 1923/24.

As a promotional stunt, Otto Schnering, founder of Curtiss Candy Company, had Baby Ruth candy bars dropped from airplanes in cities around the country, with tiny parachutes attached to each candy bar.

The Southampton FC (Associated Football Club) finished their 1922-1923 campaign with a unique "Even Season" - 14 wins, 14 draws, 14 defeats for a total of 42 points, or one point per game. Goals For and Against were also equal and the team finished in mid-table.

Impressionist Claude Monet suffered from cataracts and in 1923 had them removed and the color in his paintings dramatically changed.

Greece became the last country to adopt the modern Gregorian calendar.

The origin of the distress call sign "Mayday Mayday Mayday" was coined by Frederick Stanley Mockford a senior radio operator in London. Since most of the radio traffic was between London and Paris, Mayday comes from the French word "m'aider" in "Venez m'aider" means "come help me."

The first American president to visit Canada was Warren Harding. He made a speech and played golf in Vancouver but contracted pneumonia and died a week later.

The first 'known' dance marathon winner was Alma Cummings, who danced for 27 hours without stopping. A few months later her record was shattered by 69 hours of dancing by Vera Sheppard. The American Society of Teachers of Dancing had a petition against them because it was "dangerous and a disgrace to the art of dancing."

'Guesstimate' is a real word and is in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus. "A blend of a guess and an estimate. First Known Use: 1923".

The discovery of other galaxies outside our own Milky way was by Edwin Hubble.

The Coca-Cola '6 pack' was introduced. The famed curved bottle was made beginning in 1916. That specific curve is actually copyrighted, so noone else can use it. Cocaine was never an actual ingredient of the product, in spite of what other people may believe. The Coca-Cola logo is written in Spenserian font.

Skippy Peanut Butter originally started as a merchandising gimmick for a comic strip called "Skippy", which ran from 1923 to 1945.

1923's Wild Bill Hickok is the only movie featuring Wyatt Earp to have been released while the real Wyatt Earp was still alive.

John Hertz, the owner of the Yellow Cab Company, bought Walter Jacob's Chicago-based car rental company, and renamed it after himself. The yellow/black Hertz logo is a carry-on from the Yellow Cab Company.

"American" was the official language of Illinois from 1923 to 1969.

The first "Aunt Jemima" was Nancy Green, a former slave. She died in a car accident in 1923 and wasn't replaced for 10 years until Anna Robinson (Anna Short Harrington) was discovered at the Chicago World Fair in 1933.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

80% of males born in the Soviet Union in 1923 did not survive World War II.

The distress call "Mayday" first used in 1923 at Croydon Airport England, comes from the French word m'aider, which means "help me."

Jack Trice Stadium is the only Division I football stadium named after an African-American. Jack Trice died in 1923 in his second game when he was trampled on by 3 Minnesota players.

Germany's hyperinflation was so high, the exchange rate went from 9 marks to 4.2M marks to $1 USD. One German worker, who used a wheelbarrow to cart off billions of marks that were his week's wages, was robbed by thieves who stole the wheelbarrow but left the piles of cash on the curb.

Frank Hayes, a horse jockey, suffered a fatal heart attack and died mid-race at Belmont Park in New York. His body remained on the horse and crossed the finish line in first place. The payoff was 20-1. He had never won a race in his life.

The greatest loss of life during the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake was not collapsing buildings or floods, but a massive firenado that killed over 38,000 in fifteen minutes. Over 100,000 people dies in total.

The inventor and one of the chief advocates for the use of leaded gasoline, Thomas Midgley, himself had to take an extended leave to receive treatment for lead poisoning in 1923.

To get women to smoke cigarettes, tobacco companies devised a campaign of equating cigarettes as "torches of freedom." The campaign helped women smoking jump from 5% in 1923 to 18.1% by 1935.


Yankee Stadium - 'The House That (Babe) Ruth Built' was opened.

Time Magazine began publication

The Habits

Reading Black Oxen by Gertrude Atherton

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1923 include:
Nora Bayes, Ben Bernie and His Orchestra, Henry Burr, Eddie Cantor, Carl Fenton & His Orchestra, Ernest Hare, Marion Harris, Al Jolson, Isham Jones and His Orchestra, Billy Jones, Dolly Kay, Benny Krueger and His Orchestra, Art Landry & His Orchestra, Ted Lewis & His Band, Abe Lyman and His Californians, The Original Dixieland Band, Blossom Seeley, Ed Smalle, Bessie Smith, John Steel, Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians, Van & Schenck, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

Popular Movies

A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate, The Covered Wagon, Our Hospitality, The Ten Commandments, La Roue (aka The Wheel), Our Hospitality, Safety Last!, The Smiling Madame Beudet, The Ten Commandments

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1923
# 1 Hits of 1923
Pop Culture News

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pop, as in 'popular' :(adjective) Pertaining to the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class.
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