In celebration of the new decade, the 2020s, the Yampage staff meant to write a review of their favorite decades at the beginning of 2020. However, on the last day of school before winter break in 2019, many people (really just boys in my earth science class) informed me that the decade wouldn’t technically start until 2021. My logical next thought was to just publish it in January of 2021, but then I forgot about it. Now it is April 2021. To celebrate the new-ish decade, here is Yampage’s decade-by-decade review of the last century.
The 1920s by Digby Thanoscar
Overview: The 1920’s started out with a great time of peace and prosperity with the League of Nations forming. The United States did not choose to join it, however, being its own sovereign nation at the time, Yampage did. Yam exports were at an all-time high and New Yamsterdam was almost entering a new industrial era.
Sadly, due to a massive fail in crops, Yamsterdamians were forced to migrate from their homeland to wherever would take them (this was how Digby’s great-grandfather came to America). Digby’s great-grandfather, Dongby Thanoscar, experienced many things during this time, many of which were documented in his notebook.
He went to the first Miss America pageant in 1921, saw the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922, and even attended the opening of several J.C. Penny stores! However, the one recurring theme throughout the notebook was Dongby’s passion for buying stock on margin (that seemed to be a common hobby at the time).
- J.C. Penney has a store in every state
- The first sound on film movie is released
- The Hoover Dam was built (one of Dongby’s favorite attractions)
- Al Capone peaked in his power and influence
- Also, women gained the right to vote, there was a massive flood in Mississippi that killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands, and the stock market failure of 1929 (We chose to include these three events because they are often overshadowed by the J.C. Penny excitement)
Although there was a lot of cultural advancement during this time, they lacked a bunch of essentials that we have today. Some examples are poutine, dried ramen, and Pop Tarts. Because of this, it cannot receive any grade above a B+. The decade does redeem itself with the advancements in technology, and general happiness. This decade was so happy and full of advancements that it was often referred to as the “Roaring Twenties,” and nothing could possibly get in the way of these people having the time of their lives.
The 1930s by Josephine Dupuis
Overview: This decade wasn’t the most stellar for our dear Americans, but they sure did know how to make it work. No deep economic depression or insane dust storms stopped the people of the ‘30s from inventing Twinkies, now did they?
The Big Stuff: College students started swallowing goldfish as a hobby and aviation reached new levels (we’re talking Wiley Post, Amelia Earhart, and, most importantly, Elm Farm Ollie: the first cow to take to the sky).
Cultural Highlights: Radio was the new television, or rather radio was the new… excuse for not having meaningful social interaction? For the first time, the American people could hear the president’s voice echo throughout their homes with Roosevelt’s “fireside chats” – a step we here at Yampage determined through strenuous surveys of 100-something-year-old turtles was a bit too invasive – and one day in 1930, houses were filled with the melodies of piano music instead, as BBC announced that the day was just too uneventful to report on!
Grade: C, no minus or plus, just a good ol’ C. Many people struggled, but they still survived and found ways to flourish. And chocolate chip cookies were invented, so if that’s not a sign for a C, we don’t know what is.
The 1940s by Margret Tangerine
Starting off, I want to say the 1940s weren’t very exciting, I mean, there were no wars and America was having major relationship issues. Over this time period America’s relationship with Japan and Germany greatly declined. Germany was toxic and they fought all the time. Japan was nosy and always involved in other people’s business and America just knew things wouldn’t work out.
The greatest person of this decade would definitely have to be the new prime minister, Winston Churchill. Without my guy Winston, we wouldn’t have the commonly used text phrase OMG, which he wrote in one of his many letters to one of his close mates. Winston didn’t have many friends, they were all too jealous that he was voted in the Top 100 Greatest British People of All Time and left. But Winston wasn’t the only one leading a country, Franklin (tortoise) Roosevelt was elected into office on behalf of the U.S. In his free time, Franklin collected stamps, when he wasn’t busy collecting, he would be found marrying his relatives or running the country.
The cultural impact of this decade is arguably the most significant of all the decades, I mean Tupperware was invented. Now think about what we would be doing without Tupperware. Nothing. All of our food would go bad. We would be Tuperwareless and depressed like the 1930s. But Tupperware wasn’t the only thing invented, Boris Johnson’s favorite pastime, the slinky was invented. Kids all around the world- no, kids all around America would be slinking everywhere, slinking in school, slinking down the street, slinking to the store. You name it and they were doing it. When kids weren’t busy slinking they were chucking frisbees hoping they would come back unlike other things in their lives. Last but not least, the 1940s had the lowest rate of hospital visits for children. You want to know why? Well even if you don’t it was due to the invention of velcro shoes. No more one bunny, two bunny, it was strap on or nothing. Oh and can’t forget that Mount Rushmore was finally completed. Who isn’t excited about a stone of old men being displayed?
Ending here I give the 1940’s a C+, their relationship troubles caused lots of conflict that unfortunately just can’t be overlooked. Maybe the 1950s will be better.
The 1950s by Aveline Chocolat
Overview: I meant to ask my grandparents about the 1950s, but I decided to just watch Grease because that felt easier. As far as I’m concerned, the 50s were all about John Travolta and leather jackets.
The Big Stuff: So at first I was skeptical, I’m not really a movie-musical person, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Cultural Highlights: Poodle skirts! Hand jives! A young Olivia Newton-John!
Fun Fact: “We Go Together” will never not be stuck in my head.
Explanation: The singing felt inorganic.
The 1960s by Reginald Thumbington III
Overview: A decade of radical change, the 1960’s were all about fighting discrimination… and assassinating pretty much every political leader who fought against discrimination.
The Big Stuff: The Viet-Yam War is underway and everyone is debating the same issue: can yam-lovers and potato-lovers ever exist in harmony? Fear of potato infiltration led to everyone accusing everyone else and their dog of being a spy. (I don’t know, Fido’s looking at me pretty funny… I guess we should keep our eyes peeled).
Cultural Highlights: For the first time in history, people started to prefer listening to music over fighting one another to the death. They even dedicated 3 whole days to this revelation. Groovy!
Fun fact: The Beatles, contrary to popular belief, are not actual beetles. That’s just propaganda.
Explanation: “F” stands for “Far out, man.”
The 1970s by Ruby Champagne
Overview: Basically the 1960s, but with a lot more equality protesting, better fashion, music, movies, hair, and the iconic flower child stereotype.
Explanation: The 70s were pretty great, but not everything is perfect.
The 1980s by Karletta Higgins
Overview: A good time to be a hairspray company. An actor becomes president of the United States, Argentina and Britain fight for a country the size of a M & M and our parents learned how to use computers.
The Big Stuff: We all became walking mutations due to the 1986 power plant accident in Chernobyl. A Beatle was shot, a wall came down, and what do you know, Iraq and Iran are still in a war!
Cultural Highlights: MTV is launched, music is big, hair is also pretty big, Madonna is a fashion icon and she did it as a material girl. What else can I say, people in the 80s had a need, a need for speed.
Explanation: I don’t know why but the 80s deserves an A, I mean who wouldn’t want to be alive during the time of Pac man?!
The 1990s by Dima Stepanovich
Overview: Back in my homeland of mother Russia, the Soviet Union fell. Another win for capitalism and, of course, increased mindless consumerism- I mean economic prosperity! This era ushered in a brand new bright big beautiful world of shopping malls and the internet!
The Big Stuff: Many would be inclined to say the invention of the internet was the biggest thing to happen in the ‘90s, but it didn’t quite reach its prominence until the 20000s and onwards, so as an expert scholar of all things pop culture and cool and popular and awesome and pretty and funny and sweet and cool (as I am all of these things), the biggest thing to happen in the ‘90s was, of course, the furby.
Cultural Highlights: The OJ Simpson trial, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and Princess Diana’s tragic death. This was a great decade for women!
Grade: A+!!!!!!!!!! This decade was one of the absolute best for ignoring all our problems and distracting ourselves with teeny bopper movies and bands (for those wishing to show you’re different than the rest of these conformist robots, there’s grunge) and end-of-the-world theories of Y2K, instead of the real end of the world stuff like economic collapse and global warming.
The 2000s by Katrina Aimée Naimes
Overview: The world didn’t end! There will definitely be a lot of parties and reunions. Party City will probably end up monopolizing the business industry!
The Big Stuff: Hurricane Katrina hits but is renamed Hurricane Tortilla thanks to vines!
Cultural Highlights: Phenomenal music was released along with a book series called, Harry Otter, about a small town otter discovering a whole new world filled with magic and becoming the best witch an otter can be.
Explanation: I felt like an A or A+ is too braggy and stuck up. I wanted to let the A- take the spotlight this time.
The 2010s by Agatha Smoot
Overview: The most recent and, thus, the most important decade.
The Big Stuff: Harambe was mourned. The Rainbow Loom trend was born, then immediately died. Central New York high school Jamesville-DeWitt was declared “Best High School in the World” for 10 consecutive years. Nothing particularly important happened politically.
Cultural Highlights: From Justin Bieber’s “Baby” all the way to Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” the music culture hit all-time highs during this decade. Meanwhile, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok and the hit movie “Screenagers” all took youth pop culture by storm.
Fun Fact: Grumpy Cat’s real name is Tardar Sauce. Though you undoubtedly already knew this, it’s good to review important knowledge.
Explanation: Passing, but just barely.
Well, there you have it, Yamfans. Join us in 2031 when we do this all again!