Langley Centennial Museum’s latest exhibition, “Roaring! Langley in the 1920s” can currently be visited virtually (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley Centennial Museum’s latest exhibition, “Roaring! Langley in the 1920s” can currently be visited virtually (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Travel back to the ‘Roaring Twenties” in Langley

Museum opens virtual exhibit

“The Roaring Twenties” is a term that conjures up prohibition rumrunners, flappers, gangsters, and gun molls. But how accurate is this depiction? What would life really have been like for Langley’s residents during this iconic era? The Langley Centennial Museum’s latest exhibition, Roaring! Langley in the 1920s, which can currently be visited virtually, aims to answer these questions.

In 1920, the world was reeling from years of unrest. The First World War had ended in November 1918. There had been several strikes, violent uprisings, revolts, and revolutions around the globe, both during the war and in the years following it. On top of this turmoil was a worldwide pandemic of the H1N1 Influenza virus, dubbed the “Spanish Flu,” which began in 1918 with waves continuing into 1919 and 1920, killing almost twenty million people.

READ ALSO: Volunteer Transcription Opportunities Bring Langley’s History Alive

Despite all of this, the new decade might have seemed like a fresh start to many. While losses of the recent past were still close to countless hearts, many set their sights on a new future, looking ahead to peace, prosperity, and the pleasures that came with modern living. Influences from our southern neighbour, including the Jazz Age, the rise of Hollywood, and even American Prohibition, have influenced how we think about this era today, and would have indeed had an impact on Langley residents then, in varying degrees.

Historians have written accounts of the decade, and the museum’s collections include artifacts, archival materials, photographs, and oral histories that bring the years to life. Roaring! Langley in the 1920s examines and interprets those items to provide insight into what Langley life would have been like a century ago.

READ ALSO: Flaps up and prepare for lift off: Langley museum ready to take flight again

While the exhibit shines a light on the rise of convenience items, buying on credit, flappers, and the beginning of Hollywood’s influence, it also shows the importance of our local community halls and schools, our early midwives, nurses, and doctors, and spotlights the Langley Prairie fire of 1928. The exhibit also highlights the ways in which the decade did not “roar” for everyone: residential school attendance became compulsory for Indigenous children, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed, the Ku Klux Klan set up in Vancouver, and the local White Canada Association and farmers’ institutes, like others around the Fraser Valley, pushed for the exclusion of Asian people from land ownership.

While the museum remains closed, Roaring! Langley in the 1920s can be visited virtually at museum.tol.ca.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirushistoryLangleyMuseum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Langley Centennial Museum’s latest exhibition, “Roaring! Langley in the 1920s” can currently be visited virtually (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley Centennial Museum’s latest exhibition, “Roaring! Langley in the 1920s” can currently be visited virtually (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

A case of COVID-19 at Langley Lodge was declared over on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 (Langley Advance Times file)
COVID-19 case over at Langley Lodge

No new cases have been discovered

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

NDP leader John Horgan, with Langley riding candidate Andrew Mercier, announcing a funding pledge to complete the SkyTrain line, in Douglas Park on Thursday, Oct. 8. Today (Oct. 21) Horgan will be returning to Langley to talk about health care and the province’s response to the pandemic. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan returns to Langley Wednesday to talk health care and pandemic response

BC NDP leader will be joined by local candidates at a residence

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in flag fight cost Langley City $62,000

Report describes process as “lengthy and involved”

This map illustrates the number of COVID-19 test positive cases in B.C. communities from January 1 to Sept. 30, 2020. (BC CDC map)
MAP: COVID-19 positive tests rise 28% from August to September in Langley

As of Sept. 30, the number of reported cases increased to 290 from 219 in August, BC CDC reports

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Most Read