The 1910s were years of great change, not only in America but around the world. World War I raged in Europe for four long years but never seemed to get anywhere until the United States entered the conflict in 1917. The Progressive movement, which had emerged from the economic difficulties of the 1890s gained strength, giving third party presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt a second place finish in the Election of 1912 and setting the stage for eight years of Woodrow Wilson.
The teen years were punctuated by tragedies such as the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist fire in 1911. Support for temperance as well as womens sufferage increased steadily, leading to ratification of the 18th and 19th amendments to the Constitution.
With the adoption of strict child labor laws, young people spent more time in school and in leisure activities, playing with new toys such as Erector sets, Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. America fell in love with the movies, flocking in droves to hits like The Floorwalker, A Tale of Two Cities and the controversial Birth of a Nation. With a reduction in average working hours, we had more time to read popular books such as The Secret Garden and Of Human Bondage. And while taking road trips in their Model Ts, families could record their adventures with the new compact, foldable Kodak cameras.