Every Year of the Twentieth Century, Lampooned by the Onion
October 25, 2012 4:32 PM Subscribe
The Onion's great for a witty skewering of current events. But its historical editions, as collected in the book Our Dumb Century, are a gem all their own, full of razor-sharp satire, trenchant social commentary, period-accurate advertisements, running gags, historical irony, photoshoppery, and even some editorial cartoons for every year of the twentieth century. Luckily for history (and humor) buffs, nearly the whole run of the series is available piecemeal on their website. Click inside for an organized timeline of links to all the front pages from this brilliant work (plus a bonus!).
1900-1929: A NATION TURNS ITS CRANK
1900-1929: A NATION TURNS ITS CRANK
1900: A NEW CENTURY DAWNS!1929-1946: DUST, DESPAIR, AND DEATH... THOSE WERE THE DAYSMcKinley Ushers in New 'Coal Age'1901: MCKINLEY ATTACKED BY WILD BOAR!
1902: CONGRESS REDUCES WORK-WEEK TO 135 HOURSCaptains of Industry Scarlet with Rage1903: ZULUS ATTACK LONDON!King Held at Spearpoint1903: SCIENCE CONQUERS SKY WITH WRIGHT BROS. FLYING MACHINEHeaven Expedition Slated for Next Year1904: SKELETON OF SATAN DISCOVERED!
1905: THE MACHINE:Will It Replace the China-Man?1906: EARTH-QUAKE MARKS LEAST GAY DAY IN SAN FRANCISCO HISTORYGarment District Still Flaming1907: PURE FOOD AND DRUG ACT WILL LIMIT HUMAN-THUMB LEVELS PERMITTED IN MEATS
1910: UNITED STATES LEADS WORLD IN INDUSTRYThaks, Orphans!' Grateful Americans Say1912: WORLD'S LARGEST METAPHOR HITS ICE-BERGDid Jazz Sink the Great Ship?1913: ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND OF AUSTRIA BOASTS:No Man Can Stop Me'1914: WAR DECLARED BY ALLOttoman Empire Almost Declares War on Itself1914: BRITISH CROQUET MALLETS PROVE USELESS AT FRONT
1915: 600,000 KILLED IN 4-INCH ADVANCE ON FRONTHeroic Soldiers Pay Ultimate Price to Make Patch of Mud Safe for Democracy1916: BRITISH NAVY CONDEMNS GERMAN U-BOATS AS 'NOT VERY SPORTING'
1918: CORPSE-EATING RATS NOW LARGEST MILITARY FORCE IN EUROPE
1919: GANGSTERS PASS 18TH AMENDMENT
1919: PRESIDENT WILSON CALLS FOR CREATION OF USELESS WORLD GOVERNING BODYEuropean Cartographers Commit Mass Suicide1920: WOMEN GET VOTE, REST ROOMS
1920: FIXED WORLD SERIES HERALDS FIRST-EVER MOMENT OF EXCITEMENT IN BASEBALL
1922: INDIA'S NATIONALIST LEADER PUMMELED SENSELESS BY PRACTITIONERS OF BRITISH 'VIOLENCE' MOVEMENT
1924: LENIN DEAD FROM MASSIVE 'STROKE OF THE PEOPLE'Glorious Lack of Oxygen Distributed Equally Through Brain1925: Scopes Monkey Trial Raises Troubling Question:IS SCIENCE BEING TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS?1926: Man Ventures Outside Hatless
1927: Lindbergh Signs Unprecedented $300 'Endorsement' Contract
1927: BILLIONAIRES BUY U.S. FROM MILLIONAIRESFuture of Nation in Yet Wealthier Hands1929: STOCK MARKET INVINCIBLEBuy, Buy, Buy!' Experts Advise
1931: Al Capone's Reign of Tax-Evading Terror Finally Brought to End1946-1963: THE SWELL YEARSBanks to Close Early Today; Will Reopen in 19361932: APPLE SOLDShiny Nickel Put into Circulation1932: Cute Little Mouse Crushed to Death by Petting
1933: New President Assures NationThe Only Thing We Have to Fear is a Crippling, Decade-Long Depression'1933: 18th Amendment RepealedCould Alcohol Cure Nation's Depression?1933: President Confronts Depression with 'Big Deal' PlanBig Deal, I'm Rich!' Roosevelt Says1935: Bumper Crop of '35: Dust
1936: FDR Rummages Through Parents' House to 'See if There's Anything in There America Could Use'
1937: Art Critics Impressed by Saturation Bombing of Guernica
1937: AWESOME!Nation Wowed by Tremendous Hindenburg Explosion1937: German Jews Concerned about Hitler's 'Kill All Jews' ProposalCharitable Oil Baron Donates $1 Billion to His Sons1938: Chamberlain Returns from Meeting with HitlerPromising 'London Laid Waste in Our Time'1939: Enormous Radio Tower Placed Atop EarthWhy Does Our Joyless President Never Dance?1939: WA-(headline continued on page 2)1942: Ladies, Negroes Momentarily UsefulJapanese Heritage Nets Local Boy Fun Camping Trip1943: Triumph of the Will' Sweeps 1943 Cannes Film FestivalPure Magic,' Says French Jury1943: Loose Lip Sinks Ship
1944: War Rationing Board Restricts Nylon Use to Armed Forces, J. Edgar Hoover Only
1945: FDR, STALIN, CHURCHILL MEET FOR MUTTON LUNCHEON, NAP
1945: Japanese Zeroes Held Off by Boy with Dick Tracy Decoder Ring
1945: Nagasaki Bombed 'Just for the Hell of it'
1946: Surgeon General Warns Against Smoking Any Brand of Cigarette Other than Chesterfields1963-1981: PEACE, LOVE, AND OTHER BULLSHITA Risk to Your 'T-Zone'1947: Tele-Vision' Promises Mass Enrichment of MankindNew Device to Provide High-Minded Alternative to Mindless Drivel Found on Radio1948: Antlike Conformity Now Affordable
1948: War-Weary Jews Establish Homeland Between Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt
1949: A-Bomb May Have Awakened Gigantic Radioactive Monsters, Experts Say
1949: GIANT POSTER OF MAO SEIZES POWER IN CHINABurma-Shave Copywriter Wins Pulitzer1951: I Hold in My Hand a List of 205 Liquor Stores'
1953: New Medical Report Finds Heavy Petting Linked to Communism
1953: Korean War Ends in Tearful 3-Hour Finale
1954: Caring Father Resolves Extremely Minor Domestic Conflict
1954: GUM IN OUR SCHOOLS!Officials Call for Tougher Gum-Control Laws1956: Ronald Reagan Bravely Turns In 78,432 Hollywood Leftists
1956: Supreme Court Upholds Mississippi Law Requiring Negro Voters to Be WhiteArea Beat Beaten1956: Supreme Court Rules U.S. Fathers Should Not Be Disturbed During Dinner Hour
1957: Nation's Housewives Agree
1959: Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Bora Bora, Samoa, Philippines, Japan Granted U.S. StatehoodSpread of Democracy Will Keep Newly Acquired Territories Safe from Foreign Imperialism1960: JOHN F. KENNEDY'S DAD DEFEATS NIXONMillionaire Ex-Bootlegger's Life Ambition Realized as Son Captures Presidency1961: Eisenhower Warns of Military-Industrial-Oedipal ComplexNation Increasingly Jealous of Relationship Between Pentagon, Big Business1962: Allen Funt Lets President In On Hilarious 'Cuban Missile Crisis' PrankJFK a Good Sport, Says Host of TV's 'Candid Camera'1963: SINATRA WARNS RUSSKIES TO KNOCK IT OFFCalls Soviet Premier a 'World-Class Knucklehead'1963: KENNEDY SLAIN BY CIA, MAFIA, CASTRO, LBJ, TEAMSTERS, FREEMASONSPresident Shot 129 Times from 43 Different Angles
1964: Malcol X: 'I Also Have a Dream'1981-2000: A NATION FINDS ITS REMOTE
1965: ONE MILLION TEEN-AGE GIRLS STRICKEN IN BEATLENEMIA EPIDEMICScreaming, Pulling Own Hair Chief Symptoms of Disease1967: UC-BERKELEY STUDENTS PROTEST NOT BEING TOLD ABOUT LATEST PROTEST BY FRIENDSIsraeli Soldiers' Sabbath Delayed 35 Minutes by War with Egypt1967: NATIONAL GUARD MOBILIZED FOR INTEGRATION OF NEGRO INTO SUPREME COURT
1968: JOHNSON DEPLOYS 20,000 BODY BAGS TO VIETNAM
1969: U.S. TROOPS PULL OUT OF VIETNAMESE PEASANT GIRLNixon Vetoes Federal Love and Happiness Act1969: HOLY SHITMAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON1969: SHARON TATE, FOUR OTHERS SLAIN IN GRISLY 'PARTRIDGE FAMILY' MURDERS
1972: Puke Orange, Pea Green, Mustard Yellow Adopted as New National Colors
1973: Teens Hold Hilltop Summit to Discuss Purchast of Planetary Soft Drink
1974: FEDS GUN DOWN NIXON OUTSIDE ARIZONA MOTEL6-Day, 10-State Executive Killing Spree Comes to End; Agnew Still at Large1975: U.S. LOSES VIETNAM WARFord Urges All Americans to Salute Our Vietcong Rulers1976: Nation Mourns as President Ford's Pet Rock Dies
1976: NATIONAL MOOD RING GREENWe Are Sensitive Right Now, Say Ring Experts1977: President Calls for Calm Following Nipple Sighting on Farah Fawcett Poster
1977: ELVIS DEADIs Elvis Alive?1978: Anthropomorphic Juice Pitcher Among Dead in Jonestown Cult Suicide
1979: Carter Offers Ayatollah 'Helpful Energy-Saving Tips' in Exchange for Hostages
1980: "Let's Talk Better Mileage" vs. "Kill the Bastards"Which Message Will Resonate with Voters?1981: Reagan May Have Been Elected, Doesn't RecallReagan Promises Less Bureaucratic Shadow Government
1981: Texas Instruments Continues Domination of Personal-Computing FieldBONUS: A full-length edition of the Onion from the year 2056.
1983: Nancy Reagan Ends Nation's Drug Problem with Very Special "Diff'rent Strokes" Appearance
1984: Congress Approves Orbiting Homeless Incinerator
1985: VICTORY!U.S. Wins Vietnam War at Last1986: Schoolteacher, Kitten, Three Dozen Orphans to Fly on Challenger TomorrowReturning Cola War Veterans Treated to Madison Avenue Ticker-Tape Parade1987: Judge Wapner Hears Oliver North TestimonyEmbattled Colonel Testifies Before "People's Court"1987: Reagan Proclaims 'Late Afternoon in America,' Takes Nap
1988: Surrogate Test-Tube Baboon-Hearted Baby Trapped in Well
1989: Bush Decries Exxon Valdez Spillage of 'Precious, Precious Oil'
1991: CNN Deploys Troops to Iraq
1991: Soviets Vote to Collapse; Threat of Nuclear War OverBombs Now Safely In Hands of Countless Tiny, Warring Factions1992: L.A. Rioters Demand Justice, Tape DecksDeath of 500,000 Somalis Momentarily Distracts Nation From Dream Team Excitement1993: Uneducated Forklift Driver To Address Nation On Rush Limbaugh Radio ShowComedians Struggling To Find Angle In Bobbitt Case1994: Republican Revolution of '94:Everything's Different Now1995: Al Gore Caught In Love Trust With Endangered Tree OwlNation's Whites Eagerly Await Windows 95 Launch1995: O.J. Finds KillerHead Deadhead Dead1996: Oprah Secedes From U.S., Forms Independent Nation of Cheesecake-Eating Housewives"Ugogirl is a nurturing, supportive republic with attitude and sass"1997: Federal Seat Of Power Moves To Mall Of AmericaCorruption At Highest Level of U.S. Government Bores American Public1997: 50 Percent of U.S. Population Now Immobile
1997: Clinton, Paula Jones Square Off On 'Jerry Springer'Seven Percent of World's Resources Still Unconsumed
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