What Bad Happened in 1920 in World History?

In the year 1920, the world witnessed several events that left a significant impact on history. Some of these events were positive, while others brought sorrow and destruction. Here are some of the most notable occurrences that took place in 1920.

The Spanish Flu Pandemic

One of the biggest tragedies that occurred in 1920 was the continuation of the deadly Spanish Flu pandemic. The flu had first appeared in 1918 and had already claimed millions of lives worldwide. In 1920, it continued to ravage populations across the globe, taking even more lives.

The Spanish Flu pandemic was one of the deadliest outbreaks in modern history. It is estimated that it infected around one-third of the world’s population and caused anywhere between 50 to 100 million deaths.

The Treaty of Versailles

Another significant event that happened in 1920 was the signing of The Treaty of Versailles. This treaty officially ended World War I and imposed harsh penalties on Germany for its role in starting the war.

While some saw this treaty as a necessary step towards peace, others believed that it was too punitive towards Germany and would lead to future conflicts.

The Amritsar Massacre

In April 1919, British troops opened fire on unarmed Indian civilians who were peacefully protesting against British rule. This tragic event became known as the Amritsar Massacre.

In 1920, an official investigation into the massacre found that nearly 400 people had been killed and over a thousand injured. The incident fueled anti-British sentiment among Indians and became a turning point in India’s fight for independence.

The Black Wall Street Massacre

On May 31st, a white mob attacked the prosperous African-American neighborhood known as Black Wall Street located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Over two days, they burned down businesses and homes, killing an estimated 300 people.

This tragedy was one of the worst instances of racial violence in American history, and it had a profound impact on the African-American community.


In 1920, the United States enacted the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which banned the sale, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. This period became known as Prohibition.

While supporters of Prohibition hoped it would reduce crime and improve public health, it instead led to an increase in organized crime and corruption.


The year 1920 was a significant year in world history. While some events were positive, such as the end of World War I, others brought sorrow and destruction.

The Spanish Flu pandemic continued to claim lives worldwide; The Treaty of Versailles marked a turning point in international relations; The Amritsar Massacre fueled anti-British sentiment in India; The Black Wall Street Massacre was one of the worst instances of racial violence in American history; and Prohibition led to unintended consequences. These events serve as a reminder that history is complex and that every action has consequences.