The 1920's were indeed an era of great prosperity and great controversy. Most historians refer to this era as the Roaring 20's because of this great amount of change and prosperity in the United States.
Controversy occurred with the prohibition of Alcohol which began on January 16th 1919, with the introduction of the eighteenth amendment. This led to a huge spike in criminal activity in many urban areas.(Below: Police overlook while shopkeepers dump their stocks of Alcohol)
In 1925 a Kansas school teacher named John T. Scopes stirred up controversy and was put to trial in what would become known as the Scopes Monkey Trial and convicted of violating a school district principle of not teaching evolution in schools. He was eventually acquitted but still endured harsh criticism which would lead to the ever-growing divide between the devout religious and the scientific community.
(Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan discuss the Scopes Trial)
Despite much of the controversy a new wave was beginning to sprout amongst women with the ratification of the nineteenth amendment which, after over a century of struggles from women suffragists finally gave all U.S. Citizens Universal Suffrage without a bar on sex.
With this new found freedom women began experimenting during the 1920's. A boom in contraception led to sex becoming much more mainstream and the flapper became a mainstay of American Society during the 20's. No flapper was more noted than Clara Bow who became an American sex symbol during this time. She exemplified the textbook flapper with a cigarette in one hand, alcohol in the other, short hair, and an even shorter dress.
(Below: 20's Actress and Flapper Clara Bow)