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Gangsters and Bootleggers Roaring 20s!! Read The entire Slide for each one. Do NOT just look for the information.

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Presentation on theme: "Gangsters and Bootleggers Roaring 20s!! Read The entire Slide for each one. Do NOT just look for the information."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gangsters and Bootleggers Roaring 20s!! Read The entire Slide for each one. Do NOT just look for the information.

2 Speakeasies A speakeasy was an establishment that was generally used for selling and drinking alcoholic beverages during the period of U.S. History known as Prohibition (1920-1933, longer in some states), when the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol was illegal. The term comes from a patron's manner of ordering alcohol without raising suspicion — a bartender would tell a patron to be quiet and "speak easy". Speakeasies became more popular and numerous as the Prohibition years progressed, and also became more commonly operated by those connected to organized crime. Although police and U.S. government agents would raid such establishments and arrest the owners and patrons, the business of running speakeasies was so lucrative that such establishments continued to flourish throughout the nation. In major cities, speakeasies were often elaborate, offering food, live bands, floor shows, and strip joints. The police corruption at this time was notoriously rampant; speakeasy operators commonly bribed police to either leave them alone or at least give them advance notice of any planned raids. In the United States, there are still 37 standing speakeasies from the 1920s. There are 23 in New York City, New York, 13 in Pennsylvania, and one single hush hush bar in the western portion of D.C.

3 Bootlegging in the 1920's During the time period of 1920 to 1933, the government of the United States of America made the distribution of alcoholic beverages illegal in USA. The reasons for this was to decrease crime rates in the USA. Instead, of their dream of a crime free society, the American Government got more than they could handle. This prohibition of liquor, created the business of bootlegging. Many gangs were formed, along with gangster rivalry and mobs grew very popular. Bootlegging by definition is the illegal distribution or production of liquor. This came in affect after the prohibition of liquor. People began to smuggle alcohol into the USA from across seas or from their northern neighbor, Canada. Soon enough people discovered their own way of producing alcohol. They made their own "liquor stills" and eventually started "bootlegging"; they supplied illegal alcohol to anyone who had the money to pay for it. By the 1930's these activities had become one of the largest illegal industries in America.Bootlegging

4 Prohibition and Gangsters Prohibition and the gangsters are an integral part of America’s history in the 1920s. America experienced the Jazz Age and the young who formed the basis of this period's fame wanted alcohol. The 18th Amendment had banned the sale, transportation and manufacture of alcohol in America. But it was clear to some, that millions neither wanted this law nor would respect it. There was obviously a huge market for what in the 1920's was an illegal commodity. It was the gangsters who dominated various cities who provided this commodity. Each major city had its gangster element but the most famous was Chicago with Al Capone.Al Capone Capone was "Public Enemy Number 1". He had moved to Chicago in 1920 where he worked for Johnny Torrio the city's leading figure in the underworld. Capone was given the task of intimidating Torrio's rivals within the city so that they would give up and hand over to Torrio their territory. Capone also had to convince speakeasy operators to buy illegal alcohol from Torrio. Capone was very good at what he did. in 1925, Torrio was nearly killed by a rival gang and he decided to get out of the criminal world while he was still alive. Torrio handed over to Capone his 'business'.

5 Within 2 years, Capone was earning $60 million a year from alcohol sales alone. Other rackets earned him an extra $45 million a year. Capone managed to bribe both the police and the important politicians of Chicago. He spent $75 million on such ventures but considered it a good investment of his huge fortune. His armed thugs patrolled election booths to ensure that Capone's politicians were returned to office. The city's mayor after 1927 was Big Bill Thompson - one of Capone's men. Thompson said "We'll not only reopen places these people have closed, but we'll open 10,000 new ones (speakeasies). For all his power, Capone still had enemies from other surviving gangs in the city. He drove everywhere in an armor plated limousine and wherever he went, so did his armed bodyguards. Violence was a daily occurrence in Chicago. 227 gangsters were killed in the space of 4 years and on St Valentine's Day, 1929, 7 members of the O'Banion gang were shot dead by gangsters dressed as police officers. “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre”“Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre” In 1931, the law finally caught up with Capone and he was charged with tax evasion. He got 11 years in jail. In prison, his health went and when he was released, he retired to his Florida mansion no longer the feared man he was from 1925 to 1931.

6 “The Real McCoy” Rum Runner William S. McCoy "The real McCoy" is an idiom usedidiom throughout much of the English-speaking world to mean "the real thing" or "the genuine article" e.g., "he's the real McCoy".

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