The Prohibition Era: Come see us!
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The Prohibition Era
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone, born January 17, 1899, was an American crime boss who lived in the Prohibition Era. He was born in Brooklyn, and then became involved with gang activity after being expelled from school at age 14. He then moved to Chicago in the early twenties to take advantage of the Prohibition law and smuggle illegal drinks into the city in exchange for money. He also engaged in other criminal activities, such as prostitution and bribery to government officials. But, despite his criminal activities, he did donate some of his earnings to charity, making him look like "a modern day Robin Hood", and earn the trust and protection of the people that way. Unfortunately, (kind of) his reputation went down after the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, in which he ordered to kill seven mob ASSOCIATES (aka having little to no relation with the gang) who were tied to the North Side Irish gang, led by Bugs Moran. This lead to many people hating him, so much that the Bureau of Prohibition saw this as a chance to try to capture him with the approval of the people, making them more popular. They figured out that the most likely way to suceed in his case would be to charge him for tax evasion. They succeded, charging him for 11 years of prison for that. Meanwhile he was in jail, Prohibition was lifted, so his gang was then disbanded because they couldn't profit that much anymore. When he left Alcatraz, he had lost his popularity, and, because of contracting neurosyphillis, he then had the mental capacity of a 12-year old.
Mayer Harris Cohen
from Letychiv, Podolia Governorate of the Russian Empire, in modern
Ukraine. As a teenager Siegel worked with Meyer Lansky doing illegal car robbery, and forming a car robbery ring. He later became a hitman for various crime families. He then met Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello, who would later be future bosses of the Genovese crime family. He became a member of the family and did various bootlegging work in New York, New Jersey, and Philadephia. He was one of the four gunmen sent to kill Joe Massaria by Luciano's request, ending the Castellammarese War. In 1937 the East Coast Mob sent Siegel to California to develop syndicate gambling rackets with Los Angeles mobster Jack Dragna. On November 22, 1939, Siegel, Whitey Krakower, and two other gang members killed Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg. Greenberg had become a police informant. Siegel was acquitted of the crime, but his reputation was in ruins. During the trial, newspapers revealed Siegel's past and referred to him as "Bugsy”, a name that he despised. In 1946, Bugsy Siegel was given the job of watching the mobs interests in the growing gambling paradise of Las Vegas, specifically overseeing the construction of William R. Wilkerson's Flamingo. Siegel wanted the Flamingo to be the best casino ever made in Las Vegas. He used a lot of the mob's money to fund the project. Over $6 Million dollars was invested on the project, and soon the mob leaders got tired of funding him. Somehow, he still got enough funding, and people began to suspect him from stealing money. The Flamingo turned out to be a really profitable build, but before he could repay his stolen money, he got killed by an unknown assailant, most likely someone sent by his fellow mobsters.
Really Long Documentary on Prohibition
Want More? Go Check:
Al Capone. Digital image. Biography.com. The Biography Channel, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013. <http://www.biography.com/people/al-capone-9237536>
Mickey Cohen Image:
Mickey Cohen. Digital image. Vintag. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://www.vintag.es/2013/01/portraits-of-mickey-cohen-legendary-los.html>.
Lucky Luciano Image:
New York Police Department. Lucky Luciano. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 1936. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LuckyLucianoSmaller.jpeg>.
Bugsy Siegel Image:
Bugsy Siegel. Digital image. Fineart America. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <http://fineartamerica.com/featured/benny-bugsy-siegel-1906-1947-everett.html>.
Citation Image Citation:
Why Cite? Digital image. Library Guide. University of Toronto, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <http://guides.library.utoronto.ca/citing>.