Prohibition and Organized Crime
Prohibition was the period in United States history in which the manufacture, sale, and transportation of
Hi, I am Mike Jordan and I am here for About.com. Today I am going to talk about Prohibition and organized crime.Prohibition was the period in United States history in which the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors was outlawed. However, since many citizens still wanted to drink, the law remained largely unpopular. This meant that not only was there a demand for alcohol, there was an opportunity for large profits for those who could supply it. It didn't take long for criminals to turn into businessmen, supplying the public with alcohol for a nominal fee. Businesslike crime empires arose throughout the country and organized crime became big business as rival gangs fought one another for control of the illegal booze traffic and other criminal enterprises.Two of the most famous crime bosses of the Prohibition era were Arnold "The Brain" Rothstein in New York and Alphonse "Scarface" Capone in Chicago. Although gangster crime rose all over the country during Prohibition, Chicago was by far the hot bed of gangland warfare. Hundreds died in the gang wars of Chicago alone and the violence reached a dramatic peak on February 14, 1929. On that day, seven members of the "Bugs" Moran gang were machine-gunned down in a garage in the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Like most gang murders, the Massacre went unsolved, though Capone was the suspected instigator.When Prohibition was repealed on December 5, 1933, alcohol was once again legal. Bootlegging gangsters, no longer able to make hefty profits from selling alcohol, redirected their organizations to control other criminal activities, such as gambling, narcotics, and business and labor racketeering. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.