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ROARING

Volume 30 Issue 10 — August 1931


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Boston back on

Despite

track

Prohibition

after strike

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woes,

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Hoover hopeful for future

“not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration” - Warren G. Harding

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“Return to Baseball normalcy”: in hope or America hype?

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Capone captured! Chicagoans hope for falling crime rates

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Boston back on track after Imagine sleeping in a small, filthy room filled with crawling bugs and smelling rodents more than once a week. Also imagine getting paid an average of 29 cents per hour to do this and other dangerous field work in Boston for a living. These are the conditions the Boston Police Department underwent for many years until now. On September 9, over 1,100 members of the oldest police department in the country went on strike, demanding better wages and working conditions, and due to the fact that the Police Commissioner Edwin U. Curtis prohibited the officers from forming a police union among themselves. About the strike, Curtis said, “The fact that the officers would strike over such a minor cause is absolutely ridiculous to even think about. We need to be worried about keeping the streets of Boston safe, not unionizing for our own gain and jeopardizing law and order. It is just unnecessary.” But in response, an angered police officer involved in the strike stated, “The strike is not just about the unionizing us as police officers, but rather bringing to light the unfair realities of our jobs. We wanted our voices to be heard – unfortunately it came down to this to get the message across.” And as soon as the 75% of the department went on strike, things went immediately downhill in the organization of the city. It took nearly no time at all for gangs, thieves, vandals, and every other lawbreaking citizen to take advantage of the situation. For two nights, this public display of chaos rampaged through the town, pressurizing leaders into intervening with a solution. But as both of these were carried out, more problems for BPD quickly arose. The first, more superficial plan to stop the violence was that of Mayor of Boston Andrew J. Peters. He called on units of local militia to step in for the majority of the police department. While this held off riots, it did not satisfy Boston’s problem of a missing

75% of their day-to-day policemen that had been going on for years longer than in any other city. Governor of Massachusetts Calvin Coolidge then stepped in to solve the city’s problem permanently, (he hoped). However, the police department was still crying out for help and answers. Coolidge then hired new officers to replace the old, to break the strike and regain control of Boston. He also denied the officers on strike their jobs back. Many of these new officers hired were World War I veterans returning home from war. This angered striking police officers, calling it “unfair and frustrating,” especially after learning the new officers had gained what the former ones had originally wished for – higher pay, additional holidays, and city-granted, free uniforms. As for Governor Coolidge, he is now gaining national attention for his “heroic” deeds (for the people), jumping into action after Boston fell into a state of pandemonium. The frayed public appreciated Coolidge’s doings in that last week after fearing their safety during the strike.


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HOPE OR

HYPE? November 11, 1920 After a two year involvement in the first fellow citizenship.” World War, the dust hasn’t immediately settled in This gave Americans hope and reassurance in hearing America just yet. With struggles over the fear of a Harding’s breakout plan. In his speech, he also said, Communist attack, peace treaty settlements, and the “America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not noscountry’s entrance into the League of Nations, one trums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not thing the American people would quickly and easily agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity.” This feed off of is a “return gave the country a simplified answer on how to get to normalcy.” back to their hoped-for status. As all the big With a plan like this plus his paralleled views and familiar names (with America) on American intervention of other began to disappear countries, it came as no surprise from the political that Harding has won the presidential election by a spotlight, the election very comfortable margin. of 1920 would soon Even though Cox’s efforts toward the camfall into the hands of paign were noticeably higher, and Harding held more the Democratic and of a front porch campaign, Harding’s method came Republican parties. through as Cox’s views were often opposed by Warren G. Harding Into the picture then Americans. About his win, Harding said, “I’m very came Democratic grateful for America’s support and my goal is to bring nominee Governor our country back to its pre-war status of normalcy.” James M. Cox while the Republican nominee was Though hopes seem high for the President-elect to Ohio newspaper editor and U.S. Senator Warren G. bring America to a stable and comfortable status of Harding. As their running mates, Harding had Calvin “normalcy,” some Americans have their doubts he will be able Coolidge while Cox had Franklin D. Roosevelt. to get the job done. On this thought, Introduced as an official presidential candidate Vice President Calvin Coolidge said, “There in June 1920, Harding would have just six months is often doubt in any situation, but we are along his campaign trail to win the vote of the Amerihoping our administration is strong can people over Cox. During the campaign, he beenough (and we think it came known for his slogan, “return to normalcy,” his is) to fulfill our promises rejection of the views of Woodrow Wilson and made to the citizens of Teddy Roosevelt with his “America First” attitude, the United States of and his opposition of American international interAmerica.” vention. As of March After putting himself in consideration for 4, 1921, Harding the running in 1919, he made an address that would will begin his much turn out to be his most famous and in which conanticipated presidecerned this “normalcy” idea. In the speech, Harding ncy while attempting to said, “War wasted hundreds of billions, and depleted snap America back into its world store houses, and cultivated new demands, and framework of pre-war normit hardened selfishness and gave intervention of other countries, awakening touch to elemental greed. Hualcy. As for the rest of us, we’ll manity needs renewed consecrations to what we call be sure to hold our breath.

“not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration” -

Warren G. Harding


Despite Prohibition woes, Hoover hopeful for future

Though being unanticipated by the U.S. government at its beginning, the only thing the Prohibition has been proven useful for is heightening organized crime rates, igniting gang activity, and encouraging the use of bootlegging. Being ratified on January 20, 1919, and beginning its effect one year later, the 18th Amendment would prohibit “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes.” But this nation-wide Prohibition quickly turned from an enforced law in which police were given the right to prosecute violators to a small obstacle in which Americans knew their way around. Within months, thousands of speakeasies and other underground organizations were created, giving Americans easy access to these “intoxicating liquors.” Not only did this quench the thirst of the American people, it brought and continues to bring in extra money to rum-running boats off the coast of U.S. cities, gangsters, and small business owners running underground operations on the side. And Americans don’t have to rely on just these underground operations alone, either. Home brewing has become very popular, also, though some forms of this practice remains legal. Stumbling into its fourth Presidency term, the Prohibition’s enforcements have not changed, giving current President Herbert Hoover a shot at the challenge . And just this week, a new light has been shined on it as President Hoover, adamant supporter of the Prohibition, has officially turned over the enforcement of the Pro-

hibition from the Treasury Department to the Department of Justice. From the start of his term in office, President Hoover had looked for an Attorney General that would meet three specific requirements: that he “would be a great lawyer, a Protestant, and a Dry in whom Drys had confidence.” Thus, he found William DeWitt Mitchell. “My goal is to enforce [the Prohibition] to its maximum caliber,” said Mitchell, now in preparation of becoming the said Prohibition’s Enforcer-in-Chief. “I have much confidence in myself and in our department. About his decision to switch the enforcement responsibility to the Department of Justice, President Hoover stated, “I believe that under the proper organization of one leader, the Prohibition will now be properly handled and far more closely investigated, enabling for the prosecution of more violators.” President Hoover also expects his Administration to fully implement the law as well. This week, 2,700 Dry agents are set to move into the Department of Justice building ready for the challenge. Though this new plan seems to make sense and gives hope to Dry supporters, citizens of New York and Baltimore wonder how it will work in their wringing Wet towns, where underground establishments have been going on for years. “Though we will hopefully create a lasting enforcement on Wet cities, the minor violations will be left to the cities’ own implementations. For now, we are focusing on the bigger illegal actions happening throughout the country,” said Mitchell.

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In the days of the 20th century prior to 1920, baseball was not very popular among Americans. The game was not played how it was expected, having low batting averages, and scandals rock the league. In 1919, the Chicago White Sox brought a scandal to the game after eight players were being accused of throwing the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. This is the most famous scandal in baseball history, ending an era of “Dead ball.” However, in the 1920s, the second age of American baseball came around: the second golden age. The man that greatly helped this come about was George “Babe” Ruth. He was the most famous player of the 1920s and possibly all of history. With the league cleaned up from its former reputation, baseball was back on top as an American trademark.


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Capone captured! In the recent years, Chicago has earned its reputation as a lawless city thanks to heightened overall illegal activity headed by one man: Al “Scarface” Capone. Though today, those days of the Chicago city streets ran by “Public Enemy Number One” are over as Capone was indicted on 23 counts of income tax evasion. Found guilty on five of those 23 counts, the gangster has been sentenced to ten years in a federal prison and charged fines amounting to over 50,000 dollars, with an additional year being sent to a county prison for a contempt-ofcourt charge. Being out of the police’s reach for so long, many Chicago natives are relieved after years of terrorism haunting their town. One anonymous resident said about Capone’s capture, “It’s good to know the police are finally doing their job. The city deserves a better reputation than the gangsters have let it retain. Hopefully the crime goes downhill from here.” And though Capone is finally under police control, he certainly did not go out

Chicago CRIME STATS Of

THE

1920s

without a bang. His long streak of crimes ranging from illegal gambling to murder has and will continue to make him nearly unforgettable in the roaring decade of the 1920s. Upon his arrest, Capone had no official comments. Capone arrived in Chicago in 1919 from New York after sending an enemy gang member to the hospital. Leaving town seemed like the best option while waiting for the situation in cool down. His boss in New York, Frankie Yale, set him up to work with John Torrio, with whom he helped manage a bootlegging business. Though after Torrio left Chicago, Capone assumed the lead role as boss of the underground world. By 1925, Capone had essentially run all of Chicago single-handedly, including establishments like The Four Deuces, a bootlegging and gambling house, and brothel all in one. Strolling around in his bullet-proof Cadillac, the way he kept on top of Chicago was taking out prime competition. He did this by either killing the victim himself, or he would send out multiple gunmen to take

10,000 speakeasies were in full operation in the city.

care of the job for him, of which he was often successful. These were done through a series of gang wars; Capone had plenty of rivalry in Chicago among other gangsters. One of the most known and remembered slaughter of Capone’s was the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. On this day, Capone had gunmen dress like policemen while they killed seven members of the Bugs Moran gang, a rival of Capone’s. Shortly after this event is when Capone’s decline began. “With the law quickly gaining ground to him and his operations each day, it was only a matter of time until his luck streak would end,” claimed a police officer who was involved in his arrest. About the verdict reached and the sentence of Capone, Federal Judge James Wilkerson said, “We knew he was guilty of all the other crimes as well, but it was a matter of gathering the evidence which just wasn’t there. Now that we have the proof, hopefully Capone will be off the streets for good.”

It is estimated that Al Capone accumulated over $60 million from illegal alcohol alone. It is estimated that Al Capone accumulated over $60 million from illegal alcohol alone. Other incomes included gambling ($25 million), vice ($10 million), and other rackets ($10 million).


Works Cited 1. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/allen/ch10.html


Sources:

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