Volume 30 Issue 10 — August 1931
Boston back on track after
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.
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
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).