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Roaring Twenties: Organized Crime

Did You Know . . .

  • Prohibitionists initially saw success in curbing alcohol use, but the 18th Amendment ravaged the brewing industry, causing many people to lose jobs.
  • But the demand for liquor grew. This demand provided the perfect conditions for unscrupulous people to seek enormous financial gain.
  • Like a domino effect, thousands of speakeasies attracted not just black musicians but also bootleggers, illegal alcohol trafficking, and gamblers.
  • Speakeasies provided the ideal gangster venue.

Subscription Databases-1920's

J. Edgar Hoover - G-Men - FBI

John Edgar Hoover (1895-1972), American criminologist and government official.
J Edgar Hoover. HORIZONTAL. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 1 Jan 2012.

Appointed FBI Director in 1924, J. Edgar Hoover used his new position to
  • rid the agency of corrupt agents;
  • seek qualified men for replacements;
  • create detailed information files on people;
  • have his G-Men capture or kill notorious gangsters predominately during the Great Depression.

Eliot Ness - 'Untouchables'

Prohibition Agent ID Card
Prohibition Agent ID Card Of Eliot Ness . Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 1 Jan 2012.
Eliot Ness was a prohibition agent who was the leader of the special force known as The Untouchables.
  • His task:  He had to make sure the American people did not manufacture, buy, or consume alcohol.
  • His claim to fame: His Untouchables killed or captured notorious Chicago gangsters including Al Capone.
  • His affliation: He was assigned to the U.S. Treasury Department in 1927. He was NOT a member of the FBI.

Notorious American Gangster - 'Scarface' Al Capone

Alphonse Gabriel Capone, a.k.a. Al, American gangster and crime leader in Chicago, 1930.
Al Capone/Gangster/Photo/1930. Photograph. Encyclopedia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.