On the 5th of December 1933, the National & Constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the U.S comes to an end. Originally brought into law in 1920 and after 13 years the law was finally repealed. The Volstead Act or The National Prohibition Act was passed in 1919 and ratified as the Eighteenth Amendment in 1920

The Prohibition Era as it was known gave rise to some of the biggest names in Criminal history, names such as Al Capone, “Lucky” Luciano, Dutch Schultz and of course some of the biggest Irish gangsters of the Era Jack “Legs” Diamond, Danny Walsh of Boston, Owney “The Killer” Madden and even the father of a future U.S President, Joseph Kennedy, found fame and fortune during this time.

The Prohibition Era gave way to some significant events in Mob History, there was the famous Beer Wars of the 1920’s, the St. Valentines Day Massacre in Chicago where seven men were killed courtesy of Al Capone.

Mobsters would import beer and liquor, use boats called Rum Runners to import cheap alcohol from Canada and sell it at huge profits.

Speakeasies popped up everywhere, underground drinking clubs where the drink flowed and the music played. Actors, judges, politicians and others from high society would rub shoulders with the famous mobsters. Some of the famous clubs at the time were the Cotton Club & Club Intime @ The Harding Hotel who were run by Owney “The Killer” Madden, the Duke of the Westside.

This Era gave rise to the famous Mob Molls, Lottie Kreiserberger Coll, Texas Guinan, Kiki Roberts and Alice Diamond to name a few. There would be the famous dance troupes and shows.

There would also be some famous law enforcement at the time too, The Untouchables lead by Elliot Ness who’s task was to takedown Al Capone. Ness and his group would be immortalized in TV series and movies, indeed many of the mobsters of that period would become immortalized through Hollywood and TV.

It would also be a time where assassinations of high profile mobsters took place, Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll, Frank Wallace of Boston, Jack “Legs” Diamond, Dean O Bannion of Chicago, Joe “The Boss” Masseria, Salvatore Maranzano the last two big the big crime lords of the time.

If you have seen the TV show Boardwalk Empire some of these names will be familiar.

Owen Forsyth

Web Designer, Teacher, Artist, Writer, 3D & Visual Effects, DJ

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