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Illegal Activity in the 1920s
Transcript of Illegal Activity in the 1920s
Illegal Activity in the 1920s
Bootlegging, the World Cup Fixing, the Harding Administration, and the Teapot Dome Scandal
Prohibition was a nation-wide ban (In the United States) on the production, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. Federally, there was no restriction on possession or consumption, but some regions had stricter regulations.
Bootlegging is a term that refers to the illegal trafficking of alcohol in violation of restrictive laws. The term originated in the 1880s in reference to the practise of concealing liquour in ones boot-top while going to trade it with the Aboriginal peoples.
Fixing the World Series
In 1919, members of the Chicago White Sox conspired with gamblers to "throw" the world Series game.
The Harding Administration Scandals
The Teapot Dome Scandal
Warren G. Harding was the 29th President of the United States with a Majority Government from 1921-1923
His presidency was cut short on August 2nd 1923 when Harding died. He was 57 years old and after his death his reputation was tarnished by the corruption that had been happening within his cabinet that he may or may not have been aware of.
Harding's cabinet was made up of friends and political supporters and they were known as the "Ohio Gang".
Also sometimes known as the Oil Reserves Scandal.
Speakeasies (an underground establishment that illegally served alcohol during Prohibition) got their name because you had to whisper a pssword to enter.
On December 5th - Repeal Day - many host parties where the first drinks are served virgin, as a reminder of the Prohibition days.
During Prohibition, cruises to nowhere - or "Booze Cruises" would sail out into international waters, where they could legally serve alcohol.
The earliest bootleggers of Prohibition smuggled in foreign-made liquor across Canadian and Mexican borders and then by sea. Soon however, Americans began making their own.
Millions of gallons of 'denaturated alcohol' - alcohol mixed with chemicals to make it undrinkeable - was diverted, strained, watered down and sold to speakeasies and individuals. Bootleggers also made their own alchohol from fermented corn. However this was very impure and faulty batches could cause blindess, paralysis and death.
Prohibition also let to the inception of organized crime in the United States. Gangs formed that operated bootlegging businesses in particular districts and various cities' gangs began to alliance themselves. The Mafia rose out of the combined efforts of Italian bootleggers and New York gangsters.
With America just coming out of a post-war economic depression, racial tensions and public disillusionment, the Fix came at a bad time. Baseball lost almost all its support and the 8 players implicated were banned from professional baseball.
The World Series usually functions as a best-of-seven format; however in 1919 they decided to make it a best-of-nine, to increase popularity and revenue. This was possibly what made the fix so profitable.
After that, the White Sox did not win a World Series championship until the year 2005.
That's 86 years.
Albert Bacon Fall was Harding's secretary of the interior, and he leased the Wyoming Teapot Dome U.S. naval petroleum reserve to a private oil company.
The Mammoth Oil Company transformed into the Sinclair Oil Company a couple years later.
Beschloss, M.. N.p.. Web. 12 Nov 2013. <http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/warrenharding>.
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Britannica, . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/73745/bootlegging>.
Britannic, . N.p.. Web. 10 Nov 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/585252/Teapot-Dome-Scandal>.
Robert, Conners. N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Senate_Investigates_the_Teapot_Dome_Scandal.htm>.
Barlow, Charles. N.p.. Web. 10 Nov 2013.