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Al Capone vs. George "Bugs" Moran
Transcript of Al Capone vs. George "Bugs" Moran
Prohibition was started with the passing of the 18th amendment. This meant that it was illegal to sell, transport, or manufacture alcohol. Because alcohol is an important aspect in many American’s lives, they still found ways to obtain it. In the 1920’s, and because of Prohibition, the gangster phenomena took full force.
Background on Al Capone
-Al was born into a poor immigrant Italian family in New York. Once Al was a teenage, it was clear that he was a troubled kid. At age 14 he was expelled for hitting a female teacher at a Catholic institution. He never went back to school. This was around the first time Capone met Mr. Torrio. Mr. Torrio is the man who taught Al to put up a respectable front while running an underground business. After Al joined Johnny’s gang, Johnny moved from New York to Chicago. Ten years later, Johnny sent for Capone. Capone then moved to Chicago to work for the leading gangster of the Chicago underworld.
Background on George "Bugs" Moran
-George was born in 1891. It’s believed that he became a criminal as a teenager. He was a stupid petty thief as a kid. When he was 19 he ran away to Chicago and by the time he was 21 he was incarcerated 3 times.
North side vs South side
Two gangs ruled Chicago. The north side was ran by Bugs Moran along with Dean O’Banion. The North side was richer, and had the prime selling market. Johnny Torrio and Al Capone ran the south side. These two gangs weren’t violent towards each other because of Johnny Torrio, who wanted a peaceful rivalry. Soon after the 18th amendment was passed, the non-violent rivalry changed. Alcohol trucks commonly passed through the Chicago area, each belonging to a specific gang. One day, Dean O’Banion hijacked a truck that belonged to Al Capone, took all their alcohol, and sold it for a better price. This triggered the violence between the gangs. Al Capone assassinated O’Banion.
Al and his South side
Al’s jobs included intimidating his gang’s rivals (Bugs) in hopes of them surrendering their territory. He also had to convince speakeasies to buy illegal alcohol from him, and to not buy from the other gangs providing. He even armed election booths to make sure his men were returned to office. Post that election, his man won. That same man, after being elected, swore he run Capone out of town. Upon hearing this, Capone kicked the newly appointed mayor down the town hall stairs.
Bugs and his North side
Since Bugs had been imprisoned 3 times before he was 21, it was obvious he had been involved in numerous gangs before hand. It was almost as if he worked his way up the chain of gangs until he reached Dean O’Banion. Soon, Al Capone and Bugs were the epitome of enemies. Bugs tried to kill Capone numerous times. Each time failing, but still managed to be the source behind the term, “drive-by shooting”.
The height of the feud happened on Valentine’s Day of 1929. It was known as the St. Valentines massacre. Al Capone was the mastermind behind this massacre. The goal of it was to assassinate Bugs Moran. Al Capone had sent two of his men to act as police busting an illegal alcohol exchange. The “police” had lined up the seven men that were in the garage and shot them all repeatedly. Unfortunately for Al Capone, Bugs had been late to the meeting.
-This act was the climax of the feud and had ended the violence between the Al Capone and Bugs Moran. Prohibition was the cause of the heightened gangster scene and the ultimate cause for the St. Valentine’s Massacre because without alcohol being illegal, the “police” would have had nothing to bust. This feud relates back to the class because of the revenge necessary to keep the feud going. It also relates to the Hatfields and McCoy's in that the gangs acted as a whole family who fought against each other.
-Bugs Moran had finally been caught and was to serve a 10 year sentence. He did not serve full time because he died of lung cancer shortly into the sentence. Bugs died with $100 to his name.
-After the gang scene settled down, Al had the brain capability of a 12 year old. He suffered from neurosyphilis. He went to reside in his Florida home. There, he had a stroke. Once he recovered from the stroke, he contracted pneumonia. The next day he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest and died in his home with his family.
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