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Illegal Activity in the 1920s

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August Spencer

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Illegal Activity in the 1920s

By: Rasesh Pandya
IN THE 1920'S Bootlegging Bootlegging is the manufacture, sale, or the transportation of alcohol. Bootlegging started because of the Eighteenth Amendment, which is the prohibition of the shipping, production, and purchase of alcohol, that lasted from 1920 until it was repealed in 1933. The earliest bootleggers began smuggling liquor into the US from foreign countries, such as Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, Cuba, and the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. Smuggling became more risky and expensive when the US coast guard started halting and checking ships farther away from the coast and using its own fast motor launches. Just like in The Great Gatsby, there were always ways around the law. Whisky was sold over the counter at drug stores for its "medicinal" purposes. Eventually, bootleggers began to make their own liquor from corn which soon became a major supplier. It also led to American organized crime. Because of the high demand for illegal alcohol, gangs began to form. These gangs became bigger and bigger, branching out into different illegal activities, such as narcotic traffic, gambling , prostitution, loan-sharking and extortion. World Series Fixed In 1920 the World Series was fixed between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. This was one of the darkest moments in Major League baseball and American Sports History. There were eight players involved in the scandal, such as, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, Claude "Lefty" Williams, Buck Weaver, Arnold "Chick" Gandil, Fred McMullin, Charles "Swede" Risberg and Oscar "Happy" Felsch. The Confession of Eddie Cicotte and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson led the rest of the players to also confess and all were banned from the Major League Baseball for life. The reason why they intentionally fixed the world series in for money. For Example Joe Jackson was told he would receive $20,000 because he was an all star player but since he confessed he only received $4,000. The scandal lead the team to be called the "Black Socks" and were taunted with names such as the "Curse of the Black Socks." The team went through 86 years with this hardship until 2005 they won the World Series. Organized Crimes Organized crime arose in the early 20th century.
For example, the Mafia, also known as La Costra Nostra (Our Thing), or the Mob, is a crime organization that is organized consistently in the United States and Sicily. Originally, the Mafia came from the name of a group of Sicilians in the Middle Ages who collaborated for protection and vigilante law enforcement during the Spanish occupation of their island. A member of the mafia is called a "Mafioso", or in English, a Man of Honor. The most well known leader of the time was Al Capone. He had his main gangs in Chicago, Detroit, and New York. Prohibition in the 1920s was one of the main reasons organized crime began to see a large increase. Even after the end of prohibition in 1933, organized crime was still going strong. A few leaders of the main gangs realized that in-group fighting wasn't profitable, and instead decided to work together to further their goals. This group which formed was called the Syndicate, and it was mainly established by Lucky Luciano and Loius Kepke Buchalter. Harding Administration Scandal President Warren G. Harding and Vice President Calvin Coolidge won the office in the 1920s. Harding wanted a "return to normalcy", or a return to the simpler days before the Progressive era. He believed that the government should not control business and that we shouldn't worry about the problems of Europe. Harding's cabinet was primarily made up of his friends and political supporters. They were known as the "Ohio Gang". In 1921 Secretary of the Interior, a member of the Ohio Gang, was able to gain control of oil fields in Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hill, California. These oil fields had been set aside for the navy, not commercial or any other use. In 1922, Secretary Fall made a deal in secret with two oilman. He gave them a lease to pump oil out of the fields and sell it for themselves. Fall recieved $325,000 in bonds and cash as well as a large herd of cattle. It took 6 years of testimony, but finally Fall was charged with a $100,000 fine and a year in prison. The Teapot Dome Scandal was one of the most embarrassing episodes in US history. KKK IN THE 1920'S The Ku Klux Klan or better know as the KKK was and is a group of people who provoked white supremacy. The clan was organized in the United States. The KKK was at its peak between 1920 -1925. The first important person to emerge from the KKK is Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest served as the first Grand Wizard. He served in the first of the three major clans. The second clan held the most members and flourished mainly in the Southern part of the United States or the Confederacy, but it still had a lot of members in the north. They are mainly known for their cruel acts such as killing black, Jews, and Catholics, burning crosses in the ground, and having huge meeting in the middle of the night and chanting. Also they sometimes murdered people, and bombed churches. The KKK was also an anti-communism, and anti-Catholicism. It was originally founded in 1866 by ex-confederate soldiers. The Ku Klux Klan reached a halt in 1981 but some small offspring's of the group are still active. Police Corruption in the 1920s Police corruption has always been around since the first cop was given a badge, but during the 1920s, it was the worst it had been in quite a long time. The cops were constantly turning a blind eye to drug traffickers and gang murders, in exchange for a price that is. Chicago was one of the areas most affected by this. Under mayor William Hale Thompson, from 1915-1931, Chicago was an open town for bootlegging and drug trafficking. Many police couldn't overcome corruption, and crime was at its peak. The cops that weren't corrupted however, couldn't make arrests for drug possessions and even some gang shootings, for the corruption in the police force spread even to the highest ranks. From 1923-1927, a new administration went into place, but instead of decreasing crime and murder, the death count only rose. Also, the cops during this time (and even today) planted evidence and took money from the drug busts to help further their pay, and to arrest innocents who were suspected of being criminals (which also furthered their pay).
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