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Bootlegging in the 1920's

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by

Lindsey Bright

on 18 June 2014

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Transcript of Bootlegging in the 1920's

By: Lindsey Bright and Calvin Suk
When did Bootlegging first start?
Bootlegging first began in the late 1920's and early 1930's. After prohibition started on January 16, 1919. The first bootleggers are not known since no one wanted to risk getting caught by authorities. Bootlegging grew into a vast illegal empire because of the widespread bribery. The bootleggers would bribe the enforcement agents to pay no attention to what they were doing.
Why did Bootlegging Begin?
Bootlegging began after alcohol became illegal on January 16, 1919 due to the want and need for alcohol. Many people couldn't live without alcohol so they turned to bootlegging. A man could either illegally make his own alcohol or pay another bootlegger to make it for them. Bootlegging brought a lot of profit to these people. They would sell their alcohol to the speakeasies, which were bars that would sell the illegal alcohol. Speakeasies were located all over town and also to individuals.
Bootlegging in the 1920's
Bootlegging was the result of prohibition where the production and consumption of alcohol was banned in the United States. Bootlegging also started as a way to earn money in a convenient way.
Bootlegging in Relation to the Present Day
There are many illegal bootleggers today that are operating their families still that has been going on for many years. This can be seen in the T.V. series "Moonshiners" where present day bootleggers are being hunted by the police. These bootleggers are at risk of being caught by the police because they are technically not paying the taxes and permits to create and sell alcohol. The government is not happy that they are not getting their money.
Quiz
1. Who is a famous known Bootlegger from the 1920's?

2. Why were people interested in the bootlegging business?

3. What were "speakeasies"?

4. Bootlegging is....
a. wearing a boot
b. illegal creation and distribution of alcohol
c. smuggling of alcohol overseas
d. shoplifting


How did Bootleggers Accomplish this?
Bootleggers would create secret still sights in the woods or in basements of houses. Once they created the alcohol they would bottle and sell it to speakeasies or to any other buyers. Many people died from drinking the illegal alcohol because the bootlegger could accidentally do something wrong and the alcohol would turn poisonous. Also, some bootleggers would choose certain bottles or glasses to put other chemicals in, which could harm or kill the consumer.
What is Bootlegging?
Bootlegging was the illegal production and distribution of alcohol. The men who made the illegal alcohol were called Bootleggers. The alcohol was usually made in a basement or garage of the Bootlegger's home by a series of metal drums and piping called a Still. These men were usually stressed workers or immigrants looking for another way to earn money. Bootleggers would sell their alcohol to private buyers or bars known as speakeasies. In 1927, there were 30,000 speakeasies.
Al Capone
Al Capone was a famous bootlegger during the 20's. He was born in Brooklyn on January 17, 1899. As a kid he was apart of the "Brooklyn Rippers" and the "Forty Thieves Juniors" both were gangs. He dropped out of school at the age of 14 and joined the "Five Points" gang in Manhattan. He married Mary "Mae" on December 30, 1918 after having their first son, Albert "Sonny" Francis, on December 4, 1918. He got his nickname (Scarface) from a fight while working at the Harvard Inn. Al Capone was on the the most wanted men of his time, making over $100,000,000 a year.
Bootlegging in the 1920's
Other Topics related to Bootlegging
Bootlegging correlates to drug dealing today. Without drugs or alcohol being illegal, organized crime might have never existed. Illegal alcohol and drugs are the backbone of all organized crimes back then and still is today. Those people were handling with "profitable" products operating behind strict prohibition or rules. For example, in a small town named Barrow in the state of Alaska, lies a small house of a former bootlegger and drug dealer. Around the house, there are hopeful buyers, that knock on the door for booze all night long. The nearest liquor store is 300 miles away, and only people who can clear a criminal background check can legally import a limited amount of alcohol from Anchorage and Fairbanks. Many people receive an average of $10,000 in dividend as shareholders of the Arctic Slope Regional Corp, a sign for the bootleggers and drug dealers to prepare for making and selling.
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