When and Where?
Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933
The result of a widespread temperance movement during the first decade of the 20th century, Prohibition was difficult to enforce, despite the passage of companion legislation known as the Volstead Act.
Bootlegging helped lead to the establishment of American organized crime, which persisted long after the repeal of Prohibition. The distribution of liquor was necessarily more complex than other types of criminal activity, and organized gangs eventually arose that could control an entire local chain of bootlegging operations, from concealed distilleries and breweries through storage and transport channels to speakeasies, restaurants, nightclubs, and other retail outlets. Those gangs tried to secure and enlarge territories in which they had a monopoly of distribution. Gradually, the gangs in different cities began to cooperate with each other, and they extended their methods of organizing beyond bootlegging to the narcotics traffic, gambling rackets, prostitution, labour racketeering, loan-sharking, and extortion. The American Mafia crime syndicate arose out of the coordinated activities of Italian bootleggers and other gangsters in New York City in the late 1920s and early ’30s.
Johnny Torrio rose to become a rackets boss in Brooklyn, New York, and then relocated to Chicago, where in the early 1920s he expanded the crime empire founded by James (“Big Jim”) Colosimo into big-time bootlegging. Torrio turned over his rackets in 1925 to Al Capone, who became the Prohibition era’s most famous gangster, though other crime czars such as Dion O’Bannion (Capone’s rival in Chicago), Joe Masseria,Myer Lansky, Lucky Luciano, and Bugsy Siegel were also legendarily infamous. Capone’s wealth in 1927 was estimated at close to $100 million.
December the 5th 1933, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America. At 5:32 p.m. EST, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the requisite three-fourths majority of states’ approval. Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified it earlier in the day.