Happy Belated Valentine’s, Everyone!
I figured this week’s post could take a different tone in honor of Valentine’s Day and one of the most memorable events in the 1920s: The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Gangs ruled the land in the 1920s, at least in popular places with demand for alcohol. Chicago was one such city where the most famous gangsters resided. In current times, Chicago is still extremely corrupt and crime-riddled. According to the Chicago Tribune, in 2016 Chicago had 4,367 shooting victims.
In the 1920s crime was also rampant. Al Capone is one of the most famous names in that time, and even in the 21st century. George “Bugs” Moran is another famous gangster in Chicago.
In fact, Moran was one of the first gangsters to institute drive-by shootings (TimeOut). Capone, on the other hand, was loved by the people because he put on the character of doing everything for the people. In the 1930s, he created a soup kitchen to make people view him as a “Robin Hood” character, giving the people the alcohol the government is taking away, and the food they need (Rare Historical Photos).
Moran ran the North Side Gang while Capone ran the Chicago Outfit. They were big rivals. Their rivalry came to a head on February 14, 1929.
Seven North Side Gang members were in the gang’s garage that their bootlegging operations stemmed from, when men dressed as police officers entered. They demanded that the gang members line up against the wall. As they did so, the men dressed as police officers opened fire. One man was barely alive when the police officers came but died before he could get medical aid (Chicago Tribune).
Capone was questioned about the massacre, but he denied knowing about it, and was at his home in Florida when it happened (Chicago Tribune).