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Bootlegger & Gangster Al Capone

Bootleggers and Gangsters

The Prohibition era in the United States, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, was a time of great social and cultural change. The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages, was intended to reduce crime and improve public health. However, it had the unintended consequence of creating a lucrative market for illegal alcohol, which was supplied by a network of bootleggers.

At a desk in the cabinet room President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Cullen-Harrison Act, or "Beer Bill", the first relaxation of the Volstead Act in all the years of prohibition, March 22, 1933, in Washington. With its signature, the new law will permit the sale of beer and wine containing 3.2% alcohol from midnight of April 6. (AP Photo)

Notable Men of Prohibition

The Prohibition era saw the rise of several notable names. On the pro-prohibition side, names like Wayne Wheeler, Carrie Nation, and Billy Sunday gained fame for their efforts to outlaw alcohol. Meanwhile, on the anti-prohibition side, figures like Al Capone, Meyer Lansky and George Remus became infamous for their involvement in bootlegging and organized crime.

Several patrons await the opening of the Krazy Kat Klub, in Washington D.C. speakeasy, in 1921.

The Speakeasy

In the early 20th century, the United States went through a period of time known as Prohibition, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol. The Prohibition era lasted from 1920 to 1933, and it led to the rise of a new kind of establishment: the speakeasy.