Written by Justin Devendorf, an AmeriCorps VISTA and history buff
Al Capone. Speakeasy. Flappers. Elliot Ness. Bootleggers. When most people hear these words, only one era in American History comes to their mind: Prohibition. High speed car chases between armed mobsters and police officers through crowded Chicago streets, women in provocative clothing dancing on bars in New York City speakeasies and barrel upon barrel of illegal whiskey imported daily into Boston harbor all helped define the thirteen years that alcohol was banned in the United States.
But one city in particular defined its own legacy during prohibition through political corruption, extortion and murder. Join me as I lead a walking history tour and learn about the bloody history of Albany during Prohibition on November 2nd, 2013 at 1:30pm. We will be meeting at the Pearl Street Pub on the corner of North Pearl Street and Steuben Street at 12:30pm for drinks before we depart. If you would like to come, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!
Albanyst note: Here are a few fun statistics from SUNY Albany about how much WORSE crime got during prohibition. Hey, people like their booze:
- Police funding: Increased $11.4 Million
- Arrests for Prohibition Las Violations: Increased 102+%
- Arrests for Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct: Increased 41%
- Arrests of Drunken Drivers: Increased 81%
- Thefts and Burglaries: Increased 9%
- Homicides, Assault, and Battery: Increased 13%
- Number of Federal Convicts: Increased 561%
- Federal Prison Population: Increased 366%
- Total Federal Expenditures on Penal Institutions: Increased 1,000%
Join us November 2nd at 1:30 to find out how Albany was affected by the banning of everyone’s favorite firewater.