The Valentine’s Day Massacre
The electoral college had barely confirmed the election of the Hoover-Curtis dry fanaticism slate voted in 1928. There were still over two weeks to go until inauguration day which, back then, was on March 4th.
Radio newscasters shocked the nation with the story of the Chicago Saint Valentine’s Day massacre in which five gangsters an optician and a mechanic were machine-gunned against a brick wall. The drys fell upon this with whoops of joy and redoubled their lobbying efforts for passage of a draconian enforcement bill introduced a year before by Congressman Gale Hamilton Stalker and Senator Wesley Livsey Jones. What disturbed Chicagoans was the economic reaction; corn dropped 1 & 1/8 cents, and bank stocks likewise fell. All 7,000 saloons, speakeasies and beer flats in the city were immediately shut down, which effectively dried up a major source of income for that convention city. The dry autocracy sprang into action and Congress was besieged with heated demands that something be done immediately to enforce prohibition. Senator Glass, as always, resumed his railing against stock market gambling.
Ferrari’s City Trust depositors, by now sick and tired of obfuscation, organized to demand what New York State feared most: answers.
Investigation of narcotics trial Judge Winslow now went to a House committee, and ailing Hollywood star Alma Rubens was humiliatingly exposed as a morphine addict. As icing on the cake, one John Sergi was arrested for the 14th time and charged with running a mail-order business in heroin. All these stories broke Thursday, February 17, but none were as important as the other white powder connection.
 (NYT 3/24/29 27)
 (CT 2/17/29 1, III-8; 15) (WSJ 2/16/29 1) (NYT 2/17/29 1)
 (NYT 2/17/29 24; 2; 23)