On Thursday morning, February 14th, 1929, a police car pulled up in front of a garage on Clark Street in Chicago. Several uniformed cops got out, swaggered in and machine-gunned seven men, then–with a show of arresting each other–got back in the car and drove off. Chicago police promptly circulated a rumor that Al Capone, who was lounging at the former Clarence Busch mansion in Florida, had somehow telephoned in orders to have gangsters impersonate cops and gun down the victims. The most shocking part of the story is that anyone believed it for a minute. Shooting Sally clearly did not. Here is what happened in the intervening week.
Friday: Bad break on the stock market after Congress authorized another $2.5 million for prohibition enforcement. Congress also investigated an Italian bank in New York in connection with financing narcotics, now popular since it was difficult to get beer. Movie star Alma Rubens was outed as an addict and reporters hurried to get that into print, along with lurid massacre artwork.
Saturday: Congress expected to vote on the Jones Five and Ten Law, making beer and light wines a federal felony, as the stock market crash worsened. The sheriff and mayor of Herrin, Illinois, and his brother, were indicted for prohibition violations.
Sunday February 17: Chicago alderman Titus Haffa was indicted on multiple liquor charges yielding enough cash to interest the same Internal Revenue investigators then planning indictment of Capone, his brothers and several associates in related ventures. Capone was in fact subpoenaed in Florida that day, and told to travel to Chicago to answer tax questions. Immigration authorities rounded up foreigners to deport in hopes of getting rid of bootleggers. Stock prices continued to plummet.
Monday: Chicago’s 7000 speakeasies, 2500 brothels and 150 casinos were down from their half-million in revenue thanks to a sudden crackdown. The State Department announced plans for 14 countries to form a narcotics enforcement information cartel and Prohibition Commissioner Doran revealed that over 95% of all alcohol in America was made from corn sugar, like that produced at the Argo, Domino and American Maize plants in and around Chicago and Springfield.
Tuesday: Chicago aldermen blame federal prohibition agents for gang violence, and the Federal Reserve system began scolding private brokers for making short term loans more cheaply and efficiently than the banks. Congress meanwhile investigated banks for operating narcotics rings as it debated the Increased Penalties Act to put teeth in the War on Beer.
Wednesday February 20: Canada’s dollar dropped to the lowest value in eight years as stories similar to the news from Chicago rolled in from the 48 States. So Shooting Sally was being realistic, not cynical, when she rendered her terse summary of events up north on the 21st. * * *
Good reading: HELL’S CARTEL, IG Farben and the making of Hitler’s war machine. The author seems unaware that Germany produced more narcotics and stimulants than everyone else combined back then. Still, the book gives valuable background: $12 on Amazon in Kindle format readable on an iPhone.
Find out the juicy details behind the mother of all economic collapses. Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929 is available in two languages on Amazon Kindle, each at the cost of a pint of craft beer.
Brazilian Sci-fi from 1926 featuring the usual beautiful daughter of a scientist touting prohibition and racial collectivism in America’s Black President 2228 by Monteiro Lobato, translated by J Henry Phillips (link)
Tagged: prohibition, confiscation, asset forfeiture, initiation of force, blackouts, energy crisis, liquidation, liquidity, bankruptcy, Crash, Depression, communism, inviting attack, treason, girl-bullying,