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Last call before the Dry Decade

January 16, 2020

At 12:01 a.m. on January 17, 1920, “last call” parties wrapped up across the nation, as the United States officially began enforcing federal Prohibition. Many Americans mourned the loss of legal liquor at bars, clubs and hotels. Newspaper accounts characterized these events as relatively quiet and somber, as Americans prepared for what would become thirteen dry years. While Prohibition proponents took their final legal sips and carried out symbolic funerals for liquor, wine and beer, many Americans cheered. Famous outfielder-turned-preacher Billy Sunday proclaimed to a revival crowd in Norfolk, Virginia: “Men will walk upright now, women will smile, and children will ...

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The violent saga of ‘Sally Bugs’

During a rainy Tuesday night in New York City’s Little Italy, two assassins in jackets approached their target from behind,…

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Dueling views of who killed Jimmy Hoffa

Three veteran journalists participating in a panel discussion at The Mob Museum on the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa challenged the…

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‘Mob Town’ movie spotlights notorious Mafia summit

One of the major events in organized crime history, the 1957 Apalachin summit, a gathering of Mafia leaders at a…

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Ernest Hemingway on gangsters

Here’s how the story goes: Two hit men, Al and Max, enter Henry’s “lunch-room” in a town outside Chicago, looking…

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Review: ‘The Irishman’ great film despite historical questions

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is a great organized crime movie. It’s right up there with the director’s other great organized…

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Sixty years later, ‘In Cold Blood’ murders still resonate

As the sun set shortly after 5 p.m. on December 30, 1959, a driver stopped a 1956 Chevrolet at the…

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Is the new Martin Scorsese movie based on a true story?

Editor’s note: The Irishman, a Martin Scorsese movie, was released today in a limited number of theaters across North America…

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