Prohibition, the Noble Experiment!


National prohibition of alcohol (1920-33)--the "noble experiment"--was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America. The results of that experiment clearly indicate that it was a miserable failure on all counts. The evidence affirms sound economic theory, which predicts that prohibition of mutually beneficial exchanges is doomed to failure.

On January 17, 1920 famed American gangster Al Capone celbrated his 19th birthday and Proihibition by leading a crime organization based on the illegal trafficking of alcohol during the Prohibition of the 1920’s and 30’s. He is widely regarded as the most recognizable symbol of the collapse of law and order under the ban on alcohol in the United States. Capone graduated from petty crime to acting as an ‘apprentice’ in gangster John Torrio’s bootlegging business. When Torrio was shot by a rival gang and decided to leave Chicago, Capone inherited the bootlegging business. He quickly expanded it, and soon controlled a variety of business ranging from nightclubs, brothels and race tracks to the largest cleaning and dyeing plant chain in Chicago. When it was necessary for Capone to deal with law enforcement, he did so through bribery, threats, and assassinations. After one disorderly conduct arrest in New York, Capone murdered two men. This testament to his willingness to kill prevented any witnesses from agreeing to testify against Capone, and the case was dismissed. He was never charged for the murders, again due to lack of compliant witnesses. Capone did attempt to gain approval from the general public through sporadic “good deeds”: he opened the first soup kitchens in New York during the Great Depression, provided daily milk rations to schoolchildren, and he often sent flowers to the funerals of people he killed or ordered killed. He occasionally went so far as to attend the funerals. Capone viewed himself as a pillar of the community.

Below are a number of well known criminals as well as protectors of the Prohibition and notables who celebrated it will all who would. Click on the TINY photos to be taken to information and stories about them.


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To the UPPER LEFT is a photo taken of Al capone in happier time. To the UPPER RIGHT is the front of Colosimo's Cafe' which was Al's big hangout. The BOTTOM photo is the interior of the tehn fabulous cafe'. After he killed Big Jim Colosimo, althought he never owned it, it was his for the asking. To the back of the restaurant was a booth saved for Capone. Many of the stars and notables would pay their respects to him when they were in town or passing through. Clarence Darrow was a regular, John Barrimore, Al Jolson, N.Y. Gov. Al Smith, Flo Zigfeld, Jimmy Duranti, Sophie Tucker, Charlie Chaplin, Clara Bow, Leta & Lechard, for sure all the corrupt officials of Chicago. You name a star or celebrity, notable and guaranteed, seventy percent of the time you'd be right. Good odds. Why not, you could do everything Prohibition said you couldn't, in grand public defiance. And no one would say a word.


To the UPPER LEFT is a photo taken of Al capone in happier time. To the UPPER RIGHT is the front of Colosimo's Cafe' which was Al's big hangout. The BOTTOM photo is the interior of the tehn fabulous cafe'. After he killed Big Jim Colosimo, althought he never owned it, it was his for the asking. To the back of the restaurant was a booth saved for Capone. Many of the stars and notables would pay their respects to him when they were in town or passing through. Clarence Darrow was a regular, John Barrimore, Al Jolson, N.Y. Gov. Al Smith, Flo Zigfeld, Jimmy Duranti, Sophie Tucker, Charlie Chaplin, Clara Bow, Leta & Lechard, for sure all the corrupt officials of Chicago. You name a star or celebrity, notable and guaranteed, seventy percent of the time you'd be right. Good odds. Why not, you could do everything Prohibition said you couldn't, in grand public defiance. And no one would say a word.

See the dance floor and the stage to the left of the beautiful Colisimo's Cafe' photo? I can see Lechard, in his handsome Italian self, turning around in his black tailed tux and waiting for the beautiful non-looking Irish, exotic, her self Leta, in her long flowing gown as she walked down either of the curves stairways to meet him for their dance to 'Amapola' in "G". His arm extended, he grasps her lovely little hand and off they go, entertaining Chicago's elite. This was no Diner Show, the people would actually watch the entertainers. NOW HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT! I missed it, but Big Al Capone didn't and along side him on any given night sat Al Jolson, Clarence Darrow, Jimmy Duranti, the handsome John Barrymore or Sophis Tucker or Texas Guinan, May West and many more. A first name basis friendship evolved between the dancers and Al. The politicians today could take a lesson from Capone. One things for sure! You can bet that there wouldn't be 4.00 a gallon gasoline. Tell me how we're are better off? Once again we have the IRS to thank.


Valentino Jolsonblackfaced