Al Capone 's Violent Rise

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Al Capone 's violent rise to power in Chicago and the media attention it brought made him a lasting figure of the prohibition era and organized crime in general. On January 17, 1920, Prohibition began in the United States with the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution making it illegal to manufacture, transport, or sell alcohol. Despite these bans, there was still a very high demand for it from the public. This created an atmosphere that tolerated crime as a means to provide liquor to the public, even among the police and city politicians. During the Prohibition Era the murder rate rose from 6.8 per 100,000 persons to 9.7 [61]. During the first three months following the Eighteenth Amendment, a half of milling dollars in bonded whiskey was stolen from government warehouses. [61] The profits that could be made from selling and distributing alcohol were worth the risk of punishment from the government, which had a difficult time enforcing prohibition. There were over 900,000 cases of liquor shipped to the borders of American cities.[11] Criminal gangs and politicians saw the opportunity to make fortunes and began shipping larger quantities of alcohol to American cities. The majority of the alcohol was imported from Canada,[12][13] the Caribbean, and the American Midwest where stills manufactured illegal alcohol. * * * Rituals The initiation ritual emerged from various sources, such as Roman Catholic confraternities and Masonic Lodges in mid-19th century Sicily[35] and has hardly changed to this day. The Chief of Police of Palermo in 1875 reported that the man of honor to be initiated would be led into the presence of a group of bosses and underbosses. One of these men would prick the initiate 's arm or hand and tell him... ... middle of paper ... as a mafia don. While it was a financial flop, Paramount 's production chief Robert Evans commissioned Mario Puzo to finish a novel with similar themes and plot elements, and bought the screen rights. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather became a huge success, both critically and financially (it won the Best Picture Oscar and for a year was the highest grossing film ever made). It immediately inspired other mafia-related films, including a direct sequel, The Godfather Part II (1974), also (partly) based on Puzo 's novel, and yet another big winner at the Academy Awards, as well as films based on real Mafiosi like Honor Thy Father and Lucky Luciano (both in 1973) and Lepke and Capone (both in 1975). An ambitious 13-part miniseries by NBC called The Gangster Chronicles based on the rise of many major crime bosses of the 1920s and 1930s, aired in 1981.[60]

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