Mantrap 1926

Source: Mantrap 1926

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Prohibition Cars 1928

Prohibition Cars.

The Metropolitan Police of St. Louis drove 1928 Packards with shiny bells on the front.

1928 Packard

The Chicago Police, on the other hand, drove Fords and some green 1928 Cadillacs with black fenders.  Behind the front grill, the Caddies were equipped with flashing red lights and a siren.

1928 Cadillac

So, you may ask, what did Al Capone drive?

Al Capone also had a green 1928 Caddy with black fenders, a siren, flashing red lights, and a police band receiver.  It was the twin of the police issue.  In addition, it had 3,000 pounds of lead and one inch bulletproof glass all around.  Capone’s 1928 Cadillac was so well fortified that for his own protection President Roosevelt used it after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

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Clara Bow

Clara Bow

“We had individuality. We did as we pleased. We stayed up late. We dressed the way we wanted. I used to whiz down Sunset Boulevard in my open Kissel, with several red Chow dogs to match my hair. Today, they’re sensible and end up with better health. But we had more fun.”  Clara Bow 1905-1965

1920 Kissel

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Tough Guy Stereotypes

StereotypesWhat does a decorated WWII hero look like?

One of those pictured below is a decorated WWII hero who received the following medals presented by Charles de Gaulle.

Legion of Honor
Cross of War
Medal of the Resistance

Can you pick the WWII hero out?  I’ll give you a hint, this person dropped out of school at age twelve, lived on slum streets, slept in cardboard boxes, and scrounged food from garbage cans.

The candidates are:

Al Capone

Al Capone

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde

Henry Ford 

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

Lucky Luciano

Lucky Luciano

Eliot Ness

Eliot Ness

Bugsy Siegel

Bugsy Siegel

J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover

Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker

John Dillinger

John Dillinger

“Baby Face” Nelson

“Baby Face” Nelson

And last but not least, Alcatraz prisoner number: 238

Alcatraz Prisoner Number 238

Contest Answer:  If you guessed Josephine Baker you are right.

There are two more heroes whose bravery deserves your consideration. They are:

 Richard “Two Gun” Hart pictured below with contraband.

Richard Hart, aka “Two Gun” Hart, was a law enforcement officer from Nebraska and was President Coolidge’s bodyguard in the summer of 1927.  He changed his name to avoid family notoriety.

Richard Hart was Al Capone’s older brother.  His son, Richard Hart Jr., was killed in World War II.

So there you have it, three heroes, each showing a different kind of bravery.

Hello world!

Welcome to the Midnight Run 1932 blog which consists of research snippets in no particular order from the bootlegging and bank robbing era.

During the roaring 20’s there was plenty of money for the rich, a high demand for booze, and no legal supply.  This created the very profitable economic background for bootlegging.  The 1920’s were known  for wild speculation on Wall Street and a Republican political climate that resulted in a concentration of wealth in the upper one percent.  What followed was the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression.  Its effects left almost no one untouched.

The repeal of the Volstead Act in 1933, didn’t help end the depression but it did cause many unemployed bootleggers to become bank robbers.  Thus, one criminal opportunity seamlessly merged into the next; however, some of the faces in the headlines did change, “Goodbye Al Capone, hello John Dillinger.”

The novel Midnight Run 1932 follows the career of a little-known northern California bootlegger that in real life teamed up with Baby Face Nelson who was hiding out as a dairy hand in Santa Venetia just north of San Francisco. At the end of prohibition, the two transitioned from bootlegging to bank robbing eventually joining John Dillinger.

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