Al Capone/FBI

100 Years Ago, The Great Prohibition Experiment Began

January 15, 2019 - 9:58 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – One hundred years ago, Chicago -- and the rest of the country -- went "on the wagon."

The Eighteenth Amendment was approved on Jan. 16, 1919. It took effect a year later, January 1920.

Many Chicagoans thought that Prohibition would improve health, reduce crime and lower violence.

They were wrong. Chicago became the major center for America's bootleggers, and the 1920s gave rise to gangsters like Bugs Moran, Johnny Torrio, the O’Banions, the South Side O'Donnells – and, of course, Al Capone.

The Chicago Crime Commission said 729 homicides in Cook County between 1919 and 1933 were classified as gang-style killings. The Commission itself was created in 1919.

Prohibition was repealed in 1933.