top of page

1926 - Age of American Gangsters

History0x_1926_american gangsters_min.JPG

Title: 1926 - Age of American Gangsters

About: In the 1920s, the streets of America saw the rapid rise of organized crime, made richer and bolder by Prohibition, which had turned the nation dry. 


From New York to Los Angeles, In Chicago alone there were an estimated 1,300 gangs by the mid-1920s.  With the soaring profits from bootlegging and other racketeering, gangs outfitted themselves with Tommy guns and operated with near impunity, paying off politicians and police alike. Rival gangs led by the powerful Al “Scarface” Capone and the hot-headed George “Bugs” Moran turned the city streets into a virtual war zone with their gangland clashes. By 1926, more than 12,000 murders were taking place every year across America.

Emblematic of the times was the assassination attempt on Capone. His rivals had spotted him eating lunch in the restaurant of the Hawthorne Hotel. Shortly after, a motorcade of ten vehicles rolled up, and members of the North Side gang armed with Tommy guns and shotguns sprayed the restaurant with bullets. Capone's bodyguard threw him to the ground at the first sound of gunfire and laid on top him until the shooting stopped and the assailants fled.  

The violence continued, and Capone was no doubt responsible for the infamous St Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929, where seven men were killed in a Chicago garage by five unknown men wearing police uniforms. The nature of this execution shocked the American public more than any previous street violence. People blamed Prohibition for such violence, and began to favor its repeal, which eventually happened in 1932.


Organized crime of course didn't disappear, as by this time they were embedded into the economic and political structures of American society. However, the violence became more discreet, as street battles became a thing of the past.

Decade: 1920s

Year: 1926

Region: North America

Country: USA

Society: Crime

Type: Historical Event

Impact: 1

Artist: Jaroslaw Marcinek


Group: Genesis

Number: 026/100

Price: 0.1 ETH


bottom of page