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The Prohibition era of the 1920s gave rise to the organized crime syndicate in the United States. Federal efforts to enforce prohibition, including raids on speakeasies, were countered by well-organized bootlegging operations with national and international connections. A particularly notorious gang of the times was Al Capone’s mob in Chicago. There were also gangs in Detroit, New York and other cities. Wars among gangs, producing grisly killings, frequently made headlines. Eventually, the public’s repugnance, given voice by the 1930 Wickersham Commission inquiry, as well as numerous revelations of compromised municipal officials, produced a temporary suppression of political corruption. When the 1933 repeal of prohibition made buying liquor legal once again, gangs that were still intact resorted to different sources of illegal gain, among them gambling, narcotics trafficking and labor racketeering.
The American grape growing industry was largely situated in California where there were about 700 bonded wineries producing table wines. Initially, prohibition forced the closure of most of the wineries when growers pulled up their vines thinking their market had evaporated. This created an enormous shortage of grapes forcing the the price per ton to rise 1000% and more from $20 to over $200. Growers realizing their mistake replanted vineyards but in their greed planted much greater acreages than previously. The increased supply forced the price per ton down to $15 by the end of prohibition.ShareThis