Sunday, February 14, 2016

It's Valentine's Day, so time to remember...the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre (1929)

The timing couldn't have been more fortuitous.  Today, 14 February, celebrated by many as Valentine's Day, is the anniversary of the 1929 Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.  And we'll be studying it (the massacre, not the love celebration) this week, in our unit on the 1920s.

This terrific short video (2:45) describes how gangland competition in Chicago led to the deaths of 7 of Al Capone's rivals.
Of course, this was the era of Prohibition.  Here's a good video (2:45) that gives context to the era of "the noble experiment" when the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages was illegal in America.
To supplement and extend this activity with your students, use this fine primary source activity from the U.S. National Archives.  The materials include a useful introduction for teachers, the document themselves (including the Volstead Act that made violating the 18th Amendment a crime, and a hand-drawn picture of a still), and some creative ideas on how you can use these materials with your students.

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