Mafia Timeline

1890–1891:

New Orleans police chief David Hennessy is murdered, allegedly by members of the Mafia. The subsequent trial and mob vigilantism makes international headlines.

1920:

The Volstead Act becomes law, beginning Prohibition.

1927–1931:

The Castellammarese War occurs.

1929:

St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

1930:

Bosses in Detroit, New York, Cleveland, and Chicago are murdered.

1931:

Lucky Luciano orchestrates the assassination of Masseria and Maranzano. Al Capone is sentenced to eleven years for income tax evasion.

1933:

Prohibition is repealed.

1935:

Dutch Schultz is killed.

1941:

Abe Reles “falls” to his death from a Coney Island hotel window.

1944:

Louis “Lepke” Buchalter gets the electric chair.

1945:

Lucky Luciano is released from prison and deported to Italy.

1946:

The Flamingo Hotel opens in Las Vegas.

1947:

Bugsy Siegel is murdered.

1950:

The Kefauver Commission takes its mob busting hearings on the road, exposing organized crime to the public.

1956:

Meetings between American and Sicilian mobsters regarding control of heroin traffic.

1957:

Frank Costello survives a botched hit. The raid on the Mafia conference on Apalachin, New York, gives the gangsters unwanted publicity. Carlo Gambino becomes the Boss of Bosses.

1959:

Fidel Castro takes control of Cuba, kicking out the American mobsters and closing their casinos.

1961:

Height of the Gallo-Profaci war in New York City

1962:

Lucky Luciano, Joe Profaci, and Philly boss Sal Sabella die.

1963:

McClellan Committee starts hearings into organized crime.

1966:

Mafia meeting at La Stella restaurant in Queens, dubbed “Little Apalachin.” Bonanno family internal war.

1969:

Thomas Lucchese and Vito Genovese die.

1971:

Joe Colombo is shot at the Italian-American Unity Day he organized. He lingers in a vegetative state for years before dying.

1973:

Frank Costello dies.

1975:

Jimmy Hoffa disappears. Sam Giancana murdered

1976:

Carlo Gambino dies and is succeeded by Paul Castellano.

1977–1978:

Intrafamily mob war in Kansas City.

1980:

Beginning of bloody Philly mob war.

1982:

Meyer Lansky dies.

1984:

Las Vegas skimming case nets Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Chicago mobsters. Beginning of end of mob control in Vegas.

1985:

Paul Castellano is killed; John Gotti takes over. The Commission case takes down the heads of the five families.

1987:

Santo Trafficante Jr. dies.

1992:

John Gotti is sentenced to life for racketeering and murder.

1995–1998:

The Mafia moves into stock scams on Wall Street, netting tens of millions.

2002:

John Gotti dies in prison. Joe Bonanno dies at age ninety-seven.

2007:

Leadership of Chicago Outfit convicted for gangland killings in Operation Family Secrets trial.

2008:

The feds arrest more than sixty members and associates of the Gambino family.

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