I wouldn’t be writing about The Outfit‡, and its activities on February 14, 1929, if not for taking a look at HeyJackass! to see what was happening in the the Windy City.
But first lets look at the original St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, courtesy of History.com.
Prohibition came into being in 1920. That made the gangsters rich. Bootlegging was big business, and George “Bugs” Moran was running an operation out of a garage at 2122 North Clark Street.
On February 14, seven members of Moran’s operation were gunned down while standing lined up, facing the wall of the garage. Some 70 rounds of ammunition were fired. When police officers from Chicago’s 36th District arrived, they found one gang member, Frank Gusenberg, barely alive. In the few minutes before he died, they pressed him to reveal what had happened, but Gusenberg wouldn’t talk.
Police could find only a few eyewitnesses, but eventually concluded that gunmen dressed as police officers had entered the garage and pretended to be arresting the men.
Shortly after that Al “Scarface” Capone was undisputed leader of all nefarious activities in Chicago.
Now back to the present day and HeyJackass!
As of today, [Friday] this month has already tallied 22 homicides, which is three times more than the massacre tallied. Last year we saw the equivalent of 74 St. Valentine’s Day Massacres but we doubt any of those homicides will become part of Chicago lore quite like the original.
That number is as of the Friday, 11 PM totals. For HeyJackass! the weekend runs from noon on Friday until 6:00 AM Monday. The festivities don’t usually start that early or run that late, but they can start before most people get off work, and run into the early morning hours of Monday. Unless it is a 3-day-weekend, of course. The totals will probably be updated periodically as the weekend goes by.
‡ “The Outfit” was (is?) the name of Al Capone’s organization. When I was living and working in Chicago in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, the FBI was still trying to stamp it out. Maybe they still are.