Encyclopedia ofChicago
Historical Source
Historical Source
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Map of Chicago's Gangland, 1931

 

 

 

Map of Chicago's Gangland, 1931

A Map of Chicago's gangland from authentic sources: designed to inculcate the most important principles of piety and virtue in young persons, and graphically portray the evils and sin of large cities, 1931. Al Capone remained part of Chicago's image long after his downfall, kept alive in popular memory by books, television, and movies, as well as by Geraldo Rivera's anticlimactic live television stunt in 1986, in which he had Capone's purported secret "vault" in the basement of the Lexington Hotel blasted open, revealing only an empty chamber. Reproductions of a lively 1931 Chicago gangland map have remained commercially available decades later. Despite the map's veneer of a pious educational purpose, its content provides vivid evidence of a degree of romance that some contemporaries attributed to the gang wars of the 1920s. It is a record of colorful patterns of vernacular speech that contributed to that aura of romance.