Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A Speakeasy was an establishment that was used for selling and drinking alcoholic beverages during the period of U.S. history known as Prohibition, when selling or buying alcohol was illegal. The term comes from a patron's manner of ordering alcohol - a bartender would tell a patron to be quiet and 'speak easy'.
Speakeasies became more popular and numerous as the Prohibition years progressed, as well as more commonly operated by those with connections to organized crime. While police and United States Federal Government agents would raid such establishments and arrest the owners and patrons, the business of running speakeasies was so lucrative that such establishments continued to flourish throughout the nation. In major cities, speakeasies could often be elaborate, offering food, live bands, and floor shows. Police were notoriously bribed by speakeasy operators to either leave them alone or at least give them advance notice of any planned raid.
Some discreet venues called smoke-easies have popped up in states such as New York, California, and Massachusetts where smoking in bars and clubs is prohibited.
Other meanings for ther term "speakeasy" include:
- Speakeasy, Inc. is also the name for a large internet service provider in the United States.
- SpeakEasy was a software defined radio project of the US military.
- SpeakEasy was also a video game for the Sony Playstation 2 console system.
- Speakeasy is also a mobile phone tariff of O2 Ireland.
- Speakeasy (movie), a Miramax film written and directed by Brendan Murphy .
- Speakeasy (computational environment) is both a Matlab-like numerical computating environment and its core programming language. See  for their official site.
- Speakeasy, an album by the band Stavesacre
- Speakeasy (a capella group), an a capella group formed at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
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