Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
St. Valentine's Day Massacre
The St. Valentine's Day Massacre is the name given to the shooting of seven people as part of a conflict between criminal gangs in Chicago on February 14, 1929. Though recorded by some as "not a major event," it received nationwide media attention.
Six members of Bugs Moran's gang and an optician, who enjoyed associating with gangsters, were lined up against a wall in the garage of the S-M-C Cartage Company in Chicago and shot by five members of Al Capone's gang dressed as policemen. When one of the dying men, Frank "Tight Lips" Gusenberg, was asked who shot him, he replied, "Nobody shot me." Capone was conveniently on vacation in Florida at the time.
The massacre was a result of a plan devised by Jack 'Machine Gun' McGurn, on behalf of Al Capone, to kill George 'Bugs' Moran. McGurn assembled a team of six men, led by Fred Burke, and intended to have Moran lured into an ambush. Moran and his men would be tricked into visiting a warehouse on Clark Street on the pretext of buying some bargain hijacked whiskey; Burke's team would then enter the building disguised as policemen and kill them. The chief suspects, McGurn and Capone, would be well away from the scene.
The plan did not work. Five men of the Burke team drove up to the warehouse in a stolen police car at around 10:30, three dressed in police uniforms and two in ordinary clothes. They found seven members of Moran's gang but not Moran himself. The gang members were told to line up facing the back wall, which they apparently did willingly believing their captors were real (and comparatively harmless) police, and were then shot with a tommy gun. Moran had been approaching the warehouse but the premature arrival of the police car scared him away. The dead men were James Clark, Frank and Pete Gusenberg, Adam Heyer, Johnny May, Reinhardt Schwimmer (the optician), and Al Weinshank.
The garage, which stood at 2122 N. Clark Street, was demolished in 1967; the site is now a landscaped parking lot for a nursing home. The wall was dismantled brick by brick, sold and shipped to George Patey, a Canadian businessman, who rebuilt it in the men's restroom of a bar with a Roaring 20s theme. After the bar closed, Patey began trying to sell the bricks as souvenirs.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details