The Museum of the American Gangster reveals New York’s days of prohibition, gangsters and speakeasies during the 1920’s. The two-room museum is upstairs of a former speakeasy patronized by notorious gangster Al Capone with John Gotti, and Lucky Luciano frequenting the neighborhood.
The museum’s collection of artifacts include bullets from 1929’s Valentine’s Day Massacre, a death mask of John Dillinger, bullets from the shooting of Pretty Boy Floyd, and a safe that once contained $2 million in gold notes. The museum was founded to preserve newspapers, photographs, and original ‘Prohibion Era’ documents.
A visit starts with a 20-minute video giving background on the era of American history. Museum curator Asher enthusiastically shares his passion of the subject as he shares informative facts and stories.
The museum is in East Village, New York City, at 80 St. Marks Place, between 2nd Avenue and 1st Avenue. Museum of the American Gangster opened to the public in 2010, with a similar Mob Museum opening in Las Vegas February 2012.
Saint Valentine's Day Massacre was a conflict in 1929 between two dominant criminal Chicago gangs with seven mob associates murdered. Bugs Moran’s north side Irish gang was struggling with Al Capone’s South Side Italian gang.
Depression era bank robber John Dillinger committed robberies on twenty-four banks, four police stations and escaped from jail twice. Compared to other Depression-era outlaws such as Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger was the most notorious. His criminal actions caused FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover to upgrade the organization to become more effective against organized crime.
Charles Arthur Pretty Boy Floyd was a high visibility outlaw during the US ‘Prohibition era’. He was a bank robber operating in the Midwest and West South Central States. He received his nickname, which he hated being described as "a mere boy — a pretty boy with apple cheeks." His background was from hard times, living a life of crime from an early age, his end came when killed by policemen.
Lucky Luciano was considered the father of modern organized crime, founding the National Crime Syndicate of the US. He was the first official boss of the modern Genosese crime family. Born in Sicily Italy in 1897, he migrated with his family to the US when he was 10 years old.
The Museum of the American Gangster is nearly a 6 hour drive of 335 miles from Rochester NY. First drive east on thruway I-90 to Syracuse, US 81 south to Scranton Pennsylvania, then US 380 to Bethlehem PA. Continue east through New Jersey on US 78 to Newark NJ, then US 95 south to route 495 across George Washington Bridge and route 9A south. Turn east on East 14th street to 1st street south to the museum.
A visitor made these comments.
“We were there for over 2 hours and found this new museum fascinating. The curator loves his subject and was full of personal anecdotes and masses of information.”