The Atlantic City Conference of 1929 is considered by most crime historians as the earliest organized crime summit held in the United States and held a major impact on the future direction of the underworld, it held more importance and significance than the Havana Conference of 1946 and the Appalachian meeting of 1957, representing the first concrete move toward a "National Crime Syndicate". Some historians such as T. J. English believe that it was by no means representative of the ethnic make-up of the country's criminal element, being that the delegations consisted of mostly Italian and Jewish crime leaders, with only 2 Irish criminals in attendance, one being the body guard of Al Capone and the other a dominant force in bootlegging activities who chose voluntary retirement to Little Rock, Arkansas, at the end of Prohibition. With the lack of a substantial Irish delegation, one might conclude that this could have been the beginning of underworld domination by the Italian and Jewish leaders. The Irish still possessed an influential presence in America's criminal and political worlds and had a number of dominant crime leaders in New York, Boston and Philadelphia that were not invited and eliminated soon afterward, leading some to believe it was decided the Irish were to be left on the fringes of the underworld. Bootlegging was the most lucrative criminal activity in the North American underworld from the advent of Prohibition in 1920 until its end in 1932. Arnold Rothstein, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, John "The Fox" Torrio, Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello and Alphonse "Al Scarface" Capone were some of the most prominent mobsters and bootleggers throughout the United States during the Prohibition era. The leaders or Bosses at the conference allegedly discussed, among other issues, the violent bootleg wars in New York and Chicago, the systematic elimination of various Irish-American gangsters presently dominating underworld activities and influencing politics in the largest cities across the United States, diversification and investment into legal liquor ventures, the expansion of illegal operations to offset profit loss from the probable repeal of Prohibition, but most importantly the crime leaders came together for the reorganization and consolidation of the underworld into a "National Crime Syndicate".
Atlantic City Conference