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  • Lercara Friddi, Sicily, Italy
    Wednesday Nov 24, 1897

    Birth

    Lercara Friddi, Sicily, Italy
    Wednesday Nov 24, 1897

    Salvatore Lucania was born on November 24, 1897, in Lercara Friddi, Sicily, Italy.




  • New York, U.S.
    Apr, 1906

    Emigrated to the U.S.

    New York, U.S.
    Apr, 1906

    In April 1906, when Luciano was nine years old, the family emigrated to the United States. They settled in New York City in the borough of Manhattan on its Lower East Side, a popular destination for Italian immigrants.




  • U.S.
    1911

    Luciano dropped out of school

    U.S.
    1911

    At age 14, Luciano dropped out of school and started a job delivering hats, earning $7 per week. However, after winning $244 in a dice game, Luciano quit his job and began earning money on the street. That same year, Luciano's parents sent him to the Brooklyn Truant School.




  • U.S.
    1920

    Met the Future leaders

    U.S.
    1920

    By 1920, Luciano had met many future Mafia leaders, including Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, his longtime friend and future business partner through the Five Points Gang. That same year, Lower Manhattan gang boss Joe Masseria recruited Luciano as one of his gunmen. Around that same time, Luciano and his close associates started working for gambler Arnold "The Brain" Rothstein, who immediately saw the potential windfall from Prohibition and educated Luciano on running bootleg alcohol as a business.




  • U.S.
    Saturday Jan 17, 1920

    Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect

    U.S.
    Saturday Jan 17, 1920

    On January 17, 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect and Prohibition lasted until the amendment was repealed in 1933. The amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. Demand for alcohol naturally continued, the resulting black market for alcoholic beverages providing criminals with an additional source of income.




  • U.S.
    1925

    $12 million wealth

    U.S.
    1925

    By 1925, Luciano was grossing over $12 million a year. He had a net income of around $4 million each year after subtracting the costs of bribing politicians and police.




  • New York, U.S.
    Feb, 1930

    Castellammarese War

    New York, U.S.
    Feb, 1930

    Luciano soon became a top aide in Masseria's criminal organization. In contrast to Rothstein, Masseria was uneducated, with poor manners and limited managerial skills. By the late 1920s, Masseria's main rival was boss Salvatore Maranzano, who had come from Sicily to run the Castellammarese clan. Maranzano refused to pay commissions to Masseria. Their rivalry eventually escalated into the bloody Castellammarese War and ultimately resulted in the deaths of both Maranzano and Masseria.


  • New York, U.S.
    1931

    Five Families

    New York, U.S.
    1931

    With Masseria gone, Maranzano reorganized the Italian-American gangs in New York City into Five Families headed by Luciano, Profaci, Gagliano, Vincent Mangano and himself. Maranzano promised that all the families would be equal and free to make money. However, at a meeting of crime bosses in Upstate New York, Maranzano declared himself capo di tutti capi ("boss of all bosses").


  • Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
    Wednesday Apr 15, 1931

    Masseria assassination

    Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
    Wednesday Apr 15, 1931

    Luciano decided to eliminate Masseria (Lower Manhattan gang boss) . The war had been going poorly for Masseria, and Luciano saw an opportunity to switch allegiance. In a secret deal with Maranzano, Luciano agreed to engineer Masseria's death in return for receiving Masseria's rackets and becoming Maranzano's second-in-command. On April 15, Luciano invited Masseria and two other associates to lunch in a Coney Island restaurant. After finishing their meal, the mobsters decided to play cards. At that point, according to mob legend, Luciano went to the bathroom. Four gunmen then walked into the dining room and shot and killed Masseria.


  • Manhattan, New York, U.S.
    Thursday Sep 10, 1931

    "Night of the Sicilian Vespers"

    Manhattan, New York, U.S.
    Thursday Sep 10, 1931

    By September 1931, Maranzano realized Luciano was a threat, and hired Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll, an Irish gangster, to kill him. However, Lucchese alerted Luciano that he was marked for death. On September 10, Maranzano ordered Luciano and Genovese to come to his office at the 230 Park Avenue in Manhattan. Convinced that Maranzano planned to murder them, Luciano decided to act first. He sent to Maranzano's office four Jewish gangsters whose faces were unknown to Maranzano's people. They had been secured with the aid of Lansky and Siegel. Disguised as government agents, two of the gangsters disarmed Maranzano's bodyguards. The other two, aided by Lucchese, who was there to point Maranzano out, stabbed the boss multiple times before shooting him. This assassination was the first of what would later be fabled as the "Night of the Sicilian Vespers."


  • Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
    Thursday Oct 24, 1935

    Schultz assassination

    Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
    Thursday Oct 24, 1935

    The group's first test came in 1935, when it ordered Dutch Schultz to drop his plans to murder Special Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey. Luciano argued that a Dewey assassination would precipitate a massive law enforcement crackdown; it has long been a hard and fast rule in the American underworld that police officers, federal agents and prosecutors are not to be harmed. A defiant Schultz told the Commission that he was going to kill Dewey (or his assistant David Asch) in the next three days. In response, the Commission quickly arranged Schultz's murder. On October 24, 1935, before he could kill Dewey or Asch, Schultz was murdered in a tavern in Newark, New Jersey.


  • New York, U.S.
    Friday Apr 03, 1936

    Arrested

    New York, U.S.
    Friday Apr 03, 1936

    On April 3, Luciano was arrested in Hot Springs on a criminal warrant from New York. The next day in New York, Dewey indicted Luciano and his accomplices on 60 counts of compulsory prostitution. Luciano's lawyers in Arkansas then began a fierce legal battle against extradition.


  • Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
    Monday Apr 06, 1936

    A Bribe

    Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
    Monday Apr 06, 1936

    On April 6, someone offered a $50,000 bribe to Arkansas Attorney General Carl E. Bailey to facilitate Luciano's case. However, Bailey refused the bribe and immediately reported it.


  • New York, U.S.
    Friday Apr 17, 1936

    Luciano's legal options had been exhausted

    New York, U.S.
    Friday Apr 17, 1936

    On April 17, after all of Luciano's legal options had been exhausted, Arkansas authorities handed him to three NYPD detectives for transport by train back to New York for trial. When the train reached St. Louis, Missouri, the detectives and Luciano changed trains. During this switchover, they were guarded by 20 local policemen to prevent a mob rescue attempt.


  • New York, U.S.
    Saturday Apr 18, 1936

    To jail without bail

    New York, U.S.
    Saturday Apr 18, 1936

    The men arrived in New York on April 18, and Luciano was sent to jail without bail.


  • New York, U.S.
    Wednesday May 13, 1936

    Pandering trial began

    New York, U.S.
    Wednesday May 13, 1936

    On May 13, 1936, Luciano's pandering trial began. Dewey prosecuted the case that Carter built against Luciano. He accused Luciano of being part of a massive prostitution ring known as "the Combination". During the trial, Dewey exposed Luciano for lying on the witness stand through direct quizzing and records of telephonecalls; Luciano also had no explanation for why his federal income tax records claimed he made only $22,000 a year, while he was obviously a wealthy man. Dewey ruthlessly pressed Luciano on his long arrest record and his relationships with well-known gangsters such as Masseria, Ciro Terranova, and Louis Buchalter.


  • U.S.
    Sunday Jun 07, 1936

    62 counts of compulsory prostitution

    U.S.
    Sunday Jun 07, 1936

    On June 7, Luciano was convicted on 62 counts of compulsory prostitution.


  • New York, U.S.
    Saturday Jul 18, 1936

    Sentenced to 30 to 50 years in state prison

    New York, U.S.
    Saturday Jul 18, 1936

    On July 18, he was sentenced to 30 to 50 years in state prison, along with Betillo and others.


  • Washington D.C., U.S.
    Monday Oct 10, 1938

    U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case

    Washington D.C., U.S.
    Monday Oct 10, 1938

    Luciano's legal appeals continued until October 10, 1938, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case. At this point, Luciano stepped down as family boss, and Costello formally replaced him.


  • U.S.
    Thursday Jan 03, 1946

    Reward for his alleged wartime cooperation

    U.S.
    Thursday Jan 03, 1946

    On January 3, 1946, as a presumed reward for his alleged wartime cooperation (in WWII), Dewey reluctantly commuted Luciano's pandering sentence on condition that he did not resist deportation to Italy.


  • New York, U.S.
    Saturday Feb 02, 1946

    To Ellis Island in New York Harbor for deportation proceedings

    New York, U.S.
    Saturday Feb 02, 1946

    On February 2, 1946, two federal immigration agents transported Luciano from Sing Sing prison to Ellis Island in New York Harbor for deportation proceedings.


  • Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
    Sunday Feb 10, 1946

    Luciano's ship sailed

    Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
    Sunday Feb 10, 1946

    On February 10, Luciano's ship sailed from Brooklyn harbor for Italy.


  • Naples, Italy
    Thursday Feb 28, 1946

    Arrived in Naples

    Naples, Italy
    Thursday Feb 28, 1946

    This was the last time he would see the US. On February 28, after a 17-day voyage, Luciano's ship arrived in Naples. On arrival, Luciano told reporters he would probably reside in Sicily.


  • Cuba
    Tuesday Oct 29, 1946

    To latin America

    Cuba
    Tuesday Oct 29, 1946

    In October 1946, Luciano secretly moved to Havana, Cuba. Luciano first took a freighter from Naples to Caracas, Venezuela, then flew to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He then flew to Mexico City and doubled back to Caracas, where he took a private plane to Camaguey, Cuba, finally arriving on October 29. Luciano was then driven to Havana, where he moved into an estate in the Miramar section of the city. His objective was to be closer to the US so that he could resume control over American Mafia operations and eventually return home.


  • Havana, Cuba
    Friday Dec 20, 1946

    The three topics under discussion

    Havana, Cuba
    Friday Dec 20, 1946

    In 1946, Lansky called a meeting of the heads of the major crime families in Havana that December, dubbed the Havana Conference. The ostensible reason was to see singer Frank Sinatra perform. However, the real reason was to discuss mob business with Luciano in attendance. The three topics under discussion were: the heroin trade, Cuban gambling, and what to do about Siegel and his floundering Flamingo Hotel project in Las Vegas.


  • Cuba
    Friday Feb 21, 1947

    The US started putting pressure

    Cuba
    Friday Feb 21, 1947

    Soon after the Conference began, the US government learned that Luciano was in Cuba. Luciano had been publicly fraternizing with Sinatra as well as visiting numerous nightclubs, so his presence was no secret in Havana. The US started putting pressure on the Cuban government to expel him. On February 21, 1947, U.S. Narcotics Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger notified the Cubans that the US would block all shipment of narcotic prescription drugs while Luciano was there.


  • Genoa, Italy
    Friday Apr 11, 1947

    To Genoa

    Genoa, Italy
    Friday Apr 11, 1947

    After Luciano's secret trip to Cuba, he spent the rest of his life in Italy under tight police surveillance. When he arrived in Genoa on April 11, 1947, Italian police arrested him and sent him to a jail in Palermo.


  • Palermo, Italy
    Sunday May 11, 1947

    Released him

    Palermo, Italy
    Sunday May 11, 1947

    On May 11, a regional commission in Palermo warned Luciano to stay out of trouble and released him.


  • Naples, Italy
    Saturday Jun 09, 1951

    $57,000 cash and new car

    Naples, Italy
    Saturday Jun 09, 1951

    On June 9, 1951, he was questioned by Naples police on suspicion of illegally bringing $57,000 in cash and a new American car into Italy. After 20 hours of questioning, police released Luciano without any charges.


  • Naples, Italy
    Monday Nov 01, 1954

    Restrictions

    Naples, Italy
    Monday Nov 01, 1954

    On November 1, 1954, an Italian judicial commission in Naples applied strict limits on Luciano for two years. He was required to report to the police every Sunday, to stay home every night, and to not leave Naples without police permission. The commission cited Luciano's alleged involvement in the narcotics trade as the reason for these restrictions.


  • New York, U.S.
    Thursday May 02, 1957

    Costello's Assassination Attempt

    New York, U.S.
    Thursday May 02, 1957

    By 1957, Genovese felt strong enough to move against Luciano and his acting boss, Costello. He was aided in this move by Anastasia family underboss Carlo Gambino. On May 2, 1957, following Genovese's orders, Vincent "Chin" Gigante ambushed Costello in the lobby of his Central Park apartment building, The Majestic. Gigante called out, "This is for you, Frank," and as Costello turned, shot him in the head. After firing his weapon, Gigante quickly left, thinking he had killed Costello. However, the bullet had just grazed Costello's head and he was not seriously injured. Although Costello refused to cooperate with the police, Gigante was arrested for attempted murder. Gigante was acquitted at trial, thanking Costello in the courtroom after the verdict. Costello was allowed to retire after conceding control of what is called today the Genovese crime family to Genovese. Luciano was powerless to stop it.


  • Apalachin, New York, U.S.
    Friday Oct 25, 1957

    Anastasia's assassination

    Apalachin, New York, U.S.
    Friday Oct 25, 1957

    On October 25, 1957, Genovese and Gambino successfully arranged the murder of Anastasia, another Luciano ally. The following month, Genovese called a meeting of bosses in Apalachin, New York to approve his takeover of the Luciano family and to establish his national power. Instead, the Apalachin Meeting turned into a fiasco when law enforcement raided the meeting. Over 65 high-ranking mobsters were arrested and the Mafia was subjected to publicity and numerous grand jury summons.


  • New York, U.S.
    Saturday Apr 04, 1959

    Gambino became the most powerful

    New York, U.S.
    Saturday Apr 04, 1959

    On April 4, 1959, Genovese was convicted in New York of conspiracy to violate federal narcotics laws. Sent to prison for 15 years, Genovese tried to run his crime family from prison until his death in 1969. Meanwhile, Gambino now became the most powerful man in the Cosa Nostra.


  • Naples, Italy
    Friday Jan 26, 1962

    Death

    Naples, Italy
    Friday Jan 26, 1962

    On January 26, 1962, Luciano died of a heart attack at Naples International Airport.


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