Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Historical Bizarre Note No. 1 - Machine Gun Kelly
July 13, 2011
In it's never-ending quest to bring our loyal readers the best in bizarre, BizarreStuff is launching a new "every now and then" feature to bring our readers historical bizarre stuff. Bizarre stuff has been with us since time immemorial and we at BS thought an occasional bizarre incident from the past would be of interest to our readers. Then again, maybe not.
Our lead-off historical bizarre stuff story concerns an American gangster with the provocative name of 'Machine Gun' Kelly. Mr. Kelly's exploits, which took place during the 1920s and 30s, revolved around his indiscriminate use of a novel weapon known as the machine gun.
Analagous in some ways to the original rapid, repeat firing Gatlin gun, used by the U.S. Army in its almost successful attempt to exterminate the original owners of what is now known as the United States of America, the Native Americans, the machine gun, pictured above, had the added advantage of being portable and could be carried in a case that resembled that of a violin.
Mr. Kelly's use of the machine gun gave him a pronounced advantage over his rivals,
most of whom still relied on the revolver in the gang wars that followed the passage of the ill-fated 18th Amendment, in 1919, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages. Mr. Kelly's career as a criminal roughly spanned the time prohibition was in effect, until its repeal in 1933.
Mr. Kelly was also responsible for giving federal agents of the FBI the nick name G-Men. Kelly, like many infamous American criminals, became something of a folk hero and had songs written about him.