Friday, March 30, 2007

"Mobtown, USA...

...Separating Fact from Fiction."

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society's Young Leaders Advisory Board presented a panel discussion this evening addressing the issue of organized crime in the area. It is no secret that Youngstown's history has been largely affected by organized crime. But is Youngstown's history as you've come to know it really accurate?

Moderated by Dr. Fred Viehe, Professor of History at YSU, the discussion aimed to inform the audience of various aspects of organized crime from its beginnings (in ancient times) through the modern day.
The most interesting topics were discussed by Jonathan Kinser as he presented a portion of his own research into the local trials of famed lawyer Clarence Darrow (Born and raised in Kinsman, OH, Darrow was involved in many notable cases, especially the Scopes Monkey Trial). In his later years, Darrow was involved in the locally famous Munsene trials.

To learn more about the Munsene Trials, check out this write-up about Jonathan Kinser and his research here.

It was an interesting view into our history and our old reputation as "Mobtown, USA."


As an aside, it is interesting to note that James Munsene was the owner of several local clubs including the Hollyhock Club in Warren where a young man named Perry Como was a building a name for himself.

Unfortunately, the Hollyhock Club's reputation eventually led to its demise.

No comments: