October 17, 1931. Organised crime boss Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for income tax evasion. Born in 1899, Capone was expelled from school at 14 after hitting a female teacher in the face. He gained the nickname “Scarface” because of injuries received in New York, where he grew up. Capone amassed a fortune running gambling, prostitution and bootlegging rings in prohibition-era Chicago. The single event he is most associated is the St Valentine’s Day massacre in 1929, in which seven of his rivals were gunned down by four men dressed as policeman. Capone was widely believed to be behind the shooting, but justice finally caught up with him for financial reasons and he was given an 11-year jail sentence and a $80,000 fine for tax evasion. Her ended up in Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay and was released for good behaviour in 1939, suffering badly from complications linked to syphilis. He died of a heart attack in 1947 at 48 years of age.
Also on October 17: assassination of Haitian revolutionary leader Emperor Jacques (1806); golf’s first Open Championship begins in Prestwick, Scotland (1860); Albert Einstein arrives in New Jersey, USA after fleeing Nazi Germany (1933); Two African-American athletes sent home after making the Black Power salute at the Mexico Olympics (1968).
Born on October 17: Arthur Miller (1915), Rita Hayworth (1918), Evel Knievel (1938), Mike Judge (1962), Wyclef Jean (1969), Eminem (1972), Tarkan (1972), André Villas Boas (1977).