Friday, April 27, 2012

This Day in History- April 27 1986

One of the ways you can tell if you were a child of the 80’s is by recognition of the phrase Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone’s Vault.

I myself recall sitting in the hospital, waiting for my father to come out of triple bypass surgery – and live on TV. 

The hype leading up to this was almost as much “Who Shot JR?”, with everyone speculating the contents.  In a way, this was one of the first “Reality” TV shows – because you really didn’t know how everything was going to unfold.

I think everyone knows, Al Capone was a famous gangster/bootlegger during prohibition.  His place in S&B History is definitely confirmed.

This show, however, focused on a previously “unknown vault” found in the Lexington Hotel in Chicago – a place Capone used as his headquarters from 1928 until his arrest in 1931.

The hype began when construction workers in the 1980’s found secret tunnels (that connected bars and former brothels throughout Chicago), a shooting range and hidden vaulted area.

In swept Geraldo – ever the showman.

What transpired next was one of the most watched syndicated television specials of all time – with an estimated 30 Million views.

What was in the vault?  Well – here is a retrospective, from Geraldo himself, that gives a flavor of the show AND shows the “treasure”.

Ahhhh – the 80’s, how I miss you so.

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