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Thursday, 3 March 2016

Mafia

The Mafia is a network of Mafia criminal organisations dating back to the nineteenth century. It is a word in the Sicilian dialect of Italian meaning literally 'boldness.'

The public's association of the word 'Mafia' with the criminal secret society was in part inspired by the 1863 play I mafiusi di la Vicaria (The Mafiosi of the Vicaria) by Giuseppe Rizzotto and Gaspare Mosca. The play is about a Palermo prison gang with traits similar to the Mafia.

The Italian-American mafia began at the time when many Italians moved to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The first Italian mafia was in New Orleans but they spread across the country.

The Italian mafia in the United States is actually called La Cosa Nostra which in Italian language means "This thing of ours" or "Our thing".

FBI chart of American Mafia bosses across the country in 1963.

The word 'mobster' is nearly 200 years older than 'gangster'. The latter became popular when 'mobster' was strongly associated with the Mafia.

In 1920 the prohibition of alcoholic drinks came into effect in the United States. It was intended to eliminate the saloon and the drunkard from American society. A consequence of the prohibition law was the creation of an illegal alcohol industry that was controlled by the Mafia.

Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn Monroe a Maltese terrier, which in a nod to the singer's supposed mob connections, she mischievously named Mafia, or Maf for short.

The word 'mafia' isn't used once in the Godfather movie series, as the "real Mafia" did not allow its producers to use the word in the films. They even sent "family" members to the set to monitor filming.

The Italian mafia accounts for 7% of Italy's GDP.

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