Apalachin Conference

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APALACHIN CONFERENCE. On 14 November 1957 the New York State Police discovered a meeting of sixty-five to seventy ranking mobsters at the home of Joseph Barbara, outside Apalachin, New York. The gangsters were leaders from various parts of the country and from a number of organized crime families. The police became suspicious of criminal activity when they discovered that Barbara, the president of Canada Dry Bottling Company, was making a large number of hotel reservations and when they observed several well-known Mafia figures in the area. When the police approached the gathering, the participants fled into the woods, and the police set up roadblocks to stop them. Fifty-eight gangsters were stopped at the roadblocks or in the surrounding area, and taken to the police station for questioning. The subsequent investigations marked the beginnings of the U.S. government's war on organized crime. The conference revealed the world of organized crime to the public, which in return resulted in an increase in governmental response to addressing organized crime. Prior to the conference the Federal Bureau of Investigation, led by J. Edgar Hoover, had been resistant to investigating claims of organized crime. In response to the discovery, the Justice Department established the Special Group on Organized Crime in the spring of 1958, and both the New York State legislature and the U.S. Senate investigated the incident.


Albanese, Jay S. Organized Crime in America. Cincinnati, Ohio: Anderson, 1989.

Wilker, Josh. Organized Crime. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1999.

Woodiwiss, Michael. Organized Crime and American Power: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.

Shira M.Diner

See alsoConspiracy ; Crime, Organized ; Narcotics Trade and Legislation .