The Apalachin Meeting, Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara, and J. Edgar Hoover

The Apalachin Meeting was a historic summit of the American Mafia held at the home of mobster Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara in Apalachin, New York on November 14, 1957. Allegedly, the meeting was held to discuss various topics including loansharking, narcotics trafficking and gambling along with dividing the illegal operations controlled by the late Albert Anastasia. An estimated 100 Mafiosi members from the United States, Canada and Italy are thought to have been at this meeting.

Local and state law enforcement became suspicious because of the large number of expensive cars with license plates from around the country that arrived in what was described as “the sleepy hamlet of Apalachin”. After setting up roadblocks the police raided the meeting which caused many of the participants to flee into the woods and area surrounding the Barbara estate.[6] More than 60 underworld bosses were detained and indicted following the raid. One of the most direct and significant outcomes of the Apalachin Meeting was that it helped to confirm the existence of the American Mafia to the public, a fact that some, including Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover, had long refused to acknowledge publicly.