Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress

Hotel Congress has several claims to fame, from wandering ghosts to being dubbed one of the best bars in America, but the event that wrote Hotel Congress into history books occurred on January 22, 1934. It was the day Tucson captured the notorious gangster and bank robber John Dillinger, America's first Public Enemy #1.

John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Hotel Congress celebrates the anniversary of the gang's capture with Dillinger Days every January. Events at the hotel included re-enactments, vintage cars, whiskey tasting, music and tours of the historic hotel where the gang was holed up when a fire broke out. We spent yesterday morning there celebrating the 78th anniversary of the capture.

Vehicles from the Model A Car Club at the event:

Model A Classic Old Fashioned car vehicle at John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Model A Classic Old Fashioned green car truck vehicle at John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Model A Classic Old Fashioned car vehicle at John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Interior Model A Classic Old Fashioned car vehicle at John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Model A Classic Old Fashioned green car vehicle at John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Red Model A Classic Old Fashioned car vehicle at John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Model T convertible Classic Old Fashioned car vehicle at John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ
Model T

Gangster reenactment John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ
John Dillinger, regaling us with his side of the story.

Getaway car Gangster reenactment John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ
The getaway car.

Hostages getting into Classic Model A getaway car in gangster reenactment John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ
Hostages... with cute shoes.

Hostages getting into Classic Model A getaway car in gangster reenactment John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Hostages getting into Classic Model A getaway car in gangster reenactment John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Gangster & robber John Dillinger smoking next to Classic Model A getaway car in reenactment, Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Cops near Classic Model A getaway car in reenactment, Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ
The coppa, stretching.

Cops near Classic Model A getaway car in reenactment, Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ
Hmmm... is there anything suspicious about a running vehicle parked in front of a bank?

John Dillinger bank rob reenactment, Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

John Dilliner on a Classic Model A getaway car in bank robbing reenactment, Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ

Crowded interior plaza of Hotel Congress, Dillinger Days, AZ, Arizona
The hotel was crowded!

Old Classic style telephone booth in Hotel Congress, AZ, Arizona
Classic phone booths.

Old vintage switchboard inside Hotel Congress, AZ, Arizona
Actual switchboard Hotel Congress used to phone guests in their rooms --apparently it's still in operation.

Classic vintage firefighting firefighter memorabilia in Hotel Congress, Dillinger Days, AZ, Arizona
The meeting room held artifacts/info of John Dillinger and the fire fighters.

Just like a lot of the current residents of Tucson, The Dillinger gang came to Tucson to "lay low". :) They were staying on the 3rd floor of Hotel Congress when a fire broke out. They escaped from their rooms using ladders and tipped the fire fighters to retrieve their luggage --which unbeknownst to the firemen, contained thousands in stolen dollars and an assortment of machine guns, pistols, ammunition and bullet-proof vests.

Later, after the gang had moved to a house on 2nd Avenue, one of the firemen recognized Dillinger. A stakeout ensued and the gang was captured.

January 25, 1934 photo of Dillinger outlaw gang, Russel Clark, Charles Makley, Harry Pierpont, John Dilliger, Ann Martin, Mary Kinder arraigned in Tucson, Arizona, AZ
The Dillinger gang (January 25, 1934): Russel Clark, Charles Makley, Harry Pierpont, John Dillinger | Ladies: Ann Martin and Mary Kinder (Face palm! Oops!)

John Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress, downtown Tucson, Arizona, AZ
Caught completely off guard, Dillinger's only words when captured, “Well, I’ll be damned!”

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