A speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the period known as Prohibition (1920–1933, longer in some states). During this time, the sale, manufacture, and transportation (bootlegging) of alcoholic beverages was illegal throughout the United States.
According to an 1889 newspaper, “Unlicensed saloons in Pennsylvania are known as ‘speak-easies.’” They were "so called because of the practice of speaking quietly about such a place in public, or when inside it, so as not to alert the police or neighbors." 
Speakeasies were numerous and popular during the Prohibition years. Some of them were operated by people who were part of organized crime. Even though police and agents of the Bureau of Prohibition would often raid them and arrest their owners and patrons, they were so profitable that they continued to flourish.
Blind pigs and blind tigers 
The term "blind pig" (or "blind tiger") originated in the United States in the nineteenth century; it was applied to lower-class establishments that sold alcoholic beverages illegally. The operator of an establishment (such as a saloon or bar) would charge customers to see an attraction (such as an animal) and then serve a "complimentary" alcoholic beverage, thus circumventing the law.
In desperate cases it has to betake itself to the exhibition of Greenland pigs and other curious animals, charging 25 cents for a sight of the pig and throwing in a gin cocktail gratuitously.
[They] are in a mysterious place called a blind tiger, drinking the very bad whiskey for which Prohibition is indirectly responsible.
In many rural towns, small speakeasies and blind pigs were operated by local business owners. These family secrets were often kept even after Prohibition ended. In 2007 secret underground rooms thought to have been a speakeasy were found by renovators on the grounds of the Cyber Cafe West in Binghamton, New York.
- Cheney Sentinel. September 13, 1889. p. 1, col. 1. (A newspaper in Cheney, Washington)
- Harper, Douglas. ""speakeasy"". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- MacRae, David (1870). The Americans at Home: Pen-and-Ink Sketches of American Men, Manners, and Institutions. Volume II. Edinburgh, Scotland. p. 315.
- Atlantic Monthly (February, 1912): p. 206.
- Sweeny, Caitlin. "Remains of Speakeasy found in Cyber Cafe parking lot" April 17, 2007. Pipe Dream : Binghamton University. June 2, 2012.
- Kahn, Gordon, and Al Hirschfeld. The Speakeasies of 1932. New York: Glenn Young Books, (1932, rev. 2003). ISBN 1-55783-518-7
- Loretta Britten, Paul Mathiess, ed. Our American Century Jazz Age: The 20’s. 1998. Time Life Books. New York: Bishop Books Inc., 1969. ISBN 0-7835-5509-1
- Streissguth, Thomas. The Dry Years. The Roaring Twenties. Encyclopedia. 2007 ed. Facts On File, Inc. 2007. ISBN 0-8160-6423-7
- Galperina, Marina. "The Museum of the American Gangster Opens Doors of Former Speakeasy in March." February 19, 2010. Animal New York. 25 March 2010.