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16 September 2008

On this day in history: Wall Street Bombing, 1920

At just after midday on 16th September 1920, on the busy corner of Wall Street and Broad Street, a bomb left in horse drawn cart exploded firing around five-hundred pounds of cast-iron slugs into the lunchtime crowd. A timer triggered the detonation of about one-hundred pounds of dynamite, which vaporised the horse and wagon, killed thirty-eight people and injured four-hundred more. The explosion also caused more than two-million dollars worth of damage to the surrounding buildings, including the J. P. Morgan Inc. bank on the opposite side of the street.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, which is seen by many as the first car-bombing, but a note was found in a mailbox on the corner of Cedar Street and Broadway that read "Remember we will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners or it will be sure death for all of you. American Anarchist Fighters." This note and the choice of target in the centre of American capitalism suggest that the attack was part of the anarchist 'propaganda of the deed' campaign that started in the late nineteenth-century, leading some historians to point the finger at Galleanists, supporters of Italian anarchist Luigi Galleani - two of whom, Sacco and Vanzetti, had been arrested in Massachusetts earlier that year.


Evelyn said...

Man! That's some home grown terrorism! That's about the worst I've heard for something that happened so long ago.