Anarchist Terror Bombings in the US - 1919-1920

On January 1, 1919, Vladimir Lenin of the Soviet Union urged the workers of the world to join in revolution against the establishment. Although there were worker revolutions in parts of Europe, none occurred in the US. Unable to start a communist revolution and unable to win at the ballot box, American Bolsheviks and Anarchists turned to violence.

On May 1, 1919, 36 package bombs were found in the mail at the General Post Office in New York City. Some of the intended targets were Postmaster General Burleson, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, New York Mayor Hylan, New York City Police commissioner Enright, Governor Sproul of Pennsylvania, Frederick Bullmers, editor, Jackson, Mississippi Daily News, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, U.S. District Judge, Chicago and William I. Schaffer, Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

Other bombs were sent to Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson but the bomb didn’t detonate. Another bomb was sent to Georgia Senator Thomas Hardwick, who had co-sponsored the anti-anarchist Immigration Act of 1918. It blew off the hands of his housekeeper when she attempted to open the package. The senator's wife was also injured in the blast.

On June 2, 1919, explosions occurred in 8 different cities at the same hour which targeted public officials, judges and businessmen. One of the targets was US Attorney General Alexander Palmer. The bomb went off prematurely, killing the bomber. Future President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then Secretary of the Navy under Woodrow Wilson, who lived across the street called the police. 

Still the bombings continued. Judge Albert Hayden’s home was wrecked by a bomb. New York City Judge C. C. Nott’s home was heavily damaged by a bomb. Congressman Leland W. Powers’ home in Massachusetts was badly damaged by a bomb. In Philadelphia, the Rectory of Our Lady of Victory parish was nearly destroyed by a bomb.

As the year wore on, the public demanded Congress do something about the violence. Towards the end of 1919, over 4,000 suspected Bolsheviks/Anarchists were arrested. On Dec. 21, the U.S. deported 249 anarchists to Russia on a US Army transport - guarded by 250 US Army troops.(1)

But the Anarchists had one more surprise. At noon, on Sep. 16, 1920, a huge bomb in a horse-drawn wagon left in front of the U.S. Sub-Treasury Building on Wall Street, and opposite the N. Y. Stock Exchange exploded. Thirty nine people died, 200 were wounded and the horse was blown to pieces. Most of the dead and wounded were young people who worked as messengers, stenographers and clerks. Many of the wounded suffered serious injuries. Police rushed to the scene and commandeered all nearby automobiles to transport victims to hospitals. No one was ever charged with this crime.

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On Sep. 16, 1920. a huge bomb killed 39 people in front of the U.S. Sub Treasury Building in New York City.

Sources:

(1) When the United States invaded Russia, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers - 2012, Carl J. Richard, page 134, 136