The Bombing Of Wall Street
At noon on September 16, 1920, a wagon pulled up in front of the Wall Street offices of J.P. Morgan & Co., the most powerful banking firm in the world. Its infernal cargo consisted of dynamite with window sash weights for shrapnel. The driver fled, and seconds later, a powerful explosion ripped through lower Manhattan.
Windows shattered. People were lifted from the street, including a young stockbroker named Joseph P. Kennedy. In an eerie foreshadowing of a future attack 81 years later in the same area, World War I veterans thought the bombs came from planes roaring through the skies. A mushroom-shaped yellow-green cloud of smoke and flame rose 30 meters (100 ft) over America’s busiest financial district. Ashen-faced people fled from the chaos that eventually killed 39 and injured hundreds more—the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil until the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
The bomb missed J.P. Morgan the man, who was on vacation, but wounded his son Junius and killed his chief clerk at his desk. The rest of the dead were unfortunate souls caught in the wrong place at the wrong time—ordinary messengers, clerks, stenographers, and brokers. A woman’s severed head was discovered stuck to the concrete wall of a building, with the hat still on. Mutilated bodies littered the ground. One victim, burned and half-naked, tried to rise and toppled back dead in the gutter.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, and no one would be brought to answer for the atrocity. But the finger of suspicion turned to Anarchists, who had been harassing the Morgans with letter bombs. A message was found in a nearby mailbox which read: “Free the political prisoners. Or it will be sure death for all of you. American Anarchist Fighters.” It perhaps referred to anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, indicted the day before for robbery and murder.
Among the suspects taken in for questioning were well-known Anarchist Carlo Tresca and eccentric tennis champion Edward Fischer. Fischer had allegedly predicted the bombing to his friends, but he turned out to be simply mentally unhinged and was sent to Bellevue Hospital.
It is a sad and gruesome fact that the folks wanting to inflict death and destruction just to prove or labor a point...will always find a means to do just that. The targets are usually lost in a sea of innocents, and have no idea of the deadly message being sent.
Coffee out on the patio this morning. Gonna be hot later, but it's still pleasant enough in the mornings.