Tuesday, September 16, 2008

All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again...

On this date in 1920, a horse-drawn wagon came to a stop in the lunch hour crowds at the corner of Wall Street and Broad in New York City, right across from the headquarters of J.P. Morgan.

Moments later, the wagon disintegrated into a fireball, as over 100 pounds of dynamite flung shrapnel in every direction, scything through the crowd with enough velocity that the stone walls of the bank across the street are pockmarked to this day. Thirty were killed and hundreds injured in the attack.

This fanned anti-immigrant sentiment, since the perpetrators were almost certainly guilty of being Italian-Americans in a country whose president had recently stated
"Hyphenated Americans (who) have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life. Such creatures of passion, disloyalty and anarchy must be crushed out."
and where ten thousand immigrants had recently been deported for suspected anarchist ties. It also gave a fledgling "General Intelligence Division" of the Justice Department and its chief, a 25 year old hard-charger by the name of J. Edgar Hoover, a shot in the arm.

In the end, the perpetrators were never caught, a new federal law enforcement agency was born and new laws were passed to empower it, and Wall Street had worries much bigger than mere physical bombs by the end of the decade.

And who says history doesn't repeat itself?

8 comments:

Earl said...

Only those that re-write History say it doesn't repeat itself. People don't get more intelligent with each generation... do they?

perlhaqr said...

Oooooh. InSoc sample reference. Nice.

Neutrino Cannon said...

Wow. Woodrow Wilson was an enormous ass.

Sebastian said...

Interesting. Of course, I wouldn't exactly call the 00's "roaring" Maybe it's because we don't have bathtub gin.

staghounds said...

Another "blood-stained inanity of so fatuous a kind that it was impossible to fathom its origin by any reasonable or even unreasonable process of thought".

Surprising that someone, somewhere, lived on having done this and took the secret to his grave.

Steve Skubinna said...

Ah, that prototypical leftist Fascist, Woody Wilson. Isn't he still a hero to the Dems?

Rabbit said...

History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it lets fly with a club and shrieks "Why can't you pay attention!?"

Regards,
Rabbit.

HTRN said...

Tam, you might be interested to know that the JP Morgan building still bears the pockmarked scars of the attack.