9 Bombs Explode in 8 American Cities


Anarchists’ day of terror shocks America

Luigi Galleani was an Italian immigrant to the United States and a dedicated anarchist.  He believed so strongly in this stupidest of all political ideologies that he felt direct violent action was necessary to achieve his anarchist goals.  He was probably correct in that theory, as no one with any modicum of common sense would agree with him unless a gun was pointed to their head.  (Which is why even today anarchism is closely associated with violence.)

He managed to develop a following of equally vacuous morons to subscribe to his beliefs.  Galleanists were big believers in the power of the bomb and were responsible for dozens of bombings and attacks around the country.  

On June 2, 1919, they succeeded in delivering 9 mail bombs to sensitive locations around the United States.  All 9 devices detonated almost simultaneously in a remarkably coordinated attack. 

The explosions rocked; Our Lady of Victory RC Church in Philadelphia, the home of industrialist Harry Klotz in Patterson, the home of Harry Davis who was the mayor of Cleveland (I guess that was a big deal back then), Boston Judge Albert Hayden, Massachusetts Representative Leland Powers, Pittsburgh Judge WHS Thompson, Immigrations Chief W.W. Sibray , US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer in Washington, and New York Judge Charles Nott.

The only person killed in the attack was a night watchman in New York City named William Boehner.  It was remarkably fortunate no one else died as the bombs contained up to 25 pounds of dynamite.  

Each bomb was delivered with several pink flyers which read:

“War, Class war, and you were the first to wage it under the cover of the powerful institutions you call order, in the darkness of your laws. There will have to be bloodshed; we will not dodge; there will have to be murder: we will kill, because it is necessary; there will have to be destruction; we will destroy to rid the world of your tyrannical institutions.”   

The bombings sparked Attorney General A. Mitchell Palner to implement an aggressive crackdown on immigrants and radicals known as the Palmer Raids.  Approximately 10,000 people were arrested in the raids, which were pretty much illegal.  

Luigi Galleani, who was in custody at the time of the bombings, was deported back to Italy and became Benito Mussolini’s problem in 1922.  It was off to jail for Luigi, as Mussolini wasn’t very sympathetic to his opinions on how the world should work.  

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