Little Bits of History

Multiple Bombs

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 2, 2014
Luigi Galleani

Luigi Galleani

June 2, 1919: Eight bombs explode nearly simultaneously. The Galleanists were a group of anarchists following Luigi Galleani in the US. He was born in 1861 in Vercelli, Italy and as an adolescent and while studying law at the University of Turin, he became an anarchist. Wanted by police, he fled Turin in 1880 and moved to France. He helped organize a demonstration at the University of Geneva in 1887 in honor the Haymarket martyrs of Chicago. He was arrested and deported and returned to Italy. There he was arrested and served five years in prison and in exile on the island of Pantelleria when he escaped in 1900 and fled to Egypt. From there, he arrived in the US in 1901 after eluding extradition back to Italy.

Now aged 40, he was a charismatic speaker who advocated for violence as a way to overthrow capitalists who systematically oppressed the working man. He ran an Italian anarchist periodical published in the US and described himself as a subversive and revolutionary propagandist dedicated to overthrowing established governments and institutions by the use of violence. He preached his philosophy to a willing crowd of strikers in 1902 and in a confrontation with police, he was wounded but escaped to Canada where he was quickly escorted back across to the border to the US. He continued to work with his anarchist newsletter for fifteen years, until it was closed down under the Sedition Act of 1918.

With this new development, he began a series of bombings in 1919. The first took place with mailed bombs sent in April 1919. Thirty-six packages were sent with many of them intercepted before arriving at their intended recipients’ addresses. However, several of the bombs did arrive and were opened. Some of the more notable recipients were Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., JP Morgan, Jr., and John D. Rockefeller. Although there were some injuries to parties targeted, no one was killed.

A second attempt was made on this day and eight bombs were detonated in eight different US cities. These bombs were much larger than those sent in April and contained as much as 25 pounds of dynamite. They were wrapped with heavy metal slugs to act as shrapnel. Attorney General Mitchell Palmer (who also was a target in April) had a bomb explode prematurely outside his home which killed the carrier, Carlo Valdinoci. Palmer’s house was destroyed but he and his family were not seriously injured. A young Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife had only recently passed out of harm’s way before the bomb exploded. None of the targeted men were killed, but also killed was a New York City night watchman, William Boehner. Three weeks later, Galleani was deported but not because of the bombings. His followers continued to carry on his work in the US until 1932 and included an attack on Wall Street in 1920 which killed 38.

We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it means danger, revolution, anarchy. – Henry Miller

The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency. – Aldous Huxley

The worst thing in this world, next to anarchy, is government. – Henry Ward Beecher

There is no greater evil than anarchy. – Sophocles

Also on this day: Erotica or Pornography? – In 1740 an author is born.
Wedding Bells – In 1886, President Cleveland married.
All Work; All Play – In 1925, Lou Gehrig was put in as first baseman.
Ground Ball – In 1763, Fort Michilimackinac was built by the French.


2 Responses

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  1. hairballexpress said, on June 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I’ll never understand weirdos who try to destroy those of their own kind. *(tail flap)*

    • patriciahysell said, on June 2, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Humans might need some kat wisdom to get over this aberrancy. There is no excuse for it and luckily most humans do not get involved in it.

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