Three bomb-related incidents took place over the weekend, two in New Jersey and one in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, but New Yorkers have an unfortunate, long history with bombs by terrorists and other anarchists.
Anarchists Bungle Bomb Intended for John D. Rockefeller, 1914
Labor leaders were not big fans of U.S. Steel mogul John D. Rockefeller, blaming him for the deaths of miners and their families in Colorado in April 1914.
Anarchist leader and convicted felon Alexander Berkman and other anarchists and labor leaders thought blowing up Rockefeller’s Tarrytown estate would be the best revenge, according to the blog Ephemeral New York.
On July 4, 1914, the attempted terrorists attempted to assemble the bomb from batteries and dynamite in a top floor apartment of a tenement in an Italian neighborhood in Harlem. The bomb went off and killed three bomb makers and one of their girlfriends.
“Simultaneously the roof of the tenement house at 1626 Lexington Avenue was shattered into fragments and the debris of it and the three upper floors showered over the holiday crowds, some of it falling on roofs two and three blocks away,” Ephemeral New York quoted The News York Times as writing.
Only one survived in that blast, according to The Times.
Berkman later admitted his involvement.
Horse-Drawn Bomb Makes a Statement on Wall Street, 1920
As the bells on Trinity Church rang noon on September 16, 1920, a horse-drawn carriage packed with 100 pounds of dynamite and 500 pounds of iron was detonated at the southeast corner of Wall and Broad Streets, the “most important junction” of Lower Manhattan’s Financial District, History reported.
“That was the loudest noise I ever heard in my life,” J.P. Morgan employee Andrew Dunn later remembered, History reported. “It was enough to knock you out by itself.”
A group calling itself American Anarchist Fighters took credit, although police later suspected the Galleanists, a gang of anti-government Italian anarchists led by Luigi Galleani.
To this day, the culprit remains a mystery.