On September 16, 1920, a bomb planted on a red horse-drawn wagon exploded into the lunchtime crowd at Wall and Broad streets. This was just outside the House of Morgan (now known as J.P. Morgan), then the world’s most powerful financial institution. The force of the explosion, which killed 38 and wounded hundreds, was strong enough to lift people off the ground and fling the mangled horse halfway down the road.
He escaped, white-faced and dazed, along with hundreds of others, as the dead lay flattened “like tenpins.”
The wagon carried 100 pounds of TNT, with 500 pounds of cast-iron bolts packed around the explosives that detonated at 12:01 p.m., when the streets were teeming with lunch-hour traffic, according to the anthology Tools of Violence: Guns, Tanks and Dirty Bombs, by Chris McNab and Hunter Keeter. To this day, nobody knows who did it or why. And the mystery has been all but forgotten, apart from the deep gouges left in buildings by the blast.
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