Friday, July 22, 2016

The Preparedness Day Terrorist Attack: July 22, 1916

A bomb went off went off at San Francisco's Preparedness Day Parade, killing ten and wounding forty.  While two labor leaders were convicted for the terrorist act, they later had their sentences commuted due to the lack of any real evidence associating them with the acts.  The perpetrators have never been identified.

Why San Francisco had their parade on a day other than the Flag Day celebration that was the rule I don't know.  But this event occurred on this day, in 1916. 

Preparedness Day was an event authored by the Administration following the passage of the National Defense Act which recognized that we were on the verge of war with somebody.  Maybe Mexico.  Maybe Germany. Maybe Mexico and Germany.  Times were tense.

The times were also increasingly radical, as we will see soon in some additional posts, and anarchists and radical socialistic were very much a factor in various movements around the world, including the United States, at that time.  Indeed, not all that long ago on this blog we read of the 1916 Easter Uprising in Ireland which featured a radical socialist element, which tends to be forgotten.

This event is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that this is an event which we'd presume to read more in our own time rather than a century ago.  It's also a terrible example of miscarried justice as those convicted of the act never really seemed to have any connection with it, which should have been obvious in the administration of justice that's impartial.  While the perpetrator has never been identified, there are strong suspicions about who was responsible, and it seems very clear that very radical elements were responsible.

Scary times in the US, to say the least. This came in the midst of  the mobilization of the National Guard, a raging war in Europe, and a nearly universal belief that the United States and Mexico would soon be at war.

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