Wall Street Blows Up
September 16, 1920 - It was a little before noon on this day in New York City that a horse-drawn wagon rolled to a stop in front of the J.P. Morgan bank at 23 Wall Street. The driver climbed down and disappeared into the growing crowd of newsboys, street vendors, bankers and stock brokers.
Inside the wagon was 100 pounds of dynamite and 500 pounds of cast iron weights. At 12:01 a timer ignited an explosion that ripped everything apart. 38 people were killed and 143 were seriously injured. The shrapnel from the explosion blew large chunks of granite off the facade of the bank.
Police originally believed that the explosion was an accident, but as the investigation continued they began to suspect the Galleanists, a group of Italian anarchists who had set off similar bombs in the past.
In the end nobody was ever charged with the attack, and it remains an unsolved mystery.
At the time, it was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. That grim record would endure until 1998 when the Oklahoma bombing claimed 168 lives.
The damaged granite facade of the J.P. Morgan bank was never repaired. Those scars are still clearly visible today.