“This Dastardly Act’: San Francisco’s 1916 Preparedness Day Bombing”
Jeffrey Johnson, Providence College
On July 22nd a suitcase bomb ripped through the unsuspecting crowd at San Francisco’s Preparedness Day Parade, killing ten. The authorities immediately searched among the city’s notable anarchists, “disloyal” immigrants, or labor “radicals.” Arrested, among others, was Tom Mooney, a well-known San Francisco labor organizer. Held without legal counsel for six days and amid a lynch mob mentality, Mooney was tried in 1917 and sentenced to hang, the victim of doctored photographs and a coaxed jury. The San Francisco bombing and the Mooney Case stand as an underexplored yet characteristic moment in the strained relationship between capital and labor.
Respondents: Peter Cole, Western Illinois University; Kevin Boyle, Northwestern University
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