1916 Preparedness Day Bombing

Newspaper images of the injured and dead. Wikipedia image.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Preparedness Day Bombing of July 22 1916.

During San Francisco’s Preparedness Day parade, a suitcase bomb exploded, killing ten and wounding 40. Two labor leaders, Thomas Mooney and Warren K. Billings were convicted and sentenced to death, their sentences later commuted to life. Later investigations found that the convictions had been obtained by false testimony, and the men were released in 1939 and later pardoned. The identity of the bombers has never been determined.

The parade followed the Washington preparedness parade of June 14, and had been targeted by radicals. One unsigned pamphlet had been circulated which read, “we are going to use a little direct action on the 22nd to show that militarism can’t be forced on us and our children without a violent protest.”

The three and a half hour parade had over 50,000 marchers and 52 bands. At 2:06 PM, the cast steel pipe bomb exploded on the west side of Steuart Street, just south of Market Street.

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