New, daily updating edition

Headlines  |  Alternate Histories  |  International Edition

Home Page


Alternate Histories

International Edition

List of Updates

Want to join?

Join Writer Development Section

Writer Development Member Section

Join Club ChangerS


Chris Comments

Book Reviews


Letters To The Editor


Links Page

Terms and Conditions



Alternate Histories

International Edition

Alison Brooks



Other Stuff


If Baseball Integrated Early


Today in Alternate History

This Day in Alternate History Blog

Site Meter








Bomb Blast in New York Sparks War on Terrorby Jeff Provine

Author says: we're very pleased to present a new story from Jeff Provine's excellent blog This Day in Alternate History Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

By September 16th 1920,

a little after noon, while crowds of businessmen were leaving their offices for lunch all along Wall Street, an unassuming horse and wagon exploded just outside the Morgan Building. Later analysis proved the bomb to be set with a timer and loaded with iron weights as shrapnel. Thirty-eight people were killed and hundreds more injured.

The attack was a tragedy, but the overall desire was to return to "business as usual". With a bombing so close to the stock exchange, leaders were fearful of a panic, and so the damage was cleaned overnight. The board of governors for the stock exchange opened on the 17th without a problem. Rumors circulated that the explosion had been an accident. Soon, however, the Bureau of Investigation released flyers discovered in a nearby post office box with the cryptic message, "Remember. We will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners or it will be death for all of you. American Anarchist Fighters!"

As the investigation continued quietly, people assumed it may have been an attack in reaction to the Sacco and Vanzetti, who had been arrested for murder in Massachusetts. People rallied behind the market in face of these "reds", and the celebration for Constitution Day continued at the same spot. Despite police surveillance, a package bomb exploded from a garbage bin, killing an additional seven. In Boston at the Farmer's Market, Washington, D.C., outside the Capitol, and San Francisco near the Mint, similar explosions followed.

"The "Red Scare" of 1920 was prosecuted ny Atornet General A. Mitchel Palmer with more zeal than competence. Its influence would persist, however, for it would bring to prominence a young J. Edgar Hoover, who in 1924 would be named director of the then poorly-respected Federal Bureau of Investigation primarily on the strength of his own anti-leftist zealotry during the Scare. Hoover, of course, would remain FBI Director for nearly fifty years, until his death during the Nixon presidency. " - reader's commentThe press seized the news, and the populace began to demand action. Wilson's term in office was nearly over, and the extremely ill president did not seem able to confront the issue of safety. Quoting the Washington Post, presidential hopeful Warren G. Harding said, "This is an 'act of war', and if it's war they want, it's war they'll get!" His words were dangerous in a world so soon after the Great War, but the gamble paid off, and he was elected in the largest majority since Washington. Immediately, Harding and his cabinet set upon establishing Security for Our Homeland. To prevent further plots, security checkpoints were set up at all train stations with passengers and baggage checked as well as bags being searched at important facilities such as museums, libraries, and public offices. Immigration came into heavy suspicion, especially as alcohol was run across the Canadian border, prompting many to call for a wall to be built.

Investigations pointed to Galleanists conducting the plot. All known accomplices were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and spirited to federal penitentiaries. The leader, Luigi Galleani (pictured), had been deported to Italy, where he had been further exiled to an island and watched by government officials. Harding demanded that Galleani return for trial on conspiracy to commit murder. When the Italian government did not move quickly enough, he sent Marines to collect the anarchist personally. Foreign reporters described the action as an "invasion", but Harding refused to acknowledge that he had done anything beyond justice.

As his term progressed, Harding approached the League of Nations with evidence (which many critics said was scant at best) that the Bolsheviks of Russia had been responsible and were preparing more "actions of mass destruction". He encouraged other nations to redouble their support in the Russian Civil War, but if they refused, America would "do it alone". The Russian War, as it was called but never officially since Congress did not declare war, simply funded the American Expeditionary Force for Freedom. Many suspected Harding's administration of corruption, but most vocal opinions were drowned out by cries of patriotism.

" think that if the US was sufficiently motivated, we could have gone into Russia and done the Bolsheviks some serious damage, if not overthrown the regime completely. By the early 1920s, a lot of Russians were already bitterly regretting the revolution" - reader's commentThrough the 1920s, the sense of panic would gradually subside in America while the war in Russia continued in a dogged fight against urban and guerrilla warfare. Many would call for a withdrawal of American soldiers by letting the Russian Republican Army defend the country itself, but neither Harding, Coolidge, nor Hoover fulfilled the promise to establish a timetable. The economy made a swift downturn in 1929, and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 began the steady withdraw. America was ready for a time of isolationism, but the world dragged them back to action as the 1940s began the Second World War. Hitler's Fascists stormed Russia in 1941, citing the same principles of security Harding had and conquering it within a matter of months. Though over a million German troops would be caught up in the bloody occupation of Russia, further Germans would storm the beaches of Britain. Faced with overwhelming odds, the Allies would fight at tremendous losses until the tide of the war changed with the Atomic Bomb.

Beleaguered, economically depressed, and bringing up a generation calling for renewed isolationism, America would spend the rest of the twentieth century as something of an unwilling patron, constantly at guard for another attack by terror in a post-colonial world.

Author says in reality though suspected, the Galleanists were never proven the source of the Wall Street bombing. Bombings were periodic, but hardly often. Rather than searching for conspiracies, the American populace endured radicals while being suspicious of immigrants in a "Red Scare" that was frightening but never fully terror.
To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Jeff Provine, Guest Historian of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


Site Meter


Hit Counter