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Paul Kengor, a professor at Grove City College, contends in a USA Today column from yesterday that history is repeating itself when it comes to Occupy Wall Street. In short, class warfare, seen in the early 1900s, is once again rearing its ugly head. Check out what happened in 1920:
What will history books say about "Occupy Wall Street"?
For starters, it began on Sept. 17, a quite ironic date. Here is a New York Times headline from nearly a century ago, Sept. 17, 1920: "WALL STREET EXPLOSION KILLS 30, INJURES 300; MORGAN OFFICE HIT; BOMB PIECES FOUND."
At noon the previous day, a horse-drawn wagon carrying hundreds of pounds of explosives and deadly shrapnel exploded in front of the headquarters of J.P. Morgan at 23 Wall St., the heart of America's financial district. The final death toll was 38, with more than 400 injured.
The suspects were surprisingly similar to the spectrum of leftist protesters Wall Street now. They ranged from radical progressives to socialists to communists to anarchists, from homegrown Bolsheviks to Italian Galleanists to Communist Party USA. All were anti-capitalist, anti-Wall Street, anti-banker and generally despised the "millionaires and billionaires" who do not "pay their fair share," as President Obama puts it today. They saw banks, loan makers, investors, Wall Street and the wealthy as sinister forces. They, too, shouted "down with capitalism!"
Wealthy bankers and investors, like J. P. Morgan, braced themselves for a march on their homes by anti-capitalist mobs — a prelude to what happened in New York this time around. The Sept. 17, 1920, New York Times, in a lengthy page-one article titled, "RED PLOT SEEN IN BLAST," noted not only that Morgan's home was being guarded but that "many cities" around America were preparing their financial districts "against similar disaster." Mayors nationwide worried about the Wall Street chaos metastasizing to their cities. Sound familiar?
Yes it does. Read the rest here.
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