From Union Square to Mesabi Range

  • Nunzio Pernicone
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


The Lexington Avenue explosion prompted the Police Department to form a special antiradical unit known officially as the Bomb Squad in August 1914.1 Commanded by Captain Thomas J. Tunney, an eighteen-year veteran who detested radicals but never learned to distinguish one from another, the Bomb Squad was stirred into action when a bomb exploded in the nave of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the afternoon of October 13, 1914; and another devise exploded the following morning in front St. Alphonsus’s rectory. The bombs were most likely planted to commemorate the execution of Francisco Ferrer on the same day in 1909. These attentat? were followed by the bombing of the Bronx Court House on November 11, the anniversary of the Haymarket executions in 1886, and the planting of a bomb three days later in the Tombs police court, under the seat of the magistrate who had sentenced Tannenbaum and others.2


Plea Bargain District Attorney County Jail Italian Miner Mining Town 
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  1. 1.
    Thomas J. Tunney (as told to Paul Merrick Hollister), Throttled!: The Detection of the German and Anarchist Bomb Plotter? (Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1919 ), 3–4.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., 44; The New York Time?, October 14, 1914; Paul Avrich, Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Backgroun? ( Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991 ), 100.Google Scholar
  3. 13.
    For Rossoni and the FSI schism over interventionism, see Topp, Those Without a Countr?, 128–138, 146–173; Rudolf J. Vecoli, “The War and Italian American Syndicalists;” (unpublished paper presented at the Organization of American Historians, 1978): 1–24; De Ciampis, “Storia del movimento socialista;” 154, 159–162; John J. Tinghino, Edmondo Rossoni: From Revolutionary Syndicalist to Fascis? ( New York: Peter Lang, 1991 ), 33–74.Google Scholar
  4. 20.
    For general accounts of the strike, see Foner, The Industrial Workers of the Worl?, 486–517; and Dubofsky, We Shall Be Al?, 319–333. For the Italians on the Mesabi Range, see Rudolph J. Vecoli, “Italians on Minnesota’s Iron Range,” in Rudolph J. Vecoli, ed., Italian Immigrants in Rural and Small Town Americ? (Staten Island, NY: American Italian Historical Association, 1987), 179–189.Google Scholar
  5. See also Donald G. Sofchalk, “Organized Labor and the Iron Ore Miners of Northern Minnesota, 1907–1936,” Labor Histor? 12 (spring 1971): 214–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. and Neil Betten, “Riot, Revolution, Repression in the Iron Range Strike of 1916,” Minnesota Histor? 41 (summer 1968): 82–93.Google Scholar
  7. 31.
    Flynn to Vorse, Duluth, July 24, 1916, in Mary Heaton Vorse Papers, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Box 55. Also quoted in Mary Heaton Vorse, Footnote to Foll? ( New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1935 ), 135.Google Scholar

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© Nunzio Pernicone 2005

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