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Palmer Raids Deportation

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The fears of Wilson and other government officials were confirmed when Galleanists—Italian followers of the anarchist Luigi Galleani—carried out a series of bombings in April and June 1919. At the end of April, some 30 Galleanist letter bombs had been mailed to a host of individuals, mostly prominent government officials and businessmen, but also law enforcement officials. Only a few reached their targets, and not all exploded when opened. Some people suffered injuries, including a housekeeper in Senator Thomas W. Hardwick's residence, who had her hands blown off. On June 2, 1919, the second wave of bombings occurred, when several much larger package bombs were detonated by Galleanists in eight American cities, including one that damaged the home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer in Washington, D. C. At least one person was killed in this second attack, night watchman William Boehner, and fears were raised because it occurred in the capital. Flyers declaring war on capitalists in the name of anarchist principles accompanied each bomb.



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