Reds Under the Bed

International alarm over the terrorist threat is not new. Anthony Read relates how the appearance of Bolshevism created a state of near hysteria throughout the Western world.

At 10.45 pm on December 30th, 1918, a bomb exploded at the home of Ernest T. Trigg, President of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Ten minutes later another went off at the apartment of Acting Superintendent of Police Captain William B. Mills, throwing him out of bed and into a corridor ten feet away. Minutes after that, a third bomb blew the front off the house of Supreme Court Justice Robert von Moschzisker. By some miracle no one was killed or seriously injured in any of the blasts.

Ignoring the claims of anarchists to have set off the bombs, Captain Mills announced they ‘were part of the plot which the Bolsheviki are starting on a nationwide scale.’ Amid a massive security operation, Mills’s officers picked up a fifty-six-year-old former hat-maker, Edward Moore, whom the Philadelphia Inquirer labelled ‘one of the city’s most intractable revolutionists’. Mills told reporters:

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