By all accounts, September 16, 1920 started out like any other workday for the financial institutions centered around lower Broadway.
Just before noon, however, a wagon led by a lone horse stopped near the corner of Wall and Broad Streets, in front of the headquarters of J.P Morgan and across from the United States Assay Office. The New York Stock Exchange was around the corner.
At 12:01, a bomb hidden in the wagon exploded. Witnesses reported the carnage as horrific. Thirty-nine people were killed and 300 injured; bodies (and body parts, including horse parts) lay in the street, and maimed Wall Streeters took refuge in Trinity Church. Most of the dead were clerks, messengers, and other office staffers.
The bomb was immediately denounced as the work of anarchists. The next day, thousands of people came to the corner where it detonated and sang America the Beautiful. Many suspects were questioned, but no one ever charged, and the bombing—the worst in the U.S. until Oklahoma City in 1995—remains unsolved.
An eerie reminder of the destruction: Pockmarks from shrapnel are still visible on the J.P. Morgan building.