151: The First Red Scare - Bombings, The Palmer Raids, Eugene Debs, and J. Edgar Hoover

History That Doesn't Suck

Mar 11 2024 • 1 hr 2 mins

“Palmer, do not let this country see red.” This is the story of America’s First Red Scare. On June 2, 1919, Attorney General Mitchell Palmer is just going to bed when the first floor of his home is blown apart. It was a bomb, and part of a larger plot to attack several national leaders. It’s the work of anarchists. Shaken to the core, Mitch is determined to use his position as AG to rid the nation of such extremist, violent leftists–anarchists, Bolsheviks, and the like. Mitch turns to the Bureau of Investigation (the predecessor of the FBI) to help round up foreign Reds. He’ll find a bright young lawyer named J. Edgar Hoover particularly useful in his “Palmer Raids.” But as famed socialist Eugen Debs goes to prison for speaking against the war and union workers get treated like they’re a part of the far left, some start to wonder: is the AG still protecting the nation from violent radicals, or is he conducting a witch hunt? With bombings scaring the nation and Wall Street, the nation must debate where to draw the line between security and liberty. ___ Connect with us on HTDSpodcast.com and go deep into episode bibliographies and book recommendations join discussions in our Facebook community get news and discounts from The HTDS Gazette  come see a live show get HTDS merch or become an HTDS premium member for bonus episodes and other perks. HTDS is part of the Airwave Media Network.  Interested in advertising on the History That Doesn't Suck? Email us at advertising@airwavemedia.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices