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Topics in Chronicling America - Palmer Raids

Spurred by numerous bombings and strikes, Attorney General Alexander Palmer sets about a campaign to crush radical “Reds” in the United States. Using legally questionable force and tactics, thousands of suspected anarchists and communists were arrested and hundreds deported during the “Palmer Raids.” Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
Picture of Attorney General Mitchell Palmer

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • June 2, 1919. Attorney General Alexander Palmer’s house is damaged in anarchist bombing.
  • November 7, 1919. First series of raids launched, 200 radicals arrested.
  • December 8, 1919. Russian-born anarchist Emma Goldman ordered banished and later deported.
  • January 2, 1920. 3,000 arrested in nationwide roundup of "reds".
  • April 30, 1920. Palmer warns of plots against the lives of officials on May Day.
  • May 1, 1920. "May Day Scare." Palmer's warnings of May 1st revolution prove groundless.
  • January 19, 1921-March 3, 1921. Senate Judiciary Committee hearings investigating the legality of Palmer’s raid tactics and deportations.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Palmer, Goldman, May Day, raids, bomb, coal, Red.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.
  • For best search results, combine keywords with related phrases within a specified date range (e.g., to find specific articles on the May Day Scare, search the keyword “Palmer” in combination with the phrase “May Day” within the date range of April 15, 1920 – May 15, 1920.)

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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