Things were quite different about a century ago. People were a little more trusting, maybe naïve or innocent. I think this short piece in the Washington Post from January 9th, 1916 illustrates this perfectly. If this happened today, you can bet the response would be vastly different.
A man who said he was a physician of Asheville, N. C., caused great excitement among the clerks and messengers at the State, War and Navy building Friday by asking a doorkeeper at the office of the Assistant Secretary of State a question.
“What is to prevent me from planting a bomb in here?” he inquired.
Touching a package in his pocket, the stranger increased the messenger’s alarm by saying, “You don’t know what this is, do you?”
The visitor strolled leisurely about the corridors while messengers hastily summoned the police. Newspapermen reached him first, and to them the man gave his name and explained that the package contained a present he was carrying home, and was altogether harmless. He left the building unmolested.
If this happened today, the Secret Service would be on his ass so fast, he wouldn’t know what hit him. The last bomb-related post was an interesting one, involving our favorite cop. I’m guessing that Officer Sprinkle didn’t show up to save the day in this article because he was busy saving a child from a burning building.
Officer Sprinkle was a badass. The guy from Ashville was a dumbass.
- Incredible Photo of State, War, Navy Building (ghostsofdc.org)
- A “Bomb” is Found and Officer Sprinkle Saves the Day (ghostsofdc.org)
- Old Police Call Boxes of Washington (ghostsofdc.org)