Dumbass Causes Bomb Scare at State, War and Navy Building

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.

not really a bomb
not really a bomb

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • Tom Hendrick

    Hilarious!

    I’m working on a couple of posts for GDC now but I can’t top this! Thx!

    From: Ghosts of DC Reply-To: Ghosts of DC Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 8:46 AM To: william Hendrick Subject: [New post] Dumbass Causes Bomb Scare at State, War and Navy Building

    WordPress.com Ghosts of DC posted: “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 resp”