The Man Who Shot J.P. Morgan ...
and Committed Other Nefarious Acts
by Susan Page Davis
Surprise Giveaway below
On July 2, 1915, Erich Muenter carried a package into the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. A former professor of German at Harvard University and several other colleges, Muenter was angry with Congress and American financiers who were aiding Great Britain in its fight against Germany.
|The U.S. Capitol circa 1915|
The chamber doors were locked, but Muenter was able to get into the Senate Reception Room. He placed the package, containing three sticks of dynamite, under the Senate’s telephone switchboard. He set the timer for a few minutes to midnight, then hurried to Union Station, where he bought a train ticket to New York.
No one was injured in the blast, as it was late on the Friday night of a holiday weekend. A guard feared the whole dome would collapse, but the damage was largely confined to the Reception Room.
|John Pierpont Morgan|
Some accounts say Morgan himself, though wounded, overpowered Muenter. Others reported that his servants tackled the intruder and the butler hit him over the head. Later it was claimed that Muenter planned to take Mrs. Morgan and other family members hostage until Morgan agreed to stop financing munitions for Britain. He denied being a German sympathizer and said he opposed war in general.
|It's said Morgan hated photographers|
and is shown here taking out his wrath on one.
|Photo of Erich Muenter after|
Muenter attempted suicide in the Mineola Jail. His guard was told to be ready to rush into the cell if he tried it again. For this reason, the guard later claimed, he had left the cell door ajar so that he could reach the prisoner quickly if need be. When the guard was called elsewhere, Muenter left his cell and jumped to his death.
The mysteries surrounding Erich Muenter were never fully solved. For instance, only 134 of the 200 sticks of dynamite he purchased were accounted for, and it was never shown whether he had accomplices in getting the dynamite onto any ships. For some time, “experts” were unsure whether Muenter and Holt were the same man, though acquaintances of Holt identified Muenter as Holt, and both were known to have similar scars. Handwriting experts did not agree on whether or not their writing was similar.
There is much more to this story, and I found it intriguing. I first ran across it while researching my book The Crimson Cipher, set in 1915, prior to the United States’s entry into World War I. Many acts of terrorism were carried out in this country, but we rarely hear about them anymore.
If you would like to enter the drawing for a copy (print or e-book) of The Crimson Cipher, leave a comment below. This story of a young woman employed as a civilian cryptographer for the navy mentions several other attempts to stop America from entering the war or helping the Allies.
Susan Page Davis is the author of more than forty published novels. A history major, she’s always interested in the unusual happenings of the past. She’s a two-time winner
of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and also a winner of the Carol Award and the Will Rogers Medallion, and a finalist in the WILLA Awards and the More Than Magic Contest. Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com .
I would love to read The Crimson Cipher. Thank you for this most interesting post and the giveaway.ReplyDelete
mauback55 at gmail dot com
Susan, I love to stay up late and read. It is a wonderful time for me.Delete
mauback55 at gmail dot com
I am the opposite, USUALLY. I was only up at 3 a.m. because my daughters had been visiting, and my husband had just driven out with them to get them to the airport in time for a 6:30 a.m. flight. I decided to check and see if my post had gone up as scheduled, since I was already up, and there you were! Nice to "see" a friend in the middle of the night.Delete
I think it was meant to be that we came together at that hour. Quiet, wee hours and "visiting" with a friend is the best! Thank you, Susan for sharing your talent. Writers are amazing to me. I am in awe just thinking about what you can do with the written word.Delete
You're welcome, Melanie. You must be a night owl!ReplyDelete
Susan, such an interesting and timely story.. History keeps repeating itself, doesn't it? Now I simply must read your book!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Margaret! We do seem to be in a repetitive history loop! It can be scary.Delete
Susan, I have never heard of this history and found it very interesting I never thought about terrorism in that time period.ReplyDelete
Thank you. Your book looks interesting and would love to read it.
Thanks for the kind words, Jackie. I learned SO much while researching this book.Delete
Susan, what an interesting story! I never realized terrorism was around in our country during World War I. Your book sounds exciting!ReplyDelete
I was surprised, too, Marilyn--bombs on ships and bridges, in factories producing munitions and vehicles for the Allies. There was quite a lot of it.Delete
I've never heard about this piece of history before. Interesting.ReplyDelete
campbellamyd at gmail dot com
Glad you stopped by, Amy. I read some books written soon after WWI by military and government officials. Very eye-opening.Delete
Interesting. I love learning about hidden historical situations, too. Thanks for sharing! pudy68 @ gmail dot comReplyDelete
I'm sure a lot of it was well known fifty years ago, but we never hear about this stuff anymore.Delete
Fascinating! I love to learn more about our nation's history! I cannot wait to read The Crimson Cipher!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Claudia! Nice to hear from another Davis.Delete
Always love learning more about American history! Would love to win The Crimson Cipher.ReplyDelete
bettimace at gmail dot com
You're entered, Betti. Just reading up on J.P. Morgan and Erich Muenter ( a VERY small part of the story) was fascinating.Delete
I am intrigued and can't wait to learn more! I would love to be entered to win a copy of THE CRIMSON CIPHER! Thank you for sharing this fascinating post and giveaway.ReplyDelete
texaggs2000 at gmail dot com
You're welcome, Britney! Thanks for coming by and participating.Delete
I don't think I posted the date for the prize drawing on this one--it will be Sunday, April 27.ReplyDelete
Muenter was persistent in blowing up things, wasn't he? I would love to win your book Susan. I don't even know what a civilian cryptographer is! Love to read your books. Thanks for the interesting post about a terrorist who wouldn't give up. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)comReplyDelete
Thanks, Sharon. A cryptographer is a person who solves ciphers and codes. My heroine is hired to work for the Navy, but she isn't enlisted in the Navy, so she's a civilian.Delete
Hello Susan. I loved reading this. Very interesting! I was already a mother of 3 in the 50s but never heard anything about this. So much we don't know about America's history, and younger generation will know less about th e history. There are those already changing lots of the facts. So much left out and other things added. We really need to teach our kids our history. Just wish I had a better memory now that I'm learning so much from my author friends. They make it fun to learn history. I would love to win your book. Thanks for the chance. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)comReplyDelete
So true, Maxie! I know there's a lot more history to learn now, but some things that seem to me very important are just left out! In the book I tell about a man who really tried to blow up a bridge between the state of Maine and Canada. When I took Maine history in school about 50 years ago, I didn't hear anything about this. It seems the Germans were afraid the Allies would bring soldiers across Canada by railroad and took steps to slow them down. They wanted to destroy Canadian railroads. That was before the USA joined the war, but of course, Canada was a close ally of Britain's.Delete
Hi Susan! What an intriguing post! It really does sound like a very mysterious life Erich Muenter and/or Frank Holt had! Thanks for the chance to win The Crimson Cipher - I've been wanting to read it since I first heard about it over a year ago!ReplyDelete
Yes, and he was really just a mention in my book. There is a lot more to be learned about him if anyone is interested. The search for his dynamite and trying to figure out what ships he may have put bombs on was quite the topic of the day!Delete
What an interesting story!! I think your book sounds interesting too! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Morgan! It was interesting to write.ReplyDelete
Wow, that is very interesting. I love obscure, but crazy history like that. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Lattebooks at hotmail dot com
Glad you enjoyed it, Susan. Obscure but crazy. Yup.ReplyDelete
And the winner is .... Morgan Tarpley! I will contact you, Morgan. Thanks to ALL who took part.ReplyDelete