A warning for my home state (9-1-40)

Reading Eagle (September 2, 1940)


Precautions Taken in N.Y. Against Bombs

Albany, N.Y., Sept. 1 (UP) –

Empire State citizens have been warned to be wary of suspicious looking packages.

A special warning to residents said if a package is observed – whether the size of a cigar box, overnight bag, valise or satchel – lying in a place where it should not be, consider it as dangerous.

The police said:

Such a package might be found in the factory where you are employed, in a place of public assembly such as a church, synagogue or a movie theatre, particularly if that theatre is presenting a picture of controversial, political, racial or religious character. Railroad stations, trains, ferries, bridges, tunnels, river locks also may provide locations for planting of bombs.

Within the past few months, state police said subversive and destructive elements “began instituting a reign of terror by placing, in various places, infernal machines, maliciously designed to explode and destroy life and property.”

To Notify Police

Residents were advised to be suspicious of all unordered and unexpected packages sent or left mysteriously on the doorstep, and to notify the nearest police department.

Unless you are an executive of a manufacturing plant, a ranking government officer, a legislator, a journalist or writer active in the expression of your views on controversial subjects, it is very doubtful that the unknown package received by you will be a bomb.

A minimum distance of 35 to 50 feet was suggested as a safe distance from any suspicious package. Persons were advised not to investigate, touch, handle or attempt to open such a box or container; not to put it in water, or throw a stream of water on it.

The warning said:

Do not imagine that every package is a bomb. Do not be unnecessarily alarmed. This notice is purely precautionary.


Some things never change