On this date in 1936, former union head Thomas Maloney unwittingly detonated a mail bomb that had been sent to him. The bomb was hidden inside a cigar box, and Maloney, a former union official, opened it on his kitchen table. His sixteen year old daughter and four year old son were with him when the bomb exploded. Maloney and his son eventually died from their wounds. The daughter was seriously injured and required lengthy hospitalization.
Maloney was not the only target of the bomber. Local school director Michael Gallagher was killed when he opened a similar package he had received in the mail. Former Sheriff Luther Kniffen, another intended victim of the bomber was spared when the bomb sent to him failed to detonate when he opened it. Three more bombs were intercepted before being opened. The press began referring to the incident as the Good Friday bombings.
By July 1st, the police had arrested coal miner Michael Fugmann for the bombings. His motive was believed to be revenge for the actions of his victims during recent labor conflicts. Fugmann was tried the following September. He denied guilt, but was convicted after a two week trial and sentenced to death. He was executed in the electric chair at Rockview State prison on July 17, 1938.
Citensvoice.com – Mail bomb spree by disgruntled coal miner marks 75th anniversary
timesleader.com – Good Friday bombings of 1936 terrorized area