The Palmer Raids 1919

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer used undercover informants and warrantless wiretaps authorized by the Espionage and Sedition Acts to identify thousands of suspected anti-Government radicals. His special assistant, J. Edgar Hoover, coordinated raids in over 30 American cities on the night of November 7, 1919. The Union of Russian Workers, a group that sought to band workers together to fight against capitalism, was a primary target of the Palmer Raids. The attack on their headquarters in New York City was described by a reporter as “one of the most brutal raids ever witnessed in the city.” Men, women, and children were beaten and bloodied by police. Hundreds were taken into custody and eventually deported.