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The True, Unsolved Mystery of the Bombing at the 1939 World's Fair

July 4, 1940. “This looks like the real goods.”

With those final words, the lives of Joseph John Lynch (pictured), and his partner Ferdinand Socha, detectives with the New York City Bomb & Forgery Squad, came to a violent end. History may one day view this tragic event as the very first terrorist attack on United States soil. The ticking satchel that exploded in Detective Lynch's face was found inside the British Pavilion, at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, positioned in a place where it could do maximum damage. It was assumed the bomb was meant to detonate within the Pavilion, which would have increased the already tense relations between England and the U.S., and killed scores of people.

In 1940, our country was teetering on the brink of war. England was trying desperately to convince the United States to enter the war, but President Franklin Roosevelt was adamant that it wasn’t the path he wanted the country to take. Americans were fascinated at the time with Great Britain because it was believed that country represented the final hope to overcome the Nazis. World War II had started on September 1, 1939 and was in full swing by the summer of 1940. On July 4th, 1940, ¼ of a million people packed the fairgrounds, many of them clogging the British Pavilion.

And the World’s Fair! What better venue to make a bold statement and shine the light on a cause? Since the first World’s Fair was held in London in 1851, these fairs were astonishingly popular, drawing millions of visitors from all over the world. In the United States, they are called World’s Fairs. In other countries they are called Expo, Universal Expo or World Expo. The New York World’s Fair opened on April 30, 1939 and closed on October 27, 1940 just as the world was descending into WWII. In its first year, 25.8 million people passed through the 1,200+ acres at Flushing Meadows in Queens, NY. Themed “the World of Tomorrow”, the exhibits were big, bold and futuristic to people living in the mid-20th century. During the abbreviated second year, another 19.1 million people visited the Fair, which was the largest in the U.S. since the 1904 Louisiana Exposition.

Coming in 2018 - Time Bomb – Unsolved Mystery: A True Story of Courage, Commitment & Unconditional Love

This book will reveal the connection to the Mad Bomber and why this one bombing remained unsolved for the past 78 years. It will also delve into the lives of the Lynch family prior to the bombing and what happened to a young widow and her five children after the bombing.

 

Seymour, CT, USA

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