45 years ago on January 24th, 1975
The terrorist group FALN plants a bomb at Fraunces Tavern killing 4 and injuring 50
The historic tavern was the site of a politically-motivated bombing by a group seeking independence for Puerto Rico. In a letter found in a phonebooth nearby, terrorist group FALN would claim responsibility. The FALN bombed locations across New York City advocating for Puerto Rican independence and the release of prisoners, but the Fraunces Tavern bombing was the most deadly. An attaché case carrying ten pounds of dynamite exploded inside the hallway entrance of Fraunces Tavern at 1:29pm, blasting debris onto the Pearl Street sidewalk. Three were killed instantly, with one man dying later from his injuries at the hospital. Other planted bombs had been detected early enough to evacuate buildings or only caused injuries after exploding. In the letter claiming responsibility, the FALN say the tavern bombing was in retaliation for what they believed was a CIA bombing directed at their members, and that Fraunces Tavern was chosen to target the "reactionary corporate executives inside". No one was ever directly convicted of the tavern bombing. In 1999, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 FALN members who had been convicted only of related charges and not been convicted of killing, and had already served sentences appropriate for those charges. In 2017, one of those released prisoners was to be honored at the Puerto Rican Day parade, creating a political conundrum for Mayor de Blasio and causing corporations to pull their sponsorship of the parade.