Times Square's history is generally full of more bombast than bomb blasts, but Thursday's explosion was not the first. It also was not the first time investigators dismissed a note which appeared to take responsibility for the explosion.
Christine Hauser writes in today's Times: "The attack took just a few minutes. Times Square was aglow in the morning darkness but nearly deserted as a shadowy figure on a bicycle pedaled in and planted a small bomb that shattered the glass facade of the military recruiting station on Broadway just north of 43rd Street.
In 1960, according to the Associated Press, "A bomb planted in shrubbery behind the George M. Cohan statue shook the busy Times Square area today and injured seven persons. The injured were struck by flying debris."
Today authorities denied that the bomb outside the military recruiting center was the work of whomever sent letters and photographs of the building to a slew of Congressmen. It went much the same in the 1960 attack.
October 4, 1960
NOTE THREATENS TIMES SQ. BOMBING
Police Study Warning for Clue to Blast on Sunday, but doubt connection
A crudely handwritten note found in a midtown movie theatre provided the police with their main clue yesterday in the bomb explision that injured six persons near Times Square on Sunday.
Scribbled in pencil on a piece of white paper were the words:
"Mr. Kennedy [presumably Police Commissioner Stephen P. Kennedy}, please forgive me for the bomb but I have to kill 100 people in one week. I am sick like before. The next bomb will be Oct. , 1960, at a Times Square show."
The note was signed, "The Sick."
Detectives said that the note, inside an unmarked white envelope, had been found by a patron of the Victory Theater, at 209 West Forty-Second Street, about four blocks from the scene of Sunday's bombing.
One police official said yesterday that there was "no apparent connection" between the note and the explosion on Sunday. However it was pointed out that the presence of so many world leaders in the city for the United Nations made it necessary to treat the note as "potentially the real thing."