During the night, some 4,000 of their fellow citizens were rounded up and jailed for what amounted, in most cases, to no good reason at all and no due process, either.
Welcome to the story of the Palmer Raids, named for their instigator, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. Though largely forgotten today, they shouldn't be. They constituted a horrific, shameful episode in American history, one of the lowest moments for liberty since King George III quartered troops in private homes.
The terror during the night of January 2-3, 1920, shocked and frightened many citizens. In her 1971 book, America's Reign of Terror: World War I, the Red Scare, and the Palmer Raids, Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht wrote: