CLARKS SUMMIT — Local writer Mary Beth Kennedy Voda will relate the history of a terrorist bombing that shocked the area on Good Friday in 1936 during a presentation at noon May 9 at the Gathering Place,
Voda will tell the story of the bombing that killed Tom Maloney, of Wilkes-Barre, and his 4-year-old son. Maloney was active in coal mining union activity, serving as the president of the United Anthracite Miners of PA.
As the great-niece of Maloney, Voda grew up hearing of the tragedy as part of her family lore. Her cousin Margaret, Tom Maloney’s daughter, was badly injured in the blast, but remembered her father had been playing with her young brother when the package arrived at their home in the Georgetown section of Wilkes-Barre. A third victim, Mike Gallagher, was killed. Five other packages had also been delivered but they did not detonate or were intercepted.
Michael Fugmann, a Germany native, deserter from the German army in WWI and disgruntled coal miner, was convicted and executed for the crime. Coincidentally, Elizabeth Maloney, Tom Maloney’s wife, was a native of Germany. Following the bombing, she and Margaret traveled to be with family in Germany. There, Elizabeth heard a Hitler speech. She was shaken and took Margaret back to Wilkes-Barre.
Voda is a retired teacher who spent time at the Wyalusing School District, Keystone College and Penn State’s Northern Tier. She has taught other classes at The Gathering Place and is the author of a book titled “Shoebox to Saltbox.”
Class attendance may be reserved by calling 570-881-7612 or emailing gatheringplaceCS@gmail.com. The cost of attendance is $5.