Watch this short clip on the history of Wall Street and see if you can answer the questions below.
The activity is suitable for intermediate 2 students.
1 When did the Dutch build the original wall?
2 Who did the Dutch use to trade with when they first arrived?
3 How did people get about along Broad Street in the beginning?
4 Why don't any Dutch colonial buildings exist any more?
5 What year did New York suffer the first terrorist attack?
6 What explosive was there in the cart?
7 How many people died in the attack?
8 Who was responsible for the attack?
To check your answers you can read the transcript below.
This is Wall Street. Wall Street is named for an actual wall that used to exist here in the mid sixteen hundred's. It was built by the Dutch to protect them from frequent indian raids but also to protect them from the English who they were at war with overseas.
Now the Dutch, they came here to escape religious persecution or start a new life, they came here to work, to make a buck. They came here as traders and they traded guns and ammunition to the indians for beaver pelts which they would use to make hats and gloves.
Broad Street here, this actually used to be a canal that came all the way up here and that you could bring your skips under the bridges and visit the local bars and taverns.
When they were building Gold and Saschman here they unearthed some of the foundations from our old Dutch colonial buildings. Now unfortunately we don't have any more of the Dutch colonial buildings that remained out here in Lower Manhattan, they all burned up in the fires of either seventeen seventy-six or eighteen thirty-five.
This is the site of the very first terrorist attack on New York City, the day was September sixteenth nineteen twenty. A horse-drawn cart had pulled up to this spot at around noon and the driver gets off the cart and goes steering off into the crowd, never to be seen or heard from again.
What nobody knew at the time was that there was one hundred pounds of dynamite and five hundred pounds of small lead weights on this cart and at twelve oh one pm a fireball went one hundred feet into the air, shrapnel went everywhere.
Here on this attack on Wall Street, this explosion, they never found out who did it, they blamed it on Italian anarchists and communist elements at the time because it was an attack on capitalism itself. And you can see the evidence on the wall here. This is the actual evidence from nineteen twenty. This is limestone marble, so you can imagine if it did this to this wall what it did to the thirty-eight people that died here that day and over four hundred that were injured. There was a horse leg that was found on the steps of one of the banks and a woman's head was actually plastered onto the wall with her hat still on.
They also found horse hooves in the graveyard of Trinity Church. They searched the four thousand different blacksmiths up and down the Eastern Seaboard to find out who created the horseshoes, whose the horse was and who the driver was but they never found out.