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Manchester, England

The Undamaged Red Post Box

The small bright red pillar survived the 1996 Manchester bombing virtually unscathed. 

When a 3,300-pound IRA bomb exploded in the center of Manchester, England on June 15, 1996, this post box survived almost unscathed by the blast. It became a small but mighty symbol for resilience in the face of terrorism.

The bright red post box—an iconic British structure akin to the country’s phone booths—was one of the few structures left standing. The mail it contained was untouched and was delivered as if nothing had happened.

The bomb injured around 200 people and destroyed much of the city’s main shopping district. It was the biggest bomb to detonate within the United Kingdom since World War II. The explosion would have led to mass casualties had the IRA not called the police to issue a warning. 

The post box was removed for repair while the destroyed parts of the area were rebuilt. Once repairs were complete, it was returned to its original position with the addition of a plaque marking the event.