Oklahoma City Bombing

In Washington, D.C., several of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland’s former colleagues who worked with him on the Oklahoma City bombing investigation urged the U.S. Senate to grant him a nomination hearing.

Beth Wilkinson, an attorney who served as a trial prosecutor who helped present the federal government’s case against Timothy McVeigh, said when Garland returned to run the prosecution team, he told them they should never forget what happened to the victims, the survivors and their families.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

Survivors and family members gathered in downtown Oklahoma City to remember the 168 victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Tuesday marks 21 years since the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The annual ceremony normally on the grounds of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum was held at First Church at NW 5th Street and Robinson Ave. The sanctuary sustained heavy damage in the attack across the street. The remembrance was moved indoors due to the rain, and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett noted the similarity to the weather on April 19, 1995.

Survivor Tree, Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City killed 168 people - including 19 children. It injured hundreds more, and forever shaped the community.

April 19, 1995 started as an idyllic spring morning - clear skies, calm winds - better than most Wednesdays during the state’s usually-turbulent severe weather season. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Workers showed up to their jobs, and went about their regular routines.

That all changed at 9:02 a.m.

Retired Oklahoma City assistant fire chief and spokesman Jon Hansen.
Oklahoma Watch

Retired Oklahoma City assistant fire chief Jon Hansen died Friday morning at his home in Oklahoma City after a battle with cancer.

Hansen served as the public information officer for the department on April 19, 1995. 168 people died in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

W. Joseph Campbell is a professor in the School of Communication at American University
American University

 

The future began 20 years ago, according to a new book by W. Joseph Campbell. In 1995, Timothy McVeigh’s truck bomb killed 168 people in Oklahoma City and sparked a debate about security. The Dayton Peace Accords ended a brutal war in the former Yugoslavia. The O.J. Simpson trial captured the imagination of a nation. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski began their affair that led to the President’s impeachment. And 1995 was the year the internet went mainstream.

purple heart medal in a case
Lance Cpl. Jeffrey A. Cosola / United States Marine Corps

U.S. Rep. Steve Russell has inserted language into the National Defense Authorization Act that would award the Purple Heart to six service members who were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing.

The two soldiers, two airmen and two Marines were working as recruiters in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

On this edition of OETA's weekly public affairs program Oklahoma Forum, how Oklahomans reacted to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995 and changed disaster response in the United States.

Air Force senior master sergeant Gary Kirby stood in a police lineup with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 1995.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

It was supposed to be Gary Kirby’s day off when the senior airman in the United States Air Force got a call from his first sergeant. The request: Come back to Tinker Air Force Base dressed in a pair of blue jeans, a white t-shirt and white socks.

Kirby, now a senior master sergeant, showed up at the headquarters building to find a big, blue Air Force bus. He climbed on board, where he found between 40 and 50 guys --- and all of them looked like him.

Legacy Of The Oklahoma City Bombing

Apr 20, 2015
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on May 19, 1995, exactly one month after the bombing. It was demolished four days later.
Than217 / Wikimedia Commons

What does the Oklahoma City bombing mean now, two decades later? Will the memory and meaning of April 19, 1995, gradually recede into a distant echo?

That's hard to believe as one considers the extensive observances and media coverage this month. The grief and shock of what happened are as palpable as ever: On a sunny Wednesday morning, a terrorist bomb ripped apart the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 men, women and children. Those who saw it will never forget the black smoke rising in the sky, the bloody images of the  injured, and the wreckage of the  building marring the downtown skyline.

This multimedia story, including a video and a podcast, revolves around a question: What has changed because of the bombing? Oklahoma Watch spoke with several experts or leaders about their views on the impact of the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

It's been 20 years since a bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more.

As Oklahoma City prepares to look back on the bombing, one thing is clear — downtown is a far different and much better place than it was in 1995. And it's hard to deny the role the bombing played in the area's resurgence.

Even on a weekday, visitors line up in downtown Oklahoma City to take a tour of the area.

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