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Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building as it appeared before its destruction

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States Federal Government complex located at 200 N.W. 5th Street in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The building was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people. The remains of the building were imploded a month after the attack, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial was built on the site.

Contents

Construction and use

The federal building was designed by architect Wendell Locke of Locke, Wright and Associates,[1] and constructed using reinforced concrete in 1977 at a cost of $14.5 million. The building, named for federal judge Alfred P. Murrah, an Oklahoma native, opened on March 2, 1977.

By the 1990s, the building contained regional offices for the Social Security Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). The building also contained recruiting offices for both the Army and the Marine Corps. It housed approximately 550 employees.[2] In May 1994, the General Accounting Office recommended the removal of the day care center from the building.[3]

Bombing

Murrah Building after the attack

At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, a Ryder rental truck, containing approximately 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, nitromethane, and diesel fuel was detonated in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, destroying a third of the building and causing severe damage to several other buildings located nearby. As a result of the massive explosion, 168 people were killed, including 16 children, and over 800 others were injured.[4] It was the largest terrorist attack on American soil in history before the September 11 attacks. It remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history.

Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of the attack and was sentenced to death. He was executed in 2001. A co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, is serving multiple life sentences in a federal prison. A third and fourth subject, Michael Fortier and his wife Lori, assisted in the plot, and testified against both McVeigh and Nichols in exchange for a 12-year prison term for Michael and immunity for Lori. Michael was released into the witness protection program in January 2006.[5]

McVeigh said that he chose to bomb the Murrah building in retaliation for the government actions of the Waco Siege (which happened exactly two years prior in 1993) and the siege at Ruby Ridge. Before his execution, McVeigh said that he did not know there was a day care center in the building and that, had he known, "It might have given me pause to switch targets."

Demolition

Murrah Building during the recovery effort

Rescue and recovery efforts were concluded at 11:50 p.m. on May 4, with the bodies of all but three victims recovered.[6] For safety reasons, the building was to be demolished shortly afterward. However, McVeigh's attorney, Stephen Jones, called for a motion to delay the demolition until the defense team could examine the site in preparation for the trial.[7] More than a month after the bombing, at 7:01 a.m. on May 23, the Murrah Federal building was demolished.[6] The final three bodies, those of two credit union employees and a customer, were recovered.[8] For several days after the building's demolition, trucks hauled 800 tons of debris a day away from the site. Some of the debris was used as evidence in the conspirators' trials, incorporated into parts of memorials, donated to local schools, and sold to raise funds for relief efforts.[7]

Remnants and replacement

There are still several existing remnants of the Murrah Building on the current site of the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Its plaza (on what was once the south side of the building) still exists and has been incorporated into the memorial; the Murrah Building's original flagpole is still in use. The east wall of the Murrah Building (within the building's footprint) is still intact, as well as portions of the south wall. Also, the building's underground parking garage survived the blast and is still in use today; however, it is tightly guarded and not open to the public.[9]

The Federal government began construction of a new building to replace the Murrah Building in late 2000. This new building was placed just to the north of where the Murrah Building had been located, and incorporated a number of security measures implemented after the bombing of the Murrah Building.[10]

References

  1. ^ "Architect Says Bombed OK Building was Solidly Built". Transcript # 635-35, 7:07 pm ET, Interview by Linden Soles with Wendell Locke. (CNN). 1995, April 19.  
  2. ^ "Car Bombing In Oklahoma City Jolts the Nation". All Things Considered (NPR). 1995, April 19.  
  3. ^ http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/okc0511.htm
  4. ^ Clive Irving, ed., In Their Name (New York: Random House, 1995); ISBN 0-679-44825-X.
  5. ^ The Christian Science Monitor, Article date:January 23, 2006
  6. ^ a b Irving, Clive (ed.), ed (1995). In Their Name (First Edition ed.). New York City: Random House. ISBN 0-679-44825-X.  
  7. ^ a b Linenthal, Edward (2001). The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513672-1.  
  8. ^ "CNN Interactive". Federal Building Demolition. http://www.cnn.com/US/OKC/facts/Cleanup/Implosion5-23/index.html. Retrieved February 1, 2007.  
  9. ^ "Oklahoma City National Memorial - Frequently Asked Questions". US National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/okci/faqs.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-20.  
  10. ^ "New Oklahoma City Federal Building: Groundbreaking Set for Tuesday". United States General Services Administration. http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?pageTypeId=8199&channelId=-13259&P=XI&contentId=9130&contentType=GSA_BASIC. Retrieved 2007-07-02.  

External links

Coordinates: 35°28′22″N 97°31′01″W / 35.472761°N 97.517079°W / 35.472761; -97.517079

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File:Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building before
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building as it appeared before its destruction

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States Federal Government complex located at 200 N.W. 5th Street in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The building was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people, including 19 children.[1] The remains of the building were imploded a month after the attack, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial was built on the site.

Contents

Construction and use

The federal building was designed by architect Wendell Locke of Locke, Wright and Associates,[2] and constructed using reinforced concrete in 1977 at a cost of $14.5 million. The building, named for federal judge Alfred P. Murrah, an Oklahoma native, opened on March 2, 1977.

By the 1990s, the building contained regional offices for the Social Security Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). The building also contained recruiting offices for both the Army and the Marine Corps. It housed approximately 550 employees.[3]

Bombing

At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, a Ryder rental truck, containing approximately 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, nitromethane, and diesel fuel was detonated in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, destroying a third of the building and causing severe damage to several other buildings located nearby. As a result of the massive explosion, 168 people were killed, including 19 children, and over 800 others were injured.[4] It was the largest terrorist attack on American soil in history before the September 11 attacks. It remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history.

Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of the attack and was sentenced to death. He was executed in 2001. A co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, is serving multiple life sentences in a federal prison. A third and fourth subject, Michael Fortier and his wife Lori, assisted in the plot, and testified against both McVeigh and Nichols in exchange for a 12-year prison term for Michael and immunity for Lori. Michael was released into the witness protection program in January 2006.[5]

McVeigh said that he chose to bomb the Murrah building in retaliation for the government actions of the Waco Siege (which happened exactly two years prior in 1993) and the siege at Ruby Ridge. Before his execution, McVeigh said that he did not know there was a day care center in the building and that, had he known, "It might have given me pause to switch targets."[6] However, the FBI stated that McVeigh scouted the interior of the building in December 1994 and likely knew of the day-care center before the bombing.[7]

Demolition

[[File:|thumb|Murrah Building during the recovery effort]] Rescue and recovery efforts were concluded at 11:50 p.m. on May 4, with the bodies of all but three victims recovered.[8] For safety reasons, the building was to be demolished shortly afterward. However, McVeigh's attorney, Stephen Jones, called for a motion to delay the demolition until the defense team could examine the site in preparation for the trial.[9] More than a month after the bombing, at 7:01 a.m. on May 23, the Murrah Federal building was demolished.[8] The final three bodies, those of two credit union employees and a customer, were recovered.[10] For several days after the building's demolition, trucks hauled 800 tons of debris a day away from the site. Some of the debris was used as evidence in the conspirators' trials, incorporated into parts of memorials, donated to local schools, and sold to raise funds for relief efforts.[9]

Remnants and replacement

There are still several existing remnants of the Murrah Building on the current site of the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Its plaza (on what was once the south side of the building) still exists and has been incorporated into the memorial; the Murrah Building's original flagpole is still in use. The east wall of the Murrah Building (within the building's footprint) is still intact, as well as portions of the south wall. Also, the building's underground parking garage survived the blast and is still in use today; however, it is tightly guarded and not open to the public.[11]

The Federal government began construction of a new building to replace the Murrah Building in late 2000. This new building was placed just to the north of where the Murrah Building had been located, and incorporated a number of security measures implemented after the bombing of the Murrah Building.[12]

References

  1. ^ Binomial.com, Phoenix Disaster Recovery Newsletter: Retrieved 2001-03-29.
  2. ^ "Architect Says Bombed OK Building was Solidly Built". Transcript # 635-35, 7:07 pm ET, Interview by Linden Soles with Wendell Locke. (CNN). 1995, April 19. 
  3. ^ "Car Bombing In Oklahoma City Jolts the Nation". All Things Considered (NPR). 1995, April 19. 
  4. ^ Clive Irving, ed., In Their Name (New York: Random House, 1995); ISBN 0-679-44825-X.
  5. ^ The Christian Science Monitor, Article date: January 23, 2006
  6. ^ Binomial.com, Phoenix Disaster Recovery Newsletter: Retrieved 2001-03-29.
  7. ^ CNN archives, CNN. March 29, 2001. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Irving, Clive (ed.), ed (1995). In Their Name (First Edition ed.). New York City: Random House. ISBN 0-679-44825-X. 
  9. ^ a b Linenthal, Edward (2001). The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513672-1. 
  10. ^ "CNN Interactive". Federal Building Demolition. Archived from the original on December 10, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061210091322/http://www.cnn.com/US/OKC/facts/Cleanup/Implosion5-23/index.html. Retrieved February 1, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Oklahoma City National Memorial - Frequently Asked Questions". US National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/okci/faqs.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  12. ^ "New Oklahoma City Federal Building: Groundbreaking Set for Tuesday". United States General Services Administration. http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?pageTypeId=8199&channelId=-13259&P=XI&contentId=9130&contentType=GSA_BASIC. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 

External links

Coordinates: 35°28′22″N 97°31′01″W / 35.472761°N 97.517079°W / 35.472761; -97.517079


Simple English

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States Federal Government complex located at 200 N.W. 5th Street in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Murrah building was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19 1995 which damaged the building very badly. It was later imploded and turned into a memorial.



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