STEPHENVILLE (April 8, 2015) — On April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City was the victim of a horrible act of domestic terrorism. Twenty years later, Tarleton State University’s W.K. Gordon Center for the Industrial History of Texas will host guest speaker Terry Edwards to discuss the days following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Edwards, a member of the disaster mortuary operational response team (DMORT) at the OKC bombing, will give a public presentation beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 19, to discuss the tragic event and his role in the recovery efforts.
At 9:02 a.m., Wednesday, April 19, 1995, terrorism struck Oklahoma City, when a bomb exploded in front of the Murrah Federal Building. The bomb was located within the confines of a 24-foot Ryder rental truck and the force of the explosion was of such magnitude that it destroyed approximately one-third of the Murrah Building. The entire north face of the structure was reduced to rubble and each of the nine floors, plus the roof, received extensive damage. At the time of the blast, the Murrah Building housed some 600 federal and contract workers, as well as an estimated 250 visitors.
Carried out by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the OKC bombing killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others. The blast caused $652 million worth of damage and destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius.
At the site, the search and rescue mission continued for 17 days following the bombing while the mountain of debris was removed almost entirely by hand in five-gallon buckets. Shortly after midnight on May 5, search and rescue operations were determined complete and the DMORT and Edwards’ mission was deactivated.
The W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas, a Tarleton museum and research facility, is located at Exit 367 on Interstate 20 between Fort Worth and Abilene.
The center is open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.tarleton.edu/gordoncenter or the museum’s Facebook page.