On March 20, 1995, members of the Japan-based terrorist organization, Aum Shinrikyo, released a deadly nerve agent, sarin, onto a Tokyo commuter subway train. The attack killed thirteen people and injured nearly a thousand others. This event is a prominent example of the potentially disastrous consequences that can occur when a non-state terrorist organization obtains and operationalizes a weapon of mass destruction.
The following are a few resources from the HSDL collection on the Aum Shinrikyo attack:
On March 22, 2014, four miles east of Oso, Washington, a major landslide a massive landslide claimed 43 lives, and destroying 49 homes (and other structures) in the “unincorporated neighborhood known as ‘Steelhead Haven.'” This landslide has been referenced as the “deadliest single landslide event in United States history.” President Obama declared this event a major disaster. In April, a declaration was requested by Governor Inslee, proposed a plan to help approximately 30 families who were in need of assistance to which the Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington advised these families to register with FEMA. Around April 5th, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) mentioned that the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act would “provide a glimmer of hope for the long-term recovery of this area.”
Information and quotes taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Oso_mudslide
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On April 3, 1996, Theodore Kaczynksi, the man responsible for sending bombs in the mail over an 18-year period and known largely as the “Unabomber”, was arrested. Kaczynski sent a total of 16 bombs to various recipients, such as universities, professors, and large corporations, which ultimately resulted in the death of 3 people and the injury of 23 others. Kaczynski, who was identified as a social recluse and radical environmentalist, is one of the prime examples of lone wolf terrorism in US history.
For more information on lone wolf terrorism, check out the HSDL Featured Topic:
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At the annual Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, 282 people were injured and four were killed, including an MIT police officer when two pressure-cooker bombs exploded near the crowded finish line. President Barack Obama remarked after the capture of suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013 that “After the attacks on Monday, I [President Obama] directed the full resources of the Federal Government to be made available to help State and local authorities in the investigation and to increase security as needed. And over the past week, close coordination among Federal, State, and local officials—sharing information, moving swiftly to track down leads—has been critical to this effort.”
President Obama’s entire remarks may be viewed here.
“On April 16, 2007, Seung Hui Cho, an angry and disturbed student, shot to death 32 students and faculty of Virginia Tech, wounded 17 more, and then killed himself. The incident horrified not only Virginians, but people across the United States and throughout the world.” The killings took place in two attacks, one at a dormitory at 7:15 a.m., and the other almost three hours later in a classroom building.
[Read the report] of the Review Panel presented to Tim Kaine, then Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“An explosion with the force of a small earthquake rocked the Central Texas farming town of West on April 17, 2013. Tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the West Fertilizer Co. detonated after a fire erupted at the plant. The blast killed 15 people, including a dozen first responders, and injured more than 300. A nursing home, apartment complex, schools and private homes were destroyed.”
Click here to view the special section published in the Dallas Morning News.
The Waco siege ended on this day in 1993 after a 51-day standoff between the Branch Davidians and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). The siege was surrounded by controversy over the actual events of the siege, including the origin of the fire that ended the siege.
The HSDL Blog has an entry discussing the Waco siege and its aftermath titled “20 Years Later: The Waco Siege“.
The Oklahoma City Bombing took place on this date in 1995. Timothy McVeigh, a lone-wolf terrorist who cited the Waco siege as one of his driving motivations, detonated a truck filled with home-made explosives outside of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK. 168 people were killed.
To read more about this event, visit our blog post on the topic.
The Columbine High School shooting took place in Columbine, Colorado, when two senior students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, killed 13 individuals, 12 of whom were students. The two killers were armed with two 12-guage shotguns and two 9 mm firearms, all of which were obtained illegally.
The shooting led to nationwide discussions about gun control laws, cultures that allowed bullying, and even the use of the internet and violent video games among America’s youth.
On the evening of 20 April 2010, a gas release and subsequent explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig working on the Macondo exploration well for BP [British Petroleum Co.] in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven people died as a result of the accident and others were injured. Oil flowed from the ocean floor for 87 days before the well was capped on July 15, 2010 and finally sealed on September 19, 2010, releasing over 200 million gallons of hydrocarbons into the Gulf of Mexico. The accident impacted fisheries and coastal habitats along the Gulf of Mexico, including state coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and east Texas.
Click here to view the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration reports on the spill.
Click here to view reports issued by BP.
Click here to view the U.S. Government’s “Restore the Gulf” website.