August 25, 2010

" I was ten years old back in 1970 and clearly remember the loud boom that traveled across Lake Monona and awakened me in the middle of the night."

Another memory of the Sterling Hall bombing, which took place 40 years ago yesterday, from an emailer who would like to keep her name private:
I remember hearing all of my relatives talk about never shopping downtown again because people were being dragged out of their cars, windows were being broken, and tear gas deployed. I believe that East Town Mall also opened that year or soon after so between those two events, Madison's downtown shopping district was obliterated. I don't remember any fiery speeches about how wrong the students or administration was, just a general sense of fear.

19 comments:

edutcher said...

"I don't remember any fiery speeches about how wrong the students or administration was, just a general sense of fear."

Terrorism, pure and simple. These people, for all their protestations of peace and love, were no different than Al Qaeda.

I read the comments of the people who think the bombers should apologize to the family of the man who was killed. From what the writer says, they also owe one to all the people victimized by the climate of fear they created.

Or maybe, like the Weathermen, that was their aim for all the people they viewed as "little Eichmanns".

Kirby Olson said...

What does Obama really think about Ayers and Dohrn and what they did?

Does he see people like the Sterling Hall bombers as heroes?

JAL said...

Oh Kirby, don't be silly.

That was 40 years ago and Barry was only 9 years old! (And besides, he was in Indonesia.)

wv misseed
Barry misseed the anti-peace terrorist bombing.

AJ Lynch said...

I remember camping out in our neighborhood back yard in 1964. Apparently there were riots in the city of Phila [I lived way out on the outskirts] and one of the kid's mother came down the driveway yelling "Alan, the N-words are rioting - get in the house before they get here". She was a normally dignified, quiet Jewish concentration camp survivor [had the forearm tattoo as well].

Alan went home with his Mom and the rest of us just laughed as if they'd ever get all the way up here.

Lynne said...

I find this comment especially interesting. I was raised about 90 miles from Kent State. I was about 7 or 8 at the time, but I too remember how afraid everyone was, how shocked. I remember grownups at the time saying "That wasn't our kids who did that," and it wasn't until I was well into adulthood that I realized they weren't in denial- just remarking on the presence of outside agitators at Kent State. And it wasn't until much, much later in life that I learned about the days of anarchy and terror in the little town of Kent that preceeded events on campus; that
the story that has been passed down is a bogus fairy tale of beaded hippies gunned down while singing.
Our town was modest, semi-rural and peaceful; the kids who were sent to Kent State from there were often the first ones in their family to have a chance at college. They went off to school while their moms worked as nurses or secretaries or their dads drove trucks or worked in factories, scrimping and saving to pay the way. An awful event like Kent State wasn't supposed to happen in our little part of the world. It stunned everybody.

Pogo said...

I've mentioned this before, but my Dad moved our family from a lucrative job in Omaha to a middling one in a small town in Minnesota because of riots in the summer of '72.

I remember the nearby Memorial Park taken over by encamped hippies, and when they tried to curfew the park, there were molotov cocktails thrown, overturned cop cars, and rocks thrown through windows, all right near our house.

My Dad sat on our stoop with a shotgun for several nights and we couldn't go out to play. My older brother would sneak out at night to watch cars burn. I suppose at some point Dad just said 'the hell with it', and we moved. Dunno; I was only 11. But I knew we were moving to safety. (I think Winona had one hippy.)

I didn't learn until much later how devastating the move was economically, followed by depression and another story, equally sad.

Just one of the many reasons I hate leftists like the Wisconsin terrorists who bombed Sterling Hall , killing a young man. Lives altered and scarred, all by evil borne of good intentions.

Pogo said...

Here's a piece by someone who claims he was one of the perpetrators. He's a real winner.

"I was going to college part time, partying full time, and was a member of the local Weathermen. I did some of the writing and all of the printing for the Omaha chapter.

...At this time, there was an anti war/turned three day riot going on down at Memorial Park by the University of Omaha, that I was involved with. It was a Friday night and I got back to the house without getting my skull bashed in, but still suffering from tear gas exposure. As the evening progressed, people started drifting in from the riot. My friend Randy had broken into a police car down there. He came into the house wearing a riot helmet with "O.P.D" written on the front and a gas mask. Everyone was stoned, and the whole party was laughing so hard, we were having a hard time breathing. He also had two canisters of tear gas .. one of which he gave me.
"

Pogo said...

Wrong year. We moved 2/72. The riot was July 1971.

"Omaha Is on the Alert After 4 Nights of Unrest

Special to The New York Times
July 11, 1971, Sunday

OMAHA, July 10 -- City officials and the police remained on the alert today after four nights of confrontations between youths and the authorities at War Memorial Park.
"


Interesting word, "unrest".

JAL said...

"The movement against the Vietnam War reveals the double standard of government...It was a remarkably nonviolent movement. There was one instance, so rare that it must be noted, where antiwar protesters in Madison, Wisconsin, planted a bomb in a military research building, timed to go off in the middle of the night, when no one would be in the building. But one man was working there, and he was killed."
- pg. 143 of Declarations of Independence, by Howard Zinn

======

See Pogo. Your memories and all the others ones here are just misremembered fragments ....

Howard Zinn remebered better as he was busy seeding the unrest as a poli-sci prof at BU during the years of the remarkably nonviolent (and life shattering) movement.

I am sorry for you that your move was not all for the good.

Pogo said...

Thx, JAL.
It was a career-killing move, I discovered. Dad never talked about those times at all, except that he always referred to the Beatles as 'the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse'. Heh.

Lynne said...

Looking over these comments it strikes me that there's an entire subgeneration (or just generation?) of us that experienced the domestic terrorism of the 60s and 70s in a unique way- not as bomb throwers or police, but as children, quietly watching all the grownups lose their minds over things we didn't quite understand.
Maybe somebody ought to do some research on us, maybe a survey. It would be interesting to see how this childhood experience of social upheaval affected our actions and beliefs.

Kirby Olson said...

I'll bet Obama's mother liked the domestic bombers, and told her son something good was finally happening in America.

spook said...

I was at UW-Madison at the time of the bombing. The bombing forced many anti-war protestors to confront the idea that "they" killed people too. It took their ability to call me (an ROTC cadet) a baby killer. Because the return comment was...and tell me again how DIFFERENT, you are?

ken in sc said...

In the late 60s, an ROTC storage building at the University of Alabama was burned to the ground in the middle of the night. Stuff like that was happening all over the country. National Guard armories were being robbed. You could buy hand grenades on the black market. I was offered one for $8 one time.

HDHouse said...

edutcher said...
" they also owe one to all the people victimized by the climate of fear they created...."

I guess the GOP will be next at the microphone then...

HDHouse said...

Lynne said...
...to see how this childhood experience of social upheaval affected our actions and beliefs."

I think you can see the evidence of it right here. There appears to be a certain number who are tying to romanticise and therefore justify the Viet Nam war of choice so that they can continue to romanticise and justify the current wars of choice.

They learned to paint with one brush and one color in some sort of impossible to win game of chicken with reality and truth.

The bomber was clearly wrong and a murderer. His act was reprehensible and without any justification nor forgiveness. That wasn't however, the extent of the peace movement then nor now and those who lump everything together are just as reckless and foolish as was he.

HDHouse said...

ken in sc said...
"You could buy hand grenades on the black market. I was offered one for $8 one time."

for fishing or at south of the border?

Old RPM Daddy said...

@HDHouse: "There appears to be a certain number who are tying to romanticise and therefore justify the Viet Nam war of choice so that they can continue to romanticise and justify the current wars of choice."

Or romanticize the Viet Nam protests in order to justify the current protests. One winds up glossing over a good bit of ugliness either way.

WV: "phowl," as in neither phish nor --

ken in sc said...

HDhouse--It was just for general fun. The same guy who offered the hand grenades brought some dynamite on a camping trip and used it just to blow up stuff along the way. It's the way things used to be. You could buy dynamite if you were over 21 and signed a ledger. You could buy morphine the same way. You have no idea the freedom Americans used to have.