1971: Bomb Blast Rips Through Capitol

Posted October 8, 2004 at 1:35pm

At 1 p.m. on March 1, 1971, a call to the Capitol operator warned that a bomb had been placed in the building in protest of President Richard Nixon’s involvement in Laos. Thirty-two minutes later, a bomb blast ripped through the ground floor of the Senate wing of the Capitol, tearing away walls, sending doors flying but, fortunately, causing no injuries.

The radical anti-government group the Weather Underground would later take credit for the terrorist attack. The 1971 bombing cost nearly $200,000 in damages, outraged Members and forced then-Capitol Police Chief James Powell to rethink and ratchet up Hill security. [IMGCAP(1)]