Monday, April 19, 2021

Scores On This Historic Day: April 19, 1995, The Oklahoma City Bombing

April 19, 1995: The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is destroyed by a car bomb, resulting in the deaths of 168 people. (The building was named for a federal judge from Oklahoma.)

The bombing was carried out by Timothy McVeigh, a 27-year-old native of the Buffalo area, who had fallen in with right-wing extremist groups like the Michigan Militia.

He chose the date because it was the anniversary of the start of the American Revolution (by some people's reckoning), the Battle of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775. But he had a 2nd reason: April 19 was also the anniversary of the end of the Waco Siege 2 years earlier, when the federal government moved in to arrest David Koresh for his crimes at Waco, Texas. He chose the location because he believed the order had come from the Murrah Federal Building.

McVeigh was captured 2 days later. He was convicted in 1997. On June 11, 2001, he became the 1st prisoner executed by the federal government since 1963.

Three months after that, McVeigh's act was no longer the greatest act of terrorism, or of mass murder, perpetrated in America. But it remains the greatest act of domestic terrorism.

And the perpetrator wasn't black, or Hispanic, or Asian, or Arab: He was white. He wasn't an immigrant: He was native-born. He wasn't Muslim: He identified as Christian. And he wasn't a Spanish speaker, or an Arabic speaker: He spoke only English.

On that Wednesday, Major League Baseball was still working on restarting after the end of the Strike of '94. The Opening Day of the 1995 season was set for April 25.

There were 7 NBA games scheduled for that night. Despite the act of terrorism, they were all played. The New York Knicks were not scheduled. These teams were:

* The New Jersey Nets lost to the Atlanta Hawks, 104-99, at the Brendan Byrne Arena, at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

* The Washington Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) beat the Orlando Magic, 123-117 in overtime, at the Capital Centre in the Washington suburb of Landover, Maryland. Despite the los, the Magic's Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway scored 35 points.

* The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat, 90-79, at what is now the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

* The Indiana Pacers beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 103-91, at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.

* The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics, 106-97, at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

* The Denver Nuggets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 106-81, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver.

* And the Utah Jazz beat the Houston Rockets, 115-96, at what's now named the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Karl Malone led all scorers on the night, the "Mailman" delivering 45 points for the Jazz.

There were also 7 games played in the National Hockey League that night, none of them involving any of the 3 teams in the New York Tri-State Area:

* The Boston Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1 at the Boston Garden.

* The Montreal Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators, 4-1 at the Montreal Forum.

* The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the team then known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 3-2 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

* The St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks played to a 2-2 tie, at the United Center in Chicago.

* The Winnipeg Jets and the Detroit Red Wings played to a 5-5 tie, at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

* The San Jose Sharks and the Dallas Stars played to a 5-5 tie, at the Reunion Arena in Dallas.

* And the Edmonton Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings, 2-0 at the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton.

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