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Encyclopedia > Karleton Armstrong
Once home to the physics department at UW-Madison, it also housed the Army Mathematics Research Center which made it the target of student protests.
Once home to the physics department at UW-Madison, it also housed the Army Mathematics Research Center which made it the target of student protests.

The Sterling Hall Bombing was a crime on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus on August 24, 1970 committed as a protest against the Vietnam War. It resulted in the death of a university physics researcher. Image File history File links Sterling_hall. ... Image File history File links Sterling_hall. ... The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public university located in Madison, Wisconsin. ... The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public university located in Madison, Wisconsin. ... August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (237th in leap years), with 129 days remaining. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...

Contents


Overview

Sterling Hall is a centrally located building on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. The bombing, intended to destroy the Army Math Research Center housed on the 2nd-4th floors of the building, caused massive destruction to other parts of the building as well. It resulted in the death of the researcher Robert Fassnacht and significant destruction to the physics department and its experiments. Neither Fassnacht nor the physics department were involved with or employed by the Army Math Research Center. The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public university located in Madison, Wisconsin. ... Robert Fassnacht was a Physics teacher who on August 24 1970 was killed by a bomb on the University of Madison campus near Sterling Hall as a protest event for the Veitnam War. ...


Robert Fassnacht

Main article: Robert Fassnacht

Robert Fassnacht was a 33-year-old post-doctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. On the night and early morning of August 23/24, 1970, he had gone to the lab to finish up work before leaving on a family vacation. He was involved in research in the field of super conductivity, which had potential applications to everything from power distribution to high-speed trains. At the time of the explosion, Fassnacht was in his lab located in the basement level of Sterling Hall. He was in the process of cooling down his dewar with liquid nitrogen when the explosion occurred. Rescuers found him face down in about a foot of water. Robert Fassnacht was a Physics teacher who on August 24 1970 was killed by a bomb on the University of Madison campus near Sterling Hall as a protest event for the Veitnam War. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor with boiling liquid nitrogen underneath demonstrates the Meissner effect. ...


He was survived by his wife, Stephanie, and their three children, a three-year-old son, Christopher, and twin one-year-old daughters, Heidi and Karin.


The Bombers

Karleton Armstrong

Wanted Posters put out by the FBI shortly after the bombing.
Wanted Posters put out by the FBI shortly after the bombing.

Karl was oldest of the bombers, and had been admitted into the University of Wisconsin in 1964. He was radicalized by the Vietnam War. and quit school a year later. He took on odd jobs for the next few years, and was re-accepted into the university in 1967. That fall he was witness to violence between protestors and police on October 18, 1967 when the Dow Chemical Company had arranged for job interviews with students on campus and many students turned out to protest and block potential interviewers. Image File history File links Sterling_Hall_Bombers. ... Image File history File links Sterling_Hall_Bombers. ... The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a Federal police force which is the principal investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... October 18 is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years). ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW TYO: 4850 ) is a United States-based multinational corporation. ...


After the bombing he went into hiding and wasn't caught until February 16, 1972. He was sentenced to 23 years in Waupun State Prison, but served only 7 years. Armstrong returned to Madison and operated a popular deli called Radical Rye on State Street near the UW-Madison campus until it was displaced by the development of the Overture Center. Armstrong continues to reside in Madison and runs a juice cart called Loose Juice. February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Located in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, State Street hosts a variety of shops, bars and restaurants and is known for its small town appeal, making it a common tourist attraction. ... Overture Center for the Arts is a performing arts center and art gallery in Madison, Wisconsin, which replaced the Civic Center. ...


Dwight Armstrong

The younger brother of Karl, he was 19 at the time of the bombing.


David Fine

David Fine came to Madison as a freshman in 1969 at the age of 17. He wrote for the campus newspaper The Daily Cardinal, and associated with the other writers. He met Karl Armstrong for the first time in the summer of 1970. The Daily Cardinal is one of the nations oldest student newspapers, located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ...


At 18 years old at the time of the bombing, he was the youngest of the four bombers.


In 1987, after passing the Oregon Bar exam, Fine was denied admission to the Oregon Bar by the Oregon State Supreme Court based upon his participation in, and lack of remorse for, the bombing of Sterling Hall and the murder of Robert Fassnacht.


Leo Burt

Leo was 22 years old, and worked at the Daily Cardinal. He introduced David Fine and Karl Armstrong to each other in July of 1970. Leo Frederick Burt (April 18, 1948) was an anti-Vietnam war protester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who on August 24, 1970 along with three others, wheeled a van packed with explosives in front of the army math research centre and blew it up killing 1 person and causing...


After the bombing he completely disappeared, and is the only one of the bombers to have never been found.


Army Mathematics Research Center

During the Vietnam war, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the southern (east-west) wing of Sterling Hall housed the Army Mathematics Research Center (AMRC). This was an army-funded think tank, directed by J. Barkley Rosser, Sr. Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...


The staff at the center, at the time before the bombing, consisted of about 45 mathematicians, about 30 of them full-time. The director, Rosser, was the head of the U.S. ballistics program during World War II, and he was a contributor to research in several missiles that came to be used by the U.S. military. This article is becoming very long. ...


The money to build a home for AMRC came from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation in 1955. Their money built a 6-floor addition to Sterling Hall. In the contract to work at the facility, it was required that mathematicians spend at least half their time on army research.


The student newspaper, The Daily Cardinal, had obtained and published quarterly reports that AMRC submitted to the Army. The Cardinal published a series of investigative articles making a convincing case that AMRC was pursuing research that was directly pursuant to specific US Department of Defense requests, and relevant to counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam. AMRC became a magnet for demonstrations, in which protesters chanted "U.S. out of Vietnam! Smash Army Math!" The Daily Cardinal is one of the nations oldest student newspapers, located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ...


Quotes

  • "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

Howard Zinn Howard Zinn (born August 24, 1922) is an American historian and political scientist. ...

References

  • Bates, Tom (1993). RADS: The 1970 Bombing of the Army Math Research Center at the University of Wisconsin and Its Aftermath. Perennial. ISBN 0-06-092428-4.
  • Morris, Michael (1988). The Madison bombings: The story of one of the two largest vehicle-bombings ever. Research House. ISBN 0-947002-30-8.

See also

The War at Home was a documentary film about the anti-war movement in the Madison, Wisconsin area during the Vietnam War. ...

External links

  • WisconsinHistory.org on the bombing

 
 

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