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Encyclopedia > Sterling Hall bombing
Sterling Hall bombing
Sterling Hall bombing
Once home to the physics department at UW-Madison, Sterling Hall also housed the Army Mathematics Research Center which made it the target of student protests.
Location Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Target(s) Army Mathematics Research Center, Sterling Hall, UW-Madison
Date August 24, 1970
3:42AM (UTC-5)
Attack type bombing (Ammonium nitrate)
Deaths 1
Injured 4
Perpetrator(s) Karleton Armstrong, Dwight Armstrong, David Fine and Leo Burt
Claimed motive protest against the Vietnam War

The Sterling Hall Bombing was a crime on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus on August 24, 1970 committed as a protest against the University's research connections with US military during the Vietnam War. It resulted in the death of a university physics researcher and severe injuries to four other building occupants. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 585 pixelsFull resolution (2520 × 1844 pixel, file size: 1. ... The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public university located in Madison,Wisconsin. ... Nickname: Mad Town or Mad City Location of Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin Municipality City Incorporated 1848 Government  - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz Area    - City 136. ... Official language(s) None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Area  Ranked 23rd  - Total 65,498 sq mi (169,790 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 310 miles (500 km)  - % water 17  - Latitude 42° 30′ N to 47° 05′ N  - Longitude 86° 46′ W to 92° 53′ W Population  Ranked... The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public university located in Madison,Wisconsin. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... ... The Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb produced in the United States. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... 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. ... Leo Frederick Burt (born April 18, 1948) was an anti-Vietnam war bomber who was alleged involved in the Sterling Hall bombing in 1970. ... The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian 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, set off at 3:42AM and 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, injured four others and caused 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 bombers used a stolen Ford Econoline van filled with close to 2,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate and topped off with jet fuel.[1] Pieces of the van were found on top of an eight-story building three blocks away and 26 nearby buildings were also damaged, however, the targeted AMRC was scarcely damaged.[2] Total damage to University of Wisconsin-Madison property was over $2.1 million as a result of the bombing.[3] The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research 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. ... The Ford E-Series, formerly named and also known as the Econoline or Club Wagon, is a line of full-size vans (both cargo and passenger) and truck chassis from the Ford Motor Company. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Jet fuel is a type of aviation fuel designed for use in jet-engined aircraft. ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ...


Robert Fassnacht

Plaque on the south-side of Sterling Hall. Dedicated on May 18, 2007.
Plaque on the south-side of Sterling Hall. Dedicated on May 18, 2007.
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 monitoring an experiment when the explosion occurred.[4] Rescuers found him face down in about a foot of water. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 960 pixel, file size: 550 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Plaque on the south-side of Sterling hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 960 pixel, file size: 550 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Plaque on the south-side of Sterling hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. ... 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.

Karl was oldest of the bombers, and had been admitted into the University of Wisconsin-Madison 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 criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary 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... is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW TYO: 4850 ) is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan. ...


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 operates a juice cart on the library mall called Loose Juice. February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Located in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, United States, near the Wisconsin State Capitol, State Street hosts a variety of shops, bars, and restaurants and is known for its small town appeal and street musicians and jugglers and other types of busking, making it a common tourist attraction. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ...


Dwight Armstrong

A 1960s Ford van, similar to the van used in the bombing.
A 1960s Ford van, similar to the van used in the bombing.

The younger brother of Karl, he was 19 at the time of the bombing. After serving his sentence, he was again arrested. According to the Capital Times he was latter convicted of drug charges and sentenced to 10 years for conspiring to distribute speed in Indiana. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x747, 205 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Ford E-Series Ford Falcon (North American) Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x747, 205 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Ford E-Series Ford Falcon (North American) Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital...


After being released from prison, he returned to Madison and as of 2000 works for Union Cab. [5]


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 the fifth oldest student newspaper in the United States, 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. The Oregon Supreme Court is the highest state court in the Oregon judicial department (branch of government). ...


Leo Burt

Leo Burt 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 (born April 18, 1948) was an anti-Vietnam war bomber who was alleged involved in the Sterling Hall bombing in 1970. ...


After the bombing he completely disappeared, and to this day remains at large. [6]


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. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


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 the fifth oldest student newspaper in the United States, 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
  • "This I believe is a conspiracy of a small minority who do not believe in our system of government and are set to destroy our present way of life." - Wisconsin Governor Warren P. Knowles, August 25, 1970.[7]
  • "[Fassnacht] was a dedicated person. This is what killed him." - Friend and coworker, Erhard H. Behr, August 25, 1970.[7]
  • "Sometimes I still think about [the bombing]. It sends a shiver up my spine when I'm working late on Sundays." - Paul Quin, a physics researcher injured by the bombing. August 23, 1971.[8]

Howard Zinn (born August 24, 1922) is an American historian, political scientist, social critic, activist and playwright, best known as author of the bestseller, A Peoples History of the United States. ... Waren Perley Knowles (August 19, 1908–May 1, 1993) was an American lawyer from New Richmond, Wisconsin. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Bates, Tom (1993). RADS: The 1970 Bombing of the Army Math Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison 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. 
  1. ^ Wisconsin Historical Museum. Sterling Hall Bombing Engine Fragment.
  2. ^ Wisconsin State Journal. Sterling Hall bombing.
  3. ^ Wisconsin State Journal. Sterling Hall toll set at $2.1 million. August 17, 1972.
  4. ^ Hague, Bob (2007-05-19). UW honors Robert Fassnacht. Wisconsin Radio Network. Retrieved on 2007-05-19.
  5. ^ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online
  6. ^ FBI Fugitive's list
  7. ^ a b Wisconsin State Journal. Van's blast at UW center kills one hurts four. August 25, 1970.
  8. ^ Wisconsin State Journal. The injured remember. August 23, 1971.

The Wisconsin State Journal is a newspaper printed in Madison, Wisconsin. ... The Wisconsin State Journal is a newspaper printed in Madison, Wisconsin. ... is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 139th day of the year (140th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Wisconsin State Journal is a newspaper printed in Madison, Wisconsin. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Wisconsin State Journal is a newspaper printed in Madison, Wisconsin. ... is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

The War at Home was a documentary film about the anti-war movement in the Madison, Wisconsin area during the Vietnam War. ... In the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (February 26, 1993) a car bomb was detonated by Islamic terrorists in the underground parking garage below Tower One of the World Trade Center in New York City. ... The Oklahoma City bombing was an attack on April 19, 1995 aimed at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, a U.S. government office complex in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sterling Hall bombing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (842 words)
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.
Sterling Hall is a centrally located building on the University of Wisconsin - Madison campus.
After the bombing he completely disappeared, and is the only one of the bombers to have never been found.
Wisconsin Historical Society | Wisconsin Historical Images (421 words)
The Gang targeted Sterling Hall because it housed the Army Mathematics Research Center, which helped create new weapons to be used in the Vietnam War.
This may explain why the Sterling Hall bombing remained the largest act of domestic sabotage for twenty-five years until the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.
Rads: The 1970 Bombing of the Army Mathematics Research Center of the University of Wisconsin and Its Aftermath.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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