Greenwich Village townhouse explosion


“The Greenwich Village townhouse explosion occurred on March 6, 1970, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was caused by the premature detonation of a bomb that was being assembled by members of the Weather Underground, an American radical left group. The bomb was under construction in the basement of 18 West 11th Street, when it accidentally exploded; the blast reduced the four-story townhouse to a burning, rubble-strewn ruin. The two persons preparing the bomb were killed instantly (Diana Oughton and Terry Robbins), as was a third ‘Weatherman’ who happened to be walking into the townhouse (Ted Gold); two others were injured but were helped from the scene and later escaped (Kathy Boudin and Cathy Wilkerson). Shortly before noon on Friday, March 6, 1970, people in the townhouse were assembling nail bombs packed with dynamite and roofing nails. Former members of the Weathermen later advanced differing claims as to the planned uses of the bombs. According to Mark Rudd, the plan was to set them off that evening at a dance for noncommissioned officers and their dates at the Fort Dix, New Jersey Army base, to ‘bring the [Vietnam] war home’. Other reports say that some were destined for the Fort Dix dance and some were to destroy the main library at Columbia University. According to Cathy Wilkerson, who was a leader of the New York collective of the Weathermen, they were disappointed with the minimal effects of their earlier use of Molotov cocktails at the home of Judge Murtagh and other locations. At the suggestion of Terry Robbins, another of the leaders, they decided to use dynamite for newly planned actions. They purchased a considerable quantity of dynamite and a number of electric fuses. The group investigated and designated three targets, including a dance at Fort Dix, an army base in nearby New Jersey. It was reported that ‘arguments went on day and night’ in the townhouse, with Kathy Boudin favoring the use of antipersonnel bombs and Diana Oughton having misgivings. …”
Wikipedia
NY Times: An Infamous Explosion, and the Smoldering Memory of Radicalism
Greenwich Village Townhouse Explosion
The Day Dustin Hoffman’s House Blew Up
YouTube: Almanac: Weather Underground’s accidental bombing

Actor Dustin Hoffman hurries away from his Greenwich Village townhouse with a painting he was able to save after three noontime blasts devastated an adjoining house at 18 W. 11th St.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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