27 July 1996

In Atlanta, United States, a pipe bomb explodes at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Centennial Olympic Park bombing

Centennial Olympic Park Bombing
Part of Terrorism in the United States
OlympicParkBombing ShrapnelMark.jpg
Bomb fragment mark on Olympic Park sculpture
LocationAtlanta, Georgia, United States
Coordinates33°45′38″N 84°23′33″W / 33.76065°N 84.392583°W / 33.76065; -84.392583Coordinates: 33°45′38″N 84°23′33″W / 33.76065°N 84.392583°W / 33.76065; -84.392583
DateJuly 27, 1996
1:20 am (UTC-4)
TargetCentennial Olympic Park
Attack type
Bombing
WeaponsPipe bomb
Deaths1 + 1 indirect fatality
Injuries
111
PerpetratorsEric Rudolph
Army of God
MotiveAnti-abortion, Anti-socialist

The Centennial Olympic Park bombing was a domestic terrorist pipe bombing attack on the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 27 during the 1996 Summer Olympics. The blast directly killed 1 person and injured 111 others; another person later died of a heart attack. It was the first of four bombings committed by Eric Rudolph.[1] Security guard Richard Jewell discovered the bomb before detonation and cleared most of the spectators out of the park. Rudolph, a carpenter and handyman, had detonated three pipe bombs inside a U.S. military ALICE Pack.

After the bombings, Jewell was initially investigated as a suspect by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the news media falsely focused on him aggressively as the presumed culprit. However, in October 1996, Jewell was cleared of suspicion when the FBI declared that he was no longer a person of interest. Following three more bombings in 1997, Rudolph was identified by the FBI as the suspect. In 2003, Rudolph was arrested, and in 2005 he agreed to plead guilty to avoid a potential death sentence. Rudolph was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for his crimes.

Bombing

Centennial Olympic Park was designed as the "town square" of the Olympics, and thousands of spectators had gathered for a late concert by the band Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. Sometime after midnight, Rudolph planted a green U.S. military ALICE pack (field pack) containing three pipe bombs surrounded by three-inch-long (7.6 cm) masonry nails, which caused most of the human injuries, underneath a bench near the base of a concert sound tower.[2] He then left the area.

The pack had a directed charge and could have done more damage but it was slightly moved at some point.[3] It used a steel plate as a directional device.[4] Investigators later tied the Sandy Springs and Otherside bombs together with this first device because all were propelled by nitroglycerin dynamite, used an alarm clock and Rubbermaid containers, and contained steel plates.[5]

FBI Agent David (Woody) Johnson received notice that a call to 911 was placed about 18 minutes before the bomb detonated warning that a bomb would go off at the park within 30 minutes by "a white male with an indistinguishable American accent".[6]

Security guard Richard Jewell discovered the bag underneath a bench and alerted Georgia Bureau of Investigation officers.[7] Tom Davis of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, called in a bomb ordnance squad which included members of the ATF and FBI to investigate the suspicious bag, that was leaning against the 40-ft NBC sound tower.[6] Jewell and other security guards began clearing the immediate area so that a bomb squad could investigate the suspicious package. The bomb detonated two to three minutes into the evacuation, before all spectators could leave the area.[6]

Video of the explosion from a short distance away was captured by Robert Gee, a tourist from California, and later aired by CNN.[8] The sound of the explosion was also recorded by a news crew from the German public television network ARD, who were interviewing American swimmer Janet Evans at a nearby hotel.[9][10]

Victims

Alice Hawthorne, 44, of Albany, Georgia, was killed in the explosion when a nail from the bomb penetrated her skull.[7] A Turkish cameraman of Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, Melih Uzunyol, 40, had a fatal heart attack while running to the scene.[11] The bomb wounded 111 others.

Reaction

As the park reopened following the bombing.

President Bill Clinton denounced the explosion as an "evil act of terror" and vowed to do everything possible to track down and punish those responsible.[12]

Despite the event, officials and athletes agreed that the games should continue as planned.

Aftermath

Richard Jewell falsely implicated

Though Richard Jewell was hailed as a hero for his role in discovering the bomb and moving spectators to safety, news organizations later reported that Jewell was considered a potential suspect in the bombing, four days afterward, and shortly after a brief, mistaken detainment of two juvenile persons of interest at the Kensington MARTA station. Jewell, at the time, was unknown to authorities, and a lone wolf profile made sense to FBI investigators after being contacted by his former employer at Piedmont College.

Jewell was named as a person of interest, although he was never arrested. Jewell's home was searched and his background exhaustively investigated and he became the subject of intense media interest and surveillance, including a media siege of his home.[3]

After Jewell was exonerated, he initiated defamation lawsuits against NBC News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and other media entities, and insisted on a formal apology from them. Jewell's lawsuit accused Piedmont College President Raymond Cleere of falsely describing Jewell as a "badge-wearing zealot" who "would write epic police reports for minor infractions".[13] The cases were later settled after 15 years of litigation with the Georgia Court of Appeals decision in July 2012, that the newspapers accurately reported that Jewell was the key suspect in the bombing, and emphasized he was only a suspect and the potential issues in the law enforcement case against him.[14]

Conviction of Eric Robert Rudolph

The suspect, Eric Rudolph shown in a photo released by the FBI

After Jewell was cleared, the FBI admitted it had no other suspects, and the investigation made little progress until early 1997, when two more bombings took place at an abortion clinic and a lesbian nightclub, both in the Atlanta area. Similarities in the bomb design allowed investigators to conclude that this was the work of the same perpetrator. One more bombing of an abortion clinic, this time in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed a policeman working as a security guard and seriously injured nurse Emily Lyons,[1] gave the FBI crucial clues including a partial license plate.

The plate and other clues led the FBI to identify Eric Robert Rudolph as a suspect. Rudolph eluded capture and became a fugitive; officials believed he had disappeared into the rugged southern Appalachian Mountains, familiar from his youth. On May 5, 1998, the FBI named him as one of its ten most wanted fugitives and offered a $1 million reward for information leading directly to his arrest. On October 14, 1998, the Department of Justice formally named Rudolph as its suspect in all four bombings.

After more than five years on the run, Rudolph was arrested on May 31, 2003, in Murphy, North Carolina, by a rookie police officer, Jeffrey Scott Postell of the Murphy Police Department behind a Save-A-Lot store at about 4 a.m.; Postell, on routine patrol, had originally suspected a burglary in progress.[15]

On April 8, 2005, the government announced Rudolph would plead guilty to all four bombings, including the Centennial Olympic Park attack.

Rudolph is serving four life terms[1] without the possibility of parole at ADX Florence supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

Rudolph's justification for the bombings according to his April 13, 2005 statement, was political:[16]

In the summer of 1996, the world converged upon Atlanta for the Olympic Games. Under the protection and auspices of the regime in Washington millions of people came to celebrate the ideals of global socialism. Multinational corporations spent billions of dollars, and Washington organized an army of security to protect these best of all games. Even though the conception and purpose of the so-called Olympic movement is to promote the values of global socialism, as perfectly expressed in the song Imagine by John Lennon, which was the theme of the 1996 Games even though the purpose of the Olympics is to promote these ideals, the purpose of the attack on July 27 was to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand.
The plan was to force the cancellation of the Games,[1] or at least create a state of insecurity to empty the streets around the venues and thereby eat into the vast amounts of money invested.

On August 22, 2005, Rudolph, who had previously received a life sentence for the Alabama bombing, was sentenced to three concurrent terms of life imprisonment without parole for the Georgia incidents. Rudolph read a statement at his sentencing in which he apologized to the victims and families only of the Centennial Park bombing, reiterating that he was angry at the government and hoped the Olympics would be canceled. At his sentencing, fourteen other victims or relatives gave statements, including the widower of Alice Hawthorne.

Rudolph's former sister-in-law, Deborah Rudolph, talked about the irony of Rudolph's plea deal putting him in custody of a government he hates. "Knowing that he's living under government control for the rest of his life, I think that's worse to him than death," she told the San Diego Union Tribune in 2005.

As reported in an April 8, 2013, Alabama blog,[17] in February 2013, LuLu.com published Rudolph's book, Between the Lines of Drift: The Memoirs of a Militant, and in April 2013 the U.S. Attorney General seized his $200 royalty to help pay off the $1 million that Rudolph owes in restitution to the state of Alabama.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Gross, Doug (April 14, 2005). "Eric Rudolph Lays Out the Arguments that Fueled His Two-Year Bomb Attacks". San Diego Union-Tribune. Associated Press.
  2. ^ "20 years later, I still lose sleep over the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. Here's why". myajc. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Brenner, Marie (February 1997). "American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  4. ^ Brown, Aaron & Harris, Art (February 7, 2001). "The Hunt for Eric Rudolph". CNN Presents. CNN. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  5. ^ Freeman, Scott (August 24, 2006). "A Hero In His Own Mind". Orlando Weekly. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "When Terror Struck the Summer Olympics 20 Years Ago". Time. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Olympic park bombing brought terror close to home". politics.myajc. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Shales, Tom (July 26, 1996). "TV Networks Sprint Into Action". Washington Post. p. A26. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "JANET EVANS NEARBY DURING CENTENNIAL PARK EXPLOSION". Deseret News / Associated Press. July 27, 1996. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  10. ^ Mackay, Duncan. "Janet Evans to return to Atlanta as part of 20th anniversary celebrations for 1996 Olympics". Inside the Games. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  11. ^ Jacobs, Jeff (July 28, 1996). "In Atlanta, Fear Roams Hand In Hand With Anger". Hartford Courant.
  12. ^ "Clinton Pledges Thorough Effort to Find Olympic Park Bomber". CNN. July 27, 1996. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  13. ^ "Ex-Suspect in Bombing Sues Newspapers, College: Jewell's Libel Claim Seeks Unspecified Damages". The Washington Post. January 29, 1997. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2013 – via Highbeam Research.
  14. ^ "Ga. court upholds ruling in Jewell suit". ajc. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  15. ^ "Atlanta Olympic Bombing Suspect Arrested". CNN. May 31, 2003.
  16. ^ "Full Text of Eric Rudolph's Confession". NPR (National Public Radio). April 14, 2005. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  17. ^ Faulk, Kent (April 8, 2013). "Birmingham Abortion Clinic Bomber Eric Robert Rudolph Fights to Get Profits from His Book". AL.com.

External links

27 July 1865

Welsh settlers to settle in Chubut in Argentina.

The first group of settlers, nearly 200 people gathered from all over Wales, but mainly north and mid-Wales, sailed from Liverpool in late May 1865 aboard the tea-clipper Mimosa. Blessed with good weather the journey took approximately eight weeks, and the Mimosa eventually arrived at what is now called Puerto Madryn on 27th July.

Unfortunately the settlers found that Patagonia was not the friendly and inviting land they had been expecting. They had been told that it was much like the green and fertile lowlands of Wales. In reality it was a barren and inhospitable windswept pampas, with no water, very little food and no forests to provide building materials for shelter. Some of the settlers’ first homes were dug out from the soft rock of the cliffs in the bay.

Teheulche nativesDespite receiving help from the native Teheulche Indians who tried to teach the settlers how to survive on the scant resources of the prairie, the colony looked as if it were doomed to failure from the lack of food. However, after receiving several mercy missions of supplies, the settlers persevered and finally struggled on to reach the proposed site for the colony in the Chubut valley about 40 miles away. It was here, where a river the settlers named Camwy cuts a narrow channel through the desert from the nearby Andes, that the first permanent settlement of Rawson was established at the end of 1865.

The colony suffered badly in the early years with floods, poor harvests and disagreements over the ownership of land, in addition the lack of a direct route to the ocean made it difficult to bring in new supplies.

History records that it was one Rachel Jenkins who first had the idea that changed the history of the colony and secured its future. Rachel had noticed that on occasion the River Camwy burst its banks; she also considered how such flooding brought life to the arid land that bordered it. It was simple irrigation and backbreaking water management that saved the Chubut valley and its tiny band of Welsh settlers.

Over the next several years new settlers arrived from both Wales and Pennsylvania, and by the end of 1874 the settlement had a population totalling over 270. With the arrival of these keen and fresh hands, new irrigation channels were dug along the length of the Chubut valley, and a patchwork of farms began to emerge along a thin strip on either side of the River Camwy.

In 1875 the Argentine government granted the Welsh settlers official title to the land, and this encouraged many more people to join the colony, with more than 500 people arriving from Wales, including many from the south Wales coalfields which were undergoing a severe depression at that time. This fresh influx of immigrants meant that plans for a major new irrigation system in the Lower Chubut valley could finally begin.

There were further substantial migrations from Wales during the periods 1880-87, and also 1904-12, again mainly due to depression within the coalfields. The settlers had seemingly achieved their utopia with Welsh speaking schools and chapels; even the language of local government was Welsh.

In the few decades since the settlers had arrived, they had transformed the inhospitable scrub-filled semi-dessert into one of the most fertile and productive agricultural areas in the whole of Argentina, and had even expanded their territory into the foothills of the Andes with a settlement known as Cwm Hyfryd.

But it was these productive and fertile lands that now attracted other nationalities to settle in Chubut and the colony’s Welsh identity began to be eroded. By 1915 the population of Chubut had grown to around 20,000, with approximately half of these being foreign immigrants.

27 July 1694

A Royal charter is granted to the Bank of England.

bank-of-england

The revolution of 1688, which brought William and Mary to the throne, gave England political stability for the first time in nearly a century.

Businesses flourished, but the public finances were weak and the system of money and credit was in disarray. The goldsmith bankers, who had begun to develop the basic principles of banks as deposit-takers and lenders, had been damaged by the lax financial management of the Stuart kings.

There were calls for a national or public bank to mobilise the nation’s resources, largely inspired by the Dutch example of the Amsterdam Wisselbank. Many schemes were proposed. The successful one, from Scottish entrepreneur William Paterson, invited the public to invest in a new project. The public subscriptions raised £1.2 million in a few weeks, which formed the initial capital stock of the Bank of England and was lent to Government in return for a Royal Charter. The Royal Charter was sealed on 27 July 1694, and the Bank started its role as the Government’s banker and debt manager.

The Bank opened for business a few days later in temporary accommodation in the Mercers’ Hall in Cheapside. It had a staff of seventeen clerks and two gatekeepers. Later in the same year, it moved to the Grocers’ Hall in Princes Street, which became its home until 1734 when it acquired premises in Threadneedle Street. Over the next 100 years, the Bank gradually acquired adjacent premises until the present three-acre island site was secured. Sir John Soane’s massive curtain wall was erected round it, and this still forms the outer wall of the Bank today.