At Mount Carmel in Waco, Texas, the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI launches a tear-gas assault on the Branch Davidian compound, ending a tense day standoff between the federal government and an armed religious cult.
By the end of the day, the compound was burned to the ground, and some 80 Branch Davidians, including 22 children, had perished in the inferno. On February 28,agents of the U. As the agents attempted to penetrate the complex, gunfire erupted, beginning an extended gun battle that left four ATF agents dead and 15 wounded.
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After 45 minutes of shooting, the ATF agents withdrew, and a cease-fire was negotiated over the telephone. The operation, which involved more than ATF agents, was one of the largest ever mounted by the bureau and resulted in the highest casualties of any ATF operation. For a short time, Koresh retreated with his followers to eastern Texas, but in late he returned to Mount Carmel with seven armed followers and raided the compound, severely wounding Roden.
Koresh went on trial for attempted murder, but the charge was dropped after his case was declared a mistrial. Byhe was the leader of the Branch Davidians and legally changed his name to David Koresh, with David representing his status as head of the biblical House of David, and Koresh standing for the Hebrew name for Cyrus, the Persian king who allowed the Jews held captive in Babylon to return to Israel.
Koresh took several wives at Mount Carmel and fathered at least 12 children from these women, several of whom were as young as 12 or 13 when they became pregnant. There is also evidence that Koresh may have harshly disciplined some of the or so Branch Davidians living inside the compound, particularly his children.
A standoff with the Branch Davidians stretched into seven weeks, and little progress was made in the telephone negotiations, as the Davidians had stockpiled years of food and other necessities before the raid. On April 18, U. Attorney General Janet Reno approved a tear-gas assault on the compound, and at approximately a.
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The Branch Davidians, many with gas masks on, refused to evacuate, and by a. Just after noon, a fire erupted at one or more locations on the compound, and minutes later nine Davidians fled the rapidly spreading blaze. Gunfire was reported but ceased as the compound was completely engulfed by the flames. The FBI and the Justice Department maintained there was conclusive evidence that the Branch Davidian members ignited the fire, citing an eyewitness and various forensic data.
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Of the gunfire reported during the fire, the government argued that the Davidians were either killing each other as part of a suicide pact or were killing dissenters who attempted to escape the Koresh-ordered suicide by fire.
Inthe FBI admitted they used tear-gas grenades in the assault, which have been known to cause fires because of their incendiary properties. Five teenagers from Harlem were wrongly convicted of the crime, which shocked New Yorkers for its randomness and viciousness and became On April 19,the first blood of the American Civil War is shed when a secessionist mob in Baltimore attacks Massachusetts troops bound for Washington, D. Four soldiers and 12 rioters were killed.
One week earlier, on April 12, the Civil War began when Confederate shore Just after 9 a. The blast collapsed the north face of the nine-story building, instantly killing more than people and trapping dozens more in the rubble.
Waco siege ends; branch davidian compound burns
Emergency crews On April 19,John J. Olympic team manager John Graham, who was inspired by the up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. As a prelude to a massive antiwar protest, Vietnam Veterans Against the War begin a five-day demonstration in Washington, D. The generally peaceful protest, called Dewey Canyon III in honor of the operation of the same name conducted in Laos, ended on April 23 with about 1, On April 19,former President Thomas Jefferson writes up a contract for the sale of an indentured servant named John Freeman to newly sworn-in President James Madison.
Slavery and indentured servitude were major components of the early American economy. Enslaved workers A Wichita, Kansas, commission votes not to rehire policeman Wyatt Earp after he beats up a candidate for county sheriff.
Born inWyatt was one of the five Earp brothers, some of whom became famous for their participation in the shootout at the O. Corral in George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, dies in what is now Greece, where he had traveled to support the Greek struggle for independence from Turkey.
Even today, he is considered a Greek national hero.
At about 5 a. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outed Live TV. This Day In History. History Vault.
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