Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

National Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day – April 19, 2023

National Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day is celebrated on April 19 annually. This day aims at honoring the deceased, injured, and volunteers when the devastating event occurred. Two anti-government extremists — Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols perpetrated the terrorist attack. They did this with white supremacists and right-wing terrorist sympathies.
The bombing happened at 9:02 a.m. at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and killed at least 168 people, injured more than 680 others, and destroyed more than one-third of the building.

History of National Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day

Timothy McVeigh, an ex-Army soldier and security guard, parked a rented Ryder truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. He decided to commit mass murder there. The bomb was a powerful one. It consisted of a deadly cocktail of agricultural fertilizer, diesel fuel, and other chemicals. McVeigh got out of the rented car with the bomb inside, locked the door, and headed towards his getaway car. He ignited one timed fuse, then another. At 9:02 a.m., the bomb exploded.

A third of the building had been reduced to rubble in just a few seconds, with many floors flattened. The surrounding area looked devastated. More than 300 nearby buildings were damaged or destroyed; dozens of cars were incinerated. The consequences to human beings were still more devastating: 168 souls were lost, including 19 children, with several hundred more injured.

It was the worst act of terrorism in United States history. The F.B.I. quickly arrived at the scene to support rescue efforts and investigate the facts. There were clues in the area they found. On April 20, thanks to the rear axle of the Ryder truck, the vehicle identification number was traced to a body shop in Junction City, Kansas. Employees helped the F.B.I. quickly compose a composite drawing of the man who had rented the van. F.B.I. agents started to show the sketch around town, and local hotel employees supplied a name: Tim McVeigh.

National Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day timeline

1995
The Bombing Occurs

On April 19, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City is destroyed by a terrorist attack.

1997
Terrorists are Tried

The bombers are tried and convicted.

2001
McVeigh is Executed

McVeigh is sentenced to death, and executed by lethal injection.

2003
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is Replaced

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is replaced with a 185,000-square-foot building.

National Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day FAQs

What components' symbols are used in the Oklahoma City Memorial?

There are nine rows, each representing a floor of the federal building where the field is now located. Each chair has the name of someone killed, and smaller chairs stand for the children.

How old was Timothy McVeigh when he was executed?

He was 33 years old.

Why is it difficult for the United Nations to draft a definition of terrorism?

Mainly because the characteristics of terrorism are hard to define. Many member countries harbor terrorists.

How to Observe National Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day

  1. 168 seconds of silence

    168 people died in the bombings. The nation joins 168 seconds of silence to honor those people.

  2. Information

    Learn about terrorist attacks and bombings. Learn how Oklahoma City recovered from this devastating event.

  3. Post on social media

    Write a post on social media to raise awareness about this commemoration day. Do not forget to use the hashtag #OklahomaCityBombingCommemorationDay.

5 Terrorist Attacks In History

  1. AMIA bombing

    It occurred in 1994 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  2. U.S. Embassy Bombings

    It occurred in 1998 in Kenya and Tanzania.

  3. September 11 attacks

    It occurred in 2001 in New York, United States.

  4. Christmas massacres

    It occurred in 2008 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  5. 7/7 bombings

    These occurred in London, killing 56.

Why National Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day is Important

  1. It is a day to remember

    This day is perfect for remembering those who died not only in the Oklahoma Bombing but also in any other terrorist attacks. Many people die in this type of attack.

  2. It is a day to raise awareness

    This day is also helpful in raising awareness about the problem of terrorism. Security issues affect almost all countries.

  3. It is an opportunity to address threats of violence

    Awareness is crucial to disrupting terrorist plots to avoid future attacks. Governments should be committed to holding accountable those who perpetrate such attacks.

National Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 19Wednesday
2024April 19Friday
2025April 19Saturday
2026April 19Sunday
2027April 19Monday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.