How was the Oklahoma bombing of 1921 the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history?

The Oklahoma bombing of 1921 was one of the worst acts of terrorism in the United States in the 20th century.

But it’s probably not the Oklahoma bombing you’re thinking of.

Even though Timothy McVeigh’s April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 168 people was a terrible act, the dynamite assault on Tulsa’s black community in 1921 was worse.

A white mob, their simmering prejudice inflamed by a rumor that a black shoe-shiner had assaulted a white woman, began torching Tulsa’s 35-block black community, charmingly referred to as Little Africa.

Some of the white townspeople, with access to dynamite and an airplane, decided to use both against the black population.

The dynamite destroyed at least 1,000 homes; between the bombs, fires, and the mobs, 250 people were killed.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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