The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a memorial in the United States that honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. The memorial is located in downtown Oklahoma City on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which was destroyed in the 1995 bombing. This building was located on NW 5th Street between N. Robinson Avenue and N. Harvey Avenue.
The National Memorial was authorized on October 9, 1997, by President Bill Clinton’s signing of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Act of 1997. It was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places the same day. The memorial is administered by Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, with National Park Service staff to help interpret the memorial for visitors. The National Memorial Museum and the Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism are components housed in the former Journal Record Building on the north side of the memorial grounds.
The memorial was formally dedicated on April 19, 2000: the fifth anniversary of the bombing. The museum was dedicated and opened the following year on February 19.
At 9:02 a.m. local time on April 19, 1995, a Ryder rental truck, containing approximately 7,000 pounds (3175 kg) of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, nitromethane, and diesel fuel was detonated in front of the building, destroying a third of it and causing severe damage to several other buildings located nearby. As a result, 168 people were killed, including 19 children, and over 800 others were injured. It was the deadliest terrorist attack, with the most property damage, on American soil before the September 11 attacks. It remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history.
Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of the attack in a jury trial and sentenced to death. He was executed in 2001. A co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, is serving multiple life sentences in a federal prison. Third and fourth subjects, Michael Fortier and his wife, Lori, assisted in the plot. They testified against both McVeigh and Nichols in exchange for a 12-year prison term for Michael and immunity for Lori. Michael was released into the witness protection program in January 2006.
McVeigh said that he bombed the building on the second anniversary of the Waco siege in 1993 to retaliate for U.S. government actions there and at the siege at Ruby Ridge. Before his execution, he said that he did not know a day care center was in the building and that, had he known, “It might have given me pause to switch targets.” The FBI said that he scouted the interior of the building in December 1994 and likely knew of the day care center before the bombing