“I’m going to read A DECLARATION OF A STATE OF WAR,” read the first communique from the Weather Underground. “All over the world, people fighting American imperialism look to America’s youth to use our strategic position behind enemy lines … Within the next fourteen days we will attack a symbol or institution of American injustice.” The Weathermen meant what they said: dissatisfied with the larger Student Democratic Society movement’s nonviolent protests, they decided the time had come to take a more radical step.
On this day, March 1, in 1971, the Weathermen executed a feat done by no other terrorist organization to this day: they exploded a bomb in the U.S. Capitol. There was little damage, save for a torn-up bathroom, and no casualties, but the statement was sent. That same day the Weathermen issued a communique stating the bombing was in response to the invasion of Laos.
The Weathermen became the “Weather Underground” when police crackdowns forced them to go into hiding. But the students continued sending out the statements reminding America they have not shared in any of the country’s prosperity. They felt kinship with the “oppressed” in Vietnam and agitated for an unequal distribution of resources in America.