April 19, 2010

15 Years Ago in News History: The Oklahoma City Bombing

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On April 19, 1995, Charles Porter was working in the Liberty Bank loan department when "there was just a huge, huge explosion … a loud boom, like a sonic boom. The whole building shook."

An aspiring photojournalist, Porter got his camera and ran toward the blast.

 "There is glass all over … people lying on the ground. A guy walks by without his shirt, and blood is streaming from his head."

Porter had just arrived at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla.

"It’s like they shaved off the front of the building, and then they took an ice cream scoop and scooped right down the center."

Porter took pictures, saw a blur, turned to his left.

"It’s a policeman carrying something. I snap the frame just as the policeman hands it to a fireman. The fireman turns, and he’s holding this infant. I take one shot." 

The explosion killed 168 people, including 1-year-old Baylee Almon, the child in Porter’s picture.

Porter’s photograph is part of the Newseum’s permanent exhibit of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs. For more information, visit the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery.

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