Capitol Bombing Of 1971: What Was The Weather Underground And What Did They Want?

By Jacob Shelton
FBI bulletin showing suspected members of the Weather Underground. Source: flickr.com/photos/washington_area_spark

In the early 1970s, the Weather Underground carried out a series of bombings against targets including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. The group's aim to form a "classless communist world" never came to fruition, but the often violent tactics of the Weather Underground took the beliefs of the anti-establishment movements of the '60s and '70s to their extremes.

In the 1960s, college campuses were buzzing with the move for social change. Meeting at sit-ins, rallies, and secret meetings, groups of revolutionaries and formed from disparate participants with the aim of bringing revolution to America. For the Weather Underground, that revolution was to be achieved by any means necessary.

Beginning as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society, the Weather Underground declared all out war on the United States of America. Their transgressions made in protest against the Vietnam War ranged from staged riots to a series of bombings perpetrated against federal buildings. On March 1, 1971, the group detonated an explosion at the U.S. Capitol to protest the invasion of Laos by the U.S. military, earning them the designation of domestic terrorists by the FBI.