Vol 8, No 109
April 19, 1993
81 die in Fire at Davidian Compound
A Tragic End
On this day in 1993, a 51 day standoff with a group of Branch Davidians, led by David Koresh, ended in tragedy, when the wooden compound housing the religious sect was engulfed in flames.
The Branch Davidians had been accumulating and modify firearms. In addition, Koresh had fathered over 11 children by seven mothers, many of them underage. County law enforcement was unable to control Koresh's firearms activities, so federal agents were brought in resulting in a shootout that killed four ATF agents on Febuary 28th.
The 51 day standoff ended when a US Army flame thrower tank sprayed gas through holes ripped into the compound. Instead of disabling Koresh, he and at least one other follower dawned masks and started fires throughout the compound, shooting at any officials who attempted a rescue. Winds whipped the flames and in a matter of minutes the wooden buildings were destroyed killing all 81. Of those who died, most of them women and children, several were killed by bullets fired from inside the compound.
Investigations and Congressional hearings on the tragedy would grip the nation for months and years to follow.
West Texas Historical Association formed
On this date in 1924 the West Texas Historical Association was formed. It would be headquartered in Abilene.