OKLAHOMA CITY — A cargo truck laden with more than two tons of explosives was detonated in front of Oklahoma City's nine-story federal building on April 19, 1995 — an act of terrorism that at the time was the worst such attack ever committed on U.S. soil.

The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children, injured hundreds more and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to structures and vehicles in the downtown area.

President Bill Clinton led a memorial service for the victims as the FBI launched a nationwide investigation to find those responsible.

Within days, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were arrested and accused of conspiring to destroy the federal building in retribution for the government's handling of the siege of the Branch Davidian religious group at their compound in Waco, Texas, two years earlier.

McVeigh and Nichols were tried and convicted on federal charges, and Nichols was convicted of murder following a separate trial in Oklahoma. McVeigh was sentenced to death and executed and Nichols received multiple life prison sentences.

A memorial to the bombing's victims now sits on the former site of the federal building, and a nearby building that was damaged in the bombing houses an interactive museum.

Each year on the bombing's anniversary, family members of victims, survivors, rescue workers and others return to the memorial for a remembrance ceremony.


Originally published in 2015, this slideshow was updated April 19, 2017.

A memorial card signed by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., is attached to the chair of Thomas Eugene "Gene" Hodges Jr…

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Brian Martinez, 31, attaches a wreath made of family photos to his father's chair in the Field of Chairs at the Oklahoma City Memorial in Okla…

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People wait for the 22nd Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony to begin at the Oklahoma City Memorial in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. 

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin greets Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, M.D., before the start of the 22nd Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony…

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The north side of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is pictured April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City after an explosion killed 168 people and …

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Bryan Peake, of Oklahoma City, places a wreath on the chair of USMC Sgt. Benjamin LaRanzo Davis in the Field of Chairs at the Oklahoma City Me…

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Timothy McVeigh is seen being led after his arrest for the bombing of the Murrah federal building on April 19, 1995. He later was put to death…

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Parto Forouni, his wife Nita and son Roshan, 10, walk past the field of chairs at the Oklahoma City Memorial March 30, 2005, the ten year anni…

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One of the World Trade Center family members wears a 10-year ribbon Monday, April 18, 2005, at the Oklahoma National Memorial, one day before …

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Oklahoma City fire Capt. Chris Fields carries 1-year-old Baylee Almon, injured in the bombing at the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in downtow…

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The entrance to the Oklahoma City National Memorial is pictured at dusk in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, the 20th anniversary of the…

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin speaks at the 16th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony Program at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum in Okl…

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The sun sets behind the west end of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Site Sunday, April 17, 2005, two days before the tenth anniversary of …

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People injured in the car bomb blast at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City gather near the explosion site April 1…

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A woman calls out to friends as she waits for treatment following a car bomb blast at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklaho…

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Medical assistants Janet Froehlich (left) Wilma Jackson and Kerri Albright run from the Alfred Murrah Federal Building after being told anothe…

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A victim of the explosion that ripped a nine-story hole in the the Alfred Murrah Federal Building Wednesday, April 19, 1995, in downtown Oklah…

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Rescue crews work together as they climb over areas of debris at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, searching for victims…

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An injured woman holds a child following a blast that destroyed a large portion of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma Cit…

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A man holds a towel to his face following an explosion Wednesday April 19, 1995, at the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma Ci…

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Alfred Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City is the center of attention April 20, 1995, as rescue workers continue digging through…

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Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and FBI agents survey the damage to the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City April 19, …

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A large group of search and rescue crew attends a memorial service in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, May 5, …

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Convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols is led from the Pittsburg County Courthouse in McAlester, Okla., Aug. 9, 2004, after…

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Timothy James McVeigh is led out of the Noble County Courthouse by state and federal law enforcement officials in Perry, Okla., April 21, 1995…

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The remaining portion of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City falls in a cloud of dust as it was demolished by expl…

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Defense attorney Stephen Jones is seen outside of the U.S. Courthouse in Denver, Colo., after the jury sentenced Timothy McVeigh to death for …

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Sean Caraff, from Denver, visits the fence that surrounds the remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City May 2…

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A view from the plaza overlooks the Oklahoma City National Memorial site May 3, 2001. There are 168 chairs, one for each of the victims killed…

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Family members of those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing stand on the ground where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once stood, duri…

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People visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial site Tuesday, April 19, 2005, on the 10th anniverary of the federal building bombing, where 1…

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Former President Bill Clinton stands in the Field of Empty Chairs at the chair of Oklahoma City bombing victim Alan G. Whicher, who was with t…

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The chair dedicated to bombing victim Baylee Almon is pictured in the Field of Empty Chairs at the Oklahoma City National Memorial at dusk in …

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The 168 chairs at the Oklahoma City National Memorial represent the lives taken on April 19, 1995. Each chair is inscribed the name of someone…

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42 updates to this series since