Bomb Explodes at Bluefield State College

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
November 17, 1968

Dorms Are Evacuated For Bomb Scare At BSC


The Bluefield Fire Department sent a fire truck to Bluefield State College after a bomb threat was received at the city police station early Sunday.

Police said both the men's and women's dormitories were being evacuated while the buildings were searched.

State police also were sent to the scene.

A city police spokesman said the caller stated that bombs were set to go off at the college dormitories at 1:30 a.m. No explosion had taken place several minutes after the deadline and police said it apparently was another in a long series of such threats in which no explosive was found.

At 1:49 a.m. students were told to return to their quarters.

BSC President Wendell G. Hardway said "fear and anxiety" were common among students and faculty alike, after a shower of bricks smashed 13 plate glass windows in the new $500,000 student Union building Friday night.

No arrests had been made and if police had leads on suspects they weren't talking about them Saturday.

Hardway and his wife remained away from their campus home Friday and Saturday night following the Student Union vandalism, latest in a series of destructive acts which have plagued students and faculty members at the school.

Two bricks were hurled through the president's bedroom window earlier this month. He and other faculty members also have received death threats signed "Black Power."

"One of the many tragic things about this," Hardway said, "is that 90 per cent or more of the Negro students on campus are good kids who don't want this trouble. But they are pressured and intimidated by the small trouble-making minority."

He said he had heard Saturday of "two or three withdrawals of Negro students" from school, and expected more if the strife on the campus continues.

In Charleston, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Hulett C. Smith said he was "concerned and upset" about the vandalism at the college, but added that he thought they were isolated incident unrealated [sic] to disorders at the college last year.

"It seems that there is a group there that is taking this action because Hardway won't give in to them,"Smith said.

"The only think [sic] I can do," he continued, "is to encourage Dr. Leslie L. Martin and the State Board of Education to take every step possible to end this."

Dr. Martin is the special administrator for higher education employed by the board. He visited the Bluefield campus Saturday but made no public comment on his findings.


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