8:57 A.M.
Normal traffic?

A security camera captures an image of a Ryder truck being parked outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

9:00 A.M.
Day begins

A Water Resources Board meeting begins in a neighboring building. An audio tape captures the sounds of the blast a couple minutes after the meeting began.



9:02 A.M.
Deadly blast

McVeigh drives into downtown Oklahoma City and ignites a massive fertilizer bomb. The blast rips apart the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.



9:22 A.M.
Another bomb?

Police bomb squad dispatched to Robert S. Kerr and Robinson to investigate a suspicious briefcase.

9:30 A.M.
Treating the victims

Triage established at 6th and Robinson.

10:15 A.M.
Blood drive begins

Blood drive started at Tinker Air Force Base by base hospital and Oklahoma Blood Institute.
10:17 A.M.
McVeigh stopped

A state trooper stops McVeigh 78 miles north of Oklahoma City because his car is missing its tag. McVeigh is jailed for concealing a loaded handgun underneath his jacket.

10:28 A.M.
Another evacuation

Fear of a second bomb causes the blast site to be evacuated.

10:34 A.M.
New triage

Triage moved to NW 3 and Harvey.

10:35 A.M.
DOD brings equipment

Department of Defense provides bomb-sniffing dogs, surgeons, equipment, medivac aircraft and body bags.
2 P.M.
Rescue materials sought

Tinker receives request for all cots, blankets, sleeping bags, tents, and associated materials to support long-term seach and rescue.

10:35 P.M.
Emergency declared

President Clinton signs a Emergency Declaration.
The FBI releases sketches of 2 suspects.
Authorities say the suspects may have rented the bomb truck. The sketches are dubbed "John Doe No. 1" and "John Doe No. 2."


John Doe No. 1 and 2


McVeigh arrested
FBI agents arrest McVeigh in jail in Perry for the bombing. A crowd outside the Noble County Courthouse boos as he walks out stone-faced.
Nichols questioned
Terry Nichols hears his name on news coverage about the bombing and goes to the police in Herington with his wife and daughter. FBI agents question him there for hours. "In my eyes, I did not do anything wrong but I can see how lawyers can turn stuff around." he tells agents." I did not know anything."

Nichols arrested
Nichols is arrested, at first as a material witness. At his first court hearing, he tells a Kansas judge, "It?s all a jumble in my brain right now."
Prayer service
President Clinton attends a prayer service in Oklahoma City. "My fellow Americans, a tree takes a long time to grow and wounds take a long time to heal, but we must begin," Clinton says. 'Those who are lost now belong to God.'

Demolition
At 7:01 a.m., 150 pounds of charges set by demolition experts cracked the warm air, collapsing what remained of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
ID clarified
Justice Department announces the man depicted in "John Doe No. 2" sketch has been identified and had nothing to do with the bombing. Prosecutors later say he was an army private who helped a friend rent a truck a day after the bomb truck was picked up.
Two indicted
A federal grand jury in Oklahoma City indicts McVeigh and Nichols on 11 felony counts that blame them for the bombing and the deaths of eight federal agents. The grand jury says McVeigh and Nichols conspired "with others unknown."
Fortier guilty
The grand jury indicts Michael Fortier for four crimes. Fortier pleads guilty in Oklahoma City federal court. Fortier admits that he failed to warn anyone of the bomb plot and lied to FBI agents after the attack. He also admits he helped McVeigh move and sell stolen guns. He begins time in custody.
Judge removed
Oklahoma City federal Judge Wayne E. Alley is taken off the case by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Matsch assigned
U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch of Denver is assigned to take over bombing case.
Trial moved
The new judge moves the case to Denver, ruling the defendants cannot get a fair trial in Oklahoma. They have been demonized, Matsch rules.

Separate trials
Separate trials are ordered.
Report: Confession
The Dallas Morning News reports that McVeigh confessed to the bombing in defense interviews. The report touches off a furor.
No delay
The judge refuses to delay the trial, ruling jurors will be fair-minded even if exposed to news stories reporting McVeigh confessed.

Trial begins
McVeigh?s trial begins, with jury selection.
McVeigh guilty
Jurors find McVeigh guilty on all counts. He is convicted of the bombing, the bomb plot and the first-degree murder of eight federal agents. Hundreds gather outside the courthouse to applaud the jury?s verdict.

McVeigh gets death
Jurors choose a death sentence as McVeigh?s punishment. "We asked ourselves, ?Why, why would somebody do this?? and we never could come to an answer," juror Vera Chubb said.
McVeigh sentenced
McVeigh is formally sentenced, lashing out at the federal government by saying "for good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example."

Trial begins
Nichols? federal trial begins with jury selection.
Nichols convicted
Nichols is convicted of the bombing conspiracy but acquitted of any direct blame for the attack. Jurors also finds him guilty of involuntary manslaughter instead of murder for the deaths of eight federal agents.
Spared death
The federal trial ends. Jurors can?t agree on punishment, a deadlock that spares Nichols from execution in his federal case.
Nichols' letter
Nichols denies wrongdoing in a letter sent to Matsch. "I would not do a horrible thing such as a terrorist bombing," he wrote.
Fortier sentenced
Fortier is sentenced in Oklahoma City to 12 years in prison and fined $200,000. "I was terribly wrong," he told Kansas federal Judge G. Thomas Van Bebber, who chose the punishment. "I deeply regret not taking the information I had to the police.... I sometimes daydream that I did do this and became a hero, but reality is that I am not."
Nichols sentenced
Matsch sentences Nichols to life in prison without the possibility of release. The judge calls Nichols "an enemy of the Constitution."
No new suspects
An Oklahoma County grand jury investigating other theories about the bombing wraps up without naming any new suspects.
Appeal lost
McVeigh loses his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
State brings charges
Nichols is charged at the state level in Oklahoma. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.
Hoffman indicted
David Hoffman, the only person indicted by the grand jury investigating the Oklahoma City bombing, pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence and 200 hours of community service. He admitted sending one of the alternate grand jurors a letter copy of book on conspiracy theories about the bombing.
Appeal won
Fortier wins his appeal of his sentence. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules the judge used excessively strict sentencing guidelines.

Resentenced
Fortier is resentenced to the same time in prison - 12 years. His new fine is $75,000.
Appeal rejected
The U.S. Supreme Court rejects Nichols? first appeal. He eventually loses all his federal appeals.
Nichols moved
Nichols is moved to the Oklahoma County jail from a federal prison in Colorado.

Macy removed
Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy is removed from the Nichols? case for improper comments to the media.
Execution requested
McVeigh asks to be executed, giving up on his appeals.
Motion dismissed
A judge denies defense motion to dismiss Nichols? state charge, ruling it does not violate "double jeopardy" rights against being tried twice for same offense.
Admission
McVeigh admits in a new biography that he committed the bombing. He claims Nichols helped him. He calls the dead children "collateral damage."
No apology
McVeigh meets with his father for the last time and refuses again to say he is sorry. "Dad, if I did, I wouldn?t be telling the truth," he said.

Execution postponed
Ashcroft postpones execution until May 11.

McVeigh is executed
McVeigh is executed at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind.




New district attorney
Wes Lane announces the state case will go forward, in part because victims worry Nichols might win his federal appeals. "I will not roll the dice on this issue. There is simply too much at stake," Lane said.
9/11
Twenty minutes after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, a bomb truck was stationed in downtown Oklahoma City. An Oklahoma County Sheriff?s Department command post was activated where Terry Nichols was being held.
Fortier refused
U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Fortier?s complaints about his second sentencing.
Court clears way
The state Supreme Court clears the way for Nichols? state case to resume by resolving a dispute over defense funding.
Emotions resurface
Raw emotions that had been put away with 1994 and 1995 tax returns surfaced again for some surviving spouses and representatives of the Oklahoma City bombing victims when the IRS offered a special tax claim worth at least $10,000. To get the money, old tax returns had to be located and refiled.
Hearing held
Nichols? long-delayed preliminary hearing is held. Judge Allen McCall concludes the evidence is sufficient for a trial.

Trial moves to McAlester
Judge Steven Taylor rules the state trial will be held in McAlester.

Plea offer rejected
Nichols reveals he is willing to plead no contest. Prosecutors respond that is unacceptable.
Trial begins
The state trial begins with jury selection.
Nichols guilty
Nichols is found guilty on all counts - 161 of first-degree murder, one of first-degree arson and one of conspiracy to commit arson.

Jurors deadlock
Jurors deadlock on punishment after three days of deliberations. They are stuck at 8-4, then 7-5, for death. The deadlock spares Nichols, again, from a death sentence.
Nichols sentenced
Nichols is formally sentenced for the murders in the state bombing Judge Steven Taylor imposes consecutive sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
No appeal
Nichols does not appeal his state conviction, letting deadline to begin pass.

Nichols returned to Colorado
Nichols is returned by plane to federal prison in Colorado to serve his federal sentence.
A secret plea
The Oklahoman reveals that Nichols had confessed during secret plea negotiations in 2003.