Incident Summary:

1/2/1970: Karl Armstrong, a member of the New Years Gang, threw a firebomb at R.O.T.C. offices located within the Old Red Gym at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. There were no casualties but the fire caused around $60,000 in damages to the building.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Military
Name of Entity R.O.T.C.
Specific Description R.O.T.C. offices at University of Wisconsin, Madison
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage $60,000.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Molotov Cocktail/Petrol Bomb
Weapon Details
Firebomb consisting of gasoline
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information The New Years Gang issue a communiqué to a local paper claiming that they perpetrated this attack. The New Years Gang previously attempted to firebomb the R.O.T.C. building a week earlier. As a result of the attack, police increased their presence in Madison. Karl Armstrong's girlfriend, Lynn Schultz, drove him to and from the Old Red Gym. The next day Armstrong would attempt to set a fire in the Selective Service offices in Madison. (197001030001) Karl Armstrong would be captured after participating in the deadly bombing of Sterling Hall at the University of Wisconsin on August 24, 1970. (197008240001)
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
New Year's Gang Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Letter)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Tom Bates, "Rads: The 1970 Bombing of the Army Math Research Center at the University of Wisconsin and Its Aftermath," HarperCollinsPublishing, 1992.
David Newman, Sandra Sutherland, and Jon Stewart, "The Madison Bomb Story: The Death the FBI Saw, Heard and Won't Talk About," Mother Jones, February-March, 1979.
The Wisconsin Cartographers' Guild, "Wisconsin's Past and Present: A Historical Atlas," The University of Wisconsin Press, 2002.