Incident Summary:

6/13/1970: Suspected members of the Black Panthers Party bombed the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce in Des Moines, Iowa, United States. The building sustained an estimated $150,000 in damages and several people were injured from the shattered glass.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:


Des Moines

Location Details:
Stairwell at basement of building

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
Specific Description Building
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 $150,000.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Dynamite/TNT
Weapon Details
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information Conservatively coded the number of injuries at twenty. It was reported that several, of the forty-five women staying at the YWCA a block away, were injured by the shattered glass. Only one of the injured, Donna Melick, required medical treatment. On May 5th 1970, a large quantity of dynamite was stolen from Quick Supply, a dynamite supply warehouse in Ankeny Iowa. Police believed that the stolen dynamite was used by the Black Panthers in this attack as well as in four other incidents taking place in Iowa during May and June 1970 (197005130001, 197005220003, 197006210001, and 197006290001). A bank in Kansas City was bombed on the same day (197006290001).
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Black Panthers (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 20 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 20
Number of U.S. Injured 20
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Committee on Internal Security House of Representatives, "Black Panther Party, Part 4," U.S. Government Printing Office, October-November, 1970.
Committee on Government Operations United States Senate, "Riots, Civil, and Criminal Disorders," U.S. Government Printing Office, August 6, 1970.
"Des Moines Hit By Bomb Blast," Washington Post, June 14, 1970.