UT Tower Shooting | KERA News

UT Tower Shooting

At UT, Debut Of Texas Gun Law Intersects With Tower Shooting Anniversary

Jul 29, 2016
Tamir Kalifa / Texas Tribune

On Monday, when the University of Texas at Austin commemorates the 50th anniversary of sniper Charles Whitman’s murderous on-campus shooting spree, many of the routines of public mourning will be followed: Flags at half-staff, a solemn speech from the university president and the unveiling of a new memorial honoring the 16 adults and one unborn child Whitman killed that day.

Briscoe Center for American History

On Monday, the University of Texas marks 50 years since sniper Charles Whitman gunned down 16 people before police killed him. Thirty-two others were hurt.

TrishZatx / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1966, Charles Whitman killed 16 people and wounded 32 others at UT Austin. Gun violence and mental health have been intertwined ever since. 

Out of the Blue: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shooting” is Texas Standard’s oral history on the anniversary of the first public mass shooting of its kind.

From Texas Standard:

DallasBaton RougeNiceOrlando. It seems like we can’t go more than a few days without a violent event somewhere in the world. While it’s true these attacks are happening for very different and very complicated reasons – they keep happening. It’s almost hard to remember a time when they didn’t.

But when a shooter took aim at the University of Texas of Austin campus from the top of the UT tower on August 1, 1966,  no one had any reference point for such an attack. The Texas Standard spoke to people who were there that day as part of a documentary that will air Monday.