Why Have So Many People Never Heard of the MOVE Bombing?
After my stories last week on the 30th anniversary of the MOVE siege in West Philadelphia in 1985, in which Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on a residential neighborhood, leaving 11 dead — including five children — we were surprised by how many people told us they’d never heard of the bombing.
At first, we thought the knowledge gap might be generational. My Code Switch teammate Kat Chow, who was born years after the MOVE incident, had never heard of it. But another NPR colleague who’s about a generation older hadn’t either.
Maybe it was regional. On Twitter, a few people told us the bombing never landed on their radars until they moved to the Philadelphia area. But even though Tasneem Raja, my editor on Code Switch, grew up 20 minutes north of Philly and attended a “hippie” (her words) Quaker high school where events like the Kent State shootings got a lot of airtime in class, she remembers hearing about MOVE only from her dad, never in school.