Bombings Rock Ann Arbor

On September 29, 1968, Chief Krasny was sound asleep in his home, when he was startled out of his sleep by an explosion. This explosion occurred at the CIA office, which was located at 450 S. Main. The CIA had a local office to recruit prospective employees from the University.

Obviously, during the Vietnam War, the CIA was not the most popular federal agency and found itself the object of numerous protests. On the night of September 29, six sticks of dynamite were used to blow the office up. The sound of the blast could be heard throughout the city.

While no one initially took credit for the blast, it was assumed that a radical anti-war group was responsible. Chief Krasny called in members of the Detroit Police Department for assistance, as they had six bomb explosions in that city and they were thought to be related to the Ann Arbor bombing.

Less than three weeks later on October 14, another bomb exploded outside of the University's Institute of Science and Technology. This bomb blew apart the door and shattered 12 windows. No one was injured in either bombing.

Chief Krasny stated, “The concussion was apparently terrific. It was so powerful it sent a metal piece of a door rocketing down a hallway more than 80 feet and into a wooden door. The blast sucked the glass outward from the 12 windows. It broke and twisted the steel door frame like it was made of taffy.” It was believed the building was targeted as the university did classified research for the Air Force. The bombing was much more powerful than the one at the CIA office and dynamite was again suspected.

On June 1, 1969, a bomb sitting under the gas tank of a car exploded damaging the ROTC building, which is located near the intersection of N. University and Washtenaw. The blast caused a fire on the first and second floors of the building. The force of the explosion was so great pieces of the car were blown over the top of the building.

More than 60 windows were broken, including some on the second floor on the opposite end of the structure. Deputy Chief Olson stated there were no suspects initially and that the bombings were similar to the two which occurred in September at the CIA Office and in October at the University Institute of Science and Technology. No one was injured in the bombing.

In October of 1969, federal warrants charged White Panthers Pun Plamondon with conspiring to use dynamite to destroy federal property at the CIA office. Plamondon was also charged with the actual planting of the dynamite.

Plamondon was on the run until he was captured in July of 1970. He was traveling in Mackinaw County when he threw a beer can out of the car window and was stopped by local police. His identity was discovered and he was placed under arrest. Plamondon stated his capture, originating from the discarded beer can was “a lack of revolutionary discipline.”

He was held in prison until July of 1972, when the conspiracy charges were dropped by the government.

Dionysus in 69

While a play with nude cast members in today's culture would not cause much of a stir, “Dionysus in 69” did just that in January of 1969. “Dionysus in 69” was a play that was performed in the Michigan Union ballroom. This play was a modern adaptation of the Greek play “The Bacchae.”

Prior to the play, Chief Krasny met with a representative of the actors and told him that they would be arrested if any nudity took place in it. This was relayed to the actors, who did not take the chief's advice. They did exclude part of the play that was to call for the audience to strip and join the cast. The cast of the play felt that disrobing was their artistic freedom. There were two nudes scenes in the play and the actors were arrested by Ann Arbor Officer on charges of indecent exposure, ten people in all.

Interestingly enough the play was performed in Detroit just prior to it coming to Ann Arbor. At that location the group did not feel their “artistic freedom” was that important as they did not want to “confront the Detroit Police Department.” A spokesmen stated the atmosphere of the university was better than that of Detroit.

The director of the play stated members of the group would appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court if they were convicted on the indecent exposure charges.