Timeline of the MOVE organization leading to May 13, 1985.
MOVE, founded by John Africa, was originally called the Christian Movement for Life. John Africa and his group advocated a radical form of green politics and a return to a hunter-gatherer society while stating their opposition to science, medicine and technology. As John Africa himself had done, his devotees also changed their surnames to Africa to show reverence to it, which they regarded as their mother continent.
An almost year-long standoff comes to an end with police over a court order requiring MOVE to vacate their Powelton Village house in West Philadelphia. When police attempted entry, shooting erupted and officer James J. Ramp was killed by a shot to the back of the head. MOVE representatives claimed Ramp was facing the house at the time and deny MOVE responsibility for his death. Seven other police officers, five firefighters, three MOVE members, and three bystanders were also injured.
Nine MOVE members were each sentenced to a maximum of 100 years in prison for third degree murder for Ramp's killing. Seven of the nine first became eligible for parole in the spring of 2008, but were denied it.
MOVE relocates to a row house at 6221 Osage Ave. in the Cobbs Creek area of West Philadelphia. Neighbors there complained for years that MOVE members were broadcasting messages by bullhorn at all hours of the day and night in addition to concerns of compost being health hazard.
On May 13, 1985, after the complaints from neighbors as well as indictments the Philadelphia Police Department attempted to clear the building and arrest the indicted MOVE members. An armed standoff with police happened.
Police Chief George Sambor then ordered that the MOVE house be bombed. From a State Police helicopter, PPD Lt. Frank Powell proceeded to drop two one-pound bombs. The resulting explosions ignited a massive blaze that eventually destroyed approximately 65 nearby houses.
Mayor W. Wilson Goode appointed an investigative commission called the MOVE Commission, which issued its report on March 6. The report denounced the actions of the city government, stating that "dropping a bomb on an occupied row house was unconscionable." No one from the city government was charged criminally.
A federal jury ordered the city to pay a $1.5 million civil suit judgement to survivor Ramona Africa and relatives of two people killed in the bombing.
The MOVE bombing in Philadelphia ranked as one of the top international news events to happen in 1985. Here are others major events.
"We Are The World" is recorded by USA for Africa, America's response to the British "Do They Know It's Christmas"
LIVE AID in London and Philadelphia, beamed around the world
Crack coccaine starts to appear.
Billy Joel marries Christie Brinkley... millions of men suddenly feel like they stand a chance with an attractive woman.
Brussels, Belgium: 39 dead, 250 wounded during a soccer match between Liverpool and Juventus
Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior is bombed by the French goverment during protests of it's nuclear testing in the Pacific
Earthquake in Mexico / Volcano erupts in Colombia; 1000s killed
Gorbachev becomes (the last) president of the Soviet Union
New coke is introduced in April and quickly replaced with original Coke
Titanic wreckage found and filmed by robotic camera in July
Bernhard Goetz is charged with attempted murder
Ethiopa blocks the airlift of thousands of Ethiopian Jews.
Hole in the ozone layer, first detected in 1977, is now indisputable.
In October, the worlds largest atom smasher goes online in Illinois.
Nintendo home entertainment system introduced.
Extra second added to the calender year.
Leaded gas is officially banned in the U.S.
Swedish premier Olaf Palme is assassinated.
Rock 'n' Roll Hall of fame is opened.
Rock Hudson, the first major public figure to die to AIDS, dies on October 2.