Related: When the Left Attacked the Capitol.
In the winter of 1971, you could still find vestiges of an age of innocence in Washington. The previous decade had been one of the most unstable in the country’s history, rocked by political assassinations, racial violence and explosions at public buildings. But at the U.S. Capitol, it was still easy to stroll through without having to empty your pockets or show a driver’s license. No metal detectors or security cameras. You didn’t need to join a tour. Which is why two young people who melted into the crowd of sightseers were free to scour the building for a safe spot to set their bomb.