The Oklahoma City bombing was the most devastating case of homegrown terrorism that the United States has ever seen. The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City resulted in the deaths of 168 people.
This tragedy was particularly devastating due to the presence of a day care center in the building which had 15 of the 19 child victims of the attack. Though the bombing and its aftermath were well-documented at the time, the Pulitzer Prize–winning photograph by Charles Porter IV serves as a haunting reminder of the terror caused that day.
Taken on April 19, 1995, the photograph shows a fireman holding the body of a severely wounded infant in his hands. Porter was not a photographer covering the event but happened to have a camera on him.
He worked as a credit officer at Liberty Bank when the bombing occurred. As he was an aspiring journalist who was taught to “keep a loaded camera in my car at all times,” he was ready and able to snap the photograph that earned him the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography.