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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Arthur Shores, July 17, 1974. Interview A-0021. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Bombings fail to intimidate Shores

Although his house was bombed twice, Shores never felt fearful. Instead, he was eager to retaliate. Shores believes that since the mid-1960s, race relations have improved a great deal in Alabama.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Arthur Shores, July 17, 1974. Interview A-0021. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK BASS:
Am I correct that your house was bombed?
ARTHUR SHORES:
Twice. Yeah, house been bombed twice. And there were a couple of attempts.
JACK BASS:
How much damange was there?
ARTHUR SHORES:
Well, about $18,000 damage in the two bombings.
JACK BASS:
Were you home at the time?
ARTHUR SHORES:
I was home each time.
JACK BASS:
When you were asleep, or what?
ARTHUR SHORES:
No. The first time I was back in my recreation room, which was at the far end of the house. My house is 106 feet long, ranch style house. And no one was injured. The far end of the house was damaged. And two weeks later I was sitting in my living room and decided I would go out on the porch and kind of watch. And just as I got up to go outside. . . . If I'd been a moment or two earlier, the glass would have caught me full in the face. Just as I got up to go outside. My front door was blown in. That time my wife was injured. She had retired. She had a concussion. Brain concussion. But that was the only injury. My daughter was in Europe at the time.
JACK BASS:
What year was that?
ARTHUR SHORES:
That was in '63. Both times in '63.
JACK BASS:
Were any arrests ever made on those?
ARTHUR SHORES:
No, I don't believe there ever was. And yet I'm not too sure. It seems as though they did pick somebody up for questioning.
JACK BASS:
How did you feel about that . . .
ARTHUR SHORES:
Well, the only thing it did was to anger me that I couldn't at least get a pot shot at the persons who were perpetrating these bombings. I was never frightened or anything. But as I say, it angered me that I couldn't retal—I wasn't of the nonviolent type. I had a sufficient arsenal there at my house that if I had gotten a chance I would have retaliated in kind. But I never was able to. . . .
JACK BASS:
Did your wife have any permanent . . .
ARTHUR SHORES:
No, no. No permanent injury. And later, on a Sunday morning, during '63 also, I was, started to church. There's a Catholic church about one block from my home and persons who had gone out from mass were coming back said that we found a box of dynamite with a time in it to go off at a certain time. I said well, I might look around the church that I was attending, which was right across the street from there. And it occurred to me, I said I better go and look around my own home. And went back and there was a box with 48 sticks of dynamite, just enough out of the box to set a time clock in it. And it was set to go off at 12 o'clock. And they had to send over to Anniston, to army camp over there, to get some demolition experts to come and deactivate it. So they got there five minutes before 12. The officers had come and had everybody to move out of that block. There was that much dynamite . . . the force . . . anybody in the block would probably . . . would have destroyed their houses. So that was the last attempt on my house. Immediately after '63, then in '64 you had the civil rights act and in '65, the voter rights act and things really began to change. This city . . . no comparison now in this city with what it was prior to 1963.