The Queen’s Park Bombing – June 19th 1980
On Thursday 19 June 1980 in mid-afternoon a rally in Queen’s Park Stadium, north of St. George’s, marking Butler-Strachan Heroes Day a bomb was placed under the podium. Seated on the raised platform were Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, Minister of Labour, Works and Communication Selwyn Strachan, Minister of Agriculture Unison Whiteman, Minister of Education George Louison, Minister of Health and Housing Norris Bain, Commander of the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) Hudson Austin, Governor-General Sir Paul Scoon, the Cuban Ambassador Julián Rizo, and foreign guests.
Thousands of people attended the rally which was to pay tribute to Tubal Uriah Butler and Alister Strachan. Butler was a strong union leader from Grenada who led the labour movement in Trinidad. Strachan was an activist NJM youth activities murdered in 1977 by the Mongoose Gang, a set of former Prime Minister Gairy’s thugs. The Revo; had declared it a national half-day holiday.
Chairman of the rally and official platform chairman, McGodden Kerensky, (Cacademo’ Grant). “Grant began his address and was speaking for just over 11 minutes when, at 3:05 p.m., the bomb exploded
Two schoolgirls Laurice Humprey, 13 years old and Bernadette Bailey, 15 years old, died instantly. A third woman, Laureen Charles, 23 years old, died later. Approximately 100 people were severely injured and many more were hospitalized.
This brutal attack to kill the leaders of the Grenada Revolution, organised by the US’s Central Intelligence Agency, was one of many such attempts. Some perceived that this was the moment at which the Revolution became “more serious”.