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April 07, 2005

April the Seventh

April 7th, 1964

A 26 year-old Presbyterian minister, Rev. Bruce William Klunder, joined the protest against Cleveland's school segregation, trying to block city equipment as they began the construction of a new school located in a Black neighborhood. Two protestors lay in front of a bulldozer and Klunder, in an attempt to prevent the bulldozer from moving at all, lay down behind it. Klunder forgot the most important rule of laying trying to block a bulldozer -- make sure the driver knows you are there!

Rev. Klunder was crushed to death as the bulldozer driver attempted to back up in order to go around the protestors in front of him. His body was forced down into the mud of the construction site. Protestors felt the new school promoted segregation.

Protesters accused the driver of intentionally killing Klunder, and a riot ensued. Even to this day some continue to insist that the death of the minister was intentional, in spite of the fact that there was no way the driver could have known he was there. Unlike Rachel Corrie, Rev. Klunder at least deserves credit for dying for a good cause, however unnecessary and foolish the circumstances.

Posted by Danny Carlton at April 7, 2005 09:37 AM

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Comments

"Klunder forgot the most important rule of laying trying to block a bulldozer -- make sure the driver knows you are there!"

This seems snide and childish, especially to those of us who knew and worked with Bruce.


Posted by: derel kinlaw at February 24, 2006 11:20 AM

Since when is it "snide and childish" to point out the obvious logic in making sure you won't be accidentally killed? Zeal in a good cause can still lead one to do foolish things.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at February 27, 2006 06:33 AM

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