Facts for kids
The following fact
sheet contains interesting facts and information on the Waco
Siege, involving the Texas cult of Branch Davidians led by David
Facts for kids
1: The Waco siege
involved a religious sect consisting of nearly 100 men,
women and children, known as Branch Davidians, and were
led by a man called David Koresh.
Facts - 2: The Branch Davidians religious
cult was established in 1935 by Victor Houteff, a self-proclaimed
messenger of God, and had settled 10 miles outside of Waco, Texas.
Victor Houteff's goal was to "bring about a reformation among God’s
Facts - 3: David Koresh was born Vernon
Wayne Howell in Houston, Texas in 1959. He arrived at the Branch
Davidian compound in 1981 after being disfellowshipped from a
Seventh-day Adventist church in Tyler, Texas.
Facts - 4: In 1987 David Koresh and his
followers were involved in a gun battle with George Roden, the
then-leader of the Branch Davidian sect. George Roden was
imprisoned but the others were acquitted of all charges, but the
name of David Koresh had attracted the attention of the authorities.
Facts - 5: David Koresh became the leader of the Branch
Davidians. He had legally changed his name because he believed that
he was now the head of the biblical House of David. Koresh was the
name of the Persian king who allowed the Jews held captive in
Babylon to return to Israel.
Facts - 6: The Branch
Davidians religious cult had an obsession with prophecy
and David Koresh convinced his followers that he was the
only one who could interpret the prophetic passages of
the Bible. The Branch Davidians believed that David
Koresh was the 'Lamb of Revelation' and the Son of God.
Facts - 7: The Branch
Davidians cult, led by David Koresh, were located in a
77-acre ranch with several buildings at the Mount Carmel
complex near Waco, Texas.
Facts - 8: Rumors circulated
about the activities of the Branch Davidians sect.
Ex-members of the cult made various allegations of its
activities including those of child abuse, beatings,
intimidation, isolation, food deprivation and sleep
deprivation of disobedient members who disagreed with
David Koresh. Outside family ties of members were cut.
9: All females in the Waco commune
belonged to David Koresh, including all married women
and some of his “wives” were as young as 12 years old.
10: On June 4, 1992
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
opened an investigation of the Branch Davidians, after
receiving a tip about the possible manufacture of
illegal firearms. The ATF begins a plan to search Mount
Carmel and arrest David Koresh.
Facts - 11: On February 25, 1993 ATF agents obtain a search
warrant for the Mount Carmel complex and an arrest warrant for David
Koresh. They then rehearse a raid on the Branch Davidians compound.
Facts - 12: On February 28, 1993 the ATF
tries to storm the Mount Carmel complex. At about 9 a.m., ATF agents
arrive in National Guard helicopters and circle the compound in an
attempt to divert the attention of the Branch Davidians.
Facts - 13: Trucks and trailers with over 70 heavily armed
ATF agents then pulled into the Mount Carmel driveway. Shots are
fired and an hour long gun battle begins.
Facts - 14: During the devastating gun battle
four ATF agents are killed and 20 others are wounded.
Six Branch Davidians are killed and 5 other cult members
Facts - 15: A ceasefire is
negotiated and the Branch Davidians agree to hold their
fire in return for the ATF’s promise to leave the
Facts - 16: The Mount Carmel
complex remains surrounded and the standoff known as the
Waco Siege begins and will continue for a total of
fifty-one days from February 28, 1993 to April 19,1993.
Facts for kids
about the Waco Siege for kids
The following fact
sheet continues with facts about the Waco Siege, involving the
Texas cult of Branch Davidians led by David
Facts for kids
Facts - 17: On March 1, 1993
the ATF (Department of the Treasury) relinquishes
jurisdiction of the Waco Siege to the Department of
Justice and to the FBI. By this time the Waco Siege has
attracted massive media attention and the press join the
throng of government agents.
Facts - 18: Continuous
telephone negotiations are conducted and on March 2,
1993 David Koresh promised to surrender to the
authorities if they agreed to arrange a national radio
broadcast for him. A tape is recorded and played on the
Christian Broadcasting Network, but David Koresh still
refuses to surrender claiming that God has told him to
Facts - 19: By March 9, 1993 twenty-three Branch
Davidians left the Mount Carmel compound. The adults
were immediately arrested and imprisoned and the
children were placed in the care of Texas authorities or
20: On April 19, 1993, after fifty-one
days of negotiations, the decision was made by Attorney
General Janet Reno and the FBI to flush David Koresh and
the Branch Davidians out of Mount Carmel and end the
Waco Siege and the possibility of a mass suicide.
21: The breaking of
the Waco Siege began as tanks, with massive booms able
to spray CS Gas (tear gas), smashed through the walls of
the complex spraying CS Gas inside. Then grenade
launchers were used. The Branch Davidians returned fire
but none would give themselves up and leave the
22: At about 12.00pm a
fire starts and the Mount Carmel is soon in flames. Fire
trucks were not allowed to approach the building due to
the risk of hostile gun fire. Only nine people left the
building during the fire.
23: The Waco Siege
ended in disaster and tragedy as seventy-six Branch
Davidians died in the compound fire, including
twenty-seven children. Most of the deaths were caused
from smoke inhalation, but at least 20 Branch Davidians,
including David Koresh, also died of gunshot wounds.
24: Many aspects of
the Waco raid were highly criticized and Congress was
misled about the Waco operation. After the Waco siege
On April 20, 1993 President Bill Clinton stated that
Janet Reno should not be pressured to resign because
religious fanatics had committed suicide.
25: About 100
survivors and relatives of the people who had died
during the Waco Siege filed suit against the federal
government for $675 million, alleging that agents had
used excessive force to end the siege.
26: Senator John C.
Danforth released a report concluding that although
federal agents had mishandled evidence, they had neither
started the fire nor improperly employed force. Further
investigations showed that the fire was purposely set by
the Branch Davidians themselves.
27: Eleven Branch
Davidian survivors stood trial and were given harsh
sentences for their involvement in the Waco Siege, some
of which were subsequently reduced.
28: The Waco Siege resulted in the
largest loss of life in law enforcement operations in
modern American history.
29: The Waco Siege was
later cited by American anarchists Timothy McVeigh and
Terry Nichols as one of the reasons for their
devastating act of revenge in the
1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.
Facts for kids
Waco Siege - President Bill Clinton Video
The article on the
Waco Siege provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following
Bill Clinton video will
give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 42nd American President whose presidency spanned from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001.
Interesting Facts about the Waco Siege for kids and schools
Key historical events
of the Waco Siege for kids
Facts about the Waco Siege
Bill Clinton Presidency from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001
Foreign & Domestic
policies of President Bill Clinton
● Bill Clinton Presidency and
the Waco Siege for schools,
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