February 28 - 1993 - The Branch Davidian Stand Off Begins
When the ATF descended on the Branch Davidian compound called the Mount Carmel Center outside Waco, Texas, their intention was simply to deliver a search warrant related to illegal firearms. Instead, a shootout occurred, which led to the death of four federal agents and six members of the Branch Davidians. Then a 51 day siege began. The Branch Davidians were an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists led by a strange man who was named Vernon Howell, but was calling himself David Koresh to emphasize his messianic qualities. Koresh was alleged to have committed various kinds of child abuse, as well as "marrying" girls as young as 13 in spiritual marriages to create a new "House of David" entirely of his children. All of this made authorities wary of the Branch Davidians, but the ATF raid and Federal standoff made the group famous. The end was notorious, as it ended with the death of Koresh and the majority of his followers in their own compound, but it should never be forgotten that the Federal agents had a legitimate search warrant when they approached the Mount Carmel Center and were fired on by Branch Davidians inside the compound.