Today in NC State History: Reynolds Coliseum gets a scare

April 6, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconThings around Raleigh were volatile in the spring of 1977, to say the least.

There was dynamite discovered under a bridge on Glenwood Avenue, according to a Technician report from the same year. There were multiple bomb threats at Crabtree Valley Mall, where Piccadilly Cafeteria had to be evacuated and swept for a bomb search, the Technician reported.

And on this day 38  years ago, it became apparent that NC State’s campus wasn’t immune, as news of threats from few days prior at Reynolds Coliseum hit the front page of the Technician.

“According to Security Chief Worth T. Blackwood, a phone call was made to the Coliseum box office at 12:59 p.m. Monday [April 4],” the paper reported. “The caller did not offer any other information except to say that there was a bomb in the Coliseum and the Student Supply Store.”

Employees at NC State's Student Supply Store search for explosives in 1977. Photo courtesy of Techncian.

A search ensues in 1977 at the Student Supply Store after a bomb threat was called in to campus. Photo courtesy of Techncian.

Campus security and the Raleigh police department searched both locations and found nothing. By 3 p.m., everything had returned to normal, with the authorities chalking the call up to a hoax. Nonetheless, the fear was real: “Students wasted little time in ousting themselves from the store as was exemplified by the numerous books and other belongings left inside. No one paniced [sic], though one student did remark, ‘There’s probably nothing to it, but I ain’t staying around to find out.'”

But to some the fear was not as palpable as the inconvenience they experienced.

“The result of the threat was disgust on the part of most students, as they had to wait until 3 p.m. to cash checks and buy supplies,” the Technician reported. “Employees enjoyed the hour and a half break by lounging in the University Student Center Plaza.”

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