Klan Wizard Defiant

About 1979 Gunshots

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A Ku Klux Klan leader who was at a workers' rally more than 25 years ago where five people died and 10 others were injured gave defiant testimony to a commission Saturday, saying "maybe God guided the bullets."

Virgil L. Griffin of Mount Holly, imperial wizard of the Cleveland Knights of the KKK, said someone in the crowd of Communist Workers Party marchers fired first and hit a van driven by a Klansman.

"We had every right to drive down that street with nobody touching the cars," he told the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission. "I didn't come to shoot or kill anybody."

The commission is investigating the deaths at the Nov. 3, 1979, march organized by the Communist Workers Party that ended when members of the Klan and the American Nazi Party opened fire.

Several Klansmen were acquitted of murder charges at a state trial. In 1984, Griffin was acquitted of conspiracy to interfere with a federal investigation. A civil trial found the Klan, the American Nazi Party and the Greensboro Police Department jointly liable for the wrongful deaths of the five people killed. The city paid $350,000.

Longest Cable-Stayed

Bridge Is Dedicated

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Hundreds of people filled an eight-lane highway to dedicate the $632 million Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River, the longest cable-stayed span in North America.

"We have created not only a bridge, but a thing of beauty," said Arthur Ravenel Jr., the former state senator and congressman for whom the span is named.

The bridge's 1,546-foot main span is supported by cables stretching to the bridge deck from the tops of a pair of diamond-shaped, 570-foot towers.

Former senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.), who helped get millions for the bridge, called it "the finest pork I have ever seen."

* CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard University chose Lisa Martin, a professor of international affairs in the government department, to be its first diversity adviser, a position created after Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers angered faculty members when he questioned women's aptitude for top-level math and science.

* FRESNO, Calif. -- An 11-year-old girl who threw a rock that hit a 9-year-old boy while she was defending herself from boys pelting her with water balloons is being prosecuted on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

* CORBIN, Ky. -- Born Tuesday by Caesarean section: a girl weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces. Fewer than 1 percent of babies weigh more than 11 pounds, experts say.

* WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. -- Emmett Hatch, whose grandmother ordered him to kneel in prayer on July 16, 1945, shortly after she saw the world's first atomic blast, joined thousands of others at the Trinity Site in a restricted area of the White Sands Missile Range for the 60th anniversary of the dawn of the nuclear age. The Manhattan Project developed the atomic bomb.

-- From News Services

Pedestrians cross the Ravenel Bridge in South Carolina, the longest cable-stayed span in North America.