The Weather Underground

Barack Obama's former association with former radical Bill Ayers inspires close examination of the group to which he once belonged

Bettmann / Corbis

Bill Ayers, co-founder of radical organization the Weather Underground, is now a Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

On Oct. 6, Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin accused Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists." She was referring to Obama's occasional association with Bill Ayers, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor who co-founded the militant group, the Weathermen. Palin was not the first to mention the Obama-Ayers connection. The Obama campaign regularly points out that Ayers committed his crimes when Obama was only eight.

The Weathermen formed as a radical offshoot of the 1960s student activist group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). A manifesto, which circulated around a June 1969 SDS convention, took its title from Bob...

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