Local News

Bookstore gathering honors local activist murdered in 1991

Posted February 21, 2011 8:24 p.m. EST
Updated February 22, 2011 5:53 a.m. EST

— Family and friends gathered at the Internationalist bookstore in Chapel Hill Monday to remember Bob Sheldon, an anti-war activist who owned the store and was killed there 20 years ago.

Sheldon was an outspoken opponent of the first Gulf War and often used the bookstore as a meeting place for like-minded activists to gather. Many believe Sheldon's political views made him a target for murder.

A friend found him lying on the bookstore's floor in a pool of blood on Feb. 21, 1991. He had been shot in the head with a small-caliber weapon. He died the following day. His murder remains unsolved.

Sheldon's sister and others packed the bookstore Monday to honor him on the 20th anniversary of his death.

"I know that the bookstore has been open for all these years," said Donna Sheldon. "It never really closed, so I knew people hadn't forgotten."

Friends said keeping the bookstore open was important to keeping Sheldon's memory and message alive.

"I think Bob's spirit of paying attention to what's going on in the world and offering alternative viewpoints, that's still alive," said William Stott.

People marched from the current store location on West Franklin Street to the previous location and murder site on Rosemary Street Monday. Internationalist Books moved in 1994.