America's First School Massacre Still Its Deadliest
Andrew Kehoe's bombs killed 45 in 1927
By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2012 1:18 PM CST
Updated Dec 23, 2012 7:00 PM CST
In 1927, Andrew Kehoe killed 45 people, including 38 children, at a school in Bath, Michigan.   (snakes3425)

(Newser) – You can blame Hollywood's obsession with violence or questionable gun regulation, but America's history of school massacres predates all that. Slate takes a look at the first mass killing of schoolchildren in the US, which took place in the small town of Bath, Michigan, in 1927, and left 45 people dead, including 38 children. An eccentric farmer named Andrew Kehoe, upset about an increase in property taxes meant to pay for the new Bath Consolidated School, spent months packing the school with dynamite. He set it off on the morning of May 18 with a timed detonator.

After the blast, Kehoe packed his truck with more explosives and drove to the site, blowing up himself and taking the lives of several others already on the scene. He had killed his wife previously. One difference with modern cases: "There wasn't a media frenzy like today," says one author. "The media came in and left. Three days after it happened, Lindbergh took off and flew to Paris, and that part of it was over.” Read the full story here.

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Showing 3 of 98 comments
Tabbico
Dec 24, 2012 8:33 AM CST
Uh, the first massacre in a US school occurred in1764 when 10 children were killed. Maybe murdering 10 children isn't enough to qualify as a massacre. I'll bet the townspeople in 1764 were just as horrified and mourned the loss of their children just as much as the Newtown townspeople did. The murder of even one school child is one too many.
JackNelsonSteward
Dec 24, 2012 6:56 AM CST
OK ... well the obvious response to this horrific massacre is to put a bomber in every school. We should provide teachers and staff with bombs, because if bombers know that schools are "bomb-free zones" they know they're the safest places to render their mayhem. We MUST make sure that EVERYone has "uninfringed" access to as much dynamite as they want so the citizenry can defend itself.
spider_jerusalem
Dec 24, 2012 1:52 AM CST
the point of this story is to remind us that this stuff happens, has always happened and probably will always happen. its terrible, yeah, but 20/20 is hindsight so lets not collectively make any rash decisions we're going to regret in the future. im talking about giving up, probably, one of the last freedoms in america keeping it from becoming a complete police state. picture this, theres a coup, citizens are way outgunned because they gave them up willingly, and their own army, an army in which more women on active duty are raped by squadmates or superiors than are injured or killed by our 'enemies', are given the orders to maintain martial law, locking this place down for good. some wouldnt follow this order. some would. yeah, totally crazy, but so is the idea of a few groups of bankers destroying the world economy without a second thought or consequences. thats the world you live in, civilizations have always been built on the backs of slaves and they still are. the root of this mental health problem is one that stems from a completely false world, glorified war culture, pop culture rewarding shitheads with fame, greed and power and greed and poweer and greed and power and the poor having to work so much just to stay alive that theres no one raising their kids except the television that is a funnel for the entire problem, and the rich so fixated on staying rich that their kids are growing into sociopaths, because again, its rewarded behavior so long as you come out on top. its cylindrical, meta, and much, MUCH bigger and more complicated than, "well if there arent guns, no one gets shot." rant end. bring on the flames, because thats what we do, right?