1927 : Disgruntled Farmer Bombs Bath School

May 18, 2018 all-day


 America's first school bombing book cover

One of the first and one of the worst cases of school violence ever recorded. We live in an age where we think that schools shootings, bombings, and the like are only a modern phenomenon. It’s not the type of thing that we would have expected to happen in the 1920s. And in Bath, Michigan.

On May 18, 1927, 45 people, mostly children, were killed and 58 were injured when disgruntled and demented school board member Andrew Kehoe dynamited the new school building in Bath, Michigan out of revenge over his foreclosed farm due in part to the taxes required to pay for the new school.

Across the world, newspaper headlines announced the shocking tragedy in the village with the unlikely name of Bath. The story competed for page one space with the Charles Lindbergh flight and massive floods on the Mississippi River. The New York Times story of May 19 read “MANIAC BLOWS UP SCHOOL, KILLS 42, MOSTLY CHILDREN.”

Image may contain: tree, sky and outdoor

Bath School Disaster Sources:

Bath massacre : America’s first school bombing / Arnie Bernstein. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2009.

My scrapbook on the Bath School bombing of May 18th, 1927 with many never before published photographs, stories & survivors’ quotes / by Bath historian Gene H. Wilkins. Bath, MI : Timber Wolf LTD, 2002.

Lorraine Boissoneault, “The 1927 Bombing That Remains America’s Deadliest School Massacre“, Smithsonian.com, May 18, 2017. Ninety years ago, a school in Bath, Michigan was rigged with explosives in a brutal act that stunned the town

List of school massacres by death toll wikipedia entry.

Leave a Reply