Talk:Bath School disaster/Archive 1

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This article has been added to List of terrorist incidents. However, I would not classify it as terrorism since it appears to be an isolated act of personal revenge, with no organization or ideology behind it. Mirror Vax 16:58, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

From the article on Terrorism: "The exact definition of terrorism is highly controversial. According to one of the primary working definitions, it is the unconventional use of violence against civilians for political gain." I think this was clearly unconventional violence" and "civilians" were emphatically involved. The "political gain" sought was the perpetrator's belief that the tax involved was oppressive against real property owners. I think this situation is even less nebulous than the Oklahoma City situation insofar as it remains unclear what McVeigh wanted to accomplish by the act. Jtmichcock 13:30, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't know that his motiviations were so clearly articulated. The article currently says Kehoe was apparently motivated by the imposition of taxes that were used to construct the school in 1922, which he claimed brought him financial hardship. Contemporaries of Kehoe asserted that he was especially parsimonious in any event. Unless there is some additional evidence in which Kehoe made explicit what he was up to and that is not reported in the article, it seems that this motivation for the bombing was somewhat speculative and may have been attributed to him after the fact as an attempt to rationalize his actions. If that is the case, it is a pretty weak argument for it being an act of terrorism. olderwiser 14:23, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I actually have a revised version of this article in my sandbox that will get into more detail about statements Kehoe made prior to the bombing and other surrounding circumstances (posting this version soon). He definitely was motivated by the tax issue. In further considering the definition in the Terrorism within the Wikipedia article, I think the term "ideological purposes" would be better than "political gain." The latter term sounds more like something a typical politician might do in order to get one up on his opponent. Political gain is a rather pedestrian term. Jtmichcock 19:43, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
If I may add a thought to this discussion, "Terrorism" as a term can be applied to many situations where, either motivation by a group, individual, or institution, i.e, Political, Religious, Criminal, Social Activist, Anti-establishment, Military, etc., may use means to effect the psyche' of others to bend to their will. In the case of Andrew Kehoe, as with other mass murderers, there may be just a revenge factor that motivates their actions as well as psychological or medical damages due to organic brain diseases, or blunt force traumas. Andrew Kehoe, had suffered a blunt force head trauma several years prior to the event. This may have contributed to his actions by changing his perspective from co-operative citizen to persecuted civilian. Since he also blew up himself and several others immediately after the school, it would be suspect to view his actions as terrorism, due to the fact that he had nothing to gain except the morbid satisfaction that he had the last word over the tax issue. Terrorism generally implies acts to benefit survivors either directly or indirectly. This was not the case in Bath. Just my 4 cents (inflation).Subwayjack 06:31, 6 February 2006 (UTC)S
Terrorists blow themselves up all the time nut-meg (talk) 17:49, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
The only thing required to show that it was terrorism is to cite a source that called it terrorism. Our own opinions don't matter, and citing them would be original research. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-03-22 20:09

Note on Revisions

I am still making some revisions on the text as research materials come in so I have only done inline notes for the very top section. I will complete the inline parts right before it's ready to submit for peer review. If you have any items that would ordinarly be translated into inline materials, please use bracketed http links in the text and I will translate into inline notes as the article matures. Jtmichcock 02:07, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Still a school at Bath?

I'm not clear from the closing section of the article as to whether there still is a school at Bath. It sounds like the replacement building opened in 1928 was named after the senator as an "agricultural school", and that this replaced the damaged school, then notes that this ag school building was demolished in 1975. Did something get built to replace it, or is there no longer a school in Bath? GBC 17:17, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

There are schools in the District, just not on the site of the original -- the link to the Bath Consiolidated School district has more info. There's a rather small memorial park built there. If you look at the photo of the boulder, on the top left you can see the top of my car. It's not a big site at all. Jtmichcock 17:40, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

The school that was blown up was actually rebuilt and used. I graduated from Bath in 1974, and that old brick building was used for the middle school until, I believe, around that time until a new high school was completed and then it was torn down. The "old" high school was then converted to the middle school. I recall that building very well. 13:04, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes i am currently in 10th grade at bath and the middle school still stand, just across the street is memorial park. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:25, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

wondering re removal or pyrotol

"Unlike the Columbine High School massacre, there was no legislative response, either by the state or federal governments, aimed at preventing a recurrence, although pyrotol was quietly taken off the market."

Taken off the market by whom? The article Pyrotol states that sales were halted after the Bath school disaster. It leaves one hanging. Was it a spontaneous and unanimous decision by all the manufacturers and/or distributors, or what? Herostratus 18:50, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Lost to the mists of history, actually. There were no "manufacterers" at that point since pyrotol was a World War I munition and all the stuff that was available was what was there. Pyrotol was banned like mustard gas and other chemical weapons much later. Did the stuff just run out or was it deliberately removed? No one knows. In a world without 24 cable news, matters that were handled back then were done quietly and without press conferences. Jtmichcock 18:57, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Ah. OK. Herostratus 02:03, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

This is a truly excellent article

One of the better Featured Articles I've ever read. Remarkably consistent, smoothly- and coherently-written, focused, crisp, and informative. Great job! -Silence 21:22, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Amen to that. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pschrapnel (talkcontribs) .
I concur. This article is a real gem. On top of being excellently encyclopedic, it's a just plain good read. Congratulations to all involved! Herostratus 02:06, 23 March 2006 (UTC)


This is an excellent article. Very well done. I just have one problem to note: the links within the article which refer to the endnotes do not match. If one clicks on note 25 in the article (the reference to the KKK blaming the crime on Keogh's Roman Catholicism), you go to reference # 27 at the bottom. This should be fixed. --Charles 04:49, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

This has been fixed. Thanks for noting. Jtmichcock 11:12, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Certainly. We all have to do our part. --Charles 17:17, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Ferris comment

This probably doesn't belong in the article, but I wanted to put it where people could find it. From The Autobiography of W. N. Ferris (Woodbridge N. Ferris, an educator, was a former Michigan Governor and current U.S. Senator at the time of the disaster.)

"You refer to the calamity at Bath. Every newspaper announces that a manic [sic] committed the act. How easy it is to explain human conduct. All you have to do is to apply a number or a name. The truth of the matter is, the man who committed the crime was regarded as a good neighbor, as a helpful neighbor, as a real man. All that can be positively said is that he opposed the high school tariff. He was the type of man who could grow a feeling of hatred that would destroy the world if he could make the necessary contact. He was simply devilish, that's all."

A very good article, I like all the pictures. Kevin

I don't see why that shouldn't be in the article. — Omegatron 23:22, 16 April 2007 (UTC)


Suspect this page has been vandalised - states the event took place in April 2007, and other dates seem to have been changed too. Afraid I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject to amend. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:43, 16 April 2007 (UTC).

Mass Murder vs. Bombing

This is a featured article, so I'm reluctant to change it, but shouldn't the statement that it's the dealiest act of "mass murder" be changed to bombing? The mass murder article uses Columbine as an example, which would put this in the same league as VA Tech. Primeromundo 02:10, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

This was an act of mass murder and it appears to be the deadliest act of mass murder in the U.S.--Alabamaboy 02:14, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Should the VA Tech article be changed then? Primeromundo 02:20, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
It should be, what happened at Bath is pretty much forgotten/ignored by the media. They just need something to hype and sensationalize, putting "second" in their "reporting" would reduce the impact of the story they want to report in their twisted minds.. PHOENIXZERO 22:00, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

"Second deadliest"?

Looks like this article referenced the disaster as the "deadliest" school-related killing in US history until yesterday, when the Va. Tech tragedy happened. Still, as the article on that event notes, there was a greater death toll here than in Blacksburg (45>33). As such, I am 99% sure this should be changed back to what it was before yesterday's edit storm, but since I am far from an expert on US school massacres, I wanted to make sure there wasn't some third, historically notable event of which I am not aware that would explain this. Editor Emeritus 12:17, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

You're right. I changed it without looking at the death toll since I kept reading articles listing the VA Tech incident as the deadliest. I should have verified, and I apologize. I guess leave this up for a bit so everyone can enjoy my humiliation, and then I'll come back in a week or so and take this "Second deadliest" section down. KyleGoetz 17:56, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
The Va. Tech massacre is the deadliest school shooting, and, indeed, the deadliest shooting in US history, but not the deadliest attack on a school. (The Bath disaster involved no guns.) —Cuiviénen 18:03, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
  • The Deadliest shooting by one person in US history. Salamibears58 (talk) 15:44, 31 March 2012 (UTC)Salamibears58

"See Also" links

I'm unclear as to why the two links under "see also" are there. What would be more appropriate would be links to lists of mass murders, school shootings, or anti-government actions by individuals. The two links here could almost be chosen at random.--Velvet elvis81 16:44, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I was just about to comment on this, and noticed you already had. It seems sensible for Virginia Tech massacre and maybe even Columbine High School Massacre to reference this article for historical context, but it doesn't make sense for this article to reference them back. Time for a quick edit. zadignose 16:44, 27 April 2007 (UTC)


I removed

Flag atop the school on May 18, 1927, today displayed at the school museum.

So that the giant white space wasn't there anymore, now I don't see a place where to put it? §tepshep¡Talk to me! 00:37, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I know it's been nearly 3 months, but I restored the flag, but I made it "left" rather than "right" so it doesn't conflict with the chronology of deaths. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 22:05, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to remove date-autoformatting

Dear fellow contributors

MOSNUM no longer encourages date autoformatting, having evolved over the past year or so from the mandatory to the optional after much discussion there and elsewhere of the disadvantages of the system. Related to this, MOSNUM prescribes rules for the raw formatting, irrespective of whether or not dates are autoformatted. MOSLINK and CONTEXT are consistent with this.

There are at least six disadvantages in using date-autoformatting, which I've capped here:

Disadvantages of date-autoformatting

  • (1) In-house only
  • (a) It works only for the WP "elite".
  • (b) To our readers out there, it displays all-too-common inconsistencies in raw formatting in bright-blue underlined text, yet conceals them from WPians who are logged in and have chosen preferences.
  • (c) It causes visitors to query why dates are bright-blue and underlined.
  • (2) Avoids what are merely trivial differences
  • (a) It is trivial whether the order is day–month or month–day. It is more trivial than color/colour and realise/realize, yet our consistency-within-article policy on spelling (WP:ENGVAR) has worked very well. English-speakers readily recognise both date formats; all dates after our signatures are international, and no one objects.
  • (3) Colour-clutter: the bright-blue underlining of all dates
  • (a) It dilutes the impact of high-value links.
  • (b) It makes the text slightly harder to read.
  • (c) It doesn't improve the appearance of the page.
  • (4) Typos and misunderstood coding
  • (a) There's a disappointing error-rate in keying in the auto-function; not bracketing the year, and enclosing the whole date in one set of brackets, are examples.
  • (b) Once autoformatting is removed, mixtures of US and international formats are revealed in display mode, where they are much easier for WPians to pick up than in edit mode; so is the use of the wrong format in country-related articles.
  • (c) Many WPians don't understand date-autoformatting—in particular, how if differs from ordinary linking; often it's applied simply because it's part of the furniture.
  • (5) Edit-mode clutter
  • (a) It's more work to enter an autoformatted date, and it doesn't make the edit-mode text any easier to read for subsequent editors.
  • (6) Limited application
  • (a) It's incompatible with date ranges ("January 3–9, 1998", or "3–9 January 1998", and "February–April 2006") and slashed dates ("the night of May 21/22", or "... 21/22 May").
  • (b) By policy, we avoid date autoformatting in such places as quotations; the removal of autoformatting avoids this inconsistency.

Removal has generally been met with positive responses by editors. I'm seeking feedback about this proposal to remove it from the main text (using a script) in about a week's time on a trial basis. The original input formatting would be seen by all WPians, not just the huge number of visitors; it would be plain, unobtrusive text, which would give greater prominence to the high-value links. BTW, anyone has the right to object, and my aim is not to argue against people on the issue. Tony (talk) 12:33, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Article title

Is "disaster" really the right word? It implies that it was an accident. Maybe "attacks" or "massacre" or something would be a better word. -Branddobbe (talk) 11:15, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Bath School disaster is how the attack has historically been referred to. So that is the title we should use.--SouthernNights (talk) 13:38, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Update after Nov. 11, 2008 - last 2 victims' tombstones

From Final 2 victims of 1927 bombing to get tombstones: "A grant from a foundation will pay for their grave markers and a ceremony to place them will be held Nov. 11 at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Bath."

On or after Nov. 11 this article should be updated to reflect this new information. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 19:53, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

End-notes should be replaced with references

The end-note system breaks the numbering when two {{ref|...}}'s are the same with a different one in between. Using standard <ref>...</ref> syntax with {{reflist}} works. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:19, 8 November 2008 (UTC)


Re: this edit and its immediate predecessor:

There is a disagreement over whether "Ironically" fits. While true, using the word ironically is editorializing and the tone is not encyclopedic. For this reason, I favor removing it. WhisperToMe (talk · contribs) removed it, SouthernNights (talk · contribs) restored it a few days later.

Does anyone else have any comments on this? davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 03:03, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I favor removing it too - we do not need editorializing on this encyclopedia. If a reliable source characterizes it as ironic, then say the source says so. WhisperToMe (talk) 04:01, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, remove it. We should respect the reader's own sense of irony, not supply one. --CliffC (talk) 04:49, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep. I have a very low tolerance for editorializing here, but the use of ironically in this case doesn't seem like editorializing to me. Its use here is as a linguistic counterpoint. --SouthernNights (talk) 01:00, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - per MOS:OPED (guideline, not policy), "Wikipedia should not have a view as to whether a topic or event is amusing, interesting, ironic, (in)significant or (un)fortunate." --CliffC (talk) 02:42, 2 December 2008 (UTC)


But there was no shooting. He shot no one, and the rifle itself was no more a weapon the the detonation caps, it was just used to set off another explosion. He didn't need it since he set off the first bombing without it, it was just expedient. I feel that putting it as a shooting is misleading at best since that's not an accurate description of what happened, and that if we put the rifle as a weapon we should also include all the ingredients of the explosives since it's only consistent if we mention every single thing that went into making the final outcome. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:50, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

In the "Third explosion" section

2nd paragraph, is Perry and Percy the same person?

Just thought it might be a mistake. Sorry if I wasted time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DAaaMan64 (talkcontribs) 09:28, 6 June 2010 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. All arguments grounded on what would be a more accurate description by a plain language interpretation of the title have been discounted as irrelevant. When there is no title for something chosen by the world as its name, then (and only then) do we try to come up with a neutral and accurately descriptive title. When the world has chosen a name, shown here by the predominance of this title in search results, with an eye toward which focus on reliable sources, which a Google books search does far more than a web search (always go to Google books and news archive before Google web), then our own judgment of the title's neutrality and accuracy has no place. As evidenced below, the common name appears to be the current title, including over bombing from the book search, the only other contender. The suggested title isn't even in the running.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:22, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Bath School disasterBath School massacre

I respectfully submit that the long-accepted and uncontested text in lede, to wit: "Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–12 years of age) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history" kind of mitigates against "disaster" and in favor of "massacre". (talk) 23:58, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
However I think other potential article names could also be more appropriate and more acceptable to all sides, such as Bath School mass murder. Any others? (talk) 00:21, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • What do reliable sources call it. My very quick and unscientific survey indicates disaster is more commonly used than massacre. olderwiser 00:50, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
My own quick and unscientific survey via Google indicated the following:
about 104000 ghits - Bath school massacre
about 373000 ghits - Bath school disaster
about 391000 ghits - Bath school murders
about 83,200 ghits - Bath school mass murder
about 87,500 ghits - Bath school mass murders (talk) 01:03, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I think you forgot to use quotation marks. (talk) 13:54, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

STRONGLY OPPOSE changing the name of this article. Just because the National Inquirer demands more and more sensational headlines does not mean that wikipedia has to follow suit. Shortly after this calamity occurred a book called the Bath School Disaster was published. That is where the name came from. It is not just descriptive, there is an actual history to the name. When we start letting google name our articles we are (opinion) in deep dodo. Carptrash (talk) 04:05, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Actually I do not read the National Inquirer [sic] so I don't know what their editorial policies are. You seem to know more about that than I do. I oppose appealing to the lowest common denominator or to majoritarianism. My concern about the name is because to label this horrific massacre a "disaster" is to do an injustice to the 44 victims of a cold-blooded mass murderer. That is why I suggested a possible compromise with Bath School mass murder which would be more than appropriate considering that this event was the "deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history". The google hits survey I did was simply to make my own "very quick and unscientific survey" (as per the example of User:Bkonrad). The fact that after the "calamity [another minimizing adjective term] occurred a book called the Bath School Disaster was published" doesn't necessarily mean much and is certainly not dispositive. People in the 1920s and 1930s communicated somewhat, at least a little, differently than people communicate in 2011, and it is quite possible that the sheer horror of such evil (in the pre Criminal Minds, pre-9/11, pre-Oklahoma City bombing, pre-America's Most Wanted days) precluded calling it what it truly was -- a massacre of innocents. I am not even going to address Carptrash's obnoxious and demeaning tone other than to note it here. (talk) 05:06, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
It's pretty clear, it's either "Bath School Bombing" or "Bath School Disaster". (talk) 14:01, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
A couple of points, raw Google hits are at best a measure of contemporary usage. It also gives slightly more refined results if you go to the last page of results, as Google will automagically remove duplicate and redundant entries that might otherwise show up in the hit total on the first page of results.

No contest, as far as I'm concerned. But for kicks, let's check Google Books produces as measure of what published sources say rather than bloggers and miscellaneous web sites.

Again no contest. olderwiser 17:07, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

How about simply Bath School bombing? This is the plain, unvarnished historical truth. "Disaster" in this case has become subjective terminology. (talk) 18:26, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I apologize for my ill chosen words and images in my last posting. It was not my intention to offend. However I believe that looking at what we (wikipedia) have to say about disasters will reveal that the word is appropriate in this context. I have emailed the Bath School Board to try and learn how this event is referred to there. About 20 years ago I visited Bath (where I picked up my copy of the book mentioned previously) and discussed the bombing with some locales who assured me that the injured total was much higher than is typically reported. This horror was much more than mass murder, though that was a terrible part of it. "Bombing"? Well, okay but the word "disaster" means. . . .. the sort of thing that occured here. Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 20:49, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment. I don't know enough about the subject to express an opinion on the title, but I would say that "disaster" is a peculiar name for a premeditated killing. It usually refers to natural disasters, not deliberate destruction. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:10, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Necrothesp, have you clicked on the wikipedia link to our article Disaster? You don't need to go beyond the first sentence (which I did not write - just discovered. Carptrash (talk) 16:15, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The relevant phrase in that first sentence is man-made hazard; can a hazard, in itself, be intentional? When I think of manmade disasters I think of Bhopal and Chernobyl. When an intentional act is called disastrous, it's usually because it wrecked the instigator (e.g. Napoleon's invasion of Russia). — List of man-made disasters does include intentional crimes, but I don't have to agree. —Tamfang (talk) 18:54, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
How you or I or others might parse the term "disaster" is pretty much irrelevant. The determining factor should be how this incident is described in reliable sources. I think the preponderance of sources pretty clearly use "disaster". olderwiser 19:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
By the limited evidence shown above, bombing predominates even more predominantly. —Tamfang (talk) 19:22, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Look again. olderwiser 21:03, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
* "bath school bombing" 102 Google web results
* "bath school disaster" 8,630 Google web results
* "bath school bombing" 5 Google Books results
* "bath school disaster" 69 Google Books results
"bath school disaster" 8620, "bath school bombing" 9820. Here's something weird: adding "-wikipedia" (i.e. excluding pages that mention Wikipedia) increases the count for disaster to "About 22,300". Something is rotten in the state of searching. —Tamfang (talk) 00:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
There is much that is unknown about the Google search algorithm, but one thing that is known, if you go to the last page of the search, it will eliminate "similar entries" and produce an arguably more accurate result. olderwiser 00:11, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Fence Sign Picture

When I first read this article a year ago, right next to the mention of his final message on the sign, there was a picture of the actual sign. Out of curiosity, why was it removed? It's not like it was irrelevant. Answers? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:57, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

a pic of the girl/cat memorial statue would be nice

i cannot find one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Clarksmom (talkcontribs) 03:39, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

i found this pic of the mentioned statue if someone wants to put it in:

Clarksmom (talk) 03:37, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Kudos, excellent work

I consider myself fairly well-read and I have never heard of such a thing! Astounding.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:37, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

This is one of the best wikipedia articles I've ever read

Everything about this is stellar: the story, the writing, the attributions, the I'm riveted. I think there might be a film script in this story...if it weren't so awful.

Congrats to the writers and everyone who edited it. It's absolutely fascinating and very well-researched.

Reading through one of the first-hand accounts (with its listing of victims' biographies) reminded me very much of 9/11. For these rural, peaceful people, this act must have had similar (if not larger) resonance with the than the WTC disaster.

Wow. Just a great wikipedia entry.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Helenabucket (talkcontribs) 05:13, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, outstanding. -IJ —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21 April 2006 (UTC)

"Second Explosion"

Excellent article, but I noticed one error that should be fixed. Under the heading "Second Explosion" is the following sentence:

"The explosion was heard from the school building. Rescuers heading to the scene of the Kehoe fire turned back and headed toward the school."

Although I realize the intent, the sentence is easily misread to imply that the explosion (at the school) was heard at the school. It seems to me this should read that the explosion at the school was heard across town or something to that effect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:45, 20 November 2012 (UTC)


I'm very concerned that there is way to much direct copying to avoid being a copyright violation. If you look at the third source as an example the article barely rewords anything and several sentences are word for word copies. All of the information from some of the paragraphs comes from the one source which does not do enough to avoid copyright violations. I only checked a couple of the sources, but when one source is that much of a concern, all need to be checked. Especially as that source is cited several more times. The first cited source also doesn't agree with the numbers stated in the article, nor does it give a number for how many students were there on the day of the disaster. The 236 number is stated as being from 1922 in the source. - Taxman Talk 14:52, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

In response to your concerns I examined the third reference and the article for signs of copyright violation and did not find any issues, let alone sentences that are identical. While some sentences are similar, this comes from describing the same basic historic facts. An example of this would be in the Bath School disaster article where it reads "Andrew watched his stepmother burn for a few minutes before dumping a bucket of water on her." The reference reads "Andrew watched his stepmother burn without trying to help her. After a few minutes, he dumped a bucket of water on her and doused the flames." While these sentences are similar, they are not a copyright violation b/c they are describing the same historic event. As someone who has spent a lot of time tracking down copyright violations on Wikipedia, I see no example of "way too much direct copying" as you claim and see nothing to support any claim of copyright violation. As for the fact that different citations have different numbers, this is a common occurance in historic research. I'll defer on this issue to the original authors of the article as to which citation is valid.--Alabamaboy 16:16, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm suprised someone else wouldn't think this is too close to copying the other source. Compare the first page (five paragraphs) of that source with the Kehoe section in this article. They're almost just rearangements of each other, with much of the word choice being the same. The one that caught my eye was: "He was meticulous in his dress and manner."..."He often changed his shirt in mid-day or whenever the slightest hint of dirt appeared on his shirt." compared with: "Neighbors recalled that Kehoe was always neat, dressed meticulously, and was known to change his shirt at midday or whenever it became even slightly dirty." Not only do the two sections as a whole include all the same facts, but when the word choice is so close throughout, I don't see how it wouldn't be a problem. It's not like it's word for word, but to my understanding avoiding copyright means you don't take substantially all of the creative character of the other work. - Taxman Talk 19:00, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
You are correct in some ways about copyright here. If this was a fictional work, then the similarities would indeed be worrisome. However, since the original article, and the Wikipedia article, are refering to a historical event and are trying to be as accurate as possible in representing the historical event, the similarities are acceptable. After all, one can't copyright historic facts. To deviate from certain descriptions of historic fact would change the fact and that would not be acceptable. Best, --Alabamaboy 20:42, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
BTW Taxman, please don't see this as an attack on you for raising this issue. I get a really perverse joy out of tracking down copyright violations on Wikipedia (and wish I had more time to do so). In fact, I wish more people would raise potential issues like you did. It's just that in this case, I don't see a violation. Best, --Alabamaboy 16:48, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
A few things: First, whenever you describe the same set of facts, the words are going to be similar. As note by Alabamaboy, there's only so many ways you can desribe throwing a bucket of water on someone. I have two books in print and I am very sensitive to allegations of plagarism, particularly when it's posted in a public forum. In terms of the first paragraph, the first part "on the day of the disaster" was not how this was originally written. You'll notice that the sentence would be out of place with that language since the prior sentences deal with the opening of the school, not the day of the disaster. I confess to having let this one slip by unnoticed and have corrected this the article back to what was originally intended: the number of students enrolled at the opening. As Ellsworth notes in his book, there was no accurate census on the date of the disaster. One of the frustrations dealing with Wikipedia is that someone comes in and makes edits and you will occassionally overlook some. Jtmichcock 16:56, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
There was certainly no offense meant, and in the interests of gaining others' opinions before loudly proclaiming in many different places on Wikipedia, I thought it was best to bring it up only here first. I certainly didn't think there was intent, as you obviously cited the source and weren't trying to hide anything. But copyright is still something we need to be very careful about whether intentional or unintentional. As to the other one, yeah you can't win them all when people change things out from under you. The point was more the first and only two things I checked were a problem. - Taxman Talk 19:00, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not a lawyer, but I tend to agree with AlabamaBoy that this doesn't look like a problem. A clear effort was made to rephrase, and you can't just replace one word with another without losing meaning. The source says he was "meticulous" about his clothing; how can you avoid using the word? "Obsessive"? "Painstaking"? "Conscientious"? Any synonym introduces extraneous connotations that aren't supported by the facts. It's my understanding that historical facts can't be copyrighted. Redquark 19:25, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I know nothing about US law, but in GB we have a "duty of care" law, relating to the care of someone known to be at risk of death or serious harm. Does the US not have something similar? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:19, 15 December 2012 (UTC)


"Prior to May 18, 1927, Kehoe had loaded the back seat of his car with metal debris. He threw in old tools, nails, pieces of rusted farm machinery, digging shovels, and anything else capable of producing shrapnel during an explosion." I think the author means "...anything capable of producing lethal fragments..." not shrapnel. Fragments and shrapnel are two very different things, as Wikipedia's own article illustrates.Frankwomble 17:23, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

From the article on schrapnel: "It is also used by extension to describe the fragments and debris thrown out by any exploding object." Jtmichcock 17:41, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
The Cambridge Dictionary Online defines Shrapnel as "small pieces of metal blown through the air when a bomb or other device explodes". Shrapnel it is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:01, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Excellent article

I just wanted to state that this is one of the best featured articles I have ever read on Wikipedia. Congrats to everyone who worked on it. --Alabamaboy 00:38, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. This article is of the highest quality. Fantastic work.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Publius1688 (talkcontribs) 02:01, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree as well. This is a fantastically written article with concise and informative information. Kudos to all who worked on it to make it the article it is today. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boofasten (talkcontribs) 06:02, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, made me go google it after reading, for more information. Wish there were even more historic photographs used (such as from ), individual photos of kids are bad, but photos of cleanup, the school, etc would be nice. Sherurcij (talk) (Terrorist Wikiproject) 04:03, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I concur. This is the FIRST Wikipedia Featured Article I've ever read that I didn't feel needed any copyediting whatsoever. Wow. Killdevil 13:27, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Umm, what's going on with the page right now?????— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:05, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Good article. I'm soaked in history all the time, yet I'd never heard of this one. Nicely done. - — Preceding unsigned comment added by Paul Drye (talkcontribs) 18:32, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, a great read, thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 31 March 2006 (UTC)

This event has been fictionalized by author Michael Frederick, so I thought it should be mentioned herein. His novel "Missouri Madness" tells the story of a man named Kedloe blowing up a school in Jerome, Missouri on May 18th, 1927. Hsemerson 18:13, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Don't forget the Wall Street bombing of 1920! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 16 December 2012 (UTC)


I'm wondering about the factoid in the original research that says he 'watched his stepmother burn'. Reading the original makes me think that the author was trying to spice up his story by showing that Kehoe was a bad person right from the start- there doesn't seem to be any way to verify this- by the nature of the act, only Kehoe and his stepmother were there (if Kehoe was even there at all). In fact, if it were true, Kehoe would have been committing a criminal act. The line in the original also implies that Kehoe actually sabotaged the stove, which also smacks of hearsay. I think it's dubious to include that content as true when it seems to be not to be research, but rather a dramatization. And in this particular case, I think the original author wanted to believe that Kehoe had to have been bad from the start- that there were warning signs- that people who do things like this are pure monsters. Lastly, I just want to point out that the original author also makes comments like him being buried 'isolated, just like he was in real life.' What about his wife? What about the fact that he served on the school board and was active in the community? Sure, you can make the argument that he was psychologically isolated and different, but then, who isn't isolated like that? That points to the orig. author trying to profile Kehoe into what he thinks all mass murderers are- psychopaths who aren't human, pure evil. Anyway, I just think we should take that part out. It seems like sensationalism. --Stuball321 17:12, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

The story about the stove has been repeated at length in a number of publications. In Grant Parker's Mayday, the claim that he stood and watched is sourced to the stepmother before her death. Since it is not a crime to do nothing while someone burns, there were no charges. As to the stove, there was always a lingering question as to how a machine that previously have no problems would spontaneously combust. Several years later Kehoe caused the same sort of combustion when burning down his house. Had he done something similar a year after his stepmother was burned, there's no question that they would have brought charges. For purposes of this article, that's a parallel that can't be avoided. I should note that there's another line of speculation that is not included in the article: that while Kehoe was living in Oklahoma he sustained a serious head injury in an accident. In most of the materials this accident is mentioned as being the precurser to the disaster. My own view is that the accident was too remote in time and anything you could write about it would be pure speculation. That's different from the stove incident which demonstrated, at the very least, too eerie a coincidence. In terms of the other aithors referring to Kehoe as "isolated." that's a fair comment from Ellsworth who knew the guy for eight years. Jtmichcock 17:37, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
After a bit more research I found the Ellsworth book where he details the incident. I suppose that I still don't quite believe it, but that's not really my place to be challenging original research. By the way, it is a crime to not do something while someone burns-- criminal negligence (they actually talk about it in this article with regards to the school board), which means that if it a reasonable person would have done something and you didn't have a good excuse (i.e, being insane, in shock, phobic of fire), then you did commit a crime. Also- the 'isolated' comment was from the crimelibrary site, not Ellsworth. --— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:14, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
There is no general duty to rescue another person unless you either caused the perilous situation to arise or you have a special duty (such as being a policeman, fireman, parent of a minor child, etc.) Jtmichcock 05:22, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Although I am not a lawyer, I believe that there IS a legal duty to intercede in certain situations and failure to do so can result in charges of "depraved indifference". I assume that such laws are enacted at the state level, and it is not necessarily the case that all states have such laws. See which can be and I believe has been interpreted to include refusal to render assistance to people in need of it. "Assault 1st - Penal Law 120.10, sub 3: Under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious physical injury to another person." (I cite a New York State law but that has no relevance to my main point.) See also "The case of Melissa Rowland, the Utah woman who refused to have a C-section to save her unborn twins, is sure to ignite a new round of confrontations in the battle over the rights of the unborn. Ms. Rowland signed papers stating that she knew full well that one or both of the children she was carrying could die due to her choice to not have the surgery. That act, which led directly to the death of one of the twins, makes her guilty of first degree criminal homicide for showing "depraved indifference to human life" according to Utah law." - note particularly that this charge is brought not for an action, but for inaction. However, in Kehoe's case, if the only testimony was his dying stepmother's statement, it might well be that a prosecutor would not consider charges based on that statement to be the groundwork for a winnable case. Hi There 02:53, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Jumping into this way late but... The language you cite above, Hi There, specifically refers to the two exceptions that Jtmichcock outlines. In the first case, your quote specifically references someone who "recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person" and so falls into the category of that person causing the perilous situation to arise. The second case (the mother and the C-section), a parent has a duty of care towards their child (as mentioned by Jtmichcock) and so that case falls into that category. There is no general duty to rescue someone in peril outside the established exceptions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Siofra (talkcontribs) 16:50, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I have an interest in genealogy and have read many accounts in historical newspapers of stove explosions and fires. Sadly, they were not unheard of. Many women and children suffered burns so severe that they died. (Since women did most of the cooking and heated the water for washing while their children played nearby, fewer men seem to have suffered their fate.) A whole house could easily be destroyed as a result of a spreading fire. So, from what appears in this article, I don't think there's any data to say that Kehoe was responsible for that stove fire. It may, however, have acted as an inspiration when he planned the school bombings, but again, no proof. [By the way, just because it needs to be underscored, although he planned this whole episode for about a year, it doesn't mean that he was mentally fit.] Thanks for your efforts, Wordreader (talk) 05:30, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Contradictory information regarding the postmaster's injuries?

Under the Third Explosion section, the first paragraph notes that the explosion Kehoe set off with his rifle killed, among others, Postmast Glenn Smith. Later in the third paragraph the quoted road crew foreman states that after the last explosion one of his men was binding the wounds of the same Smith. These two statements seem to be in conflict; why would a responder bind the wounds of a dead person? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:23, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps this is the explanation: The explosion injured the post-master, whose wounds were attended to, but he died anyway. Kdammers (talk) 11:27, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Sounds likely to me, too.Parkwells (talk) 23:21, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

There appears to be an error in the times.

In the article, the times of the first and second explosions are both currently reported as occurring at 8:45 am. (talk) 16:34, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, in looking at the sources, in particular the coroner's inquest, it appears all the explosions occurred at about 8:45 am Central Standard Time. There is some confusion in that some of the accounts uses "fast time" while others use "slow time", which might refer to the use of daylight savings time, which had not been consistently adopted in 1927. Or it might refer to some reporting time in central standard time and others in eastern standard time. The coroner's report contains numerous such clarifications. This is not clearly documented on Wikipedia, apparently there was a time when most of Michigan was in the Central Time Zone, but that portions of the lower peninsula would remain on DST year-round, meaning the times were effectively Eastern Standard Time while DST was in effect. Without better references on that, it would be OR to explain in the article. However, the article should report the times consistently -- either using CST per the coroner's report or use EST because that part of Michigan is firmly in the EST at present. olderwiser 19:55, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Agree that there was confusion in the times, and the explosion at the school was given as occurring earlier than that at the farm. To say they went off at approximately the same time is probably all right. Parkwells (talk) 22:32, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Conspiracy Theory

Veterans Today which generally takes positions against US military policy, but supportive of Iranian policies, publishes many conspiracy theories from 9/11 to UFOs claims that Sandy Hook is " the worst elementary school massacre in America since General Erich Ludendorff, then head of German Intelligence, ordered the destruction of Bath School, Michigan on May 18th 1927, in a desperate effort to put pressure on the Coolidge Administration to cancel the Lindbergh Flight. This was after German technical experts had determined that the Ryan NYP Monoplane had the range to fly from New York to Paris and that it’s excellent Wright J-5 Whirlwind motor was sufficiently reliable to keep going for up to 40 hours, although the planning was triggered by concerns the previous year over a successful non-stop transatlantic flight, before the Ryan plane became a contender. Thirty-eight young children were murdered." There appears to be no evidence to support anything except the Bath school was attacked, and this may be the first appearance of such a theory. Redhanker (talk) 23:14, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunate; do not publish.Parkwells (talk) 23:26, 16 December 2012 (UTC)


Not only the worst massacre in a school, it's one of the top ten mass murders in US history, below 9/11, the Happyland arson and the Branch Davidians — am I forgetting any? —Tamfang 00:39, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Oklahoma City Bombings? Oh, and I agree with all above this is a very well written article. I'd never heard of this before. Lisiate 04:49, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I haven't heard of this before, either. (But forgive me, I'm in my twenties.) It was very captivating and well written. Thanks to whoever wrote it! I also agree w/ the term "massacre" over "terrrorist attack". I doubt they would have described it as a terrorist attack back then, for sure.

During news coverage of 9/11, i heard several journalists say that previous to the Oklahoma City Bombing, the worst attack on America was the Meadow Mountain Massacre in which over 100 were killed. So that makes Bath School disaster 4th, no? DyNama (talk) 06:25, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

The Bath disaster appears to have been an elaborate personal revenge by a member of the community defeated in a local election, according to Ellsworth's contemporary account. The Utah massacre was not an "attack on America," but an attack by Mormon militia on a wagon train of emigrants from Arkansas traveling through the Utah Territory. They spared only 17 children under the age of seven. It was warfare.Parkwells (talk) 15:22, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Do not include perpetrator among victims

This is the practice at VA Tech article, as well as the developing one on the Connecticut School Shooting. He died, but was not a victim.Parkwells (talk) 22:32, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

He was one of the many victims of his mental disorder, which was the real perpetrator of the crime. (talk) 02:42, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Format issues

WIKI MOS recommends using blockquotes for lengthy quotes over 3 lines long; no explanation was given for reverting blockquotes.Parkwells (talk) 13:12, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Car or truck?

Kehoe's vehicle, which he filled with dynamite and items for shrapnel, was referred to as both a car and a truck. Editors should be consistent. It appears to have been a truck.Parkwells (talk) 22:32, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

The photo looks like the remains of a car, and is so identified. All references should be changed to reflect the car unless there's a source for truck.Parkwells (talk) 00:09, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
It was a Ford pickup, according to this. --MarchOrDie (talk) 06:38, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks.Parkwells (talk) 13:19, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Timeline of events

From my research today, I seem to remember that there are a couple of issues:

  • There is some confusion about the time that the buildings on the Kehoe farm were explosively set on fire and the time that the explosion/fire went off in the Bath School because nationwide time (Standard/Daylight Savings/etc) was apparently not uniformly in effect, so times could have been reported as being different even though they were the same.
  • Emergency responders of that era were reported as being on their way to the Kehoe farm when the alarm went out about the explosions at the school. The firetrucks etc turned around and went to the Bath school. I think I even read a report about the firetrucks going to the farm and passing Kehoe in his car (he was driving away) and then they turned around and went to the school when those reports started coming in. I'll look it up again and see if that information is from a reliable source.

Shearonink (talk) 00:03, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

M.J. Ellsworth's book implies that the Kehoe farm went up in flames first but both the school and the farm explosively-set fires seemed to have occurred very close together in the timeline, see M.J. Ellsworth's eyewitness account, The Bath School Disaster on the "Information about the Bath School Disaster'" website (which, by the way, is "Librarian Recommended" and a featured link of the Library of Michigan/Michigan Library Consortium). Shearonink (talk) 00:21, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Agree these were nearly simultaneous - his account of the day is of hearing the explosion and seeing the fire at the farm. His wife happened to look out a window in the other direction and saw smoke rising from the school. They heard children crying and rushed to the school.Parkwells (talk) 13:41, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Right, and even in his account, he is not certain of which explosion he heard -- he recounts hearing an explosion and turning about to see the smoke from the farmhouse. olderwiser 13:55, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Terms - bombing?

In Wikipedia, "Bombing" redirects to Bombardment, which specifically deals with bombardment by artillery, not with someone setting off previously placed explosives. I've been bothered by the use of "bombing" in this article, even before looking that up. It most commonly implies an action - dropping a bomb by plane, attacking with a bomb, shooting armament by artillery. In this case, Kehoe set off bombs/incendiary devices that he had previously created, in two out of the three instances. Last, he fired into dynamite in his car, making his vehicle a car bomb. I think we should be more accurate in usage.Parkwells (talk) 13:08, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Voice of experience

Just reading Ellsworth's account - what a voice of experience he and his neighbors reflect. He felt Kehoe couldn't take being defeated in the election for town clerk, and started planning his "murderous revenge" on his neighbhors. Kehoe was known to be extremely difficult to work with on the school board, and Ellsworth said that was why he was defeated in the election. It's odd that no previous editors noted this issue of revenge on the community as a potential motive for his destruction of the school and their children. It seems more consistent with his personality as described than anger about property taxes. It is also consistent with patterns of revenge "rationales" seen in other murders.

A. McMullen, another neighbor, had noted Kehoe hadn't worked on his farm for a year (!) (before the explosion), and suspected he might be planning suicide. Ellsworth said that afterward, it was found that Kehoe had cut all his wire fences on his farm, cut down grapevines and put the plants back to avoid notice, and girdled all the small shade trees to kill them before setting off his explosives. (Chap. 5) (Another indication of his personality: soon after he and his wife moved in, he had killed a neighbor's dog that had come on his property and barked too often.)Parkwells (talk) 13:37, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Had I read this first, I would not have posted a comment at "No source for motive, questionable as given". You covered all the points here. Gulbenk (talk) 00:03, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Gado not RS

Michael Gado's account, Hell Comes to Bath, published with no date on Crime <>, does not satisfy criteria to be used as an RS (Reliable Source), so I have deleted it as a source. It has no footnotes, has some highly fictionalized portions (as on the first page), and presents no basis for some of its assertions. It gives Ellsworth's account, another published book, and "NY Times articles", as sources, but copies verbatim from Ellsworth's account. (Have not checked the others.) There is no evidence of peer review.Parkwells (talk) 20:26, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

No source for motive, questionable as given

There is no quoted source for the offered motive of "enraged over property taxes". From accounts, it appears more accurate to say the motive was mental illness due to stress of personal and financial pressures. Mental illness does not mean he could not carry out a detailed plan; it suggests the irrational nature of his killing children and other innocents in his destruction of his house, farm and school.Parkwells (talk) 22:32, 16 December 2012 (UTC)Parkwells (talk) 13:10, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Even if you find a quote from a reliable source, it would only be speculation as to motive. Unlikely that it had anything to do with taxes, or financial pressures. He had financial resources. He simply chose to stop paying his mortgage, and he chose to stop farming. That appears to be just part of a larger plan. When he killed his wife and destroyed his house, he also destroyed his fences, livestock, equipment, and shade trees. Leaving little of value behind, for the mortgage company or anyone else. Highly intelligent, but petulant, Kehoe planned his actions for many months. The trigger may have been his election defeat. Rejection and humiliation. This looks like an act of revenge against the whole town (by killing their children). So, yes, some form of mental illness. Perhaps something more like a personality disorder. Gulbenk (talk) 23:46, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I think the supposed motive of anger over property taxes at least has to be stated somewhere within the article, even if there is reservation attached. The only source that supposes it was due to Kehoe's defeat in the Township Clerk election (which it can be presumed he ran for in part because of his distaste for taxes) is a single sentence in Ellsworth's account. Meanwhile, the narrative that Kehoe was angered over the increased property taxes has been the accepted account since the time of the disaster and is given on the State Historical Marker placed at the memorial park and was the angle focused upon by many of the articles written both contemporaneously with the disaster and up until the present day. To entirely ignore established facts because there's no absolute evidence in favor of a single sentence of subjective opinion included in a historical account (which, by the way, does not discount the tax motive; it is still possible that Kehoe saw gaining access to the clerk position as his last option to lower his taxes or save his farm). I realize that this article has gained a renewed amount of attention in light of recent events and that the tax motive touches upon issues that are politically sensitive, but it is the widely-held belief of many of the historians who have studied the disaster that it was taxes that casued Kehoe to dynamite the school. To completely ignore such a long-held consensus now just because the issue has become politically charged would be improper. If you need any proof that the 'tax motive' is widely agreed upon I would be happy to provide any number of news articles from 1927 up until the present that say as much. -- (talk) 08:39, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

This quote...

mother after mother came running into the school yard, and demanded information about her child and, on seeing the lifeless form lying on the lawn, broke into sobs. In no time more than 100 men were at work tearing away the debris of the school, and nearly as many women were frantically pawing over the timber and broken bricks for traces of their children.

has no sourcing but appears to be from Bath Massacre by Arnie Bernstein (found here). If someone could find a copy of the book to check for that material from eyewitness Robert Gates it would be helpful. Shearonink (talk) 19:20, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

This article just appeared in the media

Bomboy, Scott (December 18, 2012). "Mass school bombing in 1927 puts Sandy Hook in context". National Constitution Center. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 7&6=thirteen () 01:30, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Re: laundry list of what newspapers 'branded' Kehoe as

that was added with this edit and is the sentence

In the days following the disaster, newspapers branded Kehoe a "maniac"[28][29], a "demented" and "insane" farmer,[30] a "madman",[31] and a "fiend".[32].

Seems excessive to me, don't think it necesarily adds encyclopedic value to the article, but am impressed by the sheer amount of sourcing. Should the content stay as is, be adjusted somewhat, or be removed? Shearonink (talk) 03:26, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm open to rewriting it. Maybe something like "Newspapers from Chicago to Atlanta provided graphic coverage, eliciting a national response." Andrew (talk) 03:53, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I think your tweak is an improvement, showing that there was a nationwide reaction is important, but individually listing and breaking out all the papers seemed to break up the train of thought about the aftermath. Oh, and the referencing in this article can be tricky if you're not used to it...whatever you end up doing with the text, take a look at the referencing system already in place. I'm used to a different style myself, and it's almost tripped me up a few times. Shearonink (talk) 05:58, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the work

Thanks for the many contributions on sources, copy editing and other changes to improve this article. It's looking really good! Parkwells (talk) 13:24, 27 December 2012 (UTC)


Why is this article titled "disaster" - as though a tornado swept through the town - when it was in fact a massacre perpetrated by one person? (talk) 08:07, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Another editor recently changed the lead to reflect that it is an "historical name"; it was how people referred to it back in the day. I would be open to discussing a possible page move, but only if the preponderance of secondary sources justify that new name. Andrew327 18:56, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
The contemporaneous sources (newspapers and especially Monty J. Ellsworth's eye-witness book) refer to this sad event as 'The Bath School Disaster', most other sources also refer to this event as 'The Bath School Disaster' (including the State of Michigan with its historical marker and the onsite memorial stone in Bath Memorial Park). If readers wish to do further research (especially of written sources and not of Wikipedia mirror sites), doing a search for alternate titles such as "Bath School Bombings" or "Bath School Murders" or "Bath School Massacre" will not yield nearly the results that a search for "Bath School Disaster" will. In reading the sources, the school building was destroyed with major concurrent damage to other buildings, cars and property plus the deaths of so many town residents and at least 58 injured survivors...I think 'disaster' is entirely appropriate. Shearonink (talk) 21:36, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Bath School disaster/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Sven Manguard (talk · contribs) 04:38, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

GAN Quicksheet 1.24 SM

Starting comments: I know that I said that I was done with GAN reviews for this round, but this came out of a conversation with Shearonink on IRC, and I'm going to do it anyways.

1. Well written:

a. prose/copyright: Question
  • Just curious, what do you think that the "nth grade" adds in the "Killed in the disaster" box entries? I'm slightly leaning towards saying that it's visual noise that should be removed (grade and age are closely related), but if you have a reason behind it, I'm open to them staying in.
  • Well, I suppose because it was a different time and the ages of these Michigan farm children would not necessarily indicate which grade they would be in if they were attending school in present times, also I think they are listed in the same order as some of the Bath memorials.Shearonink (talk) 09:37, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
b. MoS compliance: Acceptable

2. Accurate and verifiable:

a. provides references: Needs work
  • In the background section, please cite the sentence "He studied electrical engineering and worked as an electrician for some time in St. Louis, Missouri.". If it's in the next paragraph, just duplicate the citation so that the paragraph with the quoted sentence ends in a citation.
  • Same with "A subsequent investigation concluded that, based on his activity at the school and the purchases of explosives, Kehoe had worked on steps in his plan for at least a year."
  • Same with "Kehoe had free access to the building and his presence was never questioned."
  • Same with "Neighbors reported hearing explosions set off on the farm, as well as recalling conversations where Kehoe explained he was using dynamite for tree stump removal."
  • Same with the first paragraph of the "Day of the disaster" section, which is entirely unsourced.
  • Same with "Neighbors noticed the fire, and volunteer fire departments from all over the area began rushing to the scene."
  • Same with "At about 8:45 a.m., in the basement of the north wing of the school, an alarm clock set by Kehoe detonated the dynamite and pyrotol he had hidden there."
  • Same with "Thirty-eight people, mostly children, were killed in the explosion of the north wing."
  • Same with the first paragraph in the "Truck explosion" section, which is entirely unsourced.
  • Same with "They swept the building and returned to the recovery work." in the Recovery and rescue section
  • Same with "This testimony contradicted statements from others that Kehoe paused after stopping and called Superintendent Huyck over before blowing up his truck." in the Coroner's inquest section
  • Same with "The school board began a separate fund for the repair of the school building." in the section right after
  • Same with "It was used until the 1970s, before replacement by a new school."
  • Same with the uncited bullets in the Legacy section.
b. proper citation use: Acceptable
c. no original research: May need work
  • Pending resolution of 2a, this is good. I won't sign off on it until then though.
d. The top of the article suggests 556 children were killed, but this isn't substantiated by the rest of the article?

3. Broad in coverage:

a. covers main aspects: Acceptable
b. focused/on topic: Acceptable

4. Neutral: Acceptable

5. Stable: Acceptable

6. Image use:

a. license/tagging correct: Needs work
  • The first is fine because the text is illegible. The second has to be removed, sorry.
  • Disregard the struck portion.
  • Flag image removed as lacking proper permissions. Shearonink (talk) 04:42, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
b. relevant/properly captioned: Acceptable

7. Additional items not required for a GA, but requested by the reviewer:

a. images that should have alt texts have them: Needs work
  • It's not mandatory to this becoming a GA, but it would be appreciated for compatibility reasons.
  • All images have "alt=" text added. Shearonink (talk) 05:30, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
b. general catch all and aesthetics: Acceptable

Comments after the initial review: The reason why I insist on having paragraphs end with citations, even if the citation is in the next paragraph, is that articles evolve over time, and not ending paragraphs with sources means that there's an increased risk that something will get added in between. Which would be bad, because then the first part would have a different source than what it should. Sven Manguard Wha? 04:38, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Okay, we're good. Promoting now. Sven Manguard Wha?

38 or 36

In the first paragraph, it says that 38 eight elementary school children were killed, and 36 schoolchildren. Which is it, and could someone edit that a bit? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:38, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

I added the words "in total" to the first sentence to make the meaning very clear. A little bit of explanation... There were two separate bombing incidents at the school. The first explosion was a massive amount of pyrotol and dynamite that the perpetrator had planned and wired throughout the school's basement beforehand. When that was set off within the school building, that first explosion killed 36 students and 2 teachers. Kehoe drove up in his truck about ten or 15 minutes later, and while struggling with school superintendent Emory Huyck (apparently over a rifle that Kehoe had with him and that Huyck spotted within the truck) Kehoe shot the rifle into the truck's backseat, setting off a second explosion loaded with shrapnel. The truck explosion killed Kehoe, the superintendent, a mail man and one child who had survived the initial blast within the school. So both figures are correct...36 children killed in the initial blast plus 1 who died in the truck explosion plus 1 who died much later in the hospital of her injuries. The total number of schoolchildren killed in the Bath School disaster was 38. Hope that makes everything clear. Shearonink (talk) 03:10, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Thank You! I don't know too much about that topic, and that was a little confusing. Thanks for clarifying it! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Recent page renaming from "Bath School disaster" to "Bath School disaster/ mass murder"

This action should have been discussed on this page first. Not only is it against WP:MOS (extraneous space in title) this renaming is against historical precedent. Any time a researcher goes into the historical records this event is almost always called the "Bath School disaster" or the "Bath School Disaster". If warranted, a Request for comment should be instituted on this page to see what the general editorial consensus is about what this article should be called. Also, if people think that there is some confusion about the name or the event, then a redirect from the 'new name' to the original name and accompanying article would seem to have been a more viable solution. Shearonink (talk) 16:55, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Anastrophe (talk) 16:57, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

If I could figure out how to revert the renames/redirects/changes, I would (and then interested editors could discuss what the title should be on this talk page), but fixing redirects/renames can be a mess and this type of techno/coding is not my speciality. Shearonink (talk) 17:09, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Shearonink and Anastrophe,
Yes, that is true, however by adding the "/mass murder" tag to the end, it does not change the fact that older stories call it the Bath School disaster. I am also adding rewording to the intro section to clarify this. The reason that I felt that attaching the "/mass murder" tag to the end will be helpful, was so that modern day researchers would have an easier time finding it, without denying the fact that it is also simply called the "Bath school disaster". Most modern researchers are far more likely to cross-reference the words "school" and "mass murder" in doing Google research on this, than "school" and "disaster". Scott P. (talk) 17:23, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Then a redirect for the different title should have been crafted rather than renaming and moving the original article. (By the way, are there *any* other mass murder articles with the "/ mass murder" appendage in the title itself? Shearonink (talk) 17:37, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Please return the page to its original title. Any web search will find it via the content of the article, as WP is not a closed garden. The title does not need to be changed. Anastrophe (talk) 17:38, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
I was only trying to assist with modern web research, so modern day researchers would know about this incident. Please note that to date, no news articles seem to have even mentioned it, even in this most recent rash of school shootings. But if you guys want to move everything back, I won't stop you. Scott P. (talk) 17:41, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not implying you weren't trying to help - I appreciate your position and intention, I just disagree with the outcome. Speaking only for myself, I've never gone through the process of renaming an article and it's talk page, so I'm not sure how to go about it. Would simply reverting your edits accomplish it? Thanks. Anastrophe (talk) 17:44, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Probably an admin or someone with more techno-coding experience would have to fix the redirects and the renaming. It can get awfully complicated. I've tried before and made a mess of things. And actually, this sad historical incident has received a fair amount of attention in the media through the years (mostly when a similar event occurs in our modern era). There's a Slate article, an NPR report, a Christian Science Monitor article, a Yahoo News report and more. Shearonink (talk) 17:58, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Most websearch services, I believe, consider all the text of a webpage rather than only the title. A modern researcher might also find the article through Category:Mass murder in the United States. —Tamfang (talk) 01:14, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Exactly! This article is the first result when you search any number of topics in any reputable search engine, including "deadliest school attack" in Google, "mass murder michigan" in Bing, or "school mass murder in DuckDuckGo. There's nothing subtle about the fact that this was a mass murder event. Andrew327 02:53, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

I would suggest first trying to "move the page back", then if that doesn't work, try "reverting" my move. Regarding the other related edits, I would try to "revert" them first, starting with the most recent ones, and if that doesn't work, then redo them manually. I would do more to help right now, but I am cheating on my job and about to get caught (Wikipedia is waaay too addictive.) Thanks, Scott P. (talk) 17:49, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

I strongly oppose the move and support keeping the article at Bath School Disaster. If you search Google for Bath mass murder, this article comes up without the need for a title that is not supported by reliable sources. Andrew327 18:11, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Last victim receives a grave marker

Per the following website (, one more student was killed. The article curently reads that a girl was the 45 victim, however, the attached article lists another as well as book that will be coming out soon. (talk) 16:14, 17 September 2014 (UTC)Mary192.172.14.69 (talk)

Article being renamed

I prefer the article being titled the "Bath School disaster" and am looking for consensus. Andrew327 02:46, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

The current title is fine "bombing". It is more descriptive and entirely accurate. John Alan Elson WF6I A.P.O.I. 04:08, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Support 'Bath School disaster'(yeah I know this isn't technically an RFC but anyway...) Article's title should remain "Bath School disaster" not "Bath School bombing/s". Thanks, Shearonink (talk) 05:02, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

1. "Disaster" isn't very clear. It's a very antiquated phrasing, and it does not clearly state what it was. "Disaster" makes it sound more like it was a natural disaster or accident, rather than a deliberate series of bombing. "Disaster" is a phrase used at the time, but I don't think we should be bound to language of 1927.

2. Google results:

- Bath School Diaster - 21,900 - Bath School Bombing] - 28,100 results

3. Lots of reliable sources use "massacre" or "bombing" to describe it. These are used interchangeably with "disaster".

3. Similar large scale bombings of that era use the name "bombings".

4. Most large school shootings use "massacre" or "shooting". These are large scale attacks on school, and the only difference between those and this article is that a bomb was used. "Massacre", "bombing" and "shooting" should be the terms used to describe such events,

5. There were in fact several bombings in different locations, thus my preferred term "bombings".

Conclusion: Either "massacre" or "bombing" should be the title. It doesn't hugely matter.

--Harizotoh9 (talk) 05:40, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

The number of Google hits for 'bombings' vs 'disaster' is 28,000/21,900, so that doesn't seem to be an overwhelming result. And if Wikipedia is a tool to point researchers to the sources, then what do the historical sources call it? What did Monty J. Ellsworth's book, the first book published about the events and written by an eyewitness, call it? Why not leave the redirect from 'Bath School bombings' to 'Bath School disaster 's place instead of changing the title completely? Shearonink (talk) 06:34, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

(The comment immediately below was originally in a separate section but the page layout was subsequently altered.)
This article was renamed today against previous consensus and in my opinion an RFC should have been opened or at least comments should have been solicited on this page before changing it. Even if 'bombing/s' might be considered more descriptive by modern sensibilities, the historical record refers to this event as The Bath School Disaster. If we rename it after the fact, seems to me that doing so would be like renaming The Great Depression as The 1930s Panic. In my opinion, it would be more appropriate to have redirects for "Bath School bombing/s" than change the historical name. Shearonink (talk) 04:56, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

In economics a Depression is a specific clearly defined phenomenon. A "disaster" is not clearly defined at all and could mean anything. Could be an accidental exposition. An industrial accident, etc. And as I pointed out above, lots of modern sources call it the "Bath Massacre". For example:

That's a very high quality source, as it's published by a University press. Probably should go with their naming.

And actually a better case could be made for "Bath Massacre" or "Bath School Massacre", however I've always found the word "massacre" to be inherently kind of POV-y. The word "massacre" carries a POV (that it is bad, and yes even saying mass killing is bad is a POV). And how do you determine which mass killing is called a "massacre" and which aren't? I don't think there's any real neutral means of doing that, we just rely upon what the sources say. The words "bombbing" and "shooting" are much more neutral so I go with those. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 05:53, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

I repeat: The article was renamed against previous editorial consensus. Comments should have been solicited on this page before changing the title.
And, by the way, the talk page's archive was orphaned by the recent title-change. Shearonink (talk) 06:34, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the title should remain the same. Harizotoh9 has made the same arguements I would have. John from Idegon (talk) 06:01, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually the title was changed today. From "Bath School disaster" to "Bath School bombings". But you want the current title to stay in place, correct? Shearonink (talk) 06:34, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Bath School Disaster. I believe that the article originally was called the Bath School Disaster, which is, I think , what it always had been called in Bath. Probably still is. I felt that changing the name because of what other events were called after it was the worst sort of revisionism. Well, perhaps not the worst, but pretty bad, Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 06:12, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

They alone don't get to determine the name though. It's done by the sum of reliable sources, and most of the modern sources seem to use the phrase "massacre" or "bombing". --Harizotoh9 (talk) 06:31, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Would appreciate knowing why the Portal links were changed, the 'Disaster' Portal being removed and the 'Terrorism' Portal being added. Did Andrew Kehoe want to punish the townspeople? Yes. Did he decide to commit murder to further that goal? Yes. Did he decide to murder as many of the children of Bath as possible? Yes. But not to affect any kind of change in 'the system' or in the town, he only wanted to kill all the town's children with his instrument of murder being the planned destruction of the school while classes were in session. That doesn't make him a terrorist, that makes him a sociopathic monster. Shearonink (talk) 07:35, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Also support Bath School disaster. If this is going to be called "...bombings" shouldn't it be "Bath bombings"? We're talking about a shooting and arson on a farm, the bombing of a school, and a VBIED (car bomb) detonated near the school. The current title makes it sound like the only portion of the attack was the bombing at the school. It's a complicated situation, which is one reason historians and journalists named it the "Bath School disaster." The historically correct title passed both FA and GA reviews without issue. That doesn't mean that the name cannot be changed, but it should only be changed as a result of consensus. I'm OK with BRD, but now it's time for someone to revert the change until a clear consensus is established in favor of a renaming.

Now for specific responses to defenses of the new name.

  1. Google results don't matter here, because modern search engines automatically search for alternate names and the number of results for both are almost the same. Google Scholar offers more direct comparisons, and "Bath School disaster" has 57 results compared to 9 for "Bath School bombings." However, I still don't think search engine results should determine names.
  2. The provided sources do not support the current title. For example, the Daily Mail doesn't refer to the Bath School, instead going with "Bath Massacre." Similarly, Arnie Bernstein calls his book "Bath Massacre." They talk about the city, not the school. The Virginia Tech shooting and Columbine High School massacre actually took place on those campuses and the Los Angeles Times bombing and Wall Street bombing each refer to one bombing, not a series of geographically dispersed events. Yahoo actually refers to the Bath Disaster.

TLDR: Even the proponents of the name change aren't 100% sold on the current name, meaning we should revert to the historical/FA/GA standard and then discuss. Andrew327 06:55, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

I have looked through the responses above and there is no clear consensus for the article being renamed from its original 'Bath School disaster' to its present 'Bath School bombings', so I agree with User:Andrewman327 that the title should be moved back. However, since I am an involved editor, I cannot move the title/article back to the previous title. I have gone to the IRC-help channel to ask what to do but was unable to get an admin to assist so I am opening up an RFC in the hopes that placing the title issue within a Wikipedia process will get things moving. Shearonink (talk) 15:16, 21 November 2014 (UTC)