The Forgotten Children of Bath: Media and Memory of the Bath School Bombing of 1927 (Paperback)
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In 1927, in the small township of Bath, Michigan, trusted community member Andrew Philip Kehoe planted more than 600 pounds of dynamite and other explosives in Bath Consolidated School. The bombings killed 45 people, including 38 children, and injured dozens more. The Bath School disaster remains the deadliest act of school violence in the United States, yet many Americans have never heard of it or of Kehoe. This tragedy, while remembered by Bath residents, has been largely ignored by national media - rarely publicly acknowledged, recognized, or memorialized. The Bath disaster contradicts the misconception that mass murders in schools are a modern phenomenon. In this book, scholar Amie Marsh Jones explores era and subsequent news coverage of the Bath disaster, as well as memory sites, via both historic media and archives, in an effort to understand media's role in collective memory of the Bath tragedy of 1927. The book considers how coverage of this early disaster might fit into the overall press narrative of mass murders in schools. A combination of media behavior, the tendency of traumatic memory to silence survivors, and other events and characteristics of the era ultimately proved potent in creating an enduring atmosphere of obscurity around the disaster. Amie Marsh Jones received her PhD in journalism and mass communication from the University of Georgia in 2019. The dissertation version of this book won the 2020 Margaret A. Blanchard Dissertation Prize, an award given annually by the American Journalism Historians Association for the best doctoral dissertation dealing with mass communication history.