With all the grisly news coming out about the mass shooting of school children in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, I was surprised to learn that this gruesome event was not the worst killing of school children in U.S. history.
That dubious distinction goes to Bath Township, Michigan, where on the morning of May 18, 1927, 55-year-old Andrew Keyhoe, the treasurer of the local school board, killed 38 school children, two teachers, four other adults, and himself. He wounded at least 58 other people.
Some time between May 16 and the morning of May 18, Kehoe murdered his wife by beating her to death. On the morning of May 18 about 8:45, Kehoe exploded incendiary devices in his farm buildings and house, setting them on fire.
Almost simultaneously, an explosion devastated the north wing of the school building, killing many schoolchildren between the ages of 7 and 14. Kehoe had used a timed detonator to ignite dynamite and hundreds of pounds of pyrotol, which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months prior to the event.
As rescuers arrived at the scene, Kehoe himself showed up, driving a truck filled with shrapnel. He parked near the school and then used his Winchester rifle to ignite the explosives in his truck, killing himself, the school superintendent, and several by-standers.
Several years earlier, Keyhoe had become vehemently opposed to the construction of the consolidated school building because the project raised property taxes. After the tax increases he fell behind in his mortgage payments, and was facing foreclosure on his farm when he blew up the school.
The astrological chart for the 1927 school massacre is dramatic, to say the least, with Mars rising at the time of the explosion and Uranus at the Jupiter/Hades midpoint. It’s also noteworthy that Uranus was in the early degrees of Aries at the time, just as it is today, but it was still a few years away from forming the first of a series of five waning squares with Pluto, which took place between 1932 and 1934.