Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Worst mass murder" 
I swear, if I ever see another culturally illiterate reporter call the Virginia Tech Shootings "The worst massacre in American history," I'll jump through the monitor and choke him.

There's the 9/11 attacks.
There's the Oklahoma City Bombing.
Someone mentioned the Tulsa race riots on another blog.

It's not even the worst shooting.

There's Wounded Knee.
The Jamestown Massacre killed 322 people.
The Fort Henry Massacre.

Indians from the Red Stick tribe killed and scalped hundreds of people at Fort Mims in Alabama in 1813.

Americans returned the favor by slaughtering hundreds of Indians after the Battle of Bad Axe in the 1830s.

Whites killed killed 200 Indians, including women and children at Bear River, and a few hundred more at Sand Creek.

Actually, here's a whole list of early massacres of hundreds of people in the New World.

King Phillip's War caused the deaths of nearly a fifth of all the European settlers in New England.

The Fort Pillow Massacre in the Civil War.

Andersonville, and other Civil War prisons, depending on how you cut it.

I recognize there's a useful distinction to be made between acts that occur in the midst of war, including wars of annihilation such as the early Indian conflicts, which the Indians did plenty to start.

But I guess you can get through journo school not knowing much history.

Splash, out


Jason, it's not the first "massacre" on the site, either. It was more deadly than its predecessor, though:

BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech Duck Pond is a peaceful place, especially in spring, when students stroll across the bridges or sprawl on the grass to study in the sun. But a half-buried stone marker recalls a day when death issued from the woods:

"The Drapers Meadow Massacre," it reads. "July 8, 1755."

Two hundred fifty years ago, the frontier outpost known as Drapers Meadow ran with blood. As near as anyone can tell, the heart of the settlement was just about here, between the Virginia Tech Drillfield and the Grove, home of the college president. There was no duck pond then - it wasn't built until the 1900s. Instead there was a low-lying meadowland watered by creeks and springs and dotted with cabins.

The attack was a surprise. A band of Shawnee Indians entered the undefended bottomlands, killed at least four people and captured several more.

Ut Prossim
It's not even the worst massacre that took place at a school. The Bath School bombing holds that title.
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