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Monday, May 18, 2020

Editor’s Note: This story originally ran on the front page of the May 19, 1980, Lewiston Tribune.

VANCOUVER. Wash. — Mount St. Helens blew its top Sunday in the volcano’s most spectacular eruption yet, flooding a river, killing at least eight persons and turning day into night as a thick black ash cloud moved across Washington and northern Idaho.

Editor’s Note: This story originally ran May 21, 1980, in the Idahonian, now the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

The smaller inhabitants of the earth, especially those living in the Pacific Northwest, have been having their own problems coping with the worrisome volcanic ash that has fallen on Latah County the past few days.

Editor’s Note: Kenton Bird, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of Idaho, was acting managing editor of the Idahonian (now the Moscow-Pullman Daily News) in May 1980. In this column, originally published on May 28, 1980, he recounts how the newspaper’s staff responded to the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

For almost everyone else, it was a nightmare that wouldn’t end: blowing clouds of choking dust, health worries, disrupted jobs and personal lives.

But for journalists, it was the stuff that dreams are made of: a breaking news story of profound consequences, with dozens of angles to be covered and the challenge to produce it under deadline pressure.

    Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the May 25, 1980, edition of the Lewiston Tribune.

    HARRY TRUMAN’S LAST WISH was for friends to pick him up some petunias to plant around his lodge. Truman, who refused to leave the slopes of rumbling Mount St. Helens, was determined to continue the gardening work of his late wife, Eddie, friends say.

    Editor’s Note: This piece by the Lewiston Tribune’s longtime editorial page editor originally ran May 18, 1981, marking in humor the one-year anniversary of the eruption.

    I’m really worried. The Northwest may have survived the volcanic ashfall from Mount St. Helens with courage and aplomb. But will we ever dig out from under all these special newspaper editions commemorating the first anniversary of the eruption?

    Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the May 18, 1990, edition of the Lewiston Tribune, marking the 10-year anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

    By the time volcanic ash began to fall and darkness shrouded eastern Washington and northern Idaho, Harry Truman, the stubborn old man who lived at the base of Mount St. Helens and called himself “part of the mountain,” was dead.