If a screenwriter had written a character like Harry Truman into the script of a volcano movie, it would have been scorned as a contrived and low-budget idea. But there he was, in the flesh, as chiseled as the bark of an old-growth fir, liquored up by his whiskey-and-Cokes, and defiant right to the day he was entombed by the guts of the mountain whose shadow he refused to leave.
These are the 57 people who lost their lives in the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
The May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens was more than just a major news story for the staff of The Columbian. It carried a painful personal toll. Fay Blackburn lost her husband, and The Columbian lost one of its own.