UPDATE: The front page after Friday's school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, has been added to this compendium of Tampa Bay Times front pages after mass shootings.
The original story is below:
If journalism is the first rough draft of history then newspaper pages are history.
Think of famous newspaper pages such as the New York Times after the Titanic sank in 1912 (you can still buy a replica) or any newspaper after the moon landing or 9/11. They are historical artifacts, physical and visual reminders of what just happened.
In the past two decades, newspaper pages have marked a grim chapter in modern U.S. history: Mass shootings. The history of attacks like the Parkland school shooting that killed 17 people on Feb. 14 has been oft-told on the front pages of newspapers.
The front page of the Tampa Bay Times the day after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School seems familiar, doesn't it? Like we've all seen and been through this before.
And we have. Many, many times. Think of the front page after the 2016 attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 49. That was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history for about 15 months —until the 2017 Las Vegas massacre that killed 58 people.
But do you recall the Sutherland Springs shooting that took place just a few weeks later, the one that saw 26 die in a Texas church in 2017?
Do you remember how many mass shootings there were in 2015 before the San Bernardino terrorist attack? Or that Fort Hood in Texas was the target of not just one mass shooting but two such incidents in four years?
So, to mark these events, to remind ourselves of what has happened so often in the past and what will undoubtedly happen again, we've assembled a collection of the front pages of the Tampa Bay Times (and the St. Petersburg Times) to mark the deadliest and most notable mass shootings of the past two decades.
This was compiled from lists assembled by the Tampa Bay Times and Associated Press, CNN and the New York Times. It is meant to be comprehensive but not meant to be complete. Any omissions are unintentional and no disrespect is meant. Older front pages are also harder to come by in the archives, but we will update this as we find new pages.
The Tampa Bay Times is also dedicated to covering local news, so unfortunately some incidents may not have made the front page due to the local news happening in the Tampa Bay area on that particular day.
Let's start where it all seemed to start: the 1966 University of Texas clock tower shooting, where 14 people died in what is believed to be the first mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
1999: The attack on Columbine High School in Colorado inaugurates a new era in mass shootings, and foreshadows the targeting of schools and children.
Times senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Jamal Thalji at [email protected]