May 18, 1980: St. Helens Blows Its Top Off | This Day In Tech | Wired.com
- 1980: Washington state's Mount St. Helens volcano explodes in a cataclysm that pulverizes its top 1,300 feet, deforests nearby valleys, sends ash 12 miles into the air and kills 57 people. The picture-perfect snow-capped peak becomes the center of a bleak, gray mudscape.
The volcano, about 55 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon, had lain dormant since 1857. The 9,677-foot peak and the surrounding valleys, lakes and forests were popular destinations for mountain climbers, backpackers, day hikers, boaters, fishermen and those who just wanted to sit back and take in the sylvan splendor.