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I Don’t Like Mondays

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On Oprah Winfrey’s 25th birthday, 29 July 1979, a 16-year-old girl named Brenda Ann Spencer shot eight children and three adults at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego. She fired the shots from her house — located just across the street from the school — with a rifle her father had gotten for her for Christmas. (She later claimed to have waned a radio instead and took the gift as a sign she should kill herself).

Remarkably, none of the children at Cleveland were killed, although the school’s principal, Burton Wragg, and the custodian Mike Suchar died trying to protect the kids. Asked to explain her motive after the six-hour seige at her house came to an end, Spencer told police that she didn’t like Mondays. “This livened up the day,” she added.

In October 1979, The Boomtown Rats released “I Don’t Like Mondays,” a song based on Spencer’s unfortunate spree.

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