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Video: 'A' Mountain was dynamited ... twice?

Watch to learn the explosive history behind the "A" atop Hayden Butte

"A" Mountain on Hayden Butte on Monday, March 25, 2024, in Tempe.

In 1952, "A" Mountain, the symbol of Sun Devil pride on the southern-facing side of Hayden Butte, was dynamited by vandals who remain uncaught to this day. The attack fueled school rivalries, heightening tensions between ASU and UA. ASU provided limited information about the explosive incident on its website, but we wanted to know more. 

In this video, through unexpected twists and turns, we unravel the history of the attack, diving into historical records and meeting with experts to figure out precisely what happened on that September morning in 1952. However, a collection of newspaper documents led to a shocking discovery: The "A" has been a target of more than one attack.


Illustrations for this video were designed by Morgan Kubasko

Drone footage by Calvin Stewart

Extra videography by Ellie Willard

Additional archival photo and video elements were provided courtesy of University Archives, ASU Library; Deborah Spotts; and Jared Smith

Edited by Alexandra Zurborg, Morgan Kubasko, Walker Smith and Alexis Heichman

Kaden RybackBusiness and Tech Reporter

Kaden is a reporter for the Biztech desk, focusing on student run business, people profiles and research papers. During his time at The State Press, Kaden's biggest piece was about ASU's history with NASA. He's a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication.

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