Kent State Shootings

The Kent State University shooting of unarmed students resulted in four killed (2 men and 2 women) and nine wounded in the city of Kent, Ohio when members of the Ohio National Guard broke up an unauthorized rally on the campus on Monday May 4, 1970. The Guardsman fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds.

News reports said that the Guardsmen had dispersed the rally with tear gas, but were being harassed by the demonstrators. Witnesses said the shootings came after the Guardsmen has dispersed a crowd of 400 to 500 students. They said the students had thrown rocks at the troops and hurled back tear gar canisters. “The crowd was harassing them, and they turned and opened fire” said a student photographer who witnessed the event from a rooftop.

The demonstrations started on Friday May 1, 1970 in the wake of President Nixon’s address to the nation sending U. S. troops into Cambodia. On Saturday night , about a 1,000 students demonstrated on the campus and some of them set fire to the ROTC building. That was when the National Guard, which had been on standby, was ordered to the campus.

While this was going on, 20,000 to 30,000 American troops and an equal number of South Vietnamese troops swept into Cambodia against heavy ground fire while sweeping up enemy bases and seizing tons of munitions and supplies. At the same time, the U. S. Navy planned an assault up the Mekong River to help open up an 80 mile stretch of water to the Cambodian capital. Sources said there will be 40 U. S. boat and 60 South Vietnamese craft.

By Thursday May 7, 1970, more than 80 colleges had been closed across the nation and most were peaceful. Friday brought a movement of thousands of anti-war protestors heading to Washington D. C. for a hurriedly called demonstration. Saturday May 9, 1970 seen a mostly peacefully demonstration by 60,000 protestors.

The demonstration in Washington marked the end of the violent protests across the country and the nation moved on.