Kent State – May 4th 1970

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While collecting some articles etc. on the Kent State University killings, 40 years ago 4 May 1970, I came across a link of live streaming broadcast of the Kent State Truth Tribunal that will be taking place today and tomorrow and decided to pass these on today rather then waiting till tomorrow. That link can be found at the bottom, it’s to Michael Moore’s site with a link to a facebook page with videos of Saturdays and Sundays tributes.

I won’t add much in commentary, the reports give all one needs, the CBS report from last night sheds light on a possible investigation opening up into the shootings, and there are many others being posted up and will be tomorrow on the Anniversary. But will say that on May 4th 1970 I was only a few weeks into my tour in country Vietnam of my last year in the U.S. Navy and having served all on shore duty.

Kent State Tape Due for High-Tech Analysis

40 Years Later, Investigators Hope to Learn If There Was an Order to Open Fire on Campus Protesters Report Continues

The Kent State Shootings: A Chronology

Kent State Mystery Continues

Sun May 02 15:46:11 PDT 2010

The deadly National Guard shooting of four Kent State students 40 years ago sparked chaos on campuses nationwide. As Russ Mitchell reports, some unanswered questions remain.

Neil Young “Ohio” Live At Massey Hall 1971

Shots Still Reverberate For Survivors Of Kent State

by Noah Adams

Mary Ann Vecchio screams as she kneels over the body of Jeffrey Miller after he was shot during an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University in Ohio on May 4, 1970. Four students were killed when Ohio National Guard troops fired at some 600 anti-war demonstrators. This photo, taken by John Filo, won the Pulitzer Prize.

Out in the world, when people talk about the shootings at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, they call it “Kent State.” But in the small town of Kent, 35 miles south of Cleveland, and on the university campus, they call it “May 4th.”

It was 40 years ago Tuesday that the shootings – which killed four people and wounded nine others – stunned the nation. Even at the height of the Vietnam War protests, no one imagined that government soldiers would fire real bullets at unarmed college students.

“I saw the smoke come out of the weapons, and light is faster than sound, and so I knew immediately [they] were not firing blanks. So it was almost instinctive to dive for cover,” remembers Jerry Lewis, who was 33 and teaching sociology at Kent State in 1970. Rest of Report

Kent State, May 4, 1970: A Retrospective

On May 4, 1970, unarmed college students were shot by members of the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University. This slideshow takes a look back at the events of the day.

Special graduations set 40 years after Kent State

Forty years later, Gary Lownsdale is still haunted by what he felt and what he saw in the last days of his senior year.

Shock and outrage over the May 4 National Guard slayings of four Kent State University students, on the other end of Ohio from his University of Cincinnati campus. Then fear and confusion as schools across the state and much of the country saw the demonstrations against the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia swell into angry, combative confrontations.

One by one, colleges closed and students were ordered to pack up and leave, some amid the acrid smell of tear gas as police and armed soldiers stood guard. TV helicopters buzzed overhead. Rumors and reports were rampant, of undercover FBI agents infiltrating students, or violent radicals converging to escalate the protests. Article Continues

Gunshots at Kent State ricochet across the decades

You might remember the photograph: a long-haired girl kneeling over the lifeless body of a young man on the campus of Kent State University, her arms outstretched, her face looking up and screaming to the world. The picture was taken just after noon on May 4, 1970, after Ohio National Guardsmen fired on a student protest, killing four.

It was an image that would mark my generation. It came to symbolize the deep and sometimes ugly chasm in America during the Vietnam War, and for one side of the divide, it came to symbolize all that was wrong with the country. Kent State was the rallying cry. Neil Young could have written the caption for that picture – “This summer I hear the drumming/Four dead in Ohio” – when he penned the words to Ohio just weeks later.

Kent State and Vietnam, Nixon and Agnew. And Trudeau. Thanks to him, Americans of draft age had another option besides going to war or going to jail.

Things would be different. We’d remake the world, we said. We’d end that war and all wars.

Of course, the revolution was never televised. Editorial Continues

What I lost at Kent State

Elaine Holstein is a retired school secretary and social worker

On Tuesday, it will be 40 years since my son Jeff was shot and killed on the campus of his college. He and three of his classmates were murdered by the National Guard at an antiwar demonstration at Kent State.

During a 13-second fusillade of rifle fire, Jeff, Allison Krause, Sandy Scheuer, and Bill Schroeder were killed and nine of their fellow students were wounded.

The students who had gathered that day – all unarmed – held a large range of opinions about the seemingly endless war in Vietnam.

Some, including Jeff, objected intensely to the increasing escalation of a war that had begun when they were barely in their teens. In fact, Jeff had written a poem about the war titled “Where Does It End?” in February 1966, shortly before he turned 16.

Others in the crowd had mixed feelings. Some were just onlookers. Some, like Sandy, were on their way to their next class.

And so, May 4, 1970, became one of the blackest days in the history of our country. Article Continues

Families still search for answers in Kent State tragedy

Laurel Krause looks back on that last weekend with her big sister as a treasure.

It was April 1970 and 15-year-old Laurel Krause took a train from Pittsburgh to Ohio to visit her sister, Allison, at Kent State University.

They celebrated Allison’s 19th birthday on April 23 and had put away their childish sibling rivalry.

“It was the first time I was free with my big sister, and I was so happy,” said Laurel Krause, 55, who now lives in northern California. “I remember being there at Kent with her and realizing we’re going to have a great relationship from here on in because we’re going to grow up and get along and like each other.”

Less than two weeks later, on May 4, 1970, Allison Krause and three other students were fatally shot by National Guardsmen called in to quell anti-war protests. Article Continues

For more information on the activities to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Kent State shootings visit the university’s website

Witness testimony, which began Saturday and ends Tuesday, will be streamed live at filmmaker Michael Moore’s website. Michaels site gives you a link where you can view video’s from Saturday and Sunday as well as a link for the  Kent State Truth Tribunal  Livecast Monday & Tuesday 10am to 7pm, in case you might want to tune in live.

In a few on the clips above you will hear a statement by a politician of a certain political party at the time the words spoken could be cut from that and used today, and they are, as well as for the past ten years, especially as to the huge pro peace marches of DC and around the country. Funny how those using those words, still, are supporters of a minority group of citizens who not only get major press coverage but words of the complete opposite and are considered mad at government patriots. Not only coverage but are given free advertising for their rallies in supposed news reports of a supposed cable news? network and are gathering funding from corporations and so called political think tanks and individuals as well as support of politicians and so called major leaders? wrapped in an ideology of talking points with no idea’s!


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  1. The Hard Hat Riot occurred.

     At 7:30 a.m. on May 8, several hundred anti-war protesters (most of them high school and college students) began holding a memorial at Broad and Wall Streets for the four dead students at Kent State….

     At five minutes to noon, about 200 construction workers converged on the student rally at Federal Hall from four directions. Nearly all the construction workers carried American flags and signs that read “All the way, USA,” and “America, Love it or Leave it.”…

      After two minutes, however, the workers broke through the police line and began chasing students through the streets. The workers chose those with the longest hair and swatted them with their hard hats.[5]  Attorneys, bankers and investment analysts from nearby Wall Street investment firms tried to protect many of the students but were themselves attacked. Onlookers reported that the police stood by and did nothing…

     Rioting construction workers also attacked buildings near City Hall. They ripped the Red Cross  and Episcopal Church flags down from a flag pole at nearby Trinity Church. One group invaded a nearby Pace University building, smashing lobby windows with clubs and crowbars and beating up students.


  2. for this.

    unfortunately, i can’t stomach reading it right now.

    i am glad the ‘investigation’ is at least moving forward.

    i have tried for all of these 40 years to teach my students to both learn to think and inform themselves.  

    the same percentage who were awake 40 years ago are awake today.

    this is true for every important issue.

    we have made so little progress that we cannot stem the tide.

    there are millions of us who know the score, but millions are not enough.

    not in a nation of 330 million.

    even ten million are not enough and i fully believe there are at least 10 million of us who get it all.

  3. This is my diary at Firefly. I was thinking of cross-posting it here but jimstaro already has it all. But still a few on my thoughts for today where I stay away from any present day investigations…

    In consideration of today’s date, the fortieth anniversary of what real terrorism sounds like, thirteen seconds of American government gunfire aimed at American college students, a memorial for Four Dead in Ohio. Contemplating to what length a government will go to stay at war the first song came from two members of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Three years prior to the Kent State massacre “For What It’s Worth” was in the Top Ten.    

    On May 4, 1970 both students and facility went to school under a very tense situation. While it was certainly not the first time the American government had executed citizens for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and assembly, at the time it seemed like those day were long past in the land of the free. Many went to school that day worried about the possibility of injury from an Ohio National Guard’s rifle butt or perhaps being impaled by an M-1 bayonet. Nobody expected live ammo or 67 bullets being fired at young Americans from young Americans. During those 13 seconds of terror as those National Guardsman fired their M-1’s into a crowd of students four students died and nine others were wounded.

    Nineteen year old Allison B. Krause was about 343 feet from the National Guard. The honors student’s father had been a Holocaust survivor from Germany. Later that day a chest wound she received during those thirteen seconds of terror ended the life of Allison B. Krause. According to reports after the massacre another nineteen year old William Knox Schroeder had nothing to do with the student demonstrations and was just walking from one class to another when one of his fellow Americans picked him off from 382 feet. William Knox Schroeder died almost an hour later in hospital while waiting for surgery. The picture of Jeffrey Miller’s dead body became the photo that represented the horror for many Americans. Jeffrey Miller was killed instantly after a bullet entered through his opened mouth and blew out the back of his scull. Sandra Lee Scheuer was also an honor student and also took no part in the demonstration against the war. While walking from one class to another the fatal neck wound bullet traveled 390 feet. Sandra Lee Scheuer died a few minutes later from loss of blood.  

    Forty years later I read these memories. They seem to be the words of Mary Ann Vecchio, the fifteen year old runaway in that infamous photo.

    I don’t blame the individual Guardsmen who fired those rounds on their M-1 rifles that day. They were young, frightened, poorly trained, and exhausted. They had been redeployed to the campus directly from Cleveland, where they had spent the previous days trying to restore order during a tense and bloody Teamster’s Strike. Their nerves were jangled and what they needed more than anything else was sleep. They were put into an impossible situation by their superiors, including a strategically impossible situation at the bottom of a hill on the Kent State campus, from which any retreat looked like . . . well, a retreat.

    But I do blame the officer(s) who gave the order to shoot, and who put bullets in those guns.

    And I blame Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes for ordering the National Guard to the Kent State campus and then enflaming an already volatile situation by publicly calling the protesters “un-American.” At a news conference on May 3, Governor Rhodes declared that the protestors were bent on destroying higher education in Ohio. “They’re worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes,” he said. “They’re the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we’re up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America.”

    At the time of these incendiary-and patently absurd-pronouncements, Rhodes was running for the U.S. Senate in Ohio. He had decided that his best prospect for winning the Republican primary on May 6, 1970, was to take a hard line on the anti-war movement. Had there been no pending election, Governor Rhodes might have responded to the disorders at Kent State with good sense rather than inflammatory denunciations.

    Yesterday on the radio I heard that there is an ongoing argument, that some people feel the Kent State massacre does not need to be in American history textbooks.  If there is any song that should be listened to on this day by every American, it is this one;  

    Yesterday NPR posted a disturbing audio slide show that captures voices from then and now. Listen to it and look at those photos. The student that was indited after he was shot at and then the words “…shot at and killed in broad daylight by an unrepentant state government with encouragement and support of the federal government.”  

    Also on NPR, yesterday’s Morning Edition looked back and  Dean Kahler, who was paralyzed during the shooting and has spent the past forty years in a wheelchair. He recalled what was written on the first card he opened in his hospital room after being shot.

    “The first card that I opened up in the intensive care unit was a very nice-looking card,” recalls Dean Kahler, who was paralyzed during the shooting. “But the note in it said, ‘Dear communist hippie radical, I hope by the time you read this, you are dead.’ “

    What did we learn from that tragic day? I have some really bad ideas about what presidents learned from Four Dead in Ohio.  

  4. Beallsville Ohio, pop 475.

    Beallsville had lost five sons to the Vietnam War, the highest per capita rate of KIA in the US, by the time of the Kent State killings. These working class boys didn’t go to college, they were drafted.

    I went to Beallsville a little more than a month after the town had buried its fifth son, Naval Corpsman Robert Lucas, in a plot of ground overlooking the high school where he and four other boys had been schoolmates. Three of them now lie with him in the same graveyard and another is buried a few miles away.

    Beallsville, on the fringes of Appalachia, is a sleepy southeastern Ohio town, made up of a general store, churches, a post office, farms, frame houses and a cemetery. Intersected by three state highways, it is located 12 miles up a winding road from the Ohio River. The road is State Highway 556, but in Beallsville it is known as Rural Route3.

    Viet-Nam has taken a toll from Beallsville that is 75 times the national average. (“They won’t be getting many more of our boys,” said Mayor Gramlich. “They drafted the last one of draft age this month.”) The war has come home to Beallsville with unique severity, and America’s confusions and contradictions about it are sharpened there: the acute conciousness of the waste, against the ingrained heartland patriotism; deep resentment over the lost sons, against the need to be proud of their sacrifice.

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