Sunday, May 4, 2003

Ohio Moments

National Guard kills Kent State protesters

On May 4, 1970, four Kent State University students were killed after members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a group of war protesters and bystanders.

On April 30, President Richard Nixon announced on television that U.S. troops were invading Cambodia, neighbor to Vietnam. Protests sprang up on college campuses across the country. A demonstration was conducted at Kent State on Friday, May 1.

Students spread the word that a rally would be held on May 4. But that night, a crowd of angry students went through the town breaking windows. The mayor declared a state of emergency and called Gov. James A. Rhodes for help. He sent the National Guard.

On Monday, May 4, some 2,000 students showed up for the rally, which had been banned. They threw rocks at guardsmen who ordered them to disperse. Tear gas was thrown at demonstrators, who hurled canisters back toward the guardsmen. The crowd refused to disperse and 28 guardsmen fired between 61 and 67 shots in 13 seconds toward the students. Four died and nine were injured.

- Rebecca Goodman

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