Kent state shootings
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Kent State Shootings. Background: Kent State. Public University Established in 1910 Located in Kent Ohio One of the larger Universities in Ohio. Background: Protests. Background: Protests. In 1968, President Nixon promised the nation that he would begin winding down the Vietnam War

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Kent State Shootings

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Kent state shootings

Kent State Shootings


Background kent state

Background: Kent State

  • Public University

  • Established in 1910

  • Located in Kent Ohio

  • One of the larger Universities in Ohio


Background protests

Background: Protests


Background protests1

Background: Protests

  • In 1968, President Nixon promised the nation that he would begin winding down the Vietnam War

  • “Peace with honor”


Background protests2

Background: Protests

  • Initially kept his word

  • But, in April it was announced on live television that the United States would be invading Cambodia

  • Caused public outcry across the nation


May 1 st friday

May 1st (Friday)

  • Students at Kent State held a peaceful anti-war protest

  • Planned another protest for Monday the 4th

  • Later that day students out at the local bars restarted the protest on the Kent city streets.


May 1 st friday1

May 1st (Friday)

  • In response, the mayor of Kent (LeRoySatrom) called in all available police to contain the demonstrators

  • Also closed the bars, causing more people to join the protests

  • As time went on the protest increasingly more violent; bonfires, blocked traffic, and throwing rocks and bottles

  • Police eventually used teargas to push the protesters back to the Campus


May 2 nd saturday

May 2nd (Saturday)

  • Kent Mayor meets with advisors and National Guard representatives

  • On Campus, the ROTC building was set on fire and burned to the ground

  • Decision was made to ask Governor Rhodes for National Guard assistance

  • Fearful of rumors that revolutionaries were in the crowds


May 3 rd sunday

May 3rd (Sunday)

  • By Sunday morning over 1000 Guardsmen were on the campus

  • Beautiful and warm day, students chatting with the Guardsmen


May 3 rd sunday1

May 3rd (Sunday)

  • Ohio Governor James Rhodes flew into Kent State to see the situation

  • Made several inflammatory statements

  • Called the protestors: “the worst kind of people in America”

  • Decision was made to ban Monday’s rally


May 4 th monday

May 4th (Monday)

  • University distributed leaflets informing students that the protest had been banned

  • Rally was held anyway, but now against the National Guard presence on the campus

  • University and National Guard leaders got on bullhorns and ordered students to disperse


May 4 th monday1

May 4th (Monday)

  • Guardsmen were ordered to lock and load their weapons

  • Began to march across the commons, intending to push the students back

  • Inadvertently got separated and trapped in a sea of students/protestors


May 4 th monday2

May 4th (Monday)

  • 28 Guardsmen suddenly opened fire

  • Most fired into the air, but some fired into the crowd

  • 4 students were killed, 9 wounded


May 4 th monday3

May 4th (Monday)


Reaction to the shooting

Reaction to the shooting

  • Nation was sent into an uproar

  • Kent State was closed for the semester

  • Hundreds of other colleges around the country were closed

  • Nixon (and many in the nation) blamed the protestors

  • Guardsmen claimed they were acting in self defense, later proven by the FBI to be false

  • A week later 100,000 people gathered in Washington D.C. to protest the invasion of Cambodia

  • When he heard of the tragedy Neil Young wrote the song “Ohio”


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