Reference Education Colleges and Universities North America United States Ohio Kent State University May 4, 1970 Shootings
On May 4, 1970, at Kent State University in northeast Ohio, USA, a historic tragedy occurred under the noonday sun. Four students were killed and nine other students were injured during an anti-war confrontation when the Ohio National Guard fired 67 shots into an unarmed crowd of young protesters. Perhaps 1,000 Kent State University anti-war students were protesting the April 30 American military invasion of Cambodia as well as the National Guard invasion of the Kent State campus. The fateful incident was the culmination of four days of Kent State anti-war protests, demonstrations and confrontation. Militant anti-war protests created a situation where Ohio Governor James Rhodes ordered hundreds of Ohio National Guardsmen to the Kent State campus. At noon on May 4, 1970, approximately 75 guardsmen attacked a peaceful demonstation with tear-gas and chased the students over a hilltop. After a tense stand-off, the guardsmen seemed to retreat back up and over the hilltop. However, perhaps a dozen members of Troop G stopped, turned and fired 67 shots from the hilltop at 12:24pm. The closest student was 60 feet away. Most of the victims, including all of the fatalities, were located in the Prentice Hall parking lot at the bottom of the hill. Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder were shot to death by M-1 rifle bullets. Allison and Jeffrey were active protesters. Sandra and William were bystanders killed as they walked away to class. The students were killed at distances of 275 feet to nearly 400 feet away from the shooters who fired high-powered rifles. All of the victims killed and wounded were full-time students at Kent State University. American student demonstrators were also shot down and killed elsewhere before and after "Kent State". However, the May 4, 1970, tragedy was unique: Kent State was the only incident where female students were killed; Kent State was where the most students were killed (four); and the Kent State tragedy triggered the only nation-wide student stike in American history. Nearly 5,000,000 students joined the national student strike in May of 1970. Hundreds of colleges and universities were shut down by the massive wave of protests that were sparked by the Kent State killings and the US invasion of Cambodia. The expansion of the war from Vietnam into Cambodia provoked the Kent State situation. The Kent State tragedy provoked a monumental wave of student protests and crisis across America in May of 1970. The Kent State tragedy was a crucial turning point in American history. President Richard Nixon was pushed nearly to the point of collapse after the Kent State tragedy. Public opinion soon shifted against the US war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. The government brought the war to a speedier conclusion. In response to the passionate cry of youth, the legal American voting-age was lowered from 21 to 18 in the months after the turmoil in May of 1970. Finally, Congress passed the War Powers Act which limits the power of Presidents to declare war without the support of Congress and the American people. The Kent State tragedy of May 4, 1970, remains recognized as one of the most significant and controversial events in modern American history. The official government FBI investigation concluded the shootings were "...unwarranted, unjustified and inexcuseable".
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Al Jazeera English - Programmes - The day the war came home
VIDEO NEWS, May 2010 international TV segment, 22 minutes video, featuring interviews of Kent State 1970 victims & eyewitnesses.
Chronicle of Higher Education Archives - May 4, 1970
"A Week of Tragedy: Disorders Flare, 4 Students Die As U.S. Action in Cambodia Inflames Many Campuses".
Democracy Now! - Four Dead in Ohio: 35th Anniversary of Kent State Shootings
Includes streaming audio and video from film documentary, "Kent State: The Day the War Came Home". 1970 news coverage, interviews with eyewitnesses and participants.
The Digital Journalist - Bitter Passage: Kent State and the Fall of Saigon
Photos, oral histories and video interviews.
Digital Journalist - Howard Ruffner
Howard Ruffner, a KSU student photographer, captured some of the best May 4, 1970, photos. His interview, text and RealAudio, is followed by 10 pages of photographs.
The Digital Journalist - The Picture from Kent State
John Filo was a Kent State University student when he captured the top news photo of 1970: a girl screaming over the dead body of Jeffrey Miller who was killed by the national guard. Filo tells his story online.
FBI Records: The Vault
Links to eight sites which contain the FBI files on the Kent State shooting.
Guide to the Kent State collection: table of contents
Overview of the Kent State collection at Yale
History.com -- Search Results for: kent state 1970 —
Various useful History.com links to relevant Kent State-1970 related issues.
Howard Ruffner - 1970 Kent State student journalist photographs
Approximately 200 uncropped photographs by noted 1970 Kent State University journalism student-photographer. May 1-4, 1970, photos with captions, images before and after tragedy.
Kent May 4 Center
Non-profit educational organization providing detailed information about the events surrounding the Kent State shootings.
Kent State and Jackson State tragedies of 1970.
Kent State and Jackson State 1970 tragedies featured with good brief description and photos. Focus upon victims killed and injured.
Kent State Rifle photo/info: Smithsonian Museum of American History
Actual M-1 rifle used by Ohio National Guard at Kent State University on May 4, 1970: includes photo, dimensions, weight and history.
Kent State shootings developments
This blog, written by William A. Gordon (KSU, 1973), the author of "Four Dead in Ohio," offers commentary on the latest developments in the Kent State shooting case.
The Kent State shootings: annotated bibliography
An annotated bibliography of the May 4, 1970 Kent State killings and its legal aftermath. Adapted with permission from William A. Gordon's book "Four Dead in Ohio."
Kent State Shootings: May 4, 1970
Launched by former student journalists who covered the days events, with links to newspaper articles, FBI documents, photos, cartoons, videos, and other archived resources.
Kent State Student Killings: 1970-1979 legal/courtroom aftermath
A good, concise summary of 1970-1979 legal aftermath following the 1970 Kent State tragedy.
Kent State Tape Is Said to Reveal Orders - New York Times
If confirmed as authentic, the recording could solve the central mystery of the shootings at Kent State University in 1970.
Kent State University, May 4 Collection
The definitive source of information on the shooting of students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970.
Kent State, 1970: Richard Zitrin, journalist, student eyewitness.
Accurate description of 1970 events by a former KSU student who is now a respected journalist.
Lesson Plan: May, 1970: Tragedy at Kent and Jackson State
Students who participate in this activity will become familiar with the issues and events leading up to the Lesson plan for teachers. Skill: High School/College. Time Required: Four to five class periods. Focus: Jackson State and Kent State shootings, as well as gain experience in sifting large amounts of complex and sometimes conflicting information, synthesizing information, and creating arguments for presentation.
May 4 Archive
Text of J. Gregory Payne's MayDay, including chronology, related primary documents, and accounts of the victims with insights from family, friends and personal writings. Panel discussion and author's account of dramatic license vs. historical accuracy in NBC's "Kent State."
Mike and Kendra's May 4, 1970 Web Site
Contains history of events at Kent State in May of 1970, a resource page, and links to related web sites.
New York Times newspaper articles re: Cambodia, Kent State, May of 1970.
Various 1970 New York Times newspaper articles describe the national crisis after the US invasion of Cambodia, the Kent State tragedy and the national reaction.
Site of Kent State shootings joins National Register of Historic Places | The Columbus Dispatch
On February 22, 2010, US Government approves site of May 4, 1970, Kent State tragedy to National Register of Historic Places. Article online by Columbus Dispatch - Columbus, Ohio's Daily Newspaper.
TIME Magazine: At War with War
An article concerning the Kent State tragedy of May 4, 1970, and the national crisis after the U.S. military invasion of Cambodia from Vietnam.
Tom Grace, Kent State casualty/eyewitness, May 4, 1970
Excerpts from the book From Camelot to Kent State featuring observations of student Tom Grace who was shot through his left foot.
USA TODAY 2010 : May 4, 1970 Kent State shootings are an enduring history lesson .
Forty years after Guardsmen fired into a crowd killing four people, 1970 tragedy is studied at Kent State.
WKSU News Feature: Remembering Kent State, 1970 (RealAudio)
"...focuses on the sounds of May 4th. Eyewitness accounts combined with historic audio take the listener directly to the scene...Eyewitnesses tell the story."
WKSU News: Newly-Enhanced Audio Tape May Reveal Order to Fire on Kent State Students
2007 news may prove 1970 Ohio National Guard verbal command to shoot unarmed Kent State students. Includes audio of newly-revealed evidence.
YouTube - Kent State shootings
Kent State 1970 video documentary by a young student participating in National History Day with focus upon tragedy and impact.
YouTube - May 4, 1970 : images and taped commands to shoot, Kent State in 1970
Artistic watercolor images portray 13 seconds, May 4, 1970, including taped sounds of commands to shoot unarmed Kent State University students.
YouTube - The Kent State Massacre song by Ryan Harvey of riotfolk.org
This folk song, based upon a Woody Guthrie tune about the Ludlow Massacre, features accurate lyrics matched with 1970 Kent State photographs.
“This Is Not What It Sounds Like On TV:” Carol Mirman on the 1970 Kent State Shootings
An eyewitness describes her experience at Kent State in 1970. Text and audio.
New analysis of 40-year-old recording of Kent State shootings reveals that Ohio Guard was given an order to prepare to fire.
Article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, May 9, 2010. (May 09, 2010)
Yale Daily News - Library’s recording may clarify Kent State killings
An audiocassette that has sat in a Yale library for nearly two decades may hold the evidence explaining why Ohio National Guard troops shot into a crowd of war protesters at Kent State University in 1970. (May 03, 2007)
My son was killed 30 years ago at Kent State, by Elaine Holstein
From Progressive Magazine, 2000, the mother of Jeffrey Miller describes her view of the life and death of her son at Kent State in 1970. (April 27, 2000)
New York Times - 4 Kent State Students Killed by Troops
Article and copy of NYT front page, May 5, 1970. (May 04, 1970)
Last update:July 1, 2016 at 14:45:09 UTC