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Kent State Massacre

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Taylor Whittenton

on 2 April 2014

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Transcript of Kent State Massacre

May 4th, 1970
Day of the Massacre
The beginning
May 4th - The previuosly planned protest occurs.
University officials attempted to ban the gathering, handing out 12,000 leaflets stating that the event was canceled. Despite these efforts an estimated 2,000 people gathered on the university's Commons, near Taylor Hall
When it became clear that the crowd was not going to disperse, a group of 77 National Guard troops from A Company and Troop G, with bayonets fixed on their M1 Garand rifles, began to advance upon the hundreds of protesters.
The guardsmen pursued the protesters over the hill
At one point, some of the guardsmen knelt and aimed their weapons toward the parking lot
Some of the students on the Taylor Hall veranda began to move slowly toward the soldiers as they passed over the top of the hill and headed back down into the Commons.
At 12:24 pm, according to eyewitnesses, a Sgt. Myron Pryor turned and began firing at the students with his .45 pistol.[26] A number of guardsmen nearest the students also turned and fired their M1 Garand rifles at the students. In all, 29 of the 77 guardsmen claimed to have fired their weapons, using a final total of 67 rounds of ammunition.
April 30th - President Nixon announced to the nation that the "Cambodian Incursion" had been launched by United States combat forces.
May 1st - Trouble exploded in town around midnight when people left a bar
Kent Mayor LeRoy Satrom declared a state of emergency, called Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes' office to seek assistance, and ordered all of the bars closed. Police eventually succeeded in using tear gas to disperse the crowd from downtown, forcing them to move several blocks back to the campus.
At Kent State University a demonstration with about 500 students was held on the Commons. As the crowd dispersed to attend classes by 1 pm, another rally was planned for May 4 to continue the protest of the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia
May 2nd - City officials and downtown businesses received threats.
Mayor Satrom met with Kent city officials and a representative of the Ohio Army National Guard. Following the meeting Satrom made the decision to call Governor Rhodes and request that the National Guard be sent to Kent, a request that was granted.
May 3rd - During a press conference at the Kent firehouse, Governor Rhodes called the student protesters un-American
Rhodes also claimed he would obtain a court order declaring a state of emergency that would ban further demonstrations, but never enforced
Around 8:00 pm, another rally was held on the campus Commons. By 8:45 pm the Guardsmen used tear gas to disperse the crowd, and the students reassembled at the intersection of Lincoln and Main Streets, a curfew was enforced and they were forced back to their dorms

Fridat, May 4, 1970
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Background
4 Dead at Kent State University
After the shooting
Richard Nixon had been elected President of the United States in 1968, promising to end the Vietnam War. In November 1969, the My Lai Massacre by American troops of between 347 and 504 civilians in a Vietnamese village was exposed, leading to increased public opposition in the United States to the war. The nature of the draft also changed in December 1969, with the first draft lottery since World War II. This eliminated deferments allowed in the prior draft process, affecting many college students and teachers.
The war had appeared to be winding down throughout 1969, so the new invasion of Cambodia angered those who believed it only exacerbated the conflict. Across the country, campuses erupted in protests in what Time called "a nation-wide student strike", setting the stage for the events of early May 1970.
4 students killed, nine wounded, of those killed 2 were part of the protest and 2 were just walking to class
Of those wounded, none were closer than 71 feet (22 m) to the guardsmen. Of those killed, the nearest (Miller) was 225 feet (69 m) away, and their average distance from the guardsmen was 345 feet (105 m).
Immediately after the shootings, many angry students were ready to launch an all-out attack on the National Guard. Many faculty members, led by geology professor and faculty marshal Glenn Frank, pleaded with the students to leave the Commons and to not give in to violent escalation:
Kent State Massacre
Taylor Whittenton
Thursday April 30th- Monday, May 3rd
Full transcript