May 4th 1970

  April 30, 1970 President Nixon announces the invasion of Cambodia.  Students feel Nixon is breaking his promise to end the Viet Nam war.

May 1, 1970 In protest, students of Kent State University symbolically bury a copy of the US Constitution saying Nixon has murdered it.  They call for another rally on May 4th.  Also May 1, members of Black United Students rally to discuss harsh treatment elsewhere and warn black students to avoid campus gatherings over the weekend.

May 2nd, 1970  Ohio National Guard troops, requested by the mayor of Kent, enter campus with city firefighters who were called to put out a fire in the ROTC building.

May 3rd, 1970 Ohio Governor, James Rhodes labels demonstrators as worse than Nazis and vows to eradicate the problem.  10pm Guardsmen disperse a sit in at Lincoln and Main with tear gas and bayonettes.

11:45 May 4th, 1970 Guardsmen prepare to disperse the noon rally on the Commons.  They are ordered to load their M1 rifles.

Guardsmen line up 50 feet away from the ralley at the Victory Bell on the commons.

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12:05pm The Guard issues an order to disperse, fires tear gas, then advances on the rally.  Members of G troup and Company A advance past Taylor Hall to the practice field.  Troops aim at vocal demonstrators in the Prentice Hall parking lot.  Marching back up Blanket Hill, members of Troop G cluster and look toward the Prentice Hall parking lot. 

During 13 seconds, 28 of the 76 Guardsmen on the hill fire 67 shots.  Students are running away and dive for cover, some unsuccesfully.  Nine Kent State students are wounded and four are killed.

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Here lies Jeffery Miller.  His wound is fatal.


In no particular order liesAllison Krause, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder.

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I visited the memorial today – 40 years later.  One of the plaques  states that students would have had to have the arm of Micky Mantle to even come close to the guards with rocks.  Visiting this memorial today, I was overwhelmed with anger…I was shocked to find out what really happened and sickened by the thought of the murder of 4 college students taken out by lethal force for exercising their First Amendment right.


3 thoughts on “May 4th 1970

  1. completely senseless and sad. 


  2. I did not realize it had been immortalized except in song.  Powerful stuff.


  3. Tin soldiers and Nixon comingWe’re finally on our ownThis summer I hear the drummingFour dead in Ohio Gotta get down to itSoldiers cuttings us down Should have been done long ago Would if you knew her and found her dead on the ground How can you run when you know?Neil YoungAbsolutely senseless!  Such an incredible overreaction.  Those kids were just protesting a bad, bad war.  They shouldn’t have been killed for that.


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