On the evening of May 2nd, 1970, students at Kent State University set afire the Army Reserve Officer Training Corp building on campus in response to the invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. One thousand persons surrounded the barracks, and by midnight the National Guard cleared the area, forcing student and other protestors into dormitories.
While the previous day saw unrest in the town of Kent, the following days were to become some of the most tragic ones in the history of higher education. As tension escalated and demonstrators reassembled in defiance of the ban on rallying, national guardsman used tear gas and began firing, killing four students and wounding another nine. President Nixon ordered Kent State University to close and normal campus activities did not resume until the summer. Universities around the nation protested the Kent State shootings. Just ten days later, two students were killed and twelve wounded at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. Cases went to trial, but led to acquittal. The Justice Department determined as late as 2012 that they could not re-open the Kent State investigation, despite belief that the guards were ordered to fire.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers
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- Kent State University Demonstrators Set Army R.O.T.C. Center Afire. (1970, May 03). Chicago Tribune (1963-Current)
- Cooper, R. T., & Nelson, J. (1970, May 10). How Could It Happen at Peaceful Kent State? Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Lawrence, D. (1970, May 20). Kent State Prelims. The Austin Statesman (1921-1973)
- MacKenzie, J.P. (1974, Nov 09). Judge Acquits 8 in Killings at Kent State. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- Alter Kent State, 'Many Tomorrows'. (1975, May 04). Newsday (1940-1990)
- Lally, C. (1980, May 04). Kent State Remembers Four Slain by Guardsmen. The Hartford Courant (1923-1993)
- Kent State Marks Death of 4 at 1970 Protest. (1980, May 05). The Sun (1837-1993)
- Page, T. (1989, Mar 15). Kent State: The Mourning After. Newsday (1940-1990)
- Fireman, K. (1990, May 03). Kent State, 20 Years After. Newsday (1940-1990)
- Walsh, E. (1995, May 05). At Kent State, Remembering 13 Seconds After 25 Years. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- Chronology of Events, May 1 - 4, 1970. Special Collections and Archives, Kent State University.
- Clardy, Brian K. The Management of Dissent: Responses to the Post Kent State Protests at Seven Public Universities in Illinois. Latham, MD: Oxford University Press, 2002. Main LB3610 .C53 2002
- Gordon, William A. The Fourth of May: Killings and Coverups at Kent State. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1990. Main LD4191.O72 G67 1990
- Hildebrand, William H., editor et al. A Book of Memories: Kent State University, 1910-1992. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1993. Oversize LD4191.O72 B66 1993
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