Kent State Massacre - Kent, OH
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member BluegrassCache
N 41° 09.008 W 081° 20.600
17T E 471191 N 4555479
Quick Description: This is the spot where Jeffrey Miller was shot to death at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 by National Guardsmen. Miller was one of four killed that day.
Location: Ohio, United States
Date Posted: 11/5/2007 12:49:55 AM
Waymark Code: WM2HDQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 245

Long Description:
There are several memorials and monuments in this area of Kent State University that commemorate the events of May 4th but I chose this one because the image of 14 year old runaway Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over Miller's body was the most photographed of the event.

According to Wikipedia (visit link)

The Kent State shootings, also known as the May 4 massacre or Kent State massacre, occurred at Kent State University in the city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970. Four students were killed and nine others wounded, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

Some of the students who were shot were protesting the American invasion of Cambodia, which President Richard Nixon announced in a television address on April 30. However, other students who were shot were merely walking nearby or observing the protest at a distance.

There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, high schools, and even middle schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of eight million students, and the event further divided the country along political lines.

Friday, May 1
At Kent State, a massive demonstration was held on May 1 on the Commons (a grassy area in the center of campus traditionally used as a gathering place for rallies or protests), and another had been planned for May 4. There was widespread anger, and many protesters issued a call to "bring the war home."

Trouble erupted in town at around midnight when intoxicated bikers left a bar and began throwing beer bottles at cars and breaking downtown store fronts. In the process they broke a bank window which set off an alarm. The news spread quickly and it resulted in several bars closing early to avoid trouble. Before long more people had joined the vandalism and looting, while others remained bystanders.

By the time police arrived, a crowd of about 100 had already gathered. Some people from the crowd had already lit a small bonfire in the street. The crowd appeared to be a mix of bikers, students, and out-of town youths who regularly came to Kent's bars. A few members of the crowd began to throw beer bottles at the police, and then started yelling obscenities at them. The disturbance lasted for about an hour before the police restored order. By that time most of the bars were closed and the downtown area of Kent and the campus were quiet.

Saturday, May 2
Kent's Mayor Leroy Satrom declared a state of emergency on May 2 and, later that afternoon, asked Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes to send the National Guard to Kent to help maintain order.

When the National Guard arrived in town that evening, a large demonstration was already under way on the campus, and the campus Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) building (which had been boarded up and scheduled for demolition) was burning. The arsonists were never apprehended and no one was injured in the fire. More than a thousand protesters surrounded the building and cheered the building's burning. While attempting to extinguish the fire, several Kent firemen and police officers were hit with rocks and other objects by those standing near the fire. More than one fire engine company had to be called in because protesters carried the fire hose into the Commons and slashed it.[5][6][7] A call for assistance went out and at 10:00 p.m., the National Guard entered the campus for the first time, setting up camp directly on campus. There were many arrests made, tear gas was used, and at least one student was wounded with a bayonet.

Sunday, May 3
By Sunday, May 3, there were nearly 1,000 National Guardsmen on campus to control the students.

During a press conference, Governor Rhodes called the protesters un-American and referred to the protesters as revolutionaries set on destroying higher education in Ohio. "They're worse than the brownshirts and the communist element and also the nightriders and the vigilantes," Rhodes said. "They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America."

Rhodes also claimed he would obtain a court order declaring a state of emergency, banning further demonstrations, and gave the impression that a situation akin to martial law had been declared, however he never attempted to obtain such an order.

During the day some students came into downtown Kent to help with cleanup efforts after the rioting, which met with mixed reactions from local businessmen. Mayor Satrom, under pressure from frightened citizens, ordered a curfew until further notice.

Around 8:00 p.m., another rally was held on the campus Commons. By 8:45 p.m. the Guard used tear gas to disperse the crowd, and the students reassembled at the intersection of Lincoln and Main Streets, holding a sit-in in the hopes of gaining a meeting with Mayor Satrom and President White. At 11:00 p.m., the Guard announced that a curfew had gone into effect and began forcing the students back to their dorms. Ten Guardsmen were injured and a few students bayoneted by Guardsmen.

Monday, May 4
On Monday, May 4, a protest was scheduled to be held at noon, as had been planned three days earlier. University officials attempted to ban the gathering, handing out 12,000 leaflets stating that the event was canceled. Despite this, an estimated 2,000 people gathered on the university's Commons, near Taylor Hall. The protest began with the ringing of the campus's iron victory bell (which had historically been used to signal victories in football games) to signal the beginning of the rally, and the first protester began to speak.

Fearing that the situation might escalate into another violent protest, Companies A and C, 1/145th Infantry and Troop G of the 2/107th Armored Cavalry, Ohio ARNG, the units on the campus grounds, attempted to disperse the students. The legality of the dispersal was later debated at a subsequent wrongful death and injury trial. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that authorities did indeed have the right to disperse the crowd.

The dispersal process began late in the morning with a police official, riding in a Guard Jeep, approaching the students to read them an order to disperse or face arrest. The protesters pelted the Jeep with rocks, forcing it to retreat. One Guardsman was injured in the attack.

Just before noon, the Guard returned and again ordered the crowd to disperse. When they refused, the Guard used tear gas. Because of wind, the tear gas had little effect in dispersing the crowd, and some began a second rock attack with chants of "Pigs off campus!" The students threw the tear gas canisters back at the National Guardsmen. The only protection the soldiers had were their steel helmets. They had no body armor or face shields, although they had put on gas masks upon first using tear gas.

When it was obvious the crowd was not going to disperse, a group of 77 National Guard troops from A Company and Troop G began to advance on the hundreds of protesters with bayonets fixed on their weapons. The guardsmen had little training in riot control. As the guardsmen advanced, the protesters retreated up and over Blanket Hill, heading out of The Commons area. Once over the hill, the students, in a loose group, moved northeast along the front of Taylor Hall, with some continuing toward a parking lot in front of Prentice Hall (slightly northeast of and perpendicular to Taylor Hall). The guardsmen pursued the protesters over the hill, but rather than veering left as the protesters had, they continued straight, heading down toward an athletic practice field enclosed by a chain link fence. Here they remained for about ten minutes, unsure of how to get out of the area short of retracing their entrance path (a move some guardsmen considered could be viewed as a retreat). During this time, the bulk of the students were off to the left and front of the guardsmen, approximately 50 to 75 meters away, on the veranda of Taylor Hall. Others were scattered between Taylor Hall and the Prentice Hall parking lot, while still others, perhaps 35 or 40, were standing in the parking lot, or dispersing through the lot as had been previously ordered.

While on the practice field, the guardsmen generally faced the parking lot which was about 100 meters away. At one point some of the guardsmen knelt and aimed their weapons toward the parking lot, then stood up again. For a few moments several guardsmen formed a loose huddle and appeared to be talking to one another. The guardsmen appeared to be unclear as to what to do next. They had cleared the protesters from the Commons area, and many students had left, but many stayed and were still angrily confronting the soldiers, some throwing rocks and tear gas canisters. At the end of about ten minutes the guardsmen began to retrace their steps back up the hill toward the Commons area. Some of the students on the Taylor Hall veranda began to move slowly toward the soldiers as the latter passed over the top of the hill and headed back down into the Commons.

At this point, at 12:22 PM, a number of guardsmen at the top of the hill abruptly turned and fired their M1 Garand semi-automatic military rifles into the students. The guardsmen directed their fire not at the closest students, who were on the Taylor Hall veranda, but at those on the grass area and concrete walkway below the veranda, at those on the service road between the veranda and the parking lot, and at those in the parking lot. Bullets were not sprayed in all directions, but instead were confined to a fairly limited line of fire leading from the top of the hill to the parking lot. Not all the soldiers who fired their weapons directed their fire into the students. Some soldiers fired into the ground while a few fired into the air. In all, 29 of the 77 guardsmen claimed to have fired their weapons.A total of 67 bullets were fired. The shooting was determined to have lasted only 13 seconds, although a New York Times reporter stated that "it appeared to go on, as a solid volley, for perhaps a full minute or a little longer." The question of why the shots were fired is widely debated.

The Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard told reporters that a sniper had fired on the guardsmen, which itself remains a debated allegation. Many guardsmen later testified that they were in fear for their lives, which was questioned partly because of the distance of the wounded students. Time magazine later concluded that "triggers were not pulled accidentally at Kent State". The President's Commission on Campus Unrest avoided the question of why the shootings happened and harshly criticized both the protesters and the Guardsmen, but concluded that "the indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable."

On May 1, 2007, various news agencies reported the claim of a former student who was injured in the shooting to have uncovered new evidence that the guardsmen were ordered to fire upon the crowd. Terry Strubbe, a student who lived in a dormitory overlooking the anti-war rally site, placed a microphone at a windowsill and recorded nearly 30 minutes of the event on reel-to-reel tape. He sent a copy of the tape to the FBI and kept a copy in a safe deposit box. The government copy has been archived at Yale University. According to Alan Canfora, who was injured in the wrist that day by a gunshot, a voice can be heard on the tape yelling, "Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!" before there is the 13-second volley of gunfire. Canfora said he has obtained a copy of that tape and that he plans to release it on CD. He wants the government to reopen the investigation of the 37-year-old case.In another step towards this goal, Canfora provided a copy of the tape to musician Ian MacKaye of the band Minor Threat (co-founder of Dischord Records), who digitally enhanced the recording by boosting the volume level and removing tape hiss.

The shootings killed four students and wounded nine. Two of the four students killed, Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, had participated in the protest, and the other two, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder, were walking from one class to the next. Schroeder was also a member of the campus ROTC chapter. Of those wounded, none was closer than 71 feet (22 m) to the guardsmen. Of those killed, the nearest (Miller) was 265 feet (81 m) away.

Killed (and approximate distance from the National Guard):

Allison Krause 343 ft. (105 m); fatal left chest wound
Jeffrey Glen Miller 265 ft. (81 m); shot through the mouth - killed instantly
Sandra Lee Scheuer 390 ft. (119 m); fatal neck wound
William Knox Schroeder 382 ft. (116 m); fatal chest wound
Wounded (and approximate distance from the National Guard):

Thomas Mark Grace 225 ft. (69 m); struck in left ankle
Joseph Lewis Jr. 71 ft. (22 m); hit twice in the right abdomen and left lower leg
John R. Cleary 110 ft. (34 m); upper left chest wound
Alan Canfora 225 ft. (69 m); hit in his right wrist
Dean Kahler 300 ft. (91 m); back wound fracturing the vertebrae - permanently paralyzed from the chest down
Douglas Wrentmore 329 ft. (100 m); hit in his right knee
James Dennis Russell 375 ft. (114 m); hit in his right thigh from a bullet and in the right forehead by birdshot - both wounds minor
Robert Stamps 495 ft. (151 m); hit in his right buttock
Donald Scott MacKenzie 750 ft. (229 m); neck wound
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. After 20 minutes of speaking, the students left the Commons, as ambulance personnel tended to the wounded, and the Guard left the area.

Date of crime: 05/04/1970

Public access allowed: yes

Fee required: no

Web site: [Web Link]

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