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Four Dead in Ohio

Satisfactory Essays
"Four Dead in Ohio"

On Thursday, April 30, 1970, President Richard Nixon told the American people that we were sending troops into Cambodia. This upset many Americans because Nixon was brought into office due to his promise to end the war. In his first year of presidency it looked like the end of the war was near, but with this announcement the end of the war was not evident. This pro-war decision by Nixon upset many people and led to riots all over the country. How could the President make the decision to continue war when he promised to end it?

Among the riots caused by Nixon’s decision were revolts at many universities, such as Kent State. Young students were upset because they were the ones being drafted and the sooner the war ended the less chance they had of seeing war. On Friday, May 1,1970 anti-war rallies began to take place at Kent State University. Students gathered and burned a copy of the constitution. Also many riots broke out in downtown Kent. The extent of the damage done in Kent was estimated at fifteen thousand dollars. Upon learning about these problems the mayor, Leroy Satrom, called a state of emergency and contacted Governor James Rhodes for assistance. On May second, the ROTC building at Kent State was burnt down during a protest. The next step was calling in the National Gaurd as ordered by the Governor. The national guard helped on campus by seeing that the new eleven o’clock p.m. curfew was followed by all students. This caused more anger among the students, and added more people to the rebellion that would otherwise not have become involved.

On May 4th 1970, when rallies surfaced again in the commons area, tear gas was used to disperse the crowd. The conflict between students and the National Guard had begun to expand, and the cursing and rock throwing were increasing the tension in the air. The Guard ordered the students to retreat and as the crowds began to break up, it appeared the Guard was also retreating. Then shots were heard. The Guard for reasons unknown had to turn back and open fire at a crowd of students. Within thirteen seconds, four students were dead and nine wounded. One student who was killed was Allison Krause, who had been the only one of the four killed that was actually involved in the demonstrations.
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