The Kent State Massacre Essay

The Kent State Massacre Essay

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On May 4, 1970 at approximately 12:24 PM members of the Ohio National Guard shot at and killed several unarmed Kent State University students. These students were protesting President Nixon’s decision to invade Cambodia. While some of the students who were shot at were actively protesting at the time of the shooting, others were simply walking by or casually observing the protest from a distance. How could an appalling incident like this occur? What possessed the members of the Ohio National Guard to shoot at unarmed students?
In order to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the Kent State Massacre, it is important to back track several days and establish a timeline of events leading up to the massacre. On April 30, 1970, then-President Richard Nixon announced to the American public his decision to send US troops into the nation of Cambodia. The first protest against this decision was held the following day, May 1, on the campus of Kent State University. However, due to class schedules, the protest had to end prematurely, with the organizers agreeing to reconvene and continue their protest on May 4. That evening, things got out of control when several hundred people launched violent acts in the street surrounding Kent State. The police arrived within an hour to quell the violence; however, in that brief period, many fires were set and looting was rampant.
The following day, Mayor Leroy Satrom requested the Ohio National Guard be dispatched to his city. There were reports of revolutionaries having plans to destroy the university and city. Threats were also lodged against city officials and local businesses. Due to the close proximity of a National Guard base, the soldiers were able to quickly arrive in the...


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...re can be seen as one of the many important events that occurred in American history during the Vietnam War era.



Works Cited
The Associated Press. Raw Audio: Tape Captures Kent State Shootings. Clip Syndicate. N.p., 1 May 2007. Web. 6 Mar. 2010. .
Kent May 4 Center. Kent May 4 Center. N.p., 20 Feb. 2010. Web. 6 Mar. 2010. .
Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. Atlantic, 1970. MP3 file.
The Ohio Council for the Social Studies Review. The May 4 Shootings at Kent State University: The Search for Historical Accuracy. N.p., Summer 1998. Web. 6 Mar. 2010. .
Ohio History Central. Kent State Shootings. N.p., 1 July 2005. Web. 15 Mar.
2010. .


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