The student body at Kent State numbered about 20,000 and had been considered conservative, but not overly political. In fact they were thought of as rather passive politically. The shootings were a culmination of four days of demonstrations by members of the student body. The students were protesting the invasion of Cambodia by American forces.
In 1968 Richard Nixon was elected President. One of the promises he made was to end the Vietnam War. When the My Lai massacre was exposed in November of 1969 there was worldwide outrage and reduced public support for the war. Then a month later the first draft lottery was instituted since WWII. In April 1970, Nixon told the public he was going to withdraw large numbers of U.S. troops from Vietnam. So when he made his television address on April 30 to say we had invaded Cambodia the American people reacted strongly. In the speech Nixon addressed not only Cambodia but also the unrest on college campuses. Many young people, including college students, were concerned about the risk of being drafted, and the expansion of the war into another country appeared to increase that risk. Across the country protests on campuses became what Time magazine called "a nation-wide student strike."
The day after his Cambodia speech Nixon told a crowd at the Pentagon:"You see these bums, you know, blowing up campuses. Listen, the boys that are on the college campuses today are the luckiest people in th...
... middle of paper ...
... 13 ways. Half went to Dean Kahler, the most seriously wounded survivor and only $15,000 apiece went to the families of each of the slain students. The state issued a statement of "regret" which stopped short of an apology for the events of May 4th, nine years before.
President Nixon created a public atmosphere in which students who opposed the war were fair game for those who supported the government. In the week following Kent State, construction workers rioted on Wall State, attacking antiwar protesters and sending many to the hospital, some permanently crippled. It was reported at the time, a day or two after the deaths, President Nixon called the parents of the only slain student known to be a bystander- he was a member of ROTC- to express condolences. The phone never rang in the other parents' houses. The message couldn't have been clearer: they had it coming.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- bloodiness. Families and friends of those fighting just wanted their loved ones to come home safe and sound. Because of the rising tension, when President Nixon pushed the war further everyone was outraged. Not only was there a war in Vietnam, there was now a war at home as well. This dramatic event had lasting effects on the country in more than one way. The Kent State massacre is one that has a rich background story. This story impacted people on a national level both politically and culturally.... [tags: Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, Kent State shootings]
1002 words (2.9 pages)
- The shootings that occurred at Kent State University, Ohio, on May 4, 1970 have been a dark spot in American history for almost 36 years. It is a day remembered by many names, THE KENT STATE SHOOTINGS, MAY 4 or the KENT STATE MASSACRE. Four students were killed and nine were wounded, all of America suffered. The student body at Kent State numbered about 20,000 and had been considered conservative, but not overly political. In fact they were thought of as rather passive politically. The shootings were a culmination of four days of demonstrations by members of the student body.... [tags: American History]
1512 words (4.3 pages)
- The Vietnam War was a time in history that many people will never forget. This was a long extensive period in history that caused many controversies. Not only did this time in history have an effect on people fighting the war, but also people in the home front that were seeing what was going on in Vietnam and how the soldiers were returning home. This led to many war demonstration. From this time in Vietnam War demonstrations were popping up all over the country as well as college campuses. Many college men were facing the fear of be drafted and many fled to Canada to avoid the draft.... [tags: Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, Kent State shootings]
1560 words (4.5 pages)
- Kent State In 1970 the nation was in its highest state of controversy. The generation gap that had begun to form in the sixties was now more of a ravine. The youth of America was finally standing up and raising their voices in protest against all the problems that plagued the country they would have control of in years to come. There were many events that helped in feeding the flame in the hearts of Americans. One such event was the Kent State University incident. It is an event that touched the nation and made such a profound mark, and yet it only lasted for thirteen seconds.... [tags: National Guard History Kent State Essays]
3066 words (8.8 pages)
- Thirty Years Later- Kent State Thirty years later, just after noon, the Victory Bell again rings through the green grass of Kent State University's Commons. The bell rings twenty-seven times; one toll for each of the four students killed and nine wounded by the Ohio National Guard May 4, 1970, and 14 times in solidarity for the two students murdered and twelve wounded by Mississippi Highway Patrol at Jackson State University May 15, 1970 Kent State University officials stopped holding Commemoration ceremonies in 1975, but dedicated students have kept the ideals represented by the Kent State shootings alive.... [tags: essays research papers]
2493 words (7.1 pages)
- 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.... [tags: U.S. History]
994 words (2.8 pages)
- The Vietnam War marked an era of heartbreak and tragedies. On of the most significant of these is the crisis at Kent State University in Ohio. This was a direct result to President Richard Nixon’s decision to send troops into Cambodia without interacting with congress. Protests were held before the crisis at hand and rallies followed. The Mayor of the city of Kent, Leroy Stratom, called in the National Guard, who, on May 4th, killed four students. The question that remains unanswered is why the National Guard fired on a crowd of young people and who was really responsible.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1320 words (3.8 pages)
- As May 4th comes around every year, some recall the horrifying events that happened at Kent State University years ago. They recall the tragic deaths that occurred on that day. The events that took place in the Kent State University riots may have produced a different ending had the events that led to it been different. The first of the events being, what led to the riots, the second, how violent the riots had erupted into, and one of the biggest thing that could have created a different outcome, the military action that led to the disputed ending.... [tags: Kent State University, militry action, violence]
776 words (2.2 pages)
- Kent State University Incident: The End of the Innocence After a long period of fighting a defensive war in Vietnam, on April 29, 1970, President Richard Nixon launched a full scale attack in Cambodia, which greatly accelerated America¹s involvment in this conflict. The reaction from the American college student population was one that led into great controversy and heated debates. When Nixon announced his decision on the following day, many people were upset, and thousands of people protested.... [tags: essays papers]
925 words (2.6 pages)
- You are in the mall and someone yells everyone "'Get down!" Or I will shoot." Your first instinct is to hit the ground before shots are fired. Now imagine that in the school cafeteria. Scary, right. As scary as it sounds scenarios from horror movies are playing out in schools all over America. You are eating lunch in the cafeteria and a student enters the cafeteria and starts firing off a firearm. First instinct is to scream for help and get on the ground, but why are scenes like this taking place in the learning place.... [tags: Mass Shootings, School Shootings Essays]
921 words (2.6 pages)