Anniversary Today: Kent State Shootings of May 4, 1970

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Daisyjane, May 4, 2011.

  1. Daisyjane

    Daisyjane "All the clouds are clearing, and I think we're ov

    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was turning 18 and about to enter college myself when this happened, and the memories have remained with me to this day. In the aftermath of the shootings, generations were polarized. The 'adults' were clamoring "They should have shot more; should have shot 'em ALL". Even our own parents told us "if you had been there, and disobeyed the order to disperse, they should have shot you, too".

    I have studied this intensively. I attended one of the anniversary commemorations, and was amazed at the distances involved. I saw the bullet hole that remains in one of the sculptures. And I felt the intense anger that remains to this day. I would like to know the experiences and feelings of those on this board who are old enough to remember. And for those not of a 'certain age', here's an article appearing today:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/may/04/vietnam-us-military
     
  2. Loading...


  3. Snick1946

    Snick1946 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Even today it is difficult for me to even think about this event. It changed my entire perception, having grown up in a Republican apple pie household and then confronted with such an ugly brutal event and moreover seeing the reaction of my parents and their generation to it. I remember my father and I screaming at each other that evening; his saying that all war protestors should be shot, set up machine guns at colleges, etc. It was frightening to see an aspect of him I'd never seen before. Looking back he must have felt very threatened; his whole world was coming apart at the hands of scuffy college kids.
    I think America came closer than we know to a generational war during this time.
     
  4. Daisyjane

    Daisyjane "All the clouds are clearing, and I think we're ov

    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In Memory:

    Sandra L. Scheuer
    William K. Schroeder
    Allison B. Krause
    Jeffrey G. Miller

    [video=youtube;GI7-m919ynU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI7-m919ynU[/video]
     
  5. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

    Messages:
    9,086
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    An absolutely chilling event-- I remember the polarization in my own home, and of course as a fan of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, I mourned musically also.

    I was a little younger, but had one brother in Vietnam, one who wore love beads and became a conscientious objector, a father who fought in WWll and constantly muttered under his breath, and a gaggle of sisters parting their hair down the middle! It was tense at my house... a real time reflection of the state of the land.
     
  6. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    http://oreaddaily.blogspot.com/2006/05/1970-kent-state-jackson-state-lawrence.html


    The link above details the events at Kent State, and also the killing of two more students (and the wounding of a dozen others) at Jackson State, MS, about 10 days later.

    I was a sophomore in high school at the time, but happened to attend a summer speech program at the University of Kansas where two more students--both African-Americans and affiliated with the campus Black Students Union--were killed by local police in July, at least one of them shot in the back of the head. I remember vividly spending the better part of 24 hours on "lock down"--forced to huddle in the center hallway of the dorm with all the doors to the rooms closed for fear we'd be hit by gunfire from outside--during the rioting that ensued.) In Lawrence, the students weren't even killed in the middle of a protest; they were tracked down and murdered by police as "(black) troublemakers." In fact, the response from the black community was relatively subdued under the circumstances. That police thought they could do such a thing and get away with it tells you everything about the era.

    So while Kent State will always be remembered as the symbol of that era, it was by no means the only campus where protests--and the killing of protesters--took place.
     
  7. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,457
    Likes Received:
    260
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I was a young married, and horrified. I also remember the polarization between the older and younger generations.

    The older generation lived through WWII, I was just born then. The older generations believed in the war, some of their relatives had been in WWI. Back in those times, there was something to fight for, or so the people believed/were told. My own father was in WWII, and wounded. I believe this feeling of "right" carried over to Viet Nam and the older generation were HORRIFIED 1) at the perceived cowardice of those who would not fight - remember, they still had the WWII mentality where we COULD have been invaded, ahem; 2)there was still the believe that children/young people should respect their family and government. Remember, information didn't flow as freely then as now. People back then still believed in government, mom, and apple pie - Back then things were black and white - right WAS right, and wrong WAS wrong. The older generation saw the protests as WRONG. Me? I saw the killing of our own young people by Nixon's government as WRONG! Since when did our country kill our own people? See? I still had illusions back then.
     
  8. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

    Messages:
    17,195
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was nine going on ten. I do remember this happening. It is in the landscape of my childhood along with as Quiche shared: cousins that were parting their hair down the middle and wearing love beads. They also wore MIA or POW bracelets but I don't remember which year they started those.

    I remember the war being on the TV every night. I remember hearing within my family shouting matches between those of the WWII generation and my older cousins. I would go outside to play when that started. As a child I saw it as a tense time within our family that lasted a very long time and as an uncertain world outside of our front door. I remember that there wasn't fanfare and hoopla when my even older cousins got back from war. Instead I grew up listening to the beliefs that my Grandfather held and then my Mom telling me he was wrong. Very confusing at the time.

    Blessings and prayers for the family of the students killed 40 yrs ago. Might seem like a long time to others but I bet their families still miss them everyday. JMHO.
     
  9. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For the record and though I opposed the war, I thought the kids in the National Guard were also victims on that day. I'm sure none of them began the morning hoping to kill college students.
     
  10. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

    Messages:
    9,086
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think of them every time I see those images! Behind all that gear are peers of those students. I'm sure they bear a heavy weight from serving that day. :(
     
  11. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    At the time, it was easy to satirize the National Guardists as bullies and sadists, but the truth was the NG was a prime way to get out of being sent to Vietnam. I'm sure many of the Guardists that day actually agreed with the protesters.

    And as you note, the kids who did the shooting weren't really any older than their victims.

    A horrible, horrible, horrible day, the likes of which I pray we never see again.
     
  12. Snick1946

    Snick1946 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I don't want to get into the politics of this but it was the then governor of Ohio who sent the NG onto that campus, mainly IMO to score some 'Law N' Order' points shortly before an election he was running in for a Senate seat.
    I am sure he never dreamed things would go the way they did. We also had a president who had his own demons of personal insecurity to deal with. One of our generation's great tragedies.
     
  13. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Beautifully summarized, Snick!
     
  14. rpipergirl

    rpipergirl proud owner Kidmissing

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I was -4 LOL. I do remember my folks watching the movie they made about it and I borrowed a documentary about it from our library last year. It was so powerful. My uncle served in Vietnam and both grampas served in WWII. My dad too would have served his country if he did not have a clubbed foot that kept him out of the service.
    Also here is a link I found on the memorials. http://www.ohio.com/news/top_stories/121303234.html
     
  15. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

    Messages:
    52,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was 13, in 8th grade,and I staged a walk out in protest at my junior high during the aftermath. I got 3 people to walk out with me during class. I do remember the principal of the school coming out and talking to me. He said if I brought my group back in there would be no consequences and that my protest was duly noted LOL.
    I don't think I really understood what I was doing though. I just knew my older brother's and sisters were passionate about it and they were in high school and college.
     
  16. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I went to an experimental high school which was, as you can imagine, quite liberal, especially for Florida. There were massive walkouts over Kent State, but no "consequences" as the teachers walked out right beside the students.

    But good for you, J! We'd have a better world if more 8th graders were willing to stage protests!
     
  17. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

    Messages:
    30,906
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I too remember this well. I was only 6 years old, I remember vividly my mother crying and my father comforting her and not being able to wrap my head around the idea that it had even happned. My dad had been a Marine and served in the Korean War and he too was very upset that it happened at all.
     
  18. nursebeeme

    nursebeeme Registered User

    Messages:
    53,159
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    nurse raises hand.. I am a Kent grad (bsn program) and may 4th never dies gets old at Kent. I lived four years in Engleman Hall... it is one of the oldest building on campus and right down from the pagoda that is so famous in pictures. On the hillside surrounding the commons they planted a daffodil bulb for every single life lost in vietnam. when they bloom in spring.. just around 4 may it is overwhelming.

    also my hubby has been an army officer going on 20 years now.. and he did his rotc at kent... which... while not easy during those times.. was also not easy while he was in the program in the late 80s-early 90s..
     
  19. Nova

    Nova New Member

    Messages:
    19,111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    nurse, I used to know somebody who attended Kent State during the shootings. He said he felt robbed of his undergraduate education because every class became a discussion of politics and the war.

    Sounds like you and your husband were there sometime later, but I wonder if you heard the same thing from older alumni?
     
  20. nursebeeme

    nursebeeme Registered User

    Messages:
    53,159
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    not so much... however.. that being said.. those who attend kent currently know:
    1)where the bullet hit tri towers (dorm)
    2)make candle light walks on the anniversary with people live acting out the fallen laying in the same way they fell
    3)walk thru the student center in may and observe the concrete 'monuments' of those fallen (and exactly how they fell) laid out on the second story near the windows and studying chairs


    I might add that my dh was an art major (very liberal at kent) and also in rotc. He got failed/nogo from his junior review into the senior year and he still to this day feels it was because he was rotc/army. I do too... as he was selected to be an artist in residence in the art dorm on campus and got a free apartment and studio space as well (not to mention his portfolio was very strong). He did not appeal it and switched to a basic design major... but yes... in the early 90's I can say that he for SURE felt that he was not wanted in the very liberal arts arena at Kent.

    moo
     
  21. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

    Messages:
    52,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Nova,but it was a pretty pathetic attempt, but what the heck. The principal basically told me to get back in class or be suspended.
    So much for my revolt.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice