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Kent State University — May 4, 1970

Bottom Feeder

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On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Kent State University demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine Kent State students. The impact of the shootings was dramatic. The event triggered a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close.

Kent State.jpg
To large parts of the country, the Kent State massacre was a shocking and seminal event – American soldiers gunning down students was unthinkable until it happened.

A majority of Americans sided with the national guard because, whatever the country’s feelings about an increasingly unpopular war, the protesters had come to represent something much more objectionable.


In 1970 I was working at Boeing on second shift (shift with the highest pay rates). In those daze I hung out a lot in the 'U District' (the University of Washington campus and area), young, dumb and fulla cum — lotsa peoples of the same inclination.

Tuesday, the day after the shootings, the killing of the students at Kent State was the major topic of conversation at my favorite place to hang out; The Last Exit on Brooklyn, a coffee house where I played Go and engaged in deep philosophical discussions with the intellectuals that inhabited the place.

The place was packed when I arrived that morning, filled with angry people who wanted to riot against the state. It was standing room only and I couldn't even get inside the building itself. I joined in the chants of "FUCK THE STATE!!" for a bit, then decided to walk over to the Blue Moon Tavern for a beer because there was no gettin in the coffee house for any coffee.

The Moon was a little more crowded for this time of the morning than usual, but I was still able to get a stool and a beer. The conversations here were less intellectual but still mostly the same subject; the Kent State killings. If I remember right I was on my second beer when someone said; "Where the hell is everyone going?"

I get up to go take a look and saw that the street outside was filled with peoples marching past chanting slogans ("Hell no we won't go!" and other popular little ditties of the time), all headed west on 45th toward the freeway (Interstate 5). Leaving the tavern, I stopped one of the people and asked him WTF was going on. He replied; "We're goin down to the Federal Courthouse to protest."

I didn't think that would play out very well because it was three or four miles from there to downtown Seattle. I contemplated that as he walked away and just then a big titted brunet grabbed me by the arm and said "Come on, were gonna close down the freeway." Half finished beer or not, she was too alluring to ignore, so I started off with the crowd. I never made it downtown to the courthouse, but I did walk to the middle of the I5 bridge and contributed my small part to the headlines we made that day. I didn't go into work that night, was too busy celebrating our "victory".

Tuesday, May 5, 1970.jpg
Ye olde anti-war protester,
Bottom Feeder

 

newmisty

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Neat name for a coffee joint. I wasn't yet a twinkle in the eye. Would be another 6 years
 

GOLDBRIX

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The Massacre at Akron site is now buried under the basketball arena.
A plaque has been placed on campus property at a more secluded spot.
 

engineear

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Lived up I-77 from there. Next day couldnt get near the place, tried, covered with police everywhere.

Still no apologies to those families and whoever gave the order has disappeared. Stoopid
 

GOLDBRIX

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Lived up I-77 from there. Next day couldnt get near the place, tried, covered with police everywhere.

Still no apologies to those families and whoever gave the order has disappeared. Stoopid
Jim Rhoades {sp?] was the governor at the time. It was not police it was the Ohio National Guard that followed the governor's orders.
The kneeling girl in the Pic for the video posted in Post #1 was a minor teenage runaway at the time of the photo hiding from her parents w the hippy community of students at the university.
 

oldgaranddad

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Ironic how those against “the man” generation became bigger tyrants than those in power with whom they rebelled against.

One has wonder if they were idealistic and became corrupt or they were evil to begin with?
 

spinalcracker

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take it easy on the hippies , they were right about some things , especially cannabis and it’s benefits to humans

Smedly Butler could have easily coined the phrase , “Make love. Not war.”

would today’s national guard fire on American citizens?

why yes , yes they would.
 

Goldhedge

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If you really want to know the whole story get "Kent State" by James Michener

All of James A. Michener's storytelling and reportorial skills are brought to the fore in this stunning and heartbreaking examination of the events that led to the 1970 shootings at Kent State, which shook the country to the roots and had a profound impact on the anti-war movement.

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Mujahideen

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It's a shame they didn't mow down every last one of those dirty worthless fucking hippies.

We wouldn't have half the problems we're facing today if they had.

:oops:
 

Buck

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retired military veterans living in tents and college students...the two main targets of the US Politician and Military


and those boys want us to believe they're in control....yep, show me mf'rs
 

Casey Jones

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Jim Rhoades {sp?] was the governor at the time. It was not police it was the Ohio National Guard that followed the governor's orders.
The kneeling girl in the Pic for the video posted in Post #1 was a minor teenage runaway at the time of the photo hiding from her parents w the hippy community of students at the university.
Yes, James Rhodes.

For a political-science class project (attending SUNY) I took this incident apart. As it happened, I lived 50 miles away, also, at the time - although I was twelve years old.

Rhodes. He was one of the best governors Ohio ever was graced with, but Kent State was NOT his pinnacle. He dropped the ball, big-time.

Why? First, his stubborn refusal to close Kent once the Weathermen set up shop. He had the authority...but Jim Rhodes was an OSU dropout, who was forever compensating. He was adamant that universities WOULD NOT BE CLOSED on his watch - unlike California, where Gov. Reagan just locked them up.

Then, the choice of the National Guard. A worse choice could not have been made.

The best option was to call out the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Despite their name, they had full police powers on any and all state land and roads. They WERE trained in riot control - and this training and the equipment were fresh to them. They had authority, training, a barracks just outside Kent.

Contrast to the National Guard. They were, are, militia. Their job is to kill people and break things. Rhodes wanted, for some reason, to use them as a paramilitary police force. JUST prior to the Kent rioting, the ONG was working to keep Interstates 77 and 71 open in Cleveland, through a violent Teamster's trucking strike.

That was ugly - bricks and debris thrown off overpasses, nails and shrapnel dumped on the highways. Guardsmen were shot at. Those kids were frayed to the breaking point - and they were taken off that, and sent right to the Kent campus, facing down kids of similar age, who they had reasons to hate. Kids with opportunities they didn't have, at least not at that moment.

And the Kent kids, thrilling to be in the center of things, were having fun tormenting the Guard. Seriously, they weren't bad kids - just caught up in it. An example two nights before...in the midst of a Main Street riot, there was a city crew changing a burned-out traffic light. They did such things at night, and obviously they started work before the riot.

Well, with the nonsense, somehow the ladder truck moved or failed, I forget the specifics.. But the riot was quickly forgotten as several athletes in the former riot, rushed to aid the crew. I think one of them shimmied up to where the worker was hanging by his safety harness, and got him a line to slide down. Happy ending, and the rioters all cheer.

But, the Weathermen were not going to be denied.

The day of the shooting, there was some seeming coordination between the patrol or group involved...it seemed, reviewing photos, there was a constant looking at their leader, for some sort of signal. Several of them started to get down on their knees and then got up again. Then things turned ugly with a smoke bomb and teargas; and that group dropped down and fired.

There is no official statement from any of the men. I'm not sure at this late date if those men were even identified. I don't remember reading names, or any statement other than that of the commanding officer of the force.

But had Rhodes just closed Kent State down...and ordered the school to impound their grades...none of this would have happened.

Had he called in the Highway Patrol, probably most of it wouldn't have happened, or would have gone down far differently.
 

Goldhedge

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Some of the kids who were shot weren't even protesting. They were walking to their next class.