The 1970’s Kent State University Protest

Rico Lewis

May 1st: Students were protesting the bombing of Cambodia by the United States. The mayor of Kent called all available police to stop the protest. The protest would turn sour quickly. Some demonstrators would start bonfires, block traffic, and throw rocks and bottles. Eventually, the police would push the protesters back to campus.

May 2nd: On campus, the ROTC building was set on fire and burnt to the ground, resulting in the decision to ask Governor Rhodes for national guard assistance. The guardsmen and students were calm.

May 3rd-4th: Ohio Governor James added fuel to the fire by degrading them and trying to take away their right to protest. As he cancelled the scheduled protest. This resulted in students protesting on the campus anyway, the rally was held. University and National guards ordered them to disperse, that did not happen. Since there were more students than law enforcement, guards started shooting, some at the sky and others at students. 4 students were killed, and 9 were wounded. National protests happened in response to this massacre.