Kent State shootings
The Kent State shootings—also known as the May 4 massacre or the Kent State massacre—occurred at Kent State University
Kent State University
Kent State University is a public research university located in Kent, Ohio, United States. The university has eight campuses around the northeast Ohio region with the main campus in Kent being the largest...

 in the city of Kent, Ohio
Kent, Ohio
Kent is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the largest city in Portage County. It is located along the Cuyahoga River in Northeastern Ohio on the western edge of the county. The population was 27,906 at the 2000 United States Census and 28,904 in the 2010 Census...

, and involved the shooting of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard
Ohio Army National Guard
The Ohio Army National Guard is a part of the United States National Guard and a reserve component of the United States Army. It is also a component of the organized militia of the state of Ohio, which also includes the Ohio Naval Militia, the Ohio Military Reserve and the Ohio Air National Guard...

 on Monday, May 4, 1970. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis
Paralysis is loss of muscle function for one or more muscles. Paralysis can be accompanied by a loss of feeling in the affected area if there is sensory damage as well as motor. A study conducted by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, suggests that about 1 in 50 people have been diagnosed...


Some of the students who were shot had been protest
A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations...

ing against the American invasion of Cambodia, which President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 announced in a television address on April 30. Other students who were shot had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance.

There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, college
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

s, and high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

s closed throughout the United States due to a student strike
Student Strike of 1970
In the aftermath of the American Invasion of Cambodia on April 30, 1970, four students were killed at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 in Ohio, as well as two students at Jackson State College in Mississippi on May 14/15...

 of four million students, and the event further affected the public opinion—at an already socially contentious time—over the role of the United States in the Vietnam War.

Historical background

Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 had been elected President in 1968, promising to end the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. In November 1969, the My Lai Massacre
My Lai Massacre
The My Lai Massacre was the Vietnam War mass murder of 347–504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968, by United States Army soldiers of "Charlie" Company of 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the Americal Division. Most of the victims were women, children , and...

 by American troops of an estimated 504 women and children in a Vietnamese village was exposed, leading to increased public opposition in the United States to the war. In addition, the following month saw the first draft
Conscription in the United States
Conscription in the United States has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War...

Draft lottery (1969)
On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service System of the United States conducted two lotteries to determine the order of call to military service in the Vietnam War for men born between 1944 and 1950...

 instituted since World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The war had appeared to be winding down throughout 1969, so the new invasion of Cambodia angered those who believed it only exacerbated the conflict. Many young people, including college students and teachers, were concerned about being drafted to fight in a war that they strongly opposed. The expansion of that war into another country appeared to them to have increased that risk, although the number of troops serving in Vietnam had peaked in 1967, well before that time. Across the country, campuses erupted in protests in what Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 called "a nation-wide student strike", setting the stage for the events of early May 1970.


Thursday, April 30

President Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 announced to the nation that the "Cambodian Incursion
Cambodian Incursion
The Cambodian Campaign was a series of military operations conducted in eastern Cambodia during mid-1970 by the United States and the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. These invasions were a result of policy of President Richard Nixon whose decision it was to invade...

" had been launched by United States combat forces.

Friday, May 1

At Kent State University a demonstration with about 500 students was held on May 1 on the Commons (a grassy knoll in the center of campus traditionally used as a gathering place for rallies or protests). As the crowd dispersed to attend classes by 1 p.m., another rally was planned for May 4 to continue the protest of Nixon's expansion of the Vietnam war into Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

. There was widespread anger, and many protesters issued a call to "bring the war home." As a symbolic protest to Nixon's decision to send troops, a group of students watched a graduate student burning a copy of the U.S. Constitution while another student burned his draft card
Draft-card burning
Draft-card burning was a symbol of protest performed by thousands of young American men as part of the opposition to the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War. Beginning in May 1964, some activists burned their draft cards at anti-war rallies and demonstrations. By May 1965 it was...


Trouble exploded in town around midnight when people left a bar and began throwing beer bottles at cars and breaking downtown store fronts. In the process they broke a bank window, setting off an alarm. The news spread quickly and it resulted in several bars closing early to avoid trouble. Before long, more people had joined the vandalism and looting.

By the time police arrived, a crowd of 120 had already gathered. Some people from the crowd had already lit a small bonfire in the street. The crowd appeared to be a mix of bikers, students, and transient people. A few members of the crowd began to throw beer bottles at the police, and then started yelling obscenities at them. The entire Kent police force was called to duty as well as officers from the county and surrounding communities. Kent Mayor Leroy Satrom
Leroy Satrom
Leroy Satrom was a former mayor of Kent, Ohio.Satrom is best remembered for declaring a State of Emergency on May 2, 1970, calling Governor Rhodes and requesting that the National Guard be sent to the campus of Kent State University to deal with student protests.Ultimately the Guardsmen shot into...

 declared a state of emergency
State of emergency
A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale...

, called Ohio Governor James Rhodes
James Rhodes
James or Jim Rhodes is the name of:*James Rhodes , English pianist* James Ford Rhodes , American historian and industrialist* Jim Rhodes , American politician, governor of Ohio...

' office to seek assistance, and ordered all of the bars closed. The decision to close the bars early increased the size of the angry crowd. Police eventually succeeded in using tear gas to disperse the crowd from downtown, forcing them to move several blocks back to the campus.

Saturday, May 2

City officials and downtown businesses received threats while rumors proliferated that radical revolutionaries were in Kent to destroy the city and university. Mayor Satrom met with Kent city officials and a representative of the Ohio Army National Guard
Ohio Army National Guard
The Ohio Army National Guard is a part of the United States National Guard and a reserve component of the United States Army. It is also a component of the organized militia of the state of Ohio, which also includes the Ohio Naval Militia, the Ohio Military Reserve and the Ohio Air National Guard...

. Following the meeting Satrom made the decision to call Governor Rhodes and request that the National Guard be sent to Kent, a request that was granted. Because of the rumors and threats, Satrom believed that local officials would not be able to handle future disturbances.

The decision to call in the National Guard was made at 5:00 P.M., but the guard did not arrive into town that evening until around 10 P.M. A large demonstration was already under way on the campus, and the campus Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) building was burning. The arson
Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

ists were never apprehended and no one was injured in the fire. More than a thousand protesters surrounded the building and cheered its burning. Several Kent firemen and police officers were struck by rocks and other objects while attempting to extinguish the blaze. Several fire engine companies had to be called in because protesters carried the fire hose into the Commons and slashed it. The National Guard made numerous arrests and used tear gas; at least one student was slightly wounded with a bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...


Sunday, May 3

During a press conference at the Kent firehouse, an emotional Governor Rhodes pounded on the desk and called the student protesters un-American, referring to them as revolutionaries set on destroying higher education in Ohio. "We've seen here at the city of Kent especially, probably the most vicious form of campus oriented violence yet perpetrated by dissident groups. They make definite plans of burning, destroying, and throwing rocks at police, and at the National Guard and the Highway Patrol. This is when we're going to use every part of the law enforcement agency of Ohio to drive them out of Kent. We are going to eradicate the problem. We're not going to treat the symptoms. And these people just move from one campus to the other and terrorize the community. They're worse than the brown shirts
The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...

 and the communist element and also the night riders
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 and the vigilantes," Rhodes said. "They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. Now I want to say this. They are not going to take over [the] campus. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America." Rhodes can be heard in the recording of his speech yelling and pounding his fists on the desk.

Rhodes also claimed he would obtain a court order declaring a state of emergency that would ban further demonstrations and gave the impression that a situation akin to martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 had been declared; however, he never attempted to obtain such an order.

During the day some students came into downtown Kent to help with cleanup efforts after the rioting, which met with mixed reactions from local businessmen. Mayor Satrom, under pressure from frightened citizens, ordered a curfew until further notice.

Around 8:00 p.m., another rally was held on the campus Commons. By 8:45 p.m. the Guardsmen used tear gas to disperse the crowd, and the students reassembled at the intersection of Lincoln and Main Streets, holding a sit-in with the hopes of gaining a meeting with Mayor Satrom and President White. At 11:00 p.m., the Guard announced that a curfew had gone into effect and began forcing the students back to their dorms. A few students were bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

ed by Guardsmen.

Monday, May 4

On Monday, May 4, a protest was scheduled to be held at noon, as had been planned three days earlier. University officials attempted to ban the gathering, handing out 12,000 leaflets stating that the event was canceled. Despite these efforts an estimated 2,000 people gathered on the university's Commons, near Taylor Hall. The protest began with the ringing of the campus's iron Victory Bell (which had historically been used to signal victories in football games) to mark the beginning of the rally, and the first protester began to speak.

Companies A and C, 1/145th Infantry and Troop G of the 2/107th Armored Cavalry, Ohio Army National Guard (ARNG), the units on the campus grounds, attempted to disperse the students. The legality of the dispersal was later debated at a subsequent wrongful death and injury trial. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* Eastern District of Kentucky* Western District of Kentucky...

 ruled that authorities did indeed have the right to disperse the crowd.

The dispersal process began late in the morning with campus patrolman Harold Rice, riding in a National Guard Jeep, approaching the students to read them an order to disperse or face arrest. The protesters responded by throwing rocks, striking one campus Patrolman and forcing the Jeep to retreat.

Just before noon, the Guard returned and again ordered the crowd to disperse. When most of the crowd refused, the Guard used tear gas. Because of wind, the tear gas had little effect in dispersing the crowd, and some launched a second volley of rocks toward the Guard's line, too distant to have any effect, to chants of "Pigs off campus!" The students lobbed the tear gas canisters back at the National Guardsmen, who wore gas mask
Gas mask
A gas mask is a mask put on over the face to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne pollutants and toxic gases. The mask forms a sealed cover over the nose and mouth, but may also cover the eyes and other vulnerable soft tissues of the face. Some gas masks are also respirators, though the word...


When it was determined the crowd was not going to disperse, a group of 77 National Guard troops from A Company and Troop G, with bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

s fixed on their rifle
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...

s, began to advance upon the hundreds of protesters. As the guardsmen advanced, the protesters retreated up and over Blanket Hill, heading out of The Commons area. Once over the hill, the students, in a loose group, moved northeast along the front of Taylor Hall, with some continuing toward a parking lot in front of Prentice Hall (slightly northeast of and perpendicular to Taylor Hall). The guardsmen pursued the protesters over the hill, but rather than veering left as the protesters had, they continued straight, heading down toward an athletic practice field enclosed by a chain link fence. Here they remained for about ten minutes, unsure of how to get out of the area short of retracing their entrance path (an action some guardsmen considered might be viewed as a retreat) . During this time, the bulk of the students congregated off to the left and front of the guardsmen, approximately 150 ft (50m) to 225 ft (75m) away, on the veranda of Taylor Hall. Others were scattered between Taylor Hall and the Prentice Hall parking lot, while still others (perhaps 35 or 40) were standing in the parking lot, or dispersing through the lot as they had been previously ordered.

While on the practice field, the guardsmen generally faced the parking lot which was about 100 yards away. At one point, some of the guardsmen knelt and aimed their weapons toward the parking lot, then stood up again. For a few moments, several guardsmen formed a loose huddle and appeared to be talking to one another. The guardsmen seemed to be unsure about what to do next. They had cleared the protesters from the Commons area, and many students had left, but some stayed and were still angrily confronting the soldiers, some throwing rocks and tear gas canisters. About ten minutes later, the guardsmen began to retrace their steps back up the hill toward the Commons area. Some of the students on the Taylor Hall veranda began to move slowly toward the soldiers as the latter passed over the top of the hill and headed back down into the Commons.

At this point, at 12:24 p.m., according to eyewitnesses, a Sgt. Myron Pryor turned and began firing at the students with his .45 pistol. A number of guardsmen nearest the students also turned and fired their M1 Garand rifles at the students. In all, 29 of the 77 guardsmen claimed to have fired their weapons, using a final total of 67 rounds of ammunition. The shooting was determined to have lasted only 13 seconds, although John Kifner reported in the New York Times that "it appeared to go on, as a solid volley, for perhaps a full minute or a little longer." The question of why the shots were fired remains widely debated.
A 2010 audio analysis of a tape recording of the incident by Stuart Allen and Tom Owen, who were described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as "nationally respected forensic audio experts," concluded that the guardsmen were given an order to fire. The original 30-minute reel-to-reel tape was made by Terry Strubbe, a Kent State communications student who turned on his recorder and put its microphone in his dorm window overlooking the campus. It is the only known recording to capture the events leading up to the shootings. In 2007 Alan Canfora
Alan Canfora
Alan Michael Canfora was a student at Kent State University, Ohio, when he was shot and wounded in the right wrist by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970 while protesting the invasion of Cambodia....

, one of the wounded, located a copy of the tape in a library archive. According to the enhanced recording, a male voice yells "Guard!" Several seconds pass. Then, "All right, prepare to fire!". "Get down!", someone shouts urgently, presumably in the crowd. Finally, "Guard! . . . " followed two seconds later by a long, booming volley of gunshots. The entire spoken sequence lasts 17 seconds. Strubbe himself disagrees with the experts' findings, saying, "It was a really bad recording. It’s pure mud." Ronald Snyder who commanded a National Guard unit at Kent State not involved in shootings said "You would never see anything in training that would say 'Guard, do this.' It would be like saying, 'Army, do this.' It doesn't make sense." Further analysis of the audiotape revealed that four pistol shots and a violent confrontation occurred approximately 70 seconds before the National Guard opened fire. According to The Plain Dealer, this new analysis raised questions about the role of Terry Norman
Terry Norman
Terrence Brooks Norman was a Kent State University student allegedly involved in the Kent State shootings.Norman was a junior at the University when soldiers from the Ohio National Guard killed four students and wounded others during a May 4, 1970 protest...

, a Kent State student who was an FBI informant and known to be carrying a pistol during the disturbance. Alan Canfora said it was premature to reach any conclusions.

The Adjutant General
Adjutant general
An Adjutant General is a military chief administrative officer.-Imperial Russia:In Imperial Russia, the General-Adjutant was a Court officer, who was usually an army general. He served as a personal aide to the Tsar and hence was a member of the H. I. M. Retinue...

 of the Ohio National Guard told reporters that a sniper
A sniper is a marksman who shoots targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the capabilities of regular personnel. Snipers typically have specialized training and distinct high-precision rifles....

 had fired on the guardsmen, which itself remains a debated allegation. Many guardsmen later testified that they were in fear for their lives, which was questioned partly because of the distance between them and the students killed or wounded. Time magazine later concluded that "triggers were not pulled accidentally at Kent State". The President's Commission on Campus Unrest
President's Commission on Campus Unrest
On June 13, 1970, President Richard Nixon established the President's Commission on Campus Unrest, which became known as the Scranton Commission after its chairman, former Pennsylvania governor William Scranton....

 avoided probing the question of why the shootings happened. Instead, it harshly criticized both the protesters and the Guardsmen, but it concluded that "the indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable."

The shootings killed four students and wounded nine. Two of the four students killed, Allison Krause
Allison Krause
Allison B. Krause was an honor student at Kent State University, Ohio, when she was shot and killed by the Ohio Army National Guard in the Kent State Massacre, while protesting the invasion of Cambodia and the presence of the National Guard on the Kent State campus...

 and Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Glenn Miller was a student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when he was shot and killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings....

, had participated in the protest, and the other two, Sandra Scheuer
Sandra Scheuer
Sandra Lee Scheuer was a student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when she was killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings....

 and William Knox Schroeder
William Knox Schroeder
William Knox Schroeder was a student at Kent State University, Ohio, when he was killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings....

, had been walking from one class to the next at the time of their deaths. Schroeder was also a member of the campus ROTC chapter. Of those wounded, none was closer than 71 feet to the guardsmen. Of those killed, the nearest (Miller) was 265 feet away, and their average distance from the guardsmen was 345 feet.

Eyewitness accounts

Two men who were present related what they saw.

Unidentified speaker 1: "Suddenly, they turned around, got on their knees, as if they were ordered to, they did it all together, aimed. And personally, I was standing there saying, they're not going to shoot, they can't do that. If they are going to shoot, it's going to be blank."

Unidentified speaker 2: "The shots were definitely coming my way, because when a bullet passes your head, it makes a crack. I hit the ground behind the curve, looking over. I saw a student hit. He stumbled and fell, to where he was running towards the car. Another student tried to pull him behind the car, bullets were coming through the windows of the car.

"As this student fell behind the car, I saw another student go down, next to the curb, on the far side of the automobile, maybe 25 or 30 yards from where I was lying. It was maybe 25, 30, 35 seconds of sporadic firing.

"The firing stopped. I lay there maybe 10 or 15 seconds. I got up, I saw four or five students lying around the lot. By this time, it was like mass hysteria. Students were crying, they were screaming for ambulances. I heard some girl screaming, 'They didn't have blank, they didn't have blank,' no, they didn't."


Killed (and approximate distance from the National Guard):
  • Jeffrey Glenn Miller
    Jeffrey Miller
    Jeffrey Glenn Miller was a student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when he was shot and killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings....

    ; age 20; 265 ft (80.8 m) shot through the mouth; killed instantly
  • Allison B. Krause
    Allison Krause
    Allison B. Krause was an honor student at Kent State University, Ohio, when she was shot and killed by the Ohio Army National Guard in the Kent State Massacre, while protesting the invasion of Cambodia and the presence of the National Guard on the Kent State campus...

    ; age 19; 343 ft (104.5 m) fatal left chest wound; died later that day
  • William Knox Schroeder
    William Knox Schroeder
    William Knox Schroeder was a student at Kent State University, Ohio, when he was killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings....

    ; age 19; 382 ft (116.4 m) fatal chest wound; died almost an hour later in a hospital while undergoing surgery
  • Sandra Lee Scheuer
    Sandra Scheuer
    Sandra Lee Scheuer was a student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when she was killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings....

    ; age 20; 390 ft (118.9 m) fatal neck wound; died a few minutes later from loss of blood

Wounded (and approximate distance from the National Guard):
  • Joseph Lewis Jr.; 71 ft (21.6 m); hit twice in the right abdomen and left lower leg
  • John R. Cleary; 110 ft (33.5 m); upper left chest wound
  • Thomas Mark Grace; 225 ft (68.6 m); struck in left ankle
  • Alan Michael Canfora
    Alan Canfora
    Alan Michael Canfora was a student at Kent State University, Ohio, when he was shot and wounded in the right wrist by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970 while protesting the invasion of Cambodia....

    ; 225 ft (68.6 m); hit in his right wrist
  • Dean R. Kahler; 300 ft (91.4 m); back wound fracturing the vertebrae, permanently paralyzed from the chest down
  • Douglas Alan Wrentmore; 329 ft (100.3 m); hit in his right knee
  • James Dennis Russell; 375 ft (114.3 m); hit in his right thigh from a bullet and in the right forehead by birdshot, both wounds minor
  • Robert Follis Stamps; 495 ft (150.9 m); hit in his right buttock
  • Donald Scott MacKenzie; 750 ft (228.6 m); neck wound

In the "Presidents Commission on Campus Unrest" (pp.273-274) they mistakenly list Thomas V. Grace, who is Thomas Mark Grace's father, as the Thomas Grace injured.

All those shot were students in good standing at the university. Immediately after the shootings, many angry students were ready to launch an all-out attack on the National Guard. Many faculty members, led by geology professor and faculty marshal Glenn Frank, pleaded with the students to leave the Commons and to not give in to violent escalation, saying:

"I don't care whether you've never listened to anyone before in your lives. I am begging you right now. If you don't disperse right now, they're going to move in, and it can only be a slaughter. Would you please listen to me? Jesus Christ, I don't want to be a part of this...!" After 20 minutes of speaking, the students left the Commons, as ambulance personnel tended to the wounded, and the Guard left the area. Professor Frank's son, also present that day, said "He absolutely saved my life and hundreds of others".

Although initial newspaper reports had inaccurately stated that a number of National Guard members had been killed or seriously injured, only one Guardsman, Sgt. Lawrence Shafer, was injured seriously enough to require medical treatment, approximately 10 to 15 minutes prior to the shootings. Shafer is also mentioned in a memo from November 15, 1973. The FBI memo was prepared by the Cleveland Office and is referred to by Field Office file # 44-703. It reads as follows:
Upon contacting appropriate officers of the Ohio National Guard at Ravenna and Akron, Ohio, regarding ONG radio logs and the availability of service record books, the respective ONG officer advised that any inquiries concerning the Kent State University incident should be direct to the Adjutant General, ONG, Columbus, Ohio. Three persons were interviewed regarding a reported conversation by Sgt Lawrence Shafer, ONG, that Shafer had bragged about "taking a bead" on Jeffrey Miller at the time of the ONG shooting and each interviewee was unable to substantiate such a conversation.

In an interview broadcast in 1986 on the ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 documentary series Our World, Shafer identified the person that he fired at as Joseph Lewis.

Aftermath and long-term effects

Photographs of the dead and wounded at Kent State that were distributed in newspapers and periodicals worldwide amplified sentiment against the United States' invasion of Cambodia and the Vietnam War in general. In particular, the camera of Kent State photojournalism student John Filo
John Filo
John Paul Filo took the 1970 Pulitzer Prize winning photo of a 14-year-old runaway girl , crying while kneeling over the body of 20-year-old Jeffrey Miller, one of the victims of the Kent State shootings...

 captured a fourteen-year old runaway, Mary Ann Vecchio
Mary Ann Vecchio
Mary Ann Vecchio was the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph by photojournalism student John Filo in the aftermath of the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970....

, screaming over the body of the dead student, Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Glenn Miller was a student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when he was shot and killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings....

, who had been shot in the mouth. The photograph, which won a Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

, became the most enduring image of the events, and one of the most enduring images of the anti-Vietnam War movement.

The shootings led to protests on college campuses throughout the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and a student strike
Student Strike of 1970
In the aftermath of the American Invasion of Cambodia on April 30, 1970, four students were killed at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 in Ohio, as well as two students at Jackson State College in Mississippi on May 14/15...

, causing more than 450 campuses across the country to close with both violent and non-violent demonstrations. A common sentiment was expressed by students at New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

 with a banner hung out of a window which read "They Can't Kill Us All." On May 8, eleven people were bayonetted at the University of New Mexico
University of New Mexico
The University of New Mexico at Albuquerque is a public research university located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the United States. It is the state's flagship research institution...

 by the New Mexico National Guard
New Mexico National Guard
The New Mexico National Guard consists of the:*New Mexico Army National Guard **1st and 2nd Battalions, 200th Infantry**93rd Troop Command, 44th Army Band**111th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade**200th Infantry Brigade*New Mexico Air National Guard...

 in a confrontation with student protesters. Also on May 8, an antiwar protest at New York's Federal Hall
Federal Hall
Federal Hall, built in 1700 as New York's City Hall, later served as the first capitol building of the United States of America under the Constitution, and was the site of George Washington's inauguration as the first President of the United States. It was also where the United States Bill of...

 held at least partly in reaction to the Kent State killings was met with a counter-rally of pro-Nixon construction workers organized by Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter Brennan was United States Secretary of Labor under Presidents Nixon and Ford. He served between February 2, 1973 and March 15, 1975...

, later appointed U.S. Labor Secretary by President Nixon, resulting in the "Hard Hat Riot
Hard Hat riot
The Hard Hat Riot occurred on May 8, 1970 in Lower Manhattan. The riot started about noon when about 200 construction workers mobilized by the New York State AFL-CIO attacked about 1,000 high school and college students and others protesting the Kent State shootings, the American invasion of...


Just five days after the shootings, 100,000 people demonstrated in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, against the war and the killing of unarmed student protesters. Ray Price, Nixon's chief speechwriter from 1969–1974, recalled the Washington demonstrations saying, "The city was an armed camp. The mobs were smashing windows, slashing tires, dragging parked cars into intersections, even throwing bedsprings off overpasses into the traffic down below. This was the quote, student protest. That's not student protest, that’s civil war." Not only was Nixon taken to Camp David
Camp David
Camp David is the country retreat of the President of the United States and his guests. It is located in low wooded hills about 60 mi north-northwest of Washington, D.C., on the property of Catoctin Mountain Park in unincorporated Frederick County, Maryland, near Thurmont, at an elevation of...

 for two days for his own protection, but Charles Colson
Charles Colson
Charles Wendell "Chuck" Colson is a Christian leader, cultural commentator, and former Special Counsel for President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973....

 (Counsel to President Nixon from 1969 to 1973) stated that the military was called up to protect the administration from the angry students; he recalled that "The 82nd Airborne was in the basement of the executive office building, so I went down just to talk to some of the guys and walk among them, and they're lying on the floor leaning on their packs and their helmets and their cartridge belts and their rifles cocked and you’re thinking, 'This can't be the United States of America. This is not the greatest free democracy in the world. This is a nation at war with itself.'"

Shortly after the shootings took place, the Urban Institute
Urban Institute
The Urban Institute is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that carries out nonpartisan economic and social policy research, collects data, evaluates social programs, educates the public on key domestic issues, and provides advice and technical assistance to developing governments abroad...

 conducted a national study that concluded the Kent State shooting was the single factor causing the only nationwide student strike in U.S. history; over 4 million students protested and over 900 American colleges and universities closed during the student strikes. The Kent State campus remained closed for six weeks.

President Nixon and his administration's public reaction to the shootings was perceived by many in the anti-war movement as callous. Then National Security Advisor
National Security Advisor (United States)
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor , serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues...

 Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

 said the president was "pretending indifference." Stanley Karnow
Stanley Karnow
Stanley Karnow is an American journalist and historian.After serving with the United States Army Air Forces in Asia during World War II, he graduated from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in 1947; in 1947 and 1948 he attended the Sorbonne, and from 1948 to 1949 the Institut d'Études Politiques de...

 noted in his Vietnam: A History that "The [Nixon] administration initially reacted to this event with wanton insensitivity. Nixon's press secretary, Ron Ziegler
Ron Ziegler
Ronald Louis "Ron" Ziegler was White House Press Secretary and Assistant to the President during United States President Richard Nixon's administration.-Early life:...

, whose statements were carefully programmed, referred to the deaths as a reminder that 'when dissent turns to violence, it invites tragedy
Tragedy (event)
A tragedy is an event in which one or more losses, usually of human life, occurs that is viewed as mournful. Such an event is said to be tragic....

.'" Nixon himself had talked of "bums" destroying US campuses, to which the father of Allison Krause
Allison Krause
Allison B. Krause was an honor student at Kent State University, Ohio, when she was shot and killed by the Ohio Army National Guard in the Kent State Massacre, while protesting the invasion of Cambodia and the presence of the National Guard on the Kent State campus...

 stated on national TV "My child was not a bum".

A Gallup Poll taken immediately after the shootings showed that 58 percent of respondents blamed the students, 11 percent blamed the National Guard and 31 percent expressed no opinion.

Karnow further documented that at 4:15 a.m. on May 9, 1970, the president met about 30 student dissidents conducting a vigil at the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

, whereupon Nixon "treated them to a clumsy and condescending monologue, which he made public in an awkward attempt to display his benevolence." Nixon had been trailed by White House Deputy for Domestic Affairs Egil Krogh
Egil Krogh
Egil “Bud” Krogh, Jr. is an American lawyer who became famous as an official of the Richard Nixon administration, and who was imprisoned for his part in the Watergate scandal.-Education:...

, who saw it differently than Karnow, saying, "I thought it was a very significant and major effort to reach out." In any regard, neither side could convince the other and after meeting with the students, Nixon expressed that those in the anti-war movement were the pawns of foreign communists. After the student protests, Nixon asked H. R. Haldeman
H. R. Haldeman
Harry Robbins "Bob" Haldeman was an American political aide and businessman, best known for his service as White House Chief of Staff to President Richard Nixon and for his role in events leading to the Watergate burglaries and the Watergate scandal – for which he was found guilty of conspiracy...

 to consider the Huston Plan
Huston Plan
The Dolphin Plan was a 43 page report and outline of proposed security operations put together by White House aide Tom Charles Huston in 1970. It first came to light during the 1973 Watergate hearings headed by Senator Sam Ervin ....

, which would have used illegal procedures to gather information on the leaders of the anti-war movement. Only the resistance of J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover
John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

 stopped the plan.

On May 14, ten days after the Kent State shootings, two Black students were killed
Jackson State killings
The Jackson State killings occurred on Thursday/Friday May 14–15, 1970, at Jackson State College in Jackson, Mississippi. A group of somewhat violent student protesters were confronted by city and state police. The police opened fire, killing two students and injuring twelve...

 (and 12 wounded) by police at Jackson State University
Jackson State University
Jackson State University is a historically black university founded in 1877 in Natchez, MS by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York. The Society moved the school to Jackson in 1882, renaming it Jackson College, and developed its present campus in 1902. It became a state supported...

 under similar circumstances, but that event did not arouse the same nationwide attention as the Kent State shootings.

There was wide discussion as to whether these were legally justified shootings of American citizens, and whether the protests or the decisions to ban them were constitutional. These debates served to further galvanize uncommitted opinion by the terms of the discourse. The term "massacre" was applied to the shootings by some individuals and media sources, as it had been used for the Boston Massacre
Boston Massacre
The Boston Massacre, called the Boston Riot by the British, was an incident on March 5, 1770, in which British Army soldiers killed five civilian men. British troops had been stationed in Boston, capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, since 1768 in order to protect and support...

 of 1770, in which five were killed and several more wounded.

On June 13, 1970, as a consequence of the killings of protesting students at Kent State and Jackson State, President Nixon established the President's Commission on Campus Unrest, known as the Scranton Commission, which he charged to study the dissent, disorder, and violence breaking out on college and university campuses across the nation.

The Commission issued its findings in a September 1970 report that concluded that the Ohio National Guard shootings on May 4, 1970, were unjustified. The report said:

Even if the guardsmen faced danger, it was not a danger that called for lethal force. The 61 shots by 28 guardsmen certainly cannot be justified. Apparently, no order to fire was given, and there was inadequate fire control discipline on Blanket Hill. The Kent State tragedy must mark the last time that, as a matter of course, loaded rifles are issued to guardsmen confronting student demonstrators.

In September 1970, twenty-four students and one faculty member were indicted on charges connected with the May 4 demonstration at the ROTC building fire three days before. These individuals, who had been identified from photographs, became known as the "Kent 25." Five cases, all related to the burning of the ROTC building, went to trial; one non-student defendant was convicted on one charge and two other non-students pleaded guilty. One other defendant was acquitted, and charges were dismissed against the last. In December 1971, all charges against the remaining twenty were dismissed for lack of evidence.

Legal action against the guardsmen and others

Eight of the guardsmen were indicted by a grand jury. The guardsmen claimed to have fired in self-defense, a claim which was generally accepted by the criminal justice system. In 1974 U.S. District Judge Frank Battisti dismissed charges against all eight on the basis that the prosecution's case was too weak to warrant a trial.

Larry Shafer, a guardsman who said he fired during the shootings and was one of those charged, told the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier newspaper in May 2007: "I never heard any command to fire. That's all I can say on that." Shafer—a Ravenna city councilman and former fire chief—went on to say, "That's not to say there may not have been, but with all the racket and noise, I don't know how anyone could have heard anything that day." Shafer also went on to say that "point" would not have been part of a proper command to open fire.

Civil actions were also attempted against the guardsmen, the State of Ohio, and the president of Kent State. The federal court civil action for wrongful death and injury, brought by the victims and their families against Governor Rhodes, the President of Kent State, and the National Guardsmen, resulted in unanimous verdicts for all defendants on all claims after an eleven week trial. The judgment on those verdicts was reversed by the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on the ground that the federal trial judge had mishandled an out-of-court threat against a juror. On remand, the civil case was settled in return for payment of a total of $675,000 to all plaintiffs by the State of Ohio (explained by the State as estimated cost of defense) and the defendants' agreement to publicly state they regretted what had happened:

"In retrospect, the tragedy of May 4, 1970 should not have occurred. The students may have believed that they were right in continuing their mass protest in response to the Cambodian invasion, even though this protest followed the posting and reading by the university of an order to ban rallies and an order to disperse. These orders have since been determined by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to have been lawful.

Some of the Guardsmen on Blanket Hill, fearful and anxious from prior events, may have believed in their own minds that their lives were in danger. Hindsight suggests that another method would have resolved the confrontation. Better ways must be found to deal with such a confrontation.

We devoutly wish that a means had been found to avoid the May 4th events culminating in the Guard shootings and the irreversible deaths and injuries. We deeply regret those events and are profoundly saddened by the deaths of four students and the wounding of nine others which resulted. We hope that the agreement to end the litigation will help to assuage the tragic memories regarding that sad day."

It is uncertain whether the 2010 audio analysis of the tape that Canfora found—which concluded the guards were ordered to fire—will lead to further legal action. According to Sanford Rosen, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys in the civil case, the new revelations may prove more relevant to the historical record than to any legal findings. Because of the double jeopardy
Double jeopardy
Double jeopardy is a procedural defense that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same, or similar charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction...

 clause the guards can not be prosecuted again by the Federal Government although they could be by state and local authorities. Rosen noted guardsman could use the order as a defense. On May 10, Alan Canfora
Alan Canfora
Alan Michael Canfora was a student at Kent State University, Ohio, when he was shot and wounded in the right wrist by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970 while protesting the invasion of Cambodia....

, who with others is considering launching new civil actions, said he will ask United States Attorney General Eric Holder
Eric Holder
Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. is the 82nd and current Attorney General of the United States and the first African American to hold the position, serving under President Barack Obama....

 and Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray
Richard Cordray
Richard Cordray is an American politician of the Democratic Party who last served as the Attorney General of Ohio. He has been chosen to run the enforcement division of the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which officially began operating in July 2011...

 to review the tape.

In the succeeding years, many in the anti-war movement have referred to the shootings as "murders", although no criminal convictions were obtained against any National Guardsman. Journalist I. F. Stone
I. F. Stone
Isidor Feinstein Stone was an iconoclastic American investigative journalist. He is best remembered for his self-published newsletter, I. F...

To those who think murder is too strong a word, one may recall that even Agnew
Spiro Agnew
Spiro Theodore Agnew was the 39th Vice President of the United States , serving under President Richard Nixon, and the 55th Governor of Maryland...

 three days after the Kent State shootings used the word in an interview on the David Frost
David Frost
Sir David Frost is a British broadcaster.David Frost may also refer to:*David Frost , South African golfer*David Frost , classical record producer*David Frost *Dave Frost, baseball pitcher...

 show in Los Angeles. Agnew admitted in response to a question that what happened at Kent State was murder, "but not first degree" since there was — as Agnew explained from his own training as a lawyer — "no premeditation but simply an over-response in the heat of anger that results in a killing; it's a murder. It's not premeditated and it certainly can't be condoned.

The Kent State incident forced the National Guard to re-examine its methods of crowd control. The only equipment the guardsmen had to disperse demonstrators that day were M1 Garand
M1 Garand
The M1 Garand , was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S...

 rifles loaded with .30-06
.30-06 Springfield
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge or 7.62×63mm in metric notation, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and standardized, and was in use until the 1960s and early 1970s. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy, and .30 US Army...

 FMJ ammunition, 12 Ga. pump shotguns, and bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

s, and CS gas
CS gas
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent...

A grenade is a small explosive device that is projected a safe distance away by its user. Soldiers called grenadiers specialize in the use of grenades. The term hand grenade refers any grenade designed to be hand thrown. Grenade Launchers are firearms designed to fire explosive projectile grenades...

s. In the years that followed, the U.S. Army began developing less lethal means
Non-lethal force
Non-lethal weapons, also called less-lethal weapons, less-than-lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, compliance weapons, or pain-inducing weapons are weapons intended to be less likely to kill a living target than are conventional weapons...

 of dispersing demonstrators (such as rubber bullet
Rubber bullet
Rubber bullets are rubber or rubber-coated projectiles that can be fired from either standard firearms or dedicated riot guns. They are intended to be a non-lethal alternative to metal projectiles...

s), and changed its crowd control and riot tactics to attempt to avoid casualties amongst the demonstrators. Many of the crowd-control changes brought on by the Kent State events are used today by police and military forces in the United States when facing similar situations, such as the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
1992 Los Angeles riots
The 1992 Los Angeles Riots or South Central Riots, also known as the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest were sparked on April 29, 1992, when a jury acquitted three white and one hispanic Los Angeles Police Department officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King following a...

 and civil disorder during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 in 2005.

One outgrowth of the events was the Center for Peaceful Change established at Kent State University in 1971 "as a living memorial to the events of May 4, 1970." Now known as The Center for Applied Conflict Management (CACM), it developed one of the earliest conflict resolution
Conflict resolution
Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of some social conflict. Often, committed group members attempt to resolve group conflicts by actively communicating information about their conflicting motives or ideologies to the rest...

 undergraduate degree programs in the United States. The Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence, an interdisciplinary program dedicated to violence prevention, was established in 1998.

According to recently released FBI reports, one part-time student, Terry Norman
Terry Norman
Terrence Brooks Norman was a Kent State University student allegedly involved in the Kent State shootings.Norman was a junior at the University when soldiers from the Ohio National Guard killed four students and wounded others during a May 4, 1970 protest...

, was already noted by student protesters as an informant for both campus police and the Akron
Akron, Ohio
Akron , is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Summit County. It is located in the Great Lakes region approximately south of Lake Erie along the Little Cuyahoga River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 199,110. The Akron Metropolitan...

 FBI branch. Norman was present during the May 4 protests, taking photographs to identify student leaders, while carrying a sidearm and wearing a gas mask.

In 1970, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover
John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

 responded to questions from then-Congressman John Ashbrook by denying that Norman had ever worked for the FBI, a statement Norman himself disputed. On August 13, 1973, Indiana Senator Birch Bayh
Birch Bayh
Birch Evans Bayh II is a former United States Senator from Indiana, having served from 1963 to 1981. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in the 1976 election, but lost to Jimmy Carter. He is the father of former Indiana Governor and former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh.-Life...

 sent a memo to then-governor of Ohio John J. Gilligan
John J. Gilligan
John Joyce Gilligan is a American Democratic politician from the state of Ohio who served as a U.S. Representative and the 62nd Governor of Ohio. He is the father of Kathleen Sebelius...

 suggesting that Norman may have fired the first shot, based on testimony he [Bayh] received from guardsmen who claimed that a gunshot fired from the vicinity of the protesters instigated the Guard to open fire on the students.

Throughout the forty years since the shootings, debate has continued on about the events of May 4, 1970.

Two of the survivors have died: James Russell on June 23, 2007; and Robert Stamps in June 2008.

Memorials and remembrances

Each May 4 from 1971 to 1975 the Kent State University administration sponsored an official commemoration of the events. Upon the university's announcement in 1976 that it would no longer sponsor such commemorations, the May 4 Task Force, a group made up of students and community members, was formed for this purpose. The group has organized a commemoration on the university's campus each year since 1976; events generally include a silent march around the campus, a candlelight vigil, a ringing of the Victory Bell in memory of those killed and injured, speakers (always including eyewitnesses and family members), and music.

On May 12, 1977, a tent city
Tent City
A tent city is a temporary housing facility made using tents. Informal tent cities may be set up without authorization by homeless people or protesters. As well, state governments or military organizations set up tent cities to house refugees, evacuees, or soldiers...

 was erected and maintained for a period of more than 60 days by a group of several dozen protesters on the Kent State campus. The protesters, led by the May 4 Task Force but also including community members and local clergy, were attempting to prevent the university from erecting a gymnasium annex on part of the site where the shootings occurred seven years earlier, which they believed would alter and obscure the historical event. Law enforcement finally brought the tent city to an end on July 12, 1977, after the forced removal and arrest of 193 people. The event gained national press coverage and the issue was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1990, twenty years after the shootings, a memorial commemorating the events of May 4 was dedicated on the campus on a 2.5 acre (10,000 m²) site overlooking the University's Commons where the student protest took place. Even the construction of the monument became controversial and, in the end, only 7% of the design was constructed. The memorial itself does not contain the names of those killed or wounded in the shooting; under pressure, the university agreed to install a plaque near it with the names.

In 1999, at the urging of relatives of the four students killed in 1970, the university constructed an individual memorial for each of the students in the parking lot between Taylor and Prentice halls. Each of the four memorials is located on the exact spot where the student fell, mortally wounded. They are surrounded by a raised rectangle of granite featuring six lightposts approximately four feet high, with the student's name engraved on a triangular marble plaque in one corner.

George Segal's
George Segal (artist)
George Segal was an American painter and sculptor associated with the Pop Art movement. He was presented with a National Medal of Arts in 1999.-Works:...

 1978 cast-from-life bronze sculpture, In Memory of May 4, 1970, Kent State: Abraham and Isaac was commissioned for the Kent State campus by a private fund for public art, but was refused by the university administration who deemed its subject matter
Binding of Isaac
The Binding of Isaac Akedah or Akeidat Yitzchak in Hebrew and Dhabih in Arabic, is a story from the Hebrew Bible in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah...

 (the biblical Abraham poised to sacrifice his son Isaac) too controversial. The sculpture was accepted in 1979 by Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

, and currently resides there between the university chapel and library.

An earlier work of land art
Land art
Land art, Earthworks , or Earth art is an art movement which emerged in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in which landscape and the work of art are inextricably linked...

, Partially Buried Woodshed
Partially Buried Woodshed
Partially Buried Woodshed is a work of land art created by Robert Smithson. It was created at Kent State University in January 1970. The work has since been demolished, and only concrete remains in the grass...

, was produced on the Kent State campus by Robert Smithson
Robert Smithson
Robert Smithson was an American artist famous for his land art.-Background and education:Smithson was born in Passaic, New Jersey and studied painting and drawing in New York City at the Art Students League of New York....

 in January 1970. Shortly after the events, an inscription was added that recontextualized the work in such a way that it came to be associated by some with the event.

In 2004, a simple stone memorial was erected at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in Plainview, New York
Plainview, New York
Plainview is a hamlet located on Long Island in the town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County, New York, USA. The population of the CDP as of 2010 was 26,217. The Plainview post office has the ZIP code 11803....

, which Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Glenn Miller was a student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when he was shot and killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings....

 had attended.

On May 3, 2007, just prior to the yearly commemoration, an Ohio Historical Society marker was dedicated by KSU president Lester Lefton
Lester Lefton
Lester A. Lefton is an American academic and higher education administrator. He is the President of Kent State University . He has 35 years of experience in higher education, having served for 25 years at a public institution and nine at private institutions...

. It is located between Taylor Hall and Prentice Hall between the parking lot and the 1990 memorial. Also in 2007, a memorial service was held at Kent State in honor of James Russell, one of the wounded, who died in 2007 of a heart attack.

In 2008, Kent State University announced plans to construct a May 4 Visitors' Center in a room in Taylor Hall.

A 17.24 acres (7 ha) area was listed as Kent State Shootings Site on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 on February 23, 2010. The listing was announced as the featured listing in the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

's weekly list of March 5, 2010. Contributing resources in the site are: Taylor Hall, the Victory Bell, Lilac Lane and Boulder Marker, The Pagoda, Solar Totem, and the Prentice Hall Parking Lot. The National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 stated the site "is considered nationally significant given its broad effects in causing the largest student strike in the United States history, affecting public opinion about the Vietnam War, creating a legal precedent established by the trials subsequent to the shootings, and for the symbolic status the event has attained as a result of a government confronting protesting citizens with unreasonable deadly force."

Every year on the anniversary of the shootings, notably on the 40th anniversary in 2010, students and others who were present share remembrances of the day and the impact it has had on their lives. Among them are Nick Saban
Nick Saban
Nicholas Lou "Nick" Saban is the head coach of the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide football team. Saban has previously served as head coach of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins and three other NCAA universities: LSU, Michigan State and Toledo...

, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football
Alabama Crimson Tide football
|TeamName = Alabama football |Image = Alabama Crimson Tide Logo.svg |ImageSize = 110 |Helmet = Alabama Football.png |ImageSize2 = 150 |CurrentSeason = 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide football team...

 team who was a freshman in 1970; surviving student Tom Grace, who was shot in the foot; Kent State faculty member Jerry Lewis; photographer John Filo; and others.


The best known popular culture response to the deaths at Kent State was the protest song
Protest song
A protest song is a song which is associated with a movement for social change and hence part of the broader category of topical songs . It may be folk, classical, or commercial in genre...

 "Ohio", written by Neil Young
Neil Young
Neil Percival Young, OC, OM is a Canadian singer-songwriter who is widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation...

 for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young)
Crosby, Stills & Nash is a folk rock supergroup made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, also known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young when joined by occasional fourth member Neil Young...

. The song was written, recorded, and preliminary pressings (acetates) were rushed to major radio stations, although the group already had a hit song, "Teach Your Children
Teach Your Children
"Teach Your Children" is a song by Graham Nash. Although it was written when Nash was a member of The Hollies, it was never recorded by that group, and first appeared on the album Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released in 1970. The recording features Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar...

", on the charts at the time. Within two-and-a-half weeks of the Kent State shootings, "Ohio" was receiving national airplay. Crosby
David Crosby
David Van Cortlandt Crosby is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of three bands: The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash , and CPR...

, Stills, and Nash
Graham Nash
Graham William Nash, OBE is an English singer-songwriter known for his light tenor vocals and for his songwriting contributions with the British pop group The Hollies, and with the folk-rock band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Nash is a photography collector and a published photographer...

 visited the Kent State campus for the first time on May 4, 1997, where they performed the song for the May 4 Task Force's 27th annual commemoration. The B-Side of the single release was Stephen Stills' anti-Vietnam war anthem "Find the Cost of Freedom".

There are a number of lesser known musical tributes, including the following:
  • Harvey Andrews
    Harvey Andrews
    Harvey John Andrews is an English singer, songwriter, and poet.-Career:From 1964, Andrews supported his nascent career as a singer/songwriter by working as a schoolteacher, before becoming a full-time professional musician in 1966.Harvey Andrews has produced 17 successful albums singing his own...

    ' 1970 song "Hey Sandy" was addressed to Sandra Scheuer
    Sandra Scheuer
    Sandra Lee Scheuer was a student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when she was killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings....

  • Pete Atkin
    Pete Atkin
    Pete Atkin is a British singer-songwriter and radio producer notable for his 1970s musical collaborations with Clive James and for producing the BBC Radio 4 series This Sceptred Isle.-Early life:...

     and Clive James
    Clive James
    Clive James, AM is an Australian author, critic, broadcaster, poet and memoirist, best known for his autobiographical series Unreliable Memoirs, for his chat shows and documentaries on British television and for his prolific journalism...

     wrote "Driving Through Mythical America", recorded by Atkin on his 1971 album of the same name, about the shootings, relating them to a series of events and images from 20th-century American history.
  • Steve Miller's
    Steve Miller (musician)
    Steven H. "Steve" Miller is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter who began his career in blues and blues rock and evolved to a more popular-oriented sound which, from the mid 1970s through the early 1980s, resulted in a series of successful singles and albums.-Early years:Born in Milwaukee,...

     "Jackson-Kent Blues," from The Steve Miller Band album Number 5
    Number 5 (album)
    Number 5 is the fifth album by American rock band The Steve Miller Band, released in 1970.-Track listing:#"Good Morning" – 2:48#"I Love You" – 2:45#"Going to the Country" – 3:47...

     (released in November 1970), is another direct response.
  • The Beach Boys
    The Beach Boys
    The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962...

     released "Student Demonstration Time
    Student Demonstration Time
    "Student Demonstration Time" is a song which was recorded by the American rock band The Beach Boys. The original song, titled "Riot In Cell Block Nine", was originally written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and was regularly performed by The Beach Boys in concert starting in 1969...

    " in 1971 on Surf's Up. Mike Love
    Mike Love
    Michael Edward "Mike" Love is an American singer/songwriter and musician with The Beach Boys. He was a founding member of the band along with his cousins Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, and their friend Al Jardine, and continues to perform with the band to the present day...

     wrote new lyrics for Leiber & Stoller’s "Riot in Cell Block Number Nine."
  • Bruce Springsteen
    Bruce Springsteen
    Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

     wrote a song called "Where Was Jesus in Ohio" in May or June 1970. The unreleased and uncirculating song is reported to be the artist's emotionally charged response to the Kent State shootings.
  • Jon Anderson
    Jon Anderson
    Jon Anderson is an English singer-songwriter and musician best known as the former lead vocalist in the progressive rock band Yes...

     has said that the lyrics of "Long Distance Runaround" (on the album Fragile
    Fragile (Yes album)
    Fragile is the fourth studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released on Atlantic Records. It is the first to feature keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who replaced Tony Kaye in 1971, and the first to feature cover art by Roger Dean, who would design many of the band's records.Upon its...

     by Yes
    Yes (band)
    Yes are an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre, Yes are known for their lengthy songs, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets...

    , also released in 1971) are also in part about the shootings, particularly the line "hot colour melting the anger to stone."
  • In 1970-71 Halim El-Dabh
    Halim El-Dabh
    Halim Abdul Messieh El-Dabh is an Egyptian-born American composer, performer, ethnomusicologist, and educator, who has had a career spanning six decades...

    , a Kent State University music professor who was on campus when the shootings occurred, composed Opera Flies, a full-length opera
    Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

    , in response to his experience. The work was first performed on the Kent State campus on May 8, 1971, and was revived for the 25th commemoration of the events in 1995.
  • Album Everyone, by British band Everyone, released in January 1971 included song Don't Get Me Wrong by Andy Roberts
    Andy Roberts
    Anderson Montgomery Everton "Andy" Roberts is a former West Indian cricketer. He was an excellent fast bowler, twice taking seven wickets in an innings of a Test match...

     about Kent State shootings.
  • In 1971, the composer and pianist Bill Dobbins (who was a Kent State University graduate student at the time of the shootings), composed "The Balcony", an avant-garde work for jazz band
    Jazz band
    A jazz band is a musical ensemble that plays jazz music. Jazz bands usually consist of a rhythm section and a horn section, in the early days often trumpet, trombone, and clarinet with rhythm section of piano, banjo, bass or tuba, and drums.-Eras:SwingDuring the swing era in the mid-twentieth...

     inspired by the same event. First performed in May 1971 for the university's first commemoration, it was released on LP in 1973 and was performed again by the Kent State University Jazz Ensemble in 2000 for the 30th commemoration.
  • Dave Brubeck
    Dave Brubeck
    David Warren "Dave" Brubeck is an American jazz pianist. He has written a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranges from refined to bombastic, reflecting his mother's attempts at classical training and his improvisational skills...

    's 1971 cantata
    A cantata is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir....

     Truth Is Fallen is dedicated to the slain students at Kent State University and Jackson State University; the work was premiered in Midland, Michigan
    Midland, Michigan
    Midland is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan in the Tri-Cities region of the state. It is the county seat of Midland County. The city's population was 41,863 as of the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Midland Micropolitan Statistical Area....

     on May 1, 1971, and released on LP in 1972.
  • The All Saved Freak Band
    All Saved Freak Band
    The All Saved Freak Band was one of the earliest influences in what has since become a distinct sub-category of Rock and Roll, Contemporary Christian Music...

     dedicated its 1973 album My Poor Generation to "Tom Miller of the Kent State 25." Tom Miller was a member of the band who had been featured in Life
    Life (magazine)
    Life generally refers to three American magazines:*A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Time founder Henry Luce bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name....

     magazine as part of the Kent State protests and lost his life the next year in an automobile accident.
  • Holly Near
    Holly Near
    Holly Near is an American singer-songwriter, actress, teacher, and activist for social change.-Early years:...

    's "It Could Have Been Me" was released on A Live Album (1974). The song is Near's personal response to the incident.
  • Jandek
    Jandek is the musical project of an anonymous outsider musician who operates out of Houston, Texas. Since 1978, Jandek has self-released over 60 albums of unusual, often emotionally dissolute folk and blues songs without ever granting more than the occasional interview or providing any biographical...

    's song "Governor Rhodes" is presumably a meditation on the Kent State shootings, the title a reference to the Ohio governor who ordered the National Guard to confront protesters. The song was released on the LP Telegraph Melts
    Telegraph Melts
    Telegraph Melts is the twelfth album and first release of 1986 by musician Jandek. It was released as Corwood Industries #0750.-Track listing:#You – 1:38#On the Planes – 2:48#Go to Bed – 2:46#Ace of Diamonds – 4:43#Twenty Four – 4:55...

     in 1986, but is believed by some to have been recorded shortly after the shootings.
  • The industrial band Skinny Puppy
    Skinny Puppy
    Skinny Puppy is a Canadian industrial musical group, formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1982. The group is widely considered to be the founders of the electro-industrial genre....

    's 1989 song "Tin Omen" on the album Rabies refers to the event.
  • Lamb of God's
    Lamb of God (band)
    Lamb of God is an American heavy metal band from Richmond, Virginia. Formed in 1994, the group consists of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler...

     2000 song "O.D.H.G.A.B.F.E." references Kent State, together with the Auschwitz concentration camp
    Auschwitz concentration camp
    Concentration camp Auschwitz was a network of Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II...

    , the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
    Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
    The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese , were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China beginning on 15 April 1989...

    , the 1968 Democratic National Convention
    1968 Democratic National Convention
    The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. Because Democratic President Lyndon Johnson had announced he would not seek a second term, the purpose of the convention was to...

     and the Waco siege
    Waco Siege
    The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

  • A commemorative 2-CD compilation featuring music and interviews was released by the May 4 Task Force in May 2005, in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the shootings.
  • Joe Walsh
    Joe Walsh
    Joseph Fidler "Joe" Walsh is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He has been a member of three commercially successful bands, the James Gang, Barnstorm, and the Eagles, and has experienced notable success as a solo artist and prolific session musician, especially with B.B...

    , who briefly attended Kent State, has said that he wrote "Turn to Stone" in response to the shootings. He also mentions the event in the song "Decades" (1992).
  • Lodi, New Jersey
    Lodi, New Jersey
    Lodi is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 24,136. The borough of Lodi is governed under the 1923 Municipal Manager Law.Lodi owes its name to the Italian city of Lodi...

    -based horror punk
    Horror punk
    Horror punk is a music genre that mixes Gothic and punk rock sounds with morbid imagery and lyrics, which are often influenced by horror films...

     band Mourning Noise
    Mourning Noise
    Mourning Noise was an American horror- and hardcore punk band from Lodi, New Jersey, notable for drummer Steve Zing. Active around the time of the Misfits, Mourning Noise were strongly influenced by the Misfits as drummer Steve Zing lived very close to Jerry Only and Doyle's house and Steve went to...

     mentions this event in its song "Radical" recorded live for the album "Death Trip Delivery".
  • One of the students who participated in the protest was Chrissie Hynde
    Chrissie Hynde
    Christine Ellen "Chrissie" Hynde is an US musician best known as the leader of the rock/new wave band the Pretenders. She is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and has been the only constant member of the band throughout its history.-Early life and career:Hynde is the daughter of a part-time...

    , future leader of The Pretenders
    The Pretenders
    The Pretenders are an English rock band formed in Hereford, England in March 1978. The original band consisted of initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde , James Honeyman-Scott , Pete Farndon , and Martin Chambers...

    , who was a sophomore at the time. Her former bandmate, Mark Mothersbaugh
    Mark Mothersbaugh
    Mark Allen Mothersbaugh is an American musician, composer, singer and painter. He is the co-founder of the new wave band Devo and has been its lead singer since 1972. His other musical projects include work for television series, films, and video games....

    , and Gerald Casale
    Gerald Casale
    Gerald Vincent Casale , often known as Jerry Casale, is a vocalist, bass guitar/synthesizer player, and a founding member of the new wave band Devo...

    , founding members of Devo
    Devo is an American band formed in 1973 consisting of members from Kent and Akron, Ohio. The classic line-up of the band includes two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs and the Casales . The band had a #14 Billboard chart hit in 1980 with the single "Whip It", and has maintained a cult...

    , also attended Kent State at the time of the shootings. Casale was reportedly "standing about 15 feet (4.6 m) away" from Allison Krause when she was shot, and was friends with her and another one of the students who were killed. The shootings were the transformative moment for him and for the band, which became less of a pure joke and more a vehicle for social critique (albeit with a blackly humorous bent).

  • Sage Francis
    Sage Francis
    Paul "Sage" Francis is a hip-hop artist from Providence, Rhode Island.-Biography:Born Paul Francis in Miami, Florida, Sage Francis is a rapper/writer/performer from Providence, Rhode Island. He is the founder and CEO of the independent hip-hop record label Strange Famous Records...

     references the Kent State shootings in his song "Slow Down Gandhi."
  • Gwar
    Gwar is a satirical heavy metal band formed in Richmond, Virginia, United States, in 1984. The band is best known for its elaborate science fiction/horror film inspired costumes, obscene lyrics and graphic stage performances, which feature humorous enactments of politically and morally taboo...

     references the Kent State shootings in the song "Slaughterama" saying "Good thing I was such an expert shot with the National Guard back at Kent State, I bagged four that day."
  • Genesis
    Genesis (band)
    Genesis are an English rock band that formed in 1967. The band currently comprises the longest-tenured members Tony Banks , Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins . Past members Peter Gabriel , Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips , also played major roles in the band in its early years...

     recreates the events from the perspective of the Guards in the song "The Knife
    The Knife (song)
    The Knife is a song by progressive rock band Genesis from their second album Trespass from 1970. It was performed live often in the band's early days and has appeared sporadically in the band's setlists all the way up through 1982...

    ", on Trespass
    Trespass (album)
    Trespass is the second studio album by Genesis and was recorded and released in 1970. Their last with guitarist Anthony Phillips, Trespass had a folk-flavoured progressive rock sound that was a marked departure from their earlier work....

     (October 1970). Against a backdrop of voices chanting "We are only wanting freedom," a male voice in the foreground calls "Things are getting out of control here today", then "OK men, fire over their heads!" followed by gunshots, screaming and crying. The song became a concert mainstay, and established Genesis on the prog-rock scene.
  • Barbara Dane
    Barbara Dane
    Barbara Dane is an American folk, blues, and jazz singer.-Early life:Barbara Dane's parents arrived in Detroit from Arkansas in the 1920s. Out of high school, Dane began to sing regularly at demonstrations for racial equality and economic justice. While still in her teens, she sat in with bands...

     sings "The Kent State Massacre" written by Jack Warshaw on her 1973 album I Hate the Capitalist System.
  • The Swedish rock band Gläns över Sjö & Strand made a song about the shootings, in the album Är du lönsam lilla vän?, called "Ohio 4 maj 1970".
  • Experimental punk rock band At the Drive-In
    At the Drive-In
    At the Drive-In was an American rock band from El Paso, Texas, considered part of the post-hardcore genre and active from 1993 to 2001. They were known for their extremely energetic stage shows which hearkened back to the 1980s hardcore scene...

     reference the shooting in their song "Alpha Centauri" singing, "students spray the kent state mist/wishing wills missing clientele/widows six legged lost and found"


  • Harlan Ellison
    Harlan Ellison
    Harlan Jay Ellison is an American writer. His principal genre is speculative fiction.His published works include over 1,700 short stories, novellas, screenplays, teleplays, essays, a wide range of criticism covering literature, film, television, and print media...

    's 1971 story collection Alone Against Tomorrow
    Alone Against Tomorrow
    Alone Against Tomorrow is a collection of short stories by author Harlan Ellison. Published in the United States in 1971, as a ten year retrospective of Ellison's short stories, it includes some of his most famous work. It was later published in the UK in two volumes as All the Sounds of Fear in...

     is dedicated to the four students who were killed.
  • Lesley Choyce
    Lesley Choyce
    Lesley Choyce is a Canadian author of novels, non-fiction, children's books, and poetry.Born in Riverside Township, New Jersey, he was educated at Rutgers University, CUNY, and Montclair State University...

    's 1994 novel, The Republic of Nothing mentions how one character hates President Richard Nixon
    Richard Nixon
    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

     due in part to the students of Kent State.
  • Gael Baudino
    Gael Baudino
    Gael Baudino is a contemporary American fantasy author who also writes under the pseudonyms of Gael Kathryns, Gael A. Kathryns, and G.A. Kathryns. She attended college at the University of Southern California...

    's 1988-92 Dragonsword
    Dragonsword (novel)
    Dragonsword is a novel written by Gael Baudino and published in 1988. It is the first in the Dragonsword Trilogy. The other novels are Duel of Dragons and Dragon Death...

     trilogy follows the story of a teaching assistant who narrowly missed being shot in the massacre. Frequent references are made to how the experience and its aftermath still traumatize the protagonist decades later when she herself is a soldier.


  • The incident is mentioned in Allen Ginsberg
    Allen Ginsberg
    Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression...

    's 1975 poem Hadda be Playin' on a Jukebox
    Hadda be Playin' on a Jukebox
    Hadda be Playin' on the Jukebox is a poem written by Allen Ginsberg in 1975. It has been performed live, with accompanying music, by the band Rage Against the Machine, appearing on their album Live & Rare....


  • The poem "Bullets and Flowers" by Yevgeny Yevtushenko
    Yevgeny Yevtushenko
    Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko is a Soviet and Russian poet. He is also a novelist, essayist, dramatist, screenwriter, actor, editor, and a director of several films.-Early life:...

     is dedicated to Allison Krause. Krause had participated in the previous days' protest during which she reportedly put a flower in the barrel of a Guardsman’s rifle, as had been done at a war protest at the Pentagon
    The Pentagon
    The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

     in October 1967, and reportedly saying, "Flowers are better than bullets."

  • Peter Makuck
    Peter Makuck
    Peter Makuck is an American poet, short story writer, and critic. He is Distinguished Professor emeritus Professor of English at East Carolina University, where he was also the first Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences; he has also served as Visiting Writer in Residence at Brigham Young...

    's poem "The Commons" is about the shootings. Makuck, a 1971 graduate of Kent State, was present on the Commons during the incident.

  • Gary Geddes' poem Sandra Lee Scheuer remembers one of the victims of the Kent State shootings.


  • 1977 - Kent State: A Requiem by J. Gregory Payne. First performed in 1976. Told from the perspective of Bill Schoeder's mother, Florence, this play has been performed at over 150 college campuses in the U.S. and Europe in tours in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s; it was last performed at Emerson College in 2007. It is also the basis of NBC's award-winning 1981 docudrama Kent State.
  • 1993 - Blanket Hill explores conversations of the National Guard hours before arriving at Kent State University...activities of students already on campus...the moment they meet face to face on May 4, 1970...framed in the trial four years later. The play originated as a classroom assignment, initially performed at the Pan-African Theater and was developed at the Organic Theater, Chicago, IL. Produced as part of The Student Theatre Festival 2010, Department of Theatre and Dance, Kent State University, it was again designed and performed by current theatre students as part of the 40th May 4 Commemoration. The play was written and directed by Kay Cosgriff. A DVD of the production is available for viewing from the May 4th Collection at Kent State University.
  • 1995 - Nightwalking. Voices From Kent State by Sandra Perlman, Kent, Franklin Mills Press, first presented in Chicago April 20, 1995, (Director: Jenifer (Gwenne) Weber). Kent state is referenced in Nikki Giovanni's Beep Beep Poem (the).
  • 2010- David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State and theatre professor Katherine Burke team up to write a play called May 4 Voices in honor of the incident's 40th anniversary.


  • In her 1996 still/moving photographic project Partially Buried in three parts, visual artist Renée Green
    Renee Green
    Renée Green is an artist, writer, and filmmaker. Her pluralistic practice spans a broad range of media including sculpture, architecture, photography, prints, video, film, websites, and sound, which normally converge in highly layered and complex installations...

     aims to address the history of the shootings both historically and culturally.


  • 1970 - Confrontation at Kent State (director Richard Myers
    Richard Myers (filmmaker)
    Richard Myers is an American experimental filmmaker based in northeast Ohio.Myers taught at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and is particularly known for his 1970 film Confrontation at Kent State, which he filmed in Kent during the week following the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970; it is...

    ) - documentary filmed by a Kent State University filmmaker in Kent, Ohio, directly following the shootings.
  • 1971 - Allison (director Richard Myers) - a tribute to Allison Krause
    Allison Krause
    Allison B. Krause was an honor student at Kent State University, Ohio, when she was shot and killed by the Ohio Army National Guard in the Kent State Massacre, while protesting the invasion of Cambodia and the presence of the National Guard on the Kent State campus...

  • 1979 - George Segal (director Michael Blackwood) - documentary about American sculptor George Segal
    George Segal (artist)
    George Segal was an American painter and sculptor associated with the Pop Art movement. He was presented with a National Medal of Arts in 1999.-Works:...

    ; Segal discusses and is shown creating his bronze sculpture Abraham and Isaac, which was originally intended as a memorial for the Kent State University campus.
  • 2000 - Kent State: The Day the War Came Home (director Chris Triffo, executive producer Mark Mori
    Mark Mori
    Mark Mori is an American documentary filmmaker, television producer and screenwriter of documentary and reality television series and specials. He is producing and directing, Bettie Page Reveals All, the authorized documentary film on life of pin-up model, Bettie Page, scheduled for release in 2011...

    ), the Emmy-Award-winning documentary featuring interviews with injured students, eyewitnesses, guardsmen, and relatives of students killed at Kent State.
  • 2007 - 4 Tote in Ohio: Ein Amerikanisches Trauma ("4 dead in Ohio: an American trauma") (directors Klaus Bredenbrock and Pagonis Pagonakis) - documentary featuring interviews with injured students, eyewitnesses and a German journalist who was a U.S. correspondent.
  • 2008 - How It Was: Kent State Shootings - National Geographic Channel
    National Geographic Channel
    National Geographic Channel, also commercially abbreviated and trademarked as Nat Geo, is a subscription television channel that airs non-fiction television programs produced by the National Geographic Society. Like History and the Discovery Channel, the channel features documentaries with factual...

     documentary series episode.
  • 2010 - Fire In the Heartland: Kent State, May 4, and Student Protest in America (director Daniel Lee Miller) - documentary featuring the build-up to, the events of, and the aftermath of the shootings, told by many of those who were present and in some cases wounded.

Film and television

  • 1970 - The Bold Ones: The Senator
    The Bold Ones: The Senator
    The Bold Ones: The Senator is an American political television drama series that aired on NBC from 1970 through 1971, lasting for nine episodes . The series stars Hal Holbrook as Senator Hays Stowe.The Senator was part of The Bold Ones, a rotating series of dramas that also included The New...

     - a television program starring Hal Holbrook
    Hal Holbrook
    Harold Rowe "Hal" Holbrook, Jr. is an American actor. His television roles include Abraham Lincoln in the 1976 TV series Lincoln, Hays Stowe on The Bold Ones: The Senator and Capt. Lloyd Bucher on Pueblo. He is also known for his role in the 2007 film Into the Wild, for which he was nominated for...

    , aired a two-part episode titled "A Continual Roar of Musketry" which was based on a Kent-State-like shooting. Holbrook's Senator character is conducting an investigation into the incident.
  • 1974 - The Trial of Billy Jack
    The Trial of Billy Jack
    The Trial of Billy Jack is a 1974 film starring Delores Taylor and Tom Laughlin. It is the sequel to the 1971 film Billy Jack and the third film overall in the series. Although commercially successful, it was panned by critics.-Plot:...

     - The climactic scene of this film depicts National Guardsmen lethally firing on unarmed students, and the credits specifically mention Kent State and other student shootings
  • 1981 - Kent State (director James Goldstone) - television docudrama
    In film, television programming and staged theatre, docudrama is a documentary-style genre that features dramatized re-enactments of actual historical events. As a neologism, the term is often confused with docufiction....

  • 1995 - Nixon
    Nixon (film)
    Nixon is a 1995 American biographical film directed by Oliver Stone for Cinergi Pictures that tells the story of the political and personal life of former US President Richard Nixon, played by Anthony Hopkins....

     - Directed by Oliver Stone
    Oliver Stone
    William Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, for which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on...

    , the film features actual footage of the shootings; the event also plays an important role in the course of the film's narrative.
  • 2000 - The '70s starring Vinessa Shaw
    Vinessa Shaw
    Vinessa Elizabeth Shaw is an American actress and model. Shaw has starred in numerous motion pictures since the early 1990s, and is probably most well known for her performances in Disney's 1993 Halloween film Hocus Pocus, Ladybugs, the 2006 remake of Wes Craven's horror picture The Hills Have...

     and Amy Smart
    Amy Smart
    Amy Lysle Smart is an American television and film actress and former fashion model.-Early life:Smart was born in Topanga, California. Her mother, Judy Lysle , worked at a museum, and her father, John Boden Smart, was a salesman...

    , a mini-series depicting four Kent State students affected by the shootings, as they move through the decade
  • 2002 - The Year That Trembled (written and directed by Jay Craven
    Jay Craven
    Jay Craven is a Vermont film director, screenwriter and professor of film studies at Marlboro College.Jay Craven is known for creating award winning films on modest budgets, adopting all of the novels of author Howard Frank Mosher to film...

    ; based on a novel by Scott Lax), a coming-of-age movie set in 1970 Ohio, in the aftermath of the Kent State killings

Further reading

  • Bills, Scott. (1988). Kent State/May 4: Echoes Through a Decade. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press. ISBN 0-873-38278-1.
  • Caputo, Philip. (2005). 13 Seconds: A Look Back at the Kent State Shootings with DVD. New York: Chamberlain Bros. ISBN 1-596-09080-4.
  • Davies, Peter and the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church. (1973). The Truth About Kent State: A Challenge to the American Conscience. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 0-374-27938-1.
  • Eszterhas, Joe, and Michael D. Roberts (1970). Thirteen Seconds: Confrontation at Kent State. New York: Dodd, Mead. ISBN 0-396-06272-5.
  • Gordon, William A. (1990). The Fourth of May: Killings and Coverups at Kent State. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-879-75582-2. Updated and reprinted in 1995 as Four Dead in Ohio: Was There a Conspiracy at Kent State? Laguna Hills, CA: North Ridge Books. ISBN 0-937-81305-2.
  • Langguth, A. J. (Jack). (1997). Our Vietnam: The War 1954-1975. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-743-21231-2.
  • Listman, John W. Jr. "Kent's Other Casualties", National Guard magazine, May 2000.
  • Michener, James. (1971). Kent State: What Happened and Why. New York: Random House and Reader's Digest Books. ISBN 0-394-47199-7.
  • Payne, J. Gregory (1981). Mayday: Kent State. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co. ISBN 0-840-32393-X.
  • Renner, James. "The Kent State Conspiracies: What Really Happened On May 4, 1970?", Cleveland Free Times, vol 13, issue 3 May 2006.
  • Report of the President's Commission on Campus Unrest ("Scranton Commission"). (1970) Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. ISBN 0-405-01712-X.
  • Stone, I. F. (1970). The Killings at Kent State; How Murder Went Unpunished. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-70953-5.
  • Stone, I. F. "Fabricated Evidence in the Kent State Killings", The New York Review of Books, Volume 15, Number 10, 3 December 1970.
  • Weissman, Norman. (2008). Snapshots USA. Mystic, CT: Hammonasset House Books. ISBN 0-980-18941-1.

External links



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