Jeffrey Miller, moments before he is shot and killed
Sandy Scheuer, moments before she is shot and killed
Bill Schroeder, moments before he is shot and killed
Allison Krause, moments before she is shot and killed
The deadly assault begins
Alan Canfora just before he was shot in the wrist
Jeffrey Miller lies dead
Nine Were Wounded
Joseph Lewis, Jr. 70 feet away, shot in the abdomen and lower leg
John Cleary 110 feet away, shot in the chest
Tom Grace 200 feet away, shot in the foot
Alan Canfora 225 feet away, shot through his wrist
Richard Nixon ran his 1968 presidential campaign with a platform that promised "peace with honor" for the Vietnam War. Americans voted Nixon into office hoping for an honorable end to the war. They watched and they waited for Nixon to fulfill his campaign promise, and he seemed to be doing just that. However, on April 30, 1970, President Nixon gave a televised speech to the nation where he announced that American forces had invaded Cambodia as a defensive response to the aggression of North Vietnamese into Cambodia. Many Americans viewed this invasion as a lengthening of the Vietnam War, even though Nixon stated in his speech that this action would quicken the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. In response to the new invasion, students across the U.S. began to protest. On May 1, 1970, students began protesting at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. A protest rally was held at noon on campus by the students, a bonfire was built later that night by the rioters and beer bottles were thrown at police off campus. A state of emergency was declared by the mayor, and the governor was asked for help. In response to the mayor's request for help the governor sent in the Ohio National Guard. On May 2, 1970, fire was set to an abandoned building during a protest. This caused the National Guard to enter the campus and use tear gas to control the crowd. The National Guard dispersed another rally held on campus during the evening of May 3, 1970. Finally, on May 4, 1970, a student rally was scheduled for noon at the Commons on the Kent State University. the National Guard ordered the group of congregated students to disperse even before the rally had begun. When the students refused to leave the National Guard attempted to use tear gas on the crowd, however due to the wind conditions the tear gas was ineffective at dispersing the crowd. The National Guard then proceeded to advance upon the crowd with bayonets attached to their rifles. The crowd finally scattered but the National Guardsmen stood around for around ten minutes before they turned around and began to retreat. For an unknown reason, nearly a dozen National Guardsmen turned around during their retreat and began firing at the still scattered students. Some students dived to the ground, others stood shocked or half crouched believing that the troops were shooting into the air. A total of 67 bullets were fired in 13 seconds. A total of four students were killed and nine others were wounded during the incident. Some of the students who were shot were simply walking to their next class and had not even been part of the rally. Frederick P. Wenger, the Assistant Adjutant General, said that the troops had simply opened fire after they being shot at by a sniper. However, a reporter who had been at the rally at the time of the shooting did not see any indication of sniper fire, or hear the sound of any gunfire prior to the shooting. Students who had taken part in the protest conceded that rocks had been thrown at the troops, but they heatedly denied that there was any sniper. Civil right charges filed against the troops were dismissed by a federal judge, a state grand jury declined to indict any Guardsman, and no one spent a day in jail. In 1979, $675,000 were paid by the state to the wounded students and the families of the dead to settle a civil suit. A statement of regret, not apology, was signed by the Guardsmen. The Kent State shooting marked a turning point in the student anti-war movement, angering many Americans across the nation and inciting additional protests at schools across the country.
There Were Four Dead
Allison Krause ... 19 (Shot in the back) More of a listener than a talker; she never preached about her deeply held views. She opposed the war, and with her boy friend, Barry Levine, was among the spectators caught in the rifle fire. An honor student interested in the history of art, she believed in protest but not in violence.
Sandy Scheuer ... 20 (Shot in the neck) A junior from Youngstown, Ohio, she was walking to a class in speech therapy (her major) when she was caught in the Guardsmen's fire. A bubbly girl and an honor student, she had virtually no interest in politics or protest
Bill Schroeder ... 19 (Shot in the back) A psychology major from Lorain, Ohio, he was the second-ranking student in Kent State's Army ROTC unit. An Eagle Scout and high school basketball and track standout, he was the image of the clean-cut, academically conscientious Middle American boy.
Jeffrey Miller ... 20 (Shot in the mouth) A transfer student from Michigan State, he wore his hair long, liked bellbottoms, love beads and rock music, but he was no militant activist. "I know it sounds like a mother," said Mrs. Elaine Miller, "but Jeff didn't want to go to war, not because he'd be hurt, but because he might have to hurt someone else."
Dean Kahler 300 feet away, shot in the back and permanently paralyzed
Douglas Wrentmore 329 feet away, shot in his knee
Jim Russell 375 feet away, shot in the thigh and forehead
Robbie Stamps 500 feet away, shot in the right buttock
Donald Scott MacKenzie 730 feet away, shot in the neck