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Kent State Massacre Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young Leslie Langford.

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Presentation on theme: "Kent State Massacre Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young Leslie Langford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kent State Massacre Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young Leslie Langford

2 Table of Contents Political Philosophy Foreign Policy Why was the National Guard called to Kent? What happened after the National Guard arrived? What type of rally was held on Monday, May 4 th, 1970? Who made the decision to ban all rallies? What events led directly to the shooting? How many deaths and injuries occurred? Why did the Guardsmen fire? Guardsmen said… Legal Ramifications Ohio Sources

3 Political Philosophy and Subject Opinion I am personally of the belief that the blame lies among multiple parties. The students should not have been protesting violently and threatening the National Guard. The National Guard should have waited for approval from a higher source before shooting into the crowd. The school administrators and governor should have been clearer about the legality of protests. The Kent State massacre was a completely unnecessary tragedy that personified the factions that existed within the United States during the Vietnam era.

4 Foreign Policy In 1970, President Richard Nixon was elected president under the pretense that he would end the war. On Thursday, April 30 th, 1970, he announced the war would be extending into Cambodia to attack the headquarters of the Viet Cong, contrary to his campaign promise, igniting anti-war sentiment.



7 Why was the National Guard called to Kent? Protests occurred the next day (including at Kent State) on Friday, May 1, across United States college campuses where anti-war sentiment ran high. Friday evening bonfires were built in the streets of downtown Kent, cars were stopped, police cars were hit with bottles, and some store windows were broken. The mayor of Kent called the governor asking for assistance, which only escalated their rebellion, but tear gas was eventually used effectively to disperse the crowd.

8 The next day, the mayor made the decision to bring in the Ohio National Guard to protect businesses and city officials as well as address rumors that radical revolutionaries were in Kent to damage the city and university.

9 What happened after the National Guard arrived? When the National Guard arrived on the scene at 10pm that Saturday, they found the ROTC building on fire. On Sunday, the situation heightened, and an unofficial state of martial law was declared as 1000 National Guardsmen filled the campus.

10 What type of rally was held at noon on Monday, May 4 th ? Although University officials had tried to inform students that all rallies were cancelled, on Monday, May 4 th, nearly 3000 students gathered on the Commons. Little evidence exists pertaining to who the leaders of the rally were, but it was believed that the rally was protesting the presence of the National Guard. Initially the rally was peaceful.

11 Who made the decision to ban the May 4 th rally? This is where evidence becomes sketchy. At the 1975 federal civil trial, the highest official of the Guard, General Robert Canterbury, testified that widespread consensus existed to ban all rallies; he further testified that Kent State President Robert White had explicitly told Canterbury that any demonstration would be highly dangerous.

12 White, however, testified that he could recall no conversation with Canterbury regarding banning the rally. The decision to ban the rally can most accurately be traced to the governor ’ s intended declaration of emergency on which he never followed through. Although he never did this, all officials assumed that the Guard was now in charge of the campus and that all rallies were illegal.


14 What events led directly to the shooting? A Kent State police officer standing by the Guard made the announcement that the rally must disperse using a bullhorn. When this had no effect, the officer, along with several Guardsmen rode in a jeep along the Commons to tell the protestors that they must leave immediately. This was met with angry shouting and rock throwing; Canterbury ordered his men to load and lock their weapons. Tear gas canisters were released into the crowd, and the Guard began to march across the Commons.

15 The protestors moved up a steep hill called Blanket Hill and then down the other side of the hill onto the Prentice Hall parking lot as well as an adjoining practice football field. The Guard followed. Rock throwing and yelling continued for about ten minutes until the Guardsmen began retracing their steps from the practice football field back up Blanket Hill. When they arrived at the top of the hill, twenty-eight of seventy Guardsmen turned and fired their guns. Several guardsmen fired into the air or the ground, but a small portion fired directly into the crowd. Altogether between 61 and 67 shots were fired in a 13 second period.


17 How many deaths and injuries occurred? Four Kent State students died as a result of the firing by the Guard: Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer. Nine Kent State students were wounded: Joseph Lewis, Thomas Grace, John Cleary, Alan Canfora, Dean Kahler, Douglas Wrentmore, James Russell, Robert Stamps, and Donald Mackenzie.


19 Why did the Guardsmen fire? Two theories have been developed to answer this question: – (1) the Guardsmen fired in self-defense, and the shootings were therefore justified. – (2) the Guardsmen were not in immediate danger, and therefore the shootings were unjustified.

20 Guardsmen said… The answer offered by the Guardsmen is that they fired because they were in fear of their lives.

21 Legal Ramifications In 1979, the legal proceedings ended with a financial settlement providing $675,000 to the wounded students and the parents of the students who had been killed. This money was paid by the State of Ohio rather than by any Guardsmen.

22 Perhaps most importantly, the statement signed by members of the Ohio National Guard was viewed by them to be a declaration of regret, not an apology or an admission of wrongdoing: “ 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. ”




26 Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young Immediately after the Kent State massacre, Neil Young composed the song "Ohio" after looking at photos appearing in Life magazine. The group recorded and released the song soon after the killings. The lyrics "Four dead in Ohio" became an anthem to a generation of young people protesting the draft and the ongoing war in Vietnam. In some parts of the country, the song was banned because of it's "anti-war" opinion. In his song Ohio, the group straightforwardly expresses their opinions about the war and about the Kent State shootings.



29 Sources /05/crosby-stills-nash-young-ohio-atlantic.html /05/crosby-stills-nash-young-ohio-atlantic.html 20nash 20nash massacre/egypt772/112b459a.jpg massacre/egypt772/112b459a.jpg nt-state-massacre-forty-years-ago-and.html nt-state-massacre-forty-years-ago-and.html

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