• Some stuff about the
Kent State Sh--ting
weeks after that, Bill Anthrell, an SOS member and former student, distributed flyers to an event in which he said he was going to napalm a dog. The event turned out to be an anti-napalm
by 1 p.m., another rally was planned for May 4 to continue the protest of the expansion of the Vietnam
War into Cambodia. There was widespread anger, and many protesters issued a call to "bring the war home". A group of history students buried a copy of the United States Constitution to symbolize that
Nixon had killed it.!"$! A sign was put on a tree asking "Why is the ROTC building still standing")
City officials and downtown businesses received threats, and rumors proliferated that radical revolutionaries were in Kent to destroy the city and university. Several merchants reported they were told that if they did not display anti-war slogans, their businesses would be burned down. Kent's police chief told the mayor that according to a reliable informant, the ROTC building, the local army recruiting station, and post office had been targeted for destruction that night.!">! There were unconfirmed rumors of students with caches of arms, plots to spike the local water supply with LSD, of students building tunnels for the purpose of blowing up the town's main store") Mayor Satrom
Information developed by an FBI investigation of the ROTC building fire indicates that, of those who participated actively, a significant portion weren't
Kent State students. There is also evidence to suggest that the burning was planned beforehand: railroad flares, a machete, and ice picks are not customarily carried to peaceful
rallies
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 and the communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes. They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. Now I want to say this. They
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
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:
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
A Gallup Poll taken the day after the shootings reportedly showed that 58 percent of respondents blamed the students, 11 percent blamed the National
Guard and 31 percent expressed no
However, 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 of 1770, in which five were killed and several more wounded.
Students from Kent State and other universities often got a hostile reaction upon returning home.
Some were told that more students should have been killed to teach student protesters a lesson; some students were disowned by their families.
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