How Kent State could happen again

News & Politics

Tin soldiers and Nixon comin',
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drummin',
Four dead in Ohio.

~ Ohio, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Had he not been gunned down by National Guard troops on the Kent State University campus on May 4, 1970, Jeffrey Miller would be 56 years old this year. Instead, Miller's life ended at age 19 and the thing for which he will forever be remembered is being the body over which young Mary Ann Vecchio cried in despair in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo that quickly came to symbolize a deeply-divided nation.

It was 36 years ago today that Miller, Allison Krause, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder, were massacred by Army National Guardsmen at a Vietnam war protest on the Kent State campus. It was a watershed event that touched off a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close and signaled the zenith of American opposition to that war.

Miller and Krause had been involved in the demonstration while Scheuer and Schroeder were simply walking across campus between classes when the shooting started. Nine other students were wounded in the shooting, in which the soldiers fired 67 shots at the unarmed youths in a strong-arm effort to disperse the crowd before yet another day of protests could begin on the unsettled campus.

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