It’s been 48 years since Kent State
tags: Ohio National Guard; Kent State College; the Cold War; Polner
Murray Polner, formerly HNN's senior book review editor, blogs at There's No There There. He is the author of No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran, Branch Rickey: A Biography, and co-editor of We Who Dared Say No To War.
It’s been 48 years since Ohio National Guardsmen on May 4, 1970 aimed their M-1 rifles at unarmed Kent State College students and killed four and wounded nine others. You have to be at least 55-60 years of age to have a vivid memory of the events.
Despite several trials, a presidential commission, articles galore, a flood of books and protests, and the creation of a splendid archive, the May 4th Collection at the KSU Library, no one was ever really punished but for the imposition of a very small fine. But to me, the bloodied campus represented the way things have always been done here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave: Shooting and killing striking workers, African Americans, radicals, religious dissenters, Native Americans, antiwar people. Gun 'em down, mythological cowboy style, and get away with it.
The truth as a handful of intrepid historians have pointed out is that had there not been a Cold War mentality there would never have been a Vietnam. And had there not have been a Vietnam War there would never have been a bloodbath at Kent State.
comments powered by Disqus
- Black Family and Kansas History Converge at Nicodemus Reunion
- Law is Unclear Whether Public College Faculty Have Free Speech Rights in Classroom
- Recovering the Story of the Black Men who were the Nation's First Paramedics
- U of Idaho Advises Faculty of Legal Jeopardy for Discussing Abortion in Classrooms
- The Long Shadow of Pinochet Over Chile's Constitutional Referendum
- Misha Matsumoto Yee is Gilder Lehrman's History Teacher of the Year
- Aaron Burr: The Highest Ranking US Official to be Charged with Treason – So Far?
- When Italian Immigrants were Tricked into Debt Peonage in the Jim Crow South
- Joshua Tait: Will Thiel-Backed Extremists Torpedo GOP Senate Hopes?
- Marcus Weaver-Hightower on the Politics of School Lunch