Kent State Shootings

An excerpt from 'Kent State: Four Dead In Ohio' by graphic novelist Derf Backderf.
Abrams Books

Fifty years ago, the Ohio National Guard killed four unarmed Kent State students during a peace rally opposing the expansion of the Vietnam War. While it triggered massive outrage on campuses across the country, a Gallup poll the next day found nearly 60% of Americans blamed the students.

Protesters gather at the Ohio Statehouse to criticize the DeWine administration's coronavirus response on April 18, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

Gov. Mike DeWine began his usual press conference Monday with a moment of silence to remember the four Kent State students who lost their lives 50 years ago.

National Guard personnel holding rifles on May 4, 1970.
Kent State University News Service / Kent State University Library

It was 50 years ago today that Ohio National Guard troops opened fire on protesting students at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine. 

Students visit the site of the May 4, 1970, shootings during the annual commemoration in 1974.
Larry Roberts / Kent State University Library

Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the day National Guardsmen opened fire on Kent State University students protesting the Vietnam War. Four students were killed, and another nine were wounded.

In the weeks and months following May 4, 1970, life for Kent State students changed completely. The university responded to the shootings by halting on-campus classes and creating a type of pre-Internet distance learning for students, and students and faculty had to change the way they learned and taught.

The students were, of course, emotionally changed by the experience as well, and the approach to mental health care at the time was quite different than today. 

Kent State University has officially recognized the landmark status of the site where four students were killed by National Guardsmen in 1970.

Forty-Six Years After the Kent State Shootings

May 2, 2016
Mws77 / Wikimedia Commons

On May 4, 1970 a Vietnam protest rally ended in tragedy as Ohio Army National Guard troops opened fire and killed four students and injured nine others at Kent State University. Forty-six years later, it is remembered for inflaming the Vietnam War debates and protests of the time and leaving a permanent scar on Ohio.