Friday, May 4, 2018



Kent, Ohio (JFK+50) During an anti-war demonstration held at Kent State University* on May 4, 1970, four students were shot and killed and nine more were wounded by the Ohio National Guard.

On Friday, May 1, 1970, an anti-Vietnam War demonstration was held on the university commons.  There were 500 demonstrators.  That evening a riot broke out in town and city leaders were informed that radical elements were intent on destroying both their city and the university.

Mayor LeRoy Satrom put in a call to Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes asking for the National Guard.  With the Guard arriving about 10 p.m., the ROTC building had been set on fire and the Guard responded with tear gas.

On Monday, May 4, 2000 students gathered at TAYLOR HALL.  The Guard was ordered to disperse them.  77 soldiers of Company A and Troop G marched forward with bayonets fixed. At 12:24 p.m. more than two dozen of the Guardsmen fired their weapons.

One eyewitness later said...

"Suddenly they...aimed...(and) I was standing there saying, 'They're not going to shoot.  They can't do that!"

It was later determined that 67 rounds of ammunition had been fired in a mere 13 seconds.   The victims were:  

        Jeffrey Glenn Miller (20)
        Allison B. Krause (19)
        William Knox Schroeder (19) 
        Sandra Lee Scheuer (20)

Mr. Miller and Miss Krause had been participating in the protest, but Mr. Schroeder and Miss Scheuer were simply walking from class to class at the time they were shot.

After seeing photographs of the tragic events at Kent State, songwriter/singer NEIL YOUNG wrote the lyrics to "Ohio."  The song was recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and released by Atlantic Records in June 1970.

Neil Young, who described the Kent State shootings as "the biggest lesson ever learned at an American place of learning," said David Crosby was moved to tears after finishing the recording.

"Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming,
We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know."

lyrics by Neil Young
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Recorded May 21, 1970

*Kent State University is located in northeast Ohio near the town of Kent.  It was founded in 1910 and today has an enrollment of 42,513.  It is ranked in the top 77 public research universities in the nation and in the top 200 in the world.  The school colors are blue and gold.  The school nickname is "The Golden Flashes."              

Memorial to Jeffrey Miller
Kent State University
Photo by M. Stewart (2007)