Thirty-eight years ago today Ohio National Guard fired on Kent State University students protesting Nixon’s decision to invade Cambodia as part of the U.S. Vietnam War campaign – four students were killed and nine others wounded.
Here’s the first part of that chronology as detailed in William A. Gordon's book “Four Dead in Ohio: Was There a Conspiracy at Kent State?”
- April 30 President Nixon announces the invasion of Cambodia, triggering massive protests on many of the nation's campuses.
- May 2 Ohio National Guardsmen are sent to Kent State after the University's Army R.O.T.C. building is burned down.
- May 3 Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes personally appears on campus and promises to use "every force possible" to maintain order. Rhodes denounces the protesters as worse than brownshirts and vows to keep the Guard in Kent "until we get rid of them."
- May 4 Four students are killed and nine others are wounded when a contingent of Guardsmen suddenly opens fire during a noontime demonstration.
The four students killed were Allison Krause, Jeffrey Glen Miller, Sandy Lee Scheuer and William Knox Schroeder (the later two passerbys and not protesters).
The nine others wounded were Thomas Mark Grace, Joseph Lewis Jr., John R. Cleary, Alan Canfora, Dean Kahler (permanently paralyzed from the chest down), Douglas Wrentmore, James Dennis Russell, Robert Stamps, and Donald Scott MacKenzie.
MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL opens on May 4, 1970, as four newly married women and their officer husbands approach Ft. Knox, Kentucky. It is against this background of national divisiveness over the Vietnam War that these army officers will begin their military service.
Their orders to report to active duty include this one sentence in the special instructions section: “Ultimate assignment to a short tour area.” Translation: Vietnam.