Kent State Shootings Remembrance

Observed annually on May 4th, Kent State Shootings Remembrance is a day on which people remember the killings of four people and the wounding of nine unarmed Kent State University students by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970.

This incident occurred during a peace rally that opposed the expansion of the U.S involvement during the Vietnam War into neutral Cambodia. This incident would mark the first time that a student was killed during an anti-war gathering in the U.S. It’s a remembrance day on which a lot of solemn commemorative events are held including speeches, candlelight processions, and concerts.

The History Of The Kent State Shootings

On April 30th, 1970, U.S President Richard Nixon announced that the Cambodian Incursion had been launched by the military of the U.S. At Kent State University, about 500 students were demonstrating on the Commons. This rally dissolved peacefully by 1 pm, but plans were made for a May 4th rally to protest the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia.

On Monday, May 4th, University officials planned to ban the gathering, but 2,000 people still gathered. Units under the command of Brigadier General Robert Canterbury of the Ohio National Guard attempted to disperse the students. Repeated orders to disperse from the Ohio National Guard were ignored by the crowd.

The National Guard attempted to disperse the crowd with tear gas, but when that failed to disperse the crowd, they advanced on the crowd.  The National Guard fired on the crowd and 4-students were killed and 9 students were wounded during the event. No members of the National Guard were brought to justice for the shootings on this day.

Observing Kent State Shootings Remembrance

On this day, candlelight processions are held, as are seminars, concerts, and other events. There are also political speeches, and discussion groups held on this remembrance day. Some of these events are held at the Visitors Center at Kent State University.

Where is Kent State Shootings Remembrance celebrated?

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