On April 30, 1970, President Nixon announced an invasion of Cambodia. Students viewed this as an escalation of the Vietnam War when Nixon had vowed troop withdrawal. Like students nationwide, students at Kent State protested. The Governor called in the National Guard after disturbances in downtown Kent the night before. Bearing rifles the students did not know were loaded, guardsmen advanced toward the crowd and killed 4 students. Some were just observers. The shootings were inexcusable.
I was a senior in high school when this happened, and can honestly say I did not know what happened. Earlier this month, when visiting my sister in Ohio, we went to the Kent State memorial and museum. The photos and displays were very powerful. Pictures of 2 of the students before they were killed show them carrying their books on their way to class. They were only 19 years old. Bob tells me the story of the Pulitzer winning student photographer, who was so afraid for his well being after the shootings, he left town and journeyed to another city to develop and print his film. Even my nephews, ages 19 and 9, are shown here reading and studying a display. The museum has a history of the entire 60s, beginning with the Civil Rights movement.