Shooting in Kent WA – The shootings had a profound effect on the situation. The event prompted students all around the country to go on strike, which ultimately resulted in the closure of hundreds of educational institutions. According to H. R. Haldeman, a prominent assistant to President Richard Nixon, the shootings may have had a direct effect on the political climate in the country. According to Haldeman’s The Ends of Power (1978), the shootings at Kent State were the first step down the path that led to Watergate, which ultimately led to the downfall of the Nixon administration. In addition to the impacts that were directly caused by the events of May 4, the shootings have unquestionably come to represent the profound political and social divisions that so drastically split the nation at the time of the Vietnam War.
There has been a substantial amount of writing produced in the roughly three decades that have passed since May 4, 1970, evaluating the events of May 4 and the repercussions of those events. Some works were produced rather soon and offered a new perspective on the shootings, albeit one that was frequently one that was wrong or overly simplistic (for example, Eszterhas and Roberts, 1970; Warren, 1970; Casale and Paskoff, 1971; Michener, 1971; Stone, 1971; Taylor et al., 1971; and Tompkins and Anderson, 1971). In the years that followed, a great number of further works were released into circulation, such as those written by Davies (1973), Hare (1973), Hensley and Lewis (1978), Kelner and Munves (1980), Hensley (1981), Payne (1981), Bills (1988), and Gordon (1997). Although these publications have the benefit of providing a more comprehensive historical viewpoint than the prior volumes, no one book can be considered to be the authoritative account of the events that took place at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 and the aftermath of those events.(1)
Even though there is a significant body of research and writing on the Kent State shootings, there is still a lot of confusion and disinformation surrounding the events that took place on May 4. Take, for instance, Mary Beth Norton et al.’s (1994) well-known textbook on United States history for college students, which is also utilized in advanced placement classes taught at the high school level.(2) includes a photo of the shootings that occurred on May 4 along with the accompanying account of the events that took place: Students at Kent State University in Ohio who were protesting the Vietnam War in May 1970 were met by members of the National Guard who fired tear gas in their direction.
Soon after that, the military opened fire on a group of students who were fleeing the area without any justification. Four young persons, including two young women who had been walking to class, were slain when they were shot in the back. (Norton et al., 1994, p. 732) In spite of its brevity, this explanation nonetheless manages to contain four factual errors: (1) There was some degree of provocation; (2) the students were not running away when the Guard initially opened fire; (3) only one of the four students who died, William Schroeder, was shot in the back; and (4) one of the female students, Sandy Scheuer, had been walking to class, but the other female student, Allison Krause, had been part of the demonstration.