Kent State Massacre

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Cameron Silva Mrs. Nicholson American Lit. Pre-AP December, 2007 The Kent State Massacre The American populace had grown deeply divided over the bloody war in Cambodia. A death toll exceeding 58,000 soldiers being reported. These fatalities however, were occurring thousands upon thousands of miles overseas, in a remote foreign nation. The casualties of these unnamed soldiers bore little significance to the protesters gathering in America‘s heartland. America’s front, while embittered, was ultimately safe. On May 4th,1970 however, an atrocity would occur, prematurely claiming the lives of four students and wounding nine others. In just thirteen seconds, sixty seven shells were fired, taking with them the lives of Allison Krause, Jeffery Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Schroeder. Suddenly the war was brought home. The massacre led to the climax of the anti-war protests. It amplified the statements against the decision of U.S. President, Richard Nixon to invade Cambodia, ultimately ending his administration. The Kent State massacre that occurred on May 4th, 1970, triggered a change in America politically, historically, and culturally. Kent State University was placed in an international spotlight after the tragic end to an anti-war demonstration. The divisive effect to the calamity was predominately evident on college campuses across the United States, as a nationwide strike was provoked. According to a scientific study by the Urban Institute in May of 1970, “the Kent State massacre was the single factor which triggered the only national student strike in US history.”(Katsiaficas) Ultimately, nearly five million American students joined the growing strike. By mid-May, more than five hundred colleges and universities were closed, immediately followed by four hundred more by the end of May, 1970. “Approximately eighty percent of U.S. colleges and
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