Pulitzer Prize Winner Kent Stater’s photo shot moments before the National Guard opened fire.
EXPERIENCE ’60s and ’70s HISTORY!
“There was no reason, no excuse.”
The facts about Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll were true on the surface, but things were very different and scary just underneath where legitimate paranoia, distrust and oppressive control resided; the reality below the surreality.
In 1970 demonstrations and protests against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War escalated when Nixon, without the act of Congress invaded neutral Cambodia.
While not an active activist, 00individual registered and absorbed the sociopolitical climate quickly and continuously due to the fact that his life was on the line with a notice from the U.S.Army to appear for a physical.
Back then you were not to receive any “pre-induction” notifications prior to high school graduation and/or before you had turned nineteen – the U.S. military violated both assurances. Therefore, 00individual sought out a draft counselor above the Papa Bach Bookstore in Santa Monica and got great advice: the military requests any address change and it took them three months to process any new address, so 00individual would send another change of address every three months, creating a loop of perfectly timed unending address updates.
But this was just a band-aid as the Second Draft Lottery, specifically for nineteen year old teenagers born in 1951, of which I was one, was held on July 1st, roughly two months after the Massacre.
We all opposed this historically wrong “war” and yet we were forced (conscription) to be part of the Lottery of Death – or leave the U.S. – or go to prison. The random-pulled numbers were broadcast over the radio.
Fortunately I pulled a 213, well out of range of the 125 and below threshold of immediate induction. Unfortunately seven months earlier on the First Draft Lottery my good buddy pulled a 132 with a 195 and below threshold and had to manifest some major magic to avoid the draft.
Most of us were unified in our stance, people on the fringe could get weird but we were all in it together and did what we had to do – we protested with our lives – we would not supply them with fresh meat for their unjust war machine. Our local Tribe was not alone, about 60% of eligible men avoided military service during the Vietnam War; an estimated 250,000.
67 SHOTS in 13 SECONDS
May 4, 1970 was a monumentally sad and shocking day for America – as if the war was not horrendous enough the U.S. Government brought it home to our Universities and sanctioned the death of four innocent unarmed United States students.
For the many parents and adults who were joining the opposition to the war on a daily basis this sent spine-chilling fear of the reality that it was open season on students – and their child could be next. American youth, students, unarmed and killed for upholding the right to express their freedom of speech and assembly. Talk about a bad acid trip.
Killed: (and age and approximate distance from the National Guard):
Jeffrey Glenn Miller; age 20; 265 ft (81 m) shot through the mouth; killed instantly
Allison B. Krause; age 19; 343 ft (105 m) fatal left chest wound; died later that day
William Knox Schroeder; age 19; 382 ft (116 m) fatal chest wound; died almost an hour later in a hospital while undergoing surgery
Sandra Lee Scheuer; age 20; 390 ft (120 m) fatal neck wound; died a few minutes later from loss of blood
Wounded: (and approximate distance from the National Guard):
Joseph Lewis Jr.; 71 ft (22 m); hit twice in the right abdomen and left lower leg
John R. Cleary; 110 ft (34 m); upper left chest wound
Thomas Mark Grace; 225 ft (69 m); struck in left ankle
Alan Michael Canfora; 225 ft (69 m); hit in his right wrist
Dean R. Kahler; 300 ft (91 m); back wound fracturing the vertebrae, permanently paralyzed from the chest down
Douglas Alan Wrentmore; 329 ft (100 m); hit in his right knee
James Dennis Russell; 375 ft (114 m); hit in his right thigh from a bullet and in the right forehead by birdshot, both wounds minor
Robert Follis Stamps; 495 ft (151 m); hit in his right buttock
Donald Scott MacKenzie; 750 ft (230 m); neck wound
All those shot were students in good standing at the university.
No National Guard members were killed or seriously injured.
In addition, at that point the war had claimed 48,700 soldiers, average age; nineteen. And all because of a “war” that history has since proven to be unwinnable, an absolute embarrassment, a total failure and an unnecessary tragic loss of life on both sides.
In the America of today when we have reached the point where the focus on daily tragedies and catastrophes are engulfed and washed away by the next day’s dose, do the lessons of the Kent State Massacre have any relevance in our high-strung fantasy world of false security while under the real fear of potential persecution in our day to day police state?
Let’s hope we never find out.
NEIL YOUNG – OHIO
“Four dead in Ohio”
Banned by most AM stations, FM championed “Ohio” as an important anthem that Rocked.
STEVE MILLER – JACKSON KENT BLUES
“Got those low down, profound, killin’ four blues”
One of Thee Best Psychedelic Rock Tracks Ever;
unfortunately about the darkest incident in American history since the Civil War . . .
. . . only with the Civil War both sides were armed.
Experts who find the Guard primarily responsible find themselves in agreement with any sane human with a conscience and with the conclusion of the Scranton Commission
(Report , 1970, p. 87):
“The indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable.”
. . . and in the end,
. . . all Guardsmen were cleared of any wrongdoing.
The following is an excellent contribution by if6ws929:
I recall the Kent State massacre as well as its aftermath. Amerika was killing its youth in an unjust, illegal war and slaughtering them on college campuses. By May of 1970 the line had clearly been drawn between those of us with a conscience and people who blindly supported a government that had no regard for the principles of truth and justice.
On Friday May 15,1970, eleven days after the Kent State massacre, State and City police killed two students and injured another twelve at Jackson State University in Mississippi. The students were protesting the tragedy at Kent State University as well as the recent invasion of Cambodia, government sanctioned racism and rumors that Mississippi mayor Charles Evers (brother of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers) and his wife had been shot and killed.
Seventy-five policemen armed with carbines, submachine guns, shotguns, service revolvers and personal weapons fired more than 460 rounds at the students. Emergency workers were not called to assist those who lay bleeding until the officers picked up their shell casings!
The two Jackson State students who died were:
Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, 21, father of an 18-month-old son and James Earl Green, 17
The twelve other students struck by gunfire were:
Fonzie Coleman, Redd Wilson Jr., Leroy Kenter, Vernon Steve Weakley, Gloria Mayhorn, Patricia Ann Sanders, Willie Woodard, Andrea Reese, Stella Spinks, Climmie Johnson, Tuwaine Davis, Lonzie Thompson.
For generations, most jobs were kept from minorities, they were profiled by the authorities, harassed, beaten and killed just because of the color of their skin. In the late 1960’s, long haired, middle class white youth received the same treatment just because of the way they looked. These common experiences along with an abhorrence of unfairness and a cultivated higher level of consciousness brought black, white, brown, red and yellow people together as brother and sister. The Nixon administration wasn’t as open minded. Amerika showed its hated of those they considered “crazies” by declaring war on drugs, dissent and the counterculture.
J. Edgar Hoover worked hand-in-hand with Richard Nixon. The FBI spied on anyone who disagreed with the war, it infiltrated civil rights and anti-war groups and intentionally fomented paranoia among the members of these organizations. The agency employed informants and trained them as agent provocateur to encourage and provoke protesters into committing illegal acts.
FBI agents withheld as well as planted evidence to gain convictions against innocent citizens. They assisted local police in the murder of Black Panther, Fred Hampton by providing a map of his apartment. Hampton was shot as he slept in his bed. Federal agents planted false, vile newspaper stories that besmirched the reputation of people on Mr. Hoover’s shit list. The FBI unsuccessfully tried to induce, via blackmail, Dr. Martin Luther King into committing suicide!
FBI wasn’t the only lawless federal agency that was defiling our constitutional rights, The CIA was violating its charter by spying on American citizens. Ronald Regan, B movie actor and former FBI informant, showed his disdain for the counterculture when he called for a “blood bath” as his solution to dealing with protesters and as Governor of California he was using his influence to illegitimately crush free speech on the Berkley campus. The kettle was boiling over by May of 1970 and we all knew that something had to be done. (to be continued…)
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