Kent State Riots Essay

928 words - 4 pages

As May 4th comes around every year, some recall the horrifying events that happened at Kent State University years ago. They recall the tragic deaths that occurred on that day. The events that took place in the Kent State University riots may have produced a different ending had the events that led to it been different. The first of the events being, what led to the riots, the second, how violent the riots had erupted into, and one of the biggest thing that could have created a different outcome, the military action that led to the disputed ending.
As President Richard Nixon came to office with the promise to end the Vietnam War, many protests were already aroused around the United States as those who opposed it voiced their opposition to the effort. College students everywhere became a main benefactor in the protests around the nation. On April 30, 1970, President Nixon announced that America was expanding the war into Cambodia. Upon hearing this, further aggression was produced from protestors against the Vietnam War.
Angered students of Kent State University, one of the many schools who began to protest the war efforts, believed the expansion of the war to be immoral. On May 1st a demonstration was held on the school grounds to show the opposition towards the war as a student burned the Constitution and another burned his draft card. Protests ran throughout the night, as violence poured out of bars. Shops were broken into and bottles thrown at the authorities trying to gain control of the situation. On May 2nd people stood and watched as the students burned the ROTC building, a surefire exposition against the military, slashing the hose to prevent anyone from interrupting the fire, as the building burned down to wispy ashes. The violence within the protests resulted in a curfew put in effect within the city. The curfew was put in place to help control the situation, but created further zeal to protests as a sit-in was ensued, breaking the curfew just put in order.
A planned protest was scheduled for May 4th. Officials tried to subdue the event by handing out leaflets stating the protest was canceled, but those efforts produced little effect on repressing the rally planned to occur later that day. The protest began as students and others began to speak to the gathering crowd. Barely into the protest, authorities were called in to pacify the event. The National Guard showed up to purge the group, issuing a dispersal or be jailed, but was met by an onslaught of rocks and were forced to retreat off the campus. On the second attempt the use of tear gas was deemed necessary to the aggressive crowd, but even that did not have a great enough effect to diffuse the...

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