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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Kent State Four

May 4th marked the 35th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. The left would have you believe that Storm Trooper National Guardsmen, at the orders of The Empire, shot peaceful demonstrators for no reason.

May 1st, 1970: Just before midnight the mob marched to the center of town, threw things at police, and began breaking windows. Among the victimized businesses were the City Bank, First Federal Savings & Loan, City Loan, Home Savings & Loan, the Captain Brady restaurant, Hickman Jewelers, W.W. Reed real estate, Ohio Edison, Revco drugstore, Thompson Drugs, and Getz Hardware. Somebody took a lawn spreader from the hardware store and heaved it through a window of the Portage National Bank. Sheriff's sergeant Tony Messina drew a broken collarbone, and four other police officers were injured. Seven students and seven non-students were arrested.

On the next day, Saturday, May second, Kent businessmen were receiving calls warning that if they did not put anti-war posters in their windows they would be burned out.

At 5:27 p.m. Mayor Satrom called for the National Guard.

That night, on schedule, the R.O.T.C. building was burned to the ground. The revolutionaries also set other fires, and the Kent Fire Department received about twenty-eight diversionary calls. Firemen arriving to save the R.O.T.C. building were bloodied with rocks, and the revolutionaries cut their fire hoses.

It is important to note that the report filed by the special state grand jury on October 16, 1970, found as follows: "We find that the rally on the Commons on Saturday, May 2, 1970, which resulted in the burning of the ROTC building, constituted a riot. There can never exist any justification or valid excuse for such an act. The burning of this building and destruction of its contents was a deliberate criminal act committed by students and non-students. Nor did the rioters stop with the burning of the ROTC building. They also set fire to the archery shed and moved from there to East Main Street on the front campus where they engaged in further acts of destruction and stoned the members of the National Guard as they entered Kent."

May 3: Hundreds of demonstrators tried to march downtown, and the Guard was sent in to drive them back. Here is the way it was, says Michener, according to Guardsman Carl Caldwell of Charlie Company: "We were taking abuse like you never heard before. I had to rifle-butt some of the tough ones in front of me. Beer bottles came at us and the man on my right was conked on the head. The fellow on my left had his helmet dented by a chunk of concrete."

The Akron Beacon Journal, of July 5, 1970, carried an article from the New York Times which says this: "Sunday night was a stream of pure violence. The sky was lit with fire, mostly from trees that had been doused in gasoline and then set ablaze. The Guardsmen found themselves the targets of an apparently ceaseless barrage of rocks, slag, wrenches, anything that could be thrown."

"One trooper caught a rock or a wrench in the face, smashing his teeth and upper mouth. His gas mask began filling up with his own blood, so that for a moment he couldn't breathe—before help arrived.

"Another recalls seeing a squad leader fall to the ground with injuries—'I think he got a broken bone'—in one or both legs. 'He's lying on the ground and this girl came up and kicked him in the groin and then kicked him in the face.' "

May 4th: The guardsmen were dirty, hot, and tired. John Simon, who was there as a Specialist Fourth Class, reports that they had slept in a gymnasium on a hard, wooden floor, and that the food was "lousy." They wanted to go home. But, as usual, there were rumors of still more terror to come, including numerous bomb threats. And more than a thousand demonstrators gathered once again on the campus, in defiance of an official order not to assemble. So, once again, the Guard was sent in to disperse them.

Students began throwing rocks at them, and chunks of wood studded with nails, and jagged hunks of concrete. Where did they get such missiles? At least two witnesses swear they saw girls carrying heavy handbags from which they distributed rocks to men students, and some photographs would seem to substantiate this charge. At a nearby construction site some students had picked up fragments of concrete block. And some of the students had armed themselves with bricks.

In an interview by Tony Tucci of the Cleveland Press, May 14, 1970, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Fassinger says this: " . . . I was hit a number of times, once with a triangular shaped rock seven inches on the sides and two inches thick. I returned and found that rock later, and gave it to the investigators." And Marty Ralbovsky reported for N.E.A. that "G troop, meanwhile, continued to be pelted with rocks. Slices of wood with razor blades partially inserted into them also were tossed into the middle of the Guard formation. One person came out from the crowd and ran after a guardsman, swinging a parking meter which had been uprooted from Main Street in Kent four days earlier."

And it is important to quote at length from the state grand jury report on the affair: "Fifty-eight Guardsmen were injured by rocks and other objects hurled at them as they moved across the 'Commons' to Taylor Hall Hill and down to the practice football field, and were then forced to retreat .... it is clear that from the time the Guard reached the practice football field, they were on the defensive and had every reason to be concerned for their own welfare .... The circumstances present at that time indicate that 74 men surrounded by several hundred hostile rioters were forced to retreat back up the hill toward Taylor Hall under a constant barrage of rocks and other flying objects, accompanied by a constant flow of obscenities and chants such as 'Kill, Kill, Kill.' Photographic evidence has established, beyond any doubt, that as the National Guardsmen approached the top of the hill adjacent to Taylor Hall, a large segment of the crowd surged up the hill, led by smaller groups of agitators approaching to within short distances of the rear ranks of the Guardsmen.

"The testimony of the students and Guardsmen is clear that several members of the Guard were knocked to the ground or to their knees by the force of the objects thrown at them. Although some rioters claim that only a few rocks were thrown, the testimony of construction workers in the area has established that 200 bricks were taken from a nearby construction site. Various students were observed carrying rocks in sacks to the 'rally'; others brought gas masks and other equipment from off campus in obvious anticipation of what was to happen. Rocks had been stockpiled in the immediate vicinity and cries of 'Get the rocks' were heard as the Guardsmen went onto the practice field. There was additional evidence that advance planning had occurred in connection with the 'rally' held at noon on May fourth."
Shortly before 12:30 p.m., while retreating under fire—a brick can be as deadly a weapon as a gun—the guardsmen suddenly wheeled at the corner of Taylor Hall and opened fire. Nine students were wounded and four were killed.

The question arises of why anybody would be so foolish as to throw rocks and bricks at close range at a military unit armed with M-1 rifles. And the answer can be found in a remark by Guard Captain John Martin: "Agitators had those kids believing we had blanks. Somebody told them that."


Of the four who were killed, one was a ringleader of the "peaceful demonstrators" - but another was actually in the Kent State ROTC.

Why did this happen? Mostly because the radical militant leftists pushed the students way too far, and the National Guard simply isn't trained to handle this sort of chaos.

History will only be repeated if liberals allow themselves to be manipulated by militant leftists again. Sit-ins, not rock-throwings, change things.

Sources: Wikipedia (here, here, here) and The John Birch Society

2 Comments:

  • Hammer,

    What?? You mean Neil Young is an idiot? Who'd a thunk, huh?

    The phrase both "foreign and domestic" comes to mind. And once again, Spock's famous (to me at least :) statement "A difference that makes no difference...is no difference" applies...as it pertains to "enemies" that is.

    But this part is just as important as the rest of your post:

    History will only be repeated if liberals allow themselves to be manipulated by militant leftists again. Sit-ins, not rock-throwings, change things.

    Just wish you wouldn't call them liberals...lol...they give the term a bad name, and they're morphing to "progressives" anyway.

    Thanks Hammer...veni, vidi, I snatched.

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 5/05/2005 06:40:00 AM  

  • I was surfing this subject for another reason and came upon your page. Felt so sorry that you've only received one comment in all these years since publishing this page. Do you think that because none of your three claimed Wikipedia sources (here, here and here)support anything that you've made up is the reason only one person in 2005 read your attempt basically twist history? Your fourth claimed source, the discredited Birch Society, doesn't even exist as a link. Again, I'm posting this because I feel so sorry that you only had one response during so many years. Do you get the feeling nobody in the world believes you?

    By Blogger truth, at 7/22/2008 07:00:00 PM  

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