The Legacy of Kent State

EXCERPT FROM THE LEGACY OF KENT STATE, BY K. D’ANCONIA

Kent State: An Intentional Massacre

According to court documents, at least twenty-eight Ohio National Guardsmen fired at least sixty-one shots in thirteen seconds on May 4, 1970 at Kent State University. The legitimacy of the guardsmen’s use of lethal force has been a hotly debated issue…until now. Many historians and journalists have believed that the inexperienced Guard members panicked, but a recently uncovered audio recording of the incident clearly disputes that theory.


The thirty-seven year-old audio, recently discovered in a government archive, leaves little room for doubt: “Right here. Get set. Point. Fire.” The commanding officers have rigorously denied issuing a verbal command to fire, instead placing the blame on the inexperienced triggermen.

The legacy of the Kent State massacre, deemed the Dien Bien Phu of American involvement in Vietnam, brought the war home, marking the birth of an era David Halberstam described as “us against us.” The ideological ramifications of the newly discovered audio tape are significant, both in the context of the legacy of Kent State and the politics of memory. (cont’d)

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~ by K. Danconia on 08.01.

 
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