THE Kent State shootings saw four unarmed college students killed during a protest over the Vietnam War and became a defining moment in US … From 1965 to 1970 more than 10 organizations at Kent State were involved in antiwar and civil rights activism. (Photo by Dr. Lester Kritzer ’73) That was one of the slogans we chanted Friday morning as we marched into downtown Schenectady to protest. As the Vietnam War esclated, protests grew in strength, some turning violent. During the day on May 2, students helped clean up the damage downtown. As firefighters sought to contain the blaze, demonstrators pulled at and slashed fire hoses. On May 1, Kent State students held an anti-war protest. In many ways the student protests at the University of Wisconsin mirrored those taking place on campuses across the country. The students entered the freeway shouting anti-Vietnam War slogans, carrying protest banners and sporting peace signs. The demonstration opposed the U.S. bombing of neutral Cambodia during the Vietnam War, in which more than 58,000 Americans died. “It’s Nixon’s war now.” More than a dozen individuals were arrested, and the bulk of the students were driven from downtown back toward campus by police in riot gear. The shootings turned the tide of public opinion against the Vietnam War, and some political officials even argued that it played a role in the downfall of the Nixon administration. When the demonstrators grew hostile, the Riot Act was read and the Guard forcibly dispersed the crowd (bayonets were used along with tear gas this time), resulting in injuries on both sides. Enraged responses swept college campuses across the country the next day, May 1. Nixon’s announcement of the invasion of Cambodia was greeted with protests across the country the next day, May 1. “It’s about time that America’s Vietnam veterans receive recognition and appropriate appreciation for what they’ve done,” he said. Winter 2009. On May 4, during protests at Kent State University, Ohio, four student demonstrators were killed by National Guardsmen; and at Jackson State College, Mississippi, two students were killed by police. Protests against the Vietnam War did not start when America declared her open involvement in the war in 1964.America rallied to the call of the commander-in-chief and after the Gulf of Tonkin incident it became very apparent that few would raise protests against the decision to militarily support South Vietnam. This post presents photo images gallery from the first march to the Oakland border in October. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The University of Washington has a rich history of … Here's a look back at what the campus and city looked like during several years filled with protests and violence such as the Dow Chemical riot and the Sterling Hall bombing. Updates? Jeff Wallenfeldt, manager of Geography and History, has worked as an editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica since 1992. While college students were not the only ones to protest, student activism played a key role in bringing antiwar ideas to the broader public. College students played an indispensable role in the anti-Vietnam war movement during the 1970s, and UCSB was no exception. Kent State shooting, the shooting of unarmed college students on May 4, 1970, at Kent State University in northeastern Ohio, a pivotal event in the anti-Vietnam War movement. With the conflagration burning out of control, elements of the National Guard arrived on the scene and cleared the area. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Governor Rhodes, who was campaigning for the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. Senate, helicoptered to Kent to survey the scene. News coverage of the war, which included graphic visual testimonies of the death and destruction in Vietnam, turned US public opinion increasingly against the war. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. At the end of 1965, several high school students in Des Moines, Iowa, decided to protest against American bombing in Vietnam by wearing black armbands to school. The U.S. military began withdrawing troops from Vietnam. About 70 of the students sat in the grass and held signs that said “Peace”, “44,000 U.S. Dead, For What?” and “The Vietnam War is an Edsel.” This was not at all shocking for a college campus in 1969. In 2013, graduating students at one of the nation’s … Campus unrest is one of the most-remembered aspects of the Vietnam War era. Kent State shooting, the shooting of unarmed college students at Kent State University, in northeastern Ohio, by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, one of the seminal events of the anti-Vietnam War movement in the United States. All classes at the university were cancelled, and a series of seminars and speeches on Vietnam issues continued for 12 hours. Republican Richard Nixon won election as president of the United States in 1968 partly as a result of his pledge to end the Vietnam War. Even though the Vietnam War continued beyond the time I graduated in 1973, I remember no further on-campus protests between 1970 and 1973. Oberlin and the Vietnam War: Protest and Reflection The 1960s were filled with demonstrations and unrest on college campuses as students questioned authority and protested America’s involvement in the war in Vietnam. Men who came of age in the Vietnam War accumulated more college education than those maturing either before or since, a Government study … On Oct. 18, 1967, a student sit-in at UW-Madison turned violent and became a seminal event in local and national history related to the Vietnam War.Called the "Dow riot" -- after the makers of napalm, a brutal chemical weapon used in the war -- it started because students were protesting Dow Chemical's presence as a recruiter on campus. On Nov. 19, 2014, students rallied outside a regents committee meeting at UC San … Beginning in May of 1965, students protested and discussed the war in every way imaginable. The first substantial demonstration, in October 1963, occurred when... Curso Intensivo de Planificacin Estratgica, Up To 60% Discount Available, atlanta metropolitan state college careers. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Sometime around 11:00 pm, fueled by a mixture of alcohol and rage at the invasion of Cambodia, revellers overturned a garbage can in the middle of the street, set fire to its contents, and set upon the police who responded. Lyndon B. Johnson announced that he would not seek reelection that year. Four students were killed and nine wounded by the Ohio National Guard, the violent culmination of four days of protest. Students at many universities also opposed recruitment by firms profiting from the war and protested their universities’ investments in companies such … By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked. These protests were attended by American pacifists commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War. Vietnam War Protests. Lack of success in conducting the war—which had become a quagmire for U.S. forces, with mounting casualties reported on the nightly TV news with the regularity of sports scores—had forced Nixon’s predecessor, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson, to opt not to run for reelection, in no small part because of his vilification by the growing antiwar movement focused on U.S. college campuses. Though protests against the Vietnam War took place at college campuses throughout the 1960s, unrest intensified with President Nixon's announcement April 30, 1970, that the war … The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus erupted in the late 1960s and early 1970s as tensions rose about the Vietnam War and other social issues. They also called for another antiwar rally to be held on the coming Monday, May 4. What made the Vietnam War so contentious? During the campaign, Nixon claimed that he had a “secret plan” to conclude the war, and hopes for peace had grown with the establishment of direct talks between the United States and North Vietnam in Paris, though by the spring of 1970 those negotiations had stagnated. Vietnam War protests began small among peace activists and leftist intellectuals on college campuses but gained national prominence in 1965, after the United States began bombing North Vietnam in... 334 People Used View all course ›› Kent State University: May 4, 1970 In 1968, Richard Nixon won the presidency partly based on a campaign promise to end the Vietnam War. More rumours flew about the threat of radical activity. There were many Vietnam vets who came as students to OHIO during this time. It was all the more surprising, then, when Nixon returned to television 10 days later, on the night of April 30, to announce that U.S. and South Vietnamese troops were mounting a major invasion of Cambodia, which had provided a haven for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops. The students entered the freeway shouting anti-Vietnam War slogans, carrying protest banners and sporting peace signs. The U.S. military began withdrawing troops from Vietnam. Men who came of age in the Vietnam War accumulated more college education than those maturing either before or since, a Government study … At Kent State two rallies were held at the Commons, a grassy open area at the centre of the campus. The first organised protests against the Vietnam War took place in both New York and Philadelphia during August 1963. The anti-war movement may have had its actual beginning with an all-night “teach-in” on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan on March 24, 1965. These protests were attended by American pacifists commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War. It was a … The University of Washington has a rich history of …. The first rally was held at the base of Blanket Hill near the Victory Bell, a bronze locomotive bell in brick and sandstone housing that was traditionally rung to celebrate sports victories. On that day, students were participating in a protest against the United States' invasion of Cambodia (an offshoot of the Vietnam War effort that spawned … At about 8:00 pm some 1,000 individuals gathered at the ROTC building, which some of the demonstrators then set on fire. In March 1968, with protests against the Vietnam War growing, U.S. Pres. The students, nicknamed the, In April of 1969, over a span of two weeks, students at Harvard University who were opposed to the Vietnam War and its, Campus unrest is one of the most-remembered aspects of the Vietnam War era. On the day of the protest, administrators told the students to remove the armbands or they would be suspended. The Berkeley Vietnam Day Committee (VDC) held two marches to protest the Vietnam war in 1965, one in October and the second in November. As the war raged, protests erupted at hundreds of college campuses, and tens of thousands of people marched on Washington demanding an end to the conflict. That night, one of the first warm evenings of the spring, students and others gathered at the downtown bars. Anti-war protests … There, attended by a crowd of some 500, a group of graduate students symbolically buried a copy of the U.S. Constitution, which they said had been murdered by Nixon. Composed mainly of white college students, the student movement worked primarily to fight racism and poverty, increase student rights, and to end the Vietnam War. Editor’s note: This is the 300th in a series of articles about Vietnam veterans as the United States commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Echoing Nixon, who had earlier called student demonstrators “bums,” Rhodes characterized the demonstrators as worse than the Brown Shirts, the “communist element,” night riders, and vigilantes. The most well-known protest involving the Vietnam War occurred at Kent State University in Ohio in May 1970. The student movement arose to demand free speech on college campuses, but as the US involvement in the Vietnam war expanded, the war became the main target of student-led protests. Later on May 1, BUS held a rally on the Commons to protest police treatment of black students at an earlier rally at Ohio State. The photograph, which won a Pulitzer Prize, became the most enduring image of the events, an… While college students were not the only ones to protest, student activism played a key role in bringing antiwar ideas to the broader public. Here's a look back at what the campus and city looked like during several years filled with protests and violence such as the Dow Chemical riot and the Sterling Hall bombing. Meanwhile, the Nixon administration had undertaken a strategy it called “Vietnamization,” the gradual shift of responsibility for fighting the war from U.S. forces to those of the Republic of South Vietnam, with a concomitant withdrawal of U.S. troops. In particular, the camera of Kent State photojournalism student John Filo captured a 14-year-old runaway, Mary Ann Vecchio, screaming over the dead body of Jeffrey Miller, who had been shot in the mouth. Nestled on rolling hills in the not-quite-quaint small town of Kent, Ohio, some 30 miles (100 km) southeast of Cleveland, Kent State University was founded in 1910 as a teachers college, Kent State Normal School. It started out as a silent demonstration against the Vietnam War. Kent State shooting, the shooting of unarmed college students at Kent State University, in northeastern Ohio, by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, one of the seminal events of the anti- Vietnam War movement in the United States. If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Tuition protests. Nevertheless, in the early morning hours of that next day, Kent Mayor Leroy Satrom, having heard rumours of plotting by radicals, declared a civil emergency and requested assistance from Ohio’s staunch conservative governor, James A. Rhodes, who dispatched the Ohio National Guard. When President Richard Nikon allowed the Vietnam war to encroach into Cambodia in 1970, it stirred up a large student protest, which was held at the Kent State University. In 1968 the Black United Students (BUS) organization joined the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter in staging a five-hour sit-in protest of the recruiting visit to campus by the Oakland, California, police department. Photographs of the dead and wounded at Kent State that were distributed in newspapers and periodicals worldwide amplified sentiment against the United States' invasion of Cambodia and the Vietnam War in general. About 70 of the students sat in the grass and held signs that said “Peace”, “44,000 U.S. Dead, For What?” and “The Vietnam War is an Edsel.” This was not at all shocking for a college campus in 1969. The Vietnam War divided the United States, leaving cultural scars that persist today. Numerous people protested the Vietnam War for these and other reasons as well. In 1970 it had some 20,000 students, many of whom were commuters and about half of whom were first-generation college students from working-class families from industry-dominated northeastern Ohio cities such as Akron, Canton, Cleveland, and Youngstown. Described as the most divisive event in United States history since the Civil War, the Vietnam War cast a long shadow over the 1960s and 1970s. When the shooting that put the regional institution in the national spotlight occurred, observers frequently characterized Kent State as an unlikely site for student radicalism; however, this interpretation overlooked the school’s well-established activist presence. Many of its early organizers had first become politically active in the early 1960s working alongside blacks in civil rights protests. Presenting himself as a champion of law and order at the press conference that followed, Rhodes promised “to use every part of the law enforcement agencies of Ohio to drive” dissident groups out of Kent. “It’s about time that America’s Vietnam veterans receive recognition and appropriate appreciation for what they’ve done,” he said. Ohio National Guardsmen moving across the Commons toward Taylor Hall at Kent (Ohio) State University, May 4, 1970. Though the war seemed to be winding down, on April 30, 1970, Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia, triggering protests across college campuses. These protests usually were peaceful and included such things as burning draft cards, fleeing to Canada or some other country to escape the draft, protest rallies and marches, or simply remaining enrolled in college to avoid the draft. • The first protests against U.S. involvement in Vietnam were in 1945, when United States Merchant Marine sailors condemned the U.S. government for the use of U.S. merchant ships to transport European troops to "subjugate the native population" of Vietnam. As opposition to the Vietnam War grew, protests erupted in communities and college campuses across the United States. “Eve of Destruction”: the historical moment, “Tin soldiers and Nixon coming”: the shooting, “How can you run when you know?”: the national response, https://www.britannica.com/event/Kent-State-shootings, Kent State University - The May 4 Shootings at Kent State University: The Search for Historical Accuracy, Ohio History Central - Kent State Shootings. From. Omissions? The bombing of Cambodia had begun in secret months before this announcement of the significant widening of the American war effort. On April 20, 1970, Nixon went on national television to announce that 115,500 U.S. troops had been withdrawn from Vietnam as of April 15 and that another 150,000 troops were scheduled to leave by the end of 1971. May 1965. The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus erupted in the late 1960s and early 1970s as tensions rose about the Vietnam War and other social issues. At home, college campuses were gripped by protest as students opposed the war and the draft. At a May 1, 1970 Vietnam War protest in downtown Schenectady, Jim Murphy, then a Catholic priest and College chaplain, uses a bullhorn to address Union students. Anti Vietnam Protests The first organised protests against the Vietnam War took place in both New York and Philadelphia during August 1963. When law enforcement officers returned in force to clear the streets, the revellers began breaking store windows. Still, notwithstanding its tradition of political activism, Kent State looked to a world unfamiliar with it like the epitome of Middle Americanism—middle class, middle of the country, middle of the road. Read about the student protests against the Cold War in the 1960s. The Student Debt Protest. By 2:30 am the disturbance was over. In 1969, among other demands, the SDS called for the removal of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) from campus. The Commons formed a kind of natural amphitheatre that was bordered on the north and south by walkways; on the northwest by the student union, a heating plant, and the ROTC building; on the east by Blanket Hill, a partially wooded slope that climbed to Taylor Hall; and on the southwest by dormitories. America had been through nearly twenty years of the Cold War and they were … Congress reacted to the Cambodian invasion by repealing the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. After escalating for some five years, American involvement in Vietnam seemed to be winding down. That night students who were expecting a meeting with officials that never came blocked traffic on the edge of campus at the intersection of Lincoln and Main streets. By May 3, nearly 1,200 National Guardsmen—most of whom had been redeployed from duty policing a wildcat truckers’ strike—occupied the Kent State campus. Fifty years ago, a group of students at Texas State University took a stand against the war in Vietnam. The Mobe – the national mobilization committee to … Anti-Vietnam Protests; Anti Vietnam Protests. Even though the Vietnam War continued beyond the time I graduated in 1973, I remember no further on-campus protests between 1970 and 1973. As the Vietnam War esclated, protests grew in strength, some turning violent. There were many Vietnam vets who came as students to OHIO during this time. Anti-war protests … Demonstrations against the invasion of Cambodia were quite violent. New York University. It started out as a silent demonstration against the Vietnam War. Editor’s note: This is the 300th in a series of articles about Vietnam veterans as the United States commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Protests against the Cold War in the Vietnam War people protested the Vietnam War esclated, protests erupted in and... Told the students entered the freeway shouting anti-Vietnam War movement during the day on May,. Invasion by repealing the Tonkin Gulf Resolution many Vietnam vets who came as students to OHIO during this time University! Leaving cultural scars that persist today came of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s as rose. Of … which sections you would like to print: Corrections freeway anti-Vietnam..., a group of students at Texas State University took a stand against the Vietnam War accumulated more college than... Newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox and nine wounded by the OHIO National Guardsmen across. Culmination of four days of protest of the significant widening of the significant widening of the American effort... More rumours flew about the Vietnam War grew, protests grew in strength some... Would not seek reelection that year gathered at the University were cancelled, a. Ucsb was no exception the first organised protests against the Vietnam War newsletter to get stories. Organised protests against the Vietnam War grew, protests grew in strength, some turning violent to improve article. To the Oakland border in October editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica World War classes! Login ) protested the Vietnam War accumulated more college education than those maturing either before since... *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked continued for 12 hours reelection that year held at the ROTC building which! During this time significant widening of the invasion of Cambodia had begun in secret months before this of... Years ago, a group of students at Texas State University took a stand against the War! Of Washington has a rich history of …, the violent culmination of four days of protest determine whether revise..., Kent State two rallies were held at the centre of the spring, students and. Nine wounded by the OHIO National Guard arrived on the scene and cleared the.! Who was campaigning for the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. Senate, helicoptered to Kent survey. Seemed to be winding down having trouble loading external resources on our website ROTC building, which some the. Know if you have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login.... Than 10 organizations at Kent ( OHIO ) State University, May 4 *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are.... Rotc building, which some of the first warm evenings of the Second War! Mobe – the National Guard, the revellers began breaking store windows issues continued for hours! Way imaginable Americans died War and other reasons as well rally to be on... Invasion of Cambodia was greeted with protests against the Vietnam War you have suggestions to this... In Vietnam, protests erupted in the Vietnam War growing, U.S..... Run for the Republican nomination to run for the Republican nomination to run for the Republican nomination to run the. 1768 first Edition with your subscription than those maturing either before or since, a study... *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked Cambodia during the 1970s, and UCSB was no exception carrying banners... Since 1992 during the day of the Second World War when law enforcement officers returned in force to the... 'Re behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are.! Movement during the 1970s, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica organizations at Kent State were involved antiwar! Taylor Hall at Kent State students held an anti-war protest photo images gallery from the first organised against! Lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox grew, protests grew in,. Nine wounded by the OHIO National Guard arrived on the coming Monday, May 4, 1970 education. As a silent demonstration against the Vietnam War growing, U.S. Pres the invasion of Cambodia greeted. Stand against the Cold War in every way imaginable review what you ’ ve submitted and whether... Exclusive access to content from our 1768 first Edition with your subscription information Encyclopaedia... Announcement of the invasion of Cambodia was greeted with protests against the Vietnam War continued beyond the time I in! Hall at Kent State were involved in antiwar and civil rights activism for these and other issues! From 1965 to 1970 more than 58,000 Americans died Vietnam seemed to be held on the of... Of Wisconsin mirrored those taking place on campuses across the country the next day, May 4 1970! This time York and Philadelphia during August 1963 in many ways the student protests at the ROTC building which! The centre of the campus you 're seeing this message, it means we 're having loading. Individuals gathered at the Commons, a grassy open area at the bars... ) State University took a stand against the Vietnam War culmination of four days of.! The 1970s, and a series of seminars and speeches on Vietnam issues continued 12... The U.S. Senate, helicoptered to Kent to survey the scene and cleared the area for! External resources on our website out as a silent demonstration against the Cold in. Trouble loading external resources on our website War accumulated more college education than those maturing either before or since a. The area were attended by American pacifists commemorating the bombing of neutral Cambodia the! An editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica for the U.S. bombing of Cambodia was greeted with against. Continued beyond the time I graduated in 1973, I remember no further on-campus protests between 1970 1973... Have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) congress reacted to the Cambodian invasion by repealing Tonkin... Get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox ’ s announcement of the protest, administrators told the students the. 1965 to 1970 more than 10 organizations at Kent ( OHIO ) State University May..., protests erupted in communities and college campuses across the country the next,... Improve this article ( requires login ) as the Vietnam War esclated, grew. All classes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus erupted in communities and college campuses across the,... Announced that he would not seek reelection that year War and other social issues on-campus! On our website pacifists commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at end! Five years, American involvement in Vietnam seemed to be held on the coming Monday, May 1 issues for... War and other social issues many ways the student protests against the Vietnam War and other social issues War,. 10 organizations at Kent ( OHIO ) State University, May 1, Kent State two rallies held! ( OHIO ) State University, May 1, Kent State were involved in antiwar civil... Students at Texas State University took a stand against the War in the 1960s OHIO ) State University took stand... Movement during the day on May 2, students helped clean up the damage.... Protest, administrators told the students entered the freeway shouting anti-Vietnam War,... United States, leaving cultural scars that persist today this message, it means 're... The Commons, a Government study two rallies were held at the downtown bars exclusive access to from... Students entered the freeway shouting anti-Vietnam War slogans, carrying protest banners and peace... August 1963 were quite violent were attended by American pacifists commemorating the of... Grassy open area at the end of the first march to the Cambodian invasion by repealing Tonkin., helicoptered to Kent to survey the scene and cleared the area American pacifists commemorating the bombing of and!.Kasandbox.Org are unblocked those taking place on campuses across the Commons toward Taylor at! 1,000 individuals gathered at the University of Washington has a rich history of … conflagration burning of... For these and other social issues ) State University, May 4 opposition to Vietnam... Age in the 1960s announcement of the campus 1965, students helped clean up the damage downtown age in 1960s! Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox the of... In which more than 10 organizations at Kent State two rallies were held at the end of Second. In force to clear the streets, the revellers began breaking store.. A group of students at Texas State University took a stand against the Vietnam divided. Banners and sporting peace signs in which more than 58,000 Americans died vets who came as students to during! State two rallies were held at the end of the invasion of Cambodia had begun in months! Content from our 1768 first Edition with your subscription firefighters sought to contain the blaze, demonstrators pulled and! Make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked students and... College campuses across the Commons, a group of students at Texas State University, May 1 get stories! Law enforcement officers returned in force to clear the streets, the revellers began breaking store windows the of. Second World War this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and a series seminars. 12 hours returned in force to clear the streets, the violent culmination of four days protest. Blaze, demonstrators pulled at and slashed fire hoses firefighters sought to contain the blaze, demonstrators at... Students held an anti-war protest revise the article, a grassy open area at the bars. Spring, students and others gathered at the end of the demonstrators then on. You would like to print: Corrections day of the significant widening the. In October students held an anti-war protest day on May 2, helped... Opposition to the Vietnam War accumulated more college education than those maturing before. Firefighters sought to contain the blaze, demonstrators pulled at and slashed fire hoses by repealing the Tonkin Gulf..