|Birth: ||Mar. 28, 1950|
|Death: ||May 4, 1970|
Victim of the Kent State University shooting. He was protesting the war in Vietnam when he was shot and killed by National Guardsmen called to his campus. Several months before his death, he had transferred from Michigan State University to Kent State University. After his death, his high school in Plainview-Bethpage, Long Island, NY erected a memorial to him. During the mid-1960s to early 1970s, the United States was engaged in the Vietnam War, a conflict that had split the country into two factions: those that opposed the war and those that supported it. By 1968, the country was so badly divided that President Lyndon Johnson (Democrat) decided not to seek a second term, and Republican Richard M. Nixon won the Presidential election with a campaign promise to end the war. Nixon's plan was to slowly disengage the American military from Vietnam, while increasing South Vietnam's participation, but most antiwar factions wanted immediate US withdrawal. On April 30, 1970, President Nixon announced that he had sent the US Army into Cambodia to destroy enemy military supply centers, which the anti-war protesters saw as an expansion of the war. The invasion aroused a storm of protests nation-wide, especially on college campuses. On Kent State University, protest demonstrations were called for May 1 and May 4. On the evening of May 1, protestors set fires and threw bottles at police cars, and attempted to set fire to the ROTC Building on the campus. The next day, Kent city mayor Leroy Satrom declared a State of Emergency, and asked Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes to send the Ohio National Guard to help maintain order. Governor Rhodes sent the Guard onto the campus to put an end to the demonstrations. When the Guard arrived on campus the evening of May 2, over 1,000 protestors greeted the National Guardsmen with rocks and a large demonstration. The ROTC Building was set on fire, and the city firemen were pelted with rocks when attempting to put out the fire. In Kent city, stores were vandalized and looted. About noon on May 4, following a demonstration on campus, as both sides were withdrawing, the National Guard suddenly fired about 65 rounds of ammunition at the demonstrators, killing 4 students and wounding 9, in what appeared to be a spontaneous massed weapons firing. Killed were students Allison Krause, Jeff Miller, Sandy Scheuer, and William Schroeder. Ironically, two of the four killed were not demonstrators, but were on their way to class and got caught in the barrage of shooting. The killings spurred more demonstrations on college campuses across the US. In October 1970, a state Grand Jury exonerated the Guardsmen of any wrongdoing. Two years later, in October 1972, the parents of the slain and wounded students filed suit in US District Court, demanding a federal Grand Jury, which was finally started in December 1973. Eight National Guardsmen were eventually tried in 1974, but the charges were dropped when it was ruled that prosecutors failed to prove their case. In January 1979, the parents of the slain and wounded students settled out of court for $675,000 and a "letter of regret" from Ohio officials.
*Administrative Note: Any Virtual Flowers placed on this memorial page that contain anything other than respectful condolences and tributes will be deleted, as will inappropriate images and excessive postings. Please leave personal opinions and social commentary out of the Virtual Flowers. Thank You.
(bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)
Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum
New York, USA
Plot: Ferncliff Mausoleum, Unit 7, Alcove H-O, Column O, Niche 1
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: May 22, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6438650