Forty years ago last week, on May 4, 1970, soldiers opened fire on unarmed antiwar protesters at Kent State University in Ohio, killing four students and shocking the nation.
As Nick Spencer explains at Al Jazeera:
Of the Kent State killings, President Richard Nixon’s adviser Richard Haldeman wrote in The Ends of Power that the 67 rifle bullets fired that day would, metaphorically, ricochet right back into the White House.
“Kent State, in May 1970, marked a turning point for Nixon, a beginning of his downhill slide toward Watergate,” Haldeman writes.
The heart-rending snapshot of 14-year-old runaway Mary Ann Vecchio, screaming in anguish, was taken by student photographer John Filo. It would help mobilise some four million outraged students in the nation’s first and only nationwide student strike, just days after the killings.
“That clearly had a powerful impact on congress, they started seriously to end the war in Vietnam, they started to cut off the funding” said Alan Canfora, a survivor of the shootings, and an activist who wants Barack Obama, the US president, to open a new investigation into the events of that day.
Unfortunately, despite extensive photographs, audio recordings and video footage of the shooting, no one went to jail for the killings.