Kent State: What Happened and Why was a very personal, private reading experience. Raised and educated in Ohio, my father was an Army MP in the Ohio National Guard. My father’s twin brother was also an MP.
During that weekend, my father’s unit based in Toledo was called up by Governor James Rhodes.
At the time of the shooting my grandmother who was in failing health was overcome by the initial, inaccurate reports that Ohio guardsmen were shot and killed. She died that day. I was only four years of age when my grandmother passed away.
In the spring of 1970 the war in Vietnam, waging since 1959 spread into Cambodia.
The US Military began limited expansion into Cambodia which came as a shock to many Americans.
President Nixon announced Thursday April 30th the incursions by US troops into Cambodia to find enemy supplies and troops. This event drove a further wedge in America still coming to terms with the My Lai massacre the previous November.
As author James Michener followed the timeline of events, he quoted Roy Thomson, Kent’s Chief of Police that same day as stating “Kent is exceedingly fortunate in that most of the 20,000 students at Kent State University are well balanced.” Could anyone have predicted the tragedy that was to unfold?