Skip to comments.Kent State, The True Story
Posted on 05/04/2006 6:42:00 PM PDT by motorcity70
Alan Stang is a former business editor for Prentice-Hall Inc., and a television writer, producer and consultant. Mr. Stang is an AMERICAN OPINION Contributing Editor and is author of the Western Islands bestsellers, It's Very Simple and The Actor. Author Stang, who earned his B.A. at City College of New York and his Masters at Columbia, is also a witty and dynamic speaker who lectures widely. Experience shows us that there are few things more inspiring in maintenance of a conflict than a martyr. The memory of the fallen hero galvanizes those who remain. His martyrdom makes further sacrificial accomplishments possible. So it was, for instance, in the development of Christianity. The martyrs inspired believers to spread the faith. And during World War II, Americans were motivated by the memory of our servicemen at Pearl Harbor. There are endless such examples, of course, and they all share the fact that the victims were martyred by their enemies in the conflict.
The Christian martyrs were murdered by men who were anti-Christ. Our servicemen at Pearl Harbor were killed in an act of war by the Japanese. But, in recent years, martyrdom has been refined into an exact science. Today the phony "revolution" which is trying to destroy America deliberately arranges for its own martyrs by conning victims into serving as cannon fodder.
So it was in the "Civil Rights" demonstrations, in which many who had never heard of Communism were injured. So it was in the assassination of Martin Luther King. So it was in Chicago at the 1968 Democrat National Convention, where students got their skulls fractured when their leaders attacked the police. And on May 4, 1970, on the campus at Kent State University, in Ohio, the revolution finally killed four students. The anti-American Conspiracy had the martyrs it needed. The killings at Kent State have been used to radicalize students across Americaand around the world. And recently, after four years, a federal grand jury indicted eight members of the Ohio National Guard, which was also victimized at Kent State. Their conviction would mean another disaster for America.
The way the national press tells it, Kent State University was an idyllic Shangri-La of contemplation until the moment of the shooting. The New York Times of the following day explained that "until recently the school's most serious demonstration was a 1958 panty raid on two women's dormitories." But the fact is that the killings on the campus were the predictable result of almost two years of Communist agitation by such terrorist gangs as Students for a Democratic Society.
For instance, in the fall of 1968, Kent State was treated to two appearances by Mark Rudd, the S.D.S. Ieader who had led the seizure of campus buildings earlier that year at Columbia University in New York. Another frequent visitor was Bernardine Dohrn, an S.D.S. official who calls herself a "revolutionary Communist," and who according to James Michener, in Kent State,* told the students: "They've shot blacks in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and they're certainly going to shoot whites here."
Members of the staff at the regional S.D.S. office in Cleveland constantly made the short trip to Kent, where they propagandized and recruited. A student revolutionary told Michener: "We established our communes in three Ohio cities, one in Columbus, two in Akron, two in Cleveland. The idea was to teach severe discipline. Every single decisionwas a girl member entitled to buy an ice cream cone?was decided by group discussion. The object was to produce revolutionaries programmed to obey orders, even if they involved severe personal sacrifice or death. You surrendered all personal money, idiosyncrasies and will power, assured that you would come out of the experience with total dedication."
It is interesting to note, according to Michener, that even the "Liberal" Erwin Canham, long editor of the Christian Science Monitor, says this: "It is reasonable to suppose that some Moscow money, some funds from Peking and even Havana, have gone to pay for radical activities in the United States. But it would be my guess that for every dollar that may come in foreign Communist money, there are $100 in native American wealth." And the Illinois Crime Investigating Commission, which investigated S.D.S., reports that one large tax-exempt foundation directly supplied the revolutionaries with cash. So here we have still more proofif more proof were neededthat the revolutionaries not only are not fighting the Establishment; they are part of it. They are nothing but paid stooges of the Establishment, and their job is to create the violent excuse their bosses need to impose more and more government controls as the "solution."
In November of 1968, S.D.S. forced Oakland, California, police officers to postpone interviews with prospective police recruits on the Kent State campus. On February 27, 1969, S.D.S. hustler Joyce Cecora told an audience that "if the university does not stop politically repressing S.D.S. they would burn and level the campus." At about the same time, S.D.S. distributed copies of the Organizers Manual For The Spring Offensive, which explained: "During the course of the struggle it will probably be necessary and helpful to carry out a series of escalating mini actions to help build consciousness and dramatize the issue. Beginning with guerrilla theater actions in dorms we can escalate to disrupting classes, street marches, quick assaults on buildings, etc., before moving to the major confrontation of the struggle." So the purpose of all this agitation at Kent State was to recruit as much cannon fodder as possible, and then to provoke a "major confrontation." When it came, it would be neither accidental nor spontaneous. It would be exactly what the revolutionaries wanted.
On April 8, 1969, S.D.S. toughs marched through various campus buildings, disrupting classes as planned, chanting "Ho, Ho, Ho chi Minh," and striking campus police officers. One of these hoodlums pleaded nolo contendere to a charge of assault and battery, and drew a fine and jail sentence. The university scheduled a disciplinary hearing for two others on April sixteenth, at which time about one hundred revolutionaries smashed into the Music and Speech building where the hearing was being held, destroyed property, and again attacked police officers. Of the fifty-eight demonstrators arrested, ten were not even students at the school. At the rally preceding the march on the disciplinary hearing, non-student Jim Mellen told the audience as follows: "We're no longer asking you to come and help us make a revolution. We're telling you that the revolution has begun, and the only choice you have to make is which side you're on. And we're also telling you that if you get in the way of the revolution, it's going to run right over you." Mr. Mellen's remarks were included in a liberally distributed S.D.S. pamphlet, which began with a quotation from Mao Tse-tung and the following warning: "The war is on at Kent State University ...."
At a meeting in Williams Hall on April 28, 1969, revolutionary Communist Bernardine Dohrn said that people fighting "oppression" would have to carry weapons for "self defense." On May sixth, at another campus rally, Joyce Cecora called for armed rebellion: "They used guns at Cornell and they got what they wanted. It will come to that here!" And at still another rally on campus on May twenty-second, S.D.S. member Rick Skirvin said this: "We'll start blowing up buildings, we'll start buying guns, we'll do anything to bring this motherf***er down."
Michener quotes a student named Ken Tennant as follows: "With me it goes back to the music festival they held at Fred Fuller Park in September, 1969. Four Weathermen came down from Chicago, with insignia on their bib overalls. They were selling their organization newspaper, and I said, 'I'll buy a copy if you'll tell me what your outfit stands for.' They said, 'We're going to destroy this corrupt American society and build a better.' I asked how, and they explained, 'We've decided to close down schools all over the nation. We're going to start in Chicago. But we have our eye on Kent State, too. It could be ripe.' "
Bear in mind that we have room here to cite only a few examples of the inflammatory agitation and propaganda on the campus at Kent State for almost two years. The evidence establishesin the words of the revolutionariesthat the goal of S.D.S. was to provoke a violent confrontation in which somebody would be hurt, or even worse.
And the most incredible such example took place on April 10, 1970, when Jerry Rubin spoke on the campus at Kent State. Jerry Rubin is a Communist, of course. We can be absolutely sure of that because he has said so repeatedly. In fact he said he was a Communist when your reporter asked him about it at the Democrat National Convention in Miami in 1972. At that Convention Rubin also said that, when he and his Comrades take over, your reporter will be gassed. At Kent State, Communist Jerry Rubin said this: "The first part of the Yippie program is to kill your parents. And I mean that quite literally, because until you're prepared to kill your parents, you're not ready to change this country. Our parents are our first oppressors."
Your first reaction on reading a thing like this, of course, is that maybe I have taken it out of context. You refuse to believe that anybody would say this. But Rubin really told the students what you just read. It is important to remember that, at the time, Jerry Rubin was a convicted criminalhe had been convicted for leading the turmoil at the 1968 Democrat National Convention in Chicago, where terrorists attacked the policewhich raises the question of how such a man could be permitted to address students on a university campus in Ohio.**
Rubin also told the Kent State students to burn down the suburbs. "The American school system will be ended in two years," he explained. "We are going to bring it down. Quit being students. Become criminals. We have to disrupt every institution and break every law. We should have more laws so we can break them, too. Everybody should have their own law to break." As for the campus itself, Comrade Rubin told the students to ignore their professors, and to "burn all the books. It's quiet here now but things are going to start again."
The campus was now ready. Almost two years of intensive Communist propaganda had their effect. A sufficient number of students was willing to serve as cannon fodder for the revolutionary "cause." The Communists needed only an excuse to provoke their "major confrontation." Three weeks later they got their excuse.
Four Days At Kent
On April 30, 1970, Richard Nixon sent American troops into Cambodia, allegedly to shut off supplies to the Vietcong. The move was a typically phony Nixon operation, of course, because at the same time his Administration was sending more and more war material to Soviet Russia, which in turn supplied the Vietcong with most of their equipmenta practice which candidate Nixon had denounced in 1968. But the students didn't know that, because the Establishment media hadn't told them. The next day was Friday, May first, the international Communist holiday of May Day, when Communists around the world celebrate the "inevitability" of their takeover of the world. At about eleven-thirty that night, demonstrators at Kent built a bonfire on South Water Street, blocking traffic. They also set a toolshed in the vicinity on fire, producing a considerable blaze. All twenty-four Kent city policemen and sixty-five Portage County sheriff's deputies were ordered to duty, and told that they had to handle a "riot in progress." Michener writes that a curious student asked a stranger what it was all about and was told: "It's a planned movement to strain the National Guard. They're tied up at Columbus and on the truck strike in Akron and Cleveland, and we don't think they have enough men to cover this too."
Just before midnight the mob marched to the center of town, threw things at police, and began breaking windows. Among the victimized businesses were the City Bank, First Federal Savings & Loan, City Loan, Home Savings & Loan, the Captain Brady restaurant, Hickman Jewelers, W.W. Reed real estate, Ohio Edison, Revco drugstore, Thompson Drugs, and Getz Hardware. Somebody took a lawn spreader from the hardware store and heaved it through a window of the Portage National Bank. Sheriff's sergeant Tony Messina drew a broken collarbone, and four other police officers were injured. Seven students and seven non-students were arrested. On the next day, Saturday, May second, Kent businessmen were receiving calls warning that if they did not put anti-war posters in their windows they would be burned out. In fact, Roy Thompson, who was Kent Chief of Police at the time, tells your reporter that reliable informants were reporting that the revolutionaries planned to burn the downtown banks, the U.S. Army recruiting station, the post office, and the R.O.T.C. building on campus. And Michener quotes volunteer fireman David Helmling as follows: "A week before trouble started, Fire Chief Fred Miller called us together and said, 'Fellows, we have pretty good intelligence that the university kids are going to burn down the R.O.T.C. building. We don't know when they're going to do it . . . could be any time. But we've got to lay plans for handling it when they make their move. If you leave town, you've got to give us a phone number where you can be reached, because we're not going to lose that building."
In other words, the burning of the R.O.T.C. building was in the works even before the invasion of Cambodiawhich is more proof that the invasion was simply used by the revolutionaries as a propaganda trigger. Michener also writes that during the day a trusted detective told Mayor Leroy Satrom: "We spotted two carloads of agitators coming into town from Chicago. Each car had six passengers. Loaded for bear. We saw them on Water Street and later one of our informants at the university caught them prowling the campus."
At 5:27 p.m. Mayor Satrom called for the National Guard.
That night, on schedule, the R.O.T.C. building was burned to the ground. The revolutionaries also set other fires, and the Kent Fire Department received about twenty-eight diversionary calls. Firemen arriving to save the R.O.T.C. building were bloodied with rocks, and the revolutionaries cut their fire hoses. Michener quotes an unnamed student who reports that "as we passed Manchester Hall, I overheard a strange conversation. Two young fellows just ahead of me . . . I think they couldn't have been students, at least not at Kent State. They were in serious discussion, and the first said, 'How are we going to get off this campus when we're finished?' and the other replied, 'The same way we got on.' Impressed by the implication of these remarks, I continued to watch the two. They led the group. They were always a few feet ahead of the crowd, and where they led, the others followed."
Then there was campus photographer Howard Ruffner, who saw somebody jump on the campus bell housing: "He began to shout, 'Let's go over to Tri-Towers!' but I had never seen him before. In fact, I didn't recognize many of the initial crowd that gathered about R.O.T.C. I thought this so strange that I started taking crowd photos, but eight or ten men came over and started to grab at me. I'd never seen any of them. They surrounded me, and one of them asked, 'Did you take any of our pictures?' I told them no, and he said, 'You damned well better not.' "
And we read in the Cleveland Press for May 16, 1970, about the experience of Bill Resch, who was president of the Kent Graduate Student Council: "Resch noticed several persons who wore red headbands. Many were asking directions and appeared to be unfamiliar with the campus. At one point, as he walked with his wife, Resch spotted about a dozen of these red-headband persons trotting up a hill armed with heavy paving bricks. They paused at the top, uncertain which way to go. Then one shouted: 'Emmer's group must have gone that way' and they hurried off. Resch was startled. The only Emmer he knew was Howard Emmer, an SDS student who had been jailed for campus disturbances the previous year .... " In other words, the trouble at Kent State was not being caused by real students. The students were being conned and framed by professional revolutionaries, just as Negro residents have been conned and framed for years for major riots in black neighborhoods. Kent State University was under assault by a paramilitary force. But by this time the Ohio National Guard had arrived and prevented further destruction downtown.
It is important to note that the report filed by the special state grand jury on October 16, 1970, found as follows: "We find that the rally on the Commons on Saturday, May 2, 1970, which resulted in the burning of the ROTC building, constituted a riot. There can never exist any justification or valid excuse for such an act. The burning of this building and destruction of its contents was a deliberate criminal act committed by students and non-students. Nor did the rioters stop with the burning of the ROTC building. They also set fire to the archery shed and moved from there to East Main Street on the front campus where they engaged in further acts of destruction and stoned the members of the National Guard as they entered Kent."
The next day was Sunday, May third, and the usual violence erupted again. Hundreds of demonstrators tried to march downtown, and the Guard was sent in to drive them back. Here is the way it was, says Michener, according to Guardsman Carl Caldwell of Charlie Company: "We were taking abuse like you never heard before. I had to rifle-butt some of the tough ones in front of me. Beer bottles came at us and the man on my right was conked on the head. The fellow on my left had his helmet dented by a chunk of concrete. The language was horrible, especially from the girls. Coeds would throw open their shirts or lift their dresses and they'd be wearing nothing underneath and they'd shout, 'Wouldn't you rather be sleeping with me than doing what you're doing?'
"I was sure we'd be rushed. I was afraid of what might happen if we were. Actually, there were some uncoordinated attempts and we had to drive the most aggressive students back at bayonet point. I thought then and I've often thought since that if they had really come at us that Sunday night, they could have knocked us off the street.
"Who was leading the riot? There was a hard core of about twelve, with white armbands and crosses on their backs, cutting around in back of us, linking hands at the far edges of the mob and pushing forward, making people crush in on us. 'Move on in!' this determined crowd kept repeating, but they didn't come in themselves. Whenever they got one part of the crowd moving, they'd leave it and run to another area."
Yes, mom, that's the way it was. Notice that the professional revolutionaries were pushing the students into the National Guard bayonets. In fact, the Akron Beacon Journal, of July 5, 1970, carried an article from the New York Timesalways beloved of "Liberals"which says this: "Sunday night was a stream of pure violence. The sky was lit with fire, mostly from trees that had been doused in gasoline and then set ablaze. The Guardsmen found themselves the targets of an apparently ceaseless barrage of rocks, slag, wrenches, anything that could be thrown.
"One trooper caught a rock or a wrench in the face, smashing his teeth and upper mouth. His gas mask began filling up with his own blood, so that for a moment he couldn't breathebefore help arrived.
"Another recalls seeing a squad leader fall to the ground with injuries'I think he got a broken bone'in one or both legs. 'He's lying on the ground and this girl came up and kicked him in the groin and then kicked him in the face.' " What did your daughter major in at college, mom?
In fact, there already had been property damage at Andrew Paton Airport, a few miles away, and so on Sunday night Staff Sergeant Andrew Evanko and some other troopers were sent to patrol it. Sergeant Evanko tells your reporter that they caught four men from out-of-town at the scene in an automobile, which contained a five-gallon gas can, three tire irons, two walkie-talkies, two cans of mace, and a set of brass knuckles. The troopers held the men for police, who placed them under arrest. Then it was Monday, May 4, 1970. The guardsmen were dirty, hot, and tired. John Simon, who was there as a Specialist Fourth Class, reports that they had slept in a gymnasium on a hard, wooden floor, and that the food was "lousy." They wanted to go home. But, as usual, there were rumors of still more terror to come, including numerous bomb threats. And more than a thousand demonstrators gathered once again on the campus, in defiance of an official order not to assemble. So, once again, the Guard was sent in to disperse them. Once again there was the foul language. Sergeant Gordon Bedall tells it this way according to Michener: "...The coeds in the crowd began yelling at us, and I wouldn't dare to repeat what they said. It was incredible. I'd never heard such filth from our truck drivers .... A very pretty girl stuck her hand right under my nose, gave me the finger, and uttered four words that I've never used myself. I've been on riot duty before, but I've never encountered such language, not even among the raunchiest whores on Wooster Avenue."
But of course there was much more than insults. Michener writes as follows: " . .. Students began throwing rocks at them, and chunks of wood studded with nails, and jagged hunks of concrete. Where did they get such missiles? At least two witnesses swear they saw girls carrying heavy handbags from which they distributed rocks to men students, and some photographs would seem to substantiate this charge. At a nearby construction site some students had picked up fragments of concrete block. And some of the students had armed themselves with bricks .... "
In an interview by Tony Tucci of the Cleveland Press, May 14, 1970, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Fassinger says this: " . . . I was hit a number of times, once with a triangular shaped rock seven inches on the sides and two inches thick. I returned and found that rock later, and gave it to the investigators." And Marty Ralbovsky reported for N.E.A. that "G troop, meanwhile, continued to be pelted with rocks. Slices of wood with razor blades partially inserted into them also were tossed into the middle of the Guard formation. One person came out from the crowd and ran after a guardsman, swinging a parking meter which had been uprooted from Main Street in Kent four days earlier."
In other words, it was the 1968 Democrat National Convention all over again. Sergeant Evanko later went back and collected a chair leg, part of a baseball bat, various coat hangers and other weapons. On the roof of the aforementioned Tri-Towers, the Guard found supplies of food and water, which possibly indicate that the terrorists were prepared for a siege.
And it is important to quote at length from the state grand jury report on the affair: "Fifty-eight Guardsmen were injured by rocks and other objects hurled at them as they moved across the 'Commons' to Taylor Hall Hill and down to the practice football field, and were then forced to retreat .... it is clear that from the time the Guard reached the practice football field, they were on the defensive and had every reason to be concerned for their own welfare .... The circumstances present at that time indicate that 74 men surrounded by several hundred hostile rioters were forced to retreat back up the hill toward Taylor Hall under a constant barrage of rocks and other flying objects, accompanied by a constant flow of obscenities and chants such as 'Kill, Kill, Kill.' Photographic evidence has established, beyond any doubt, that as the National Guardsmen approached the top of the hill adjacent to Taylor Hall, a large segment of the crowd surged up the hill, led by smaller groups of agitators approaching to within short distances of the rear ranks of the Guardsmen.
"The testimony of the students and Guardsmen is clear that several members of the Guard were knocked to the ground or to their knees by the force of the objects thrown at them. Although some rioters claim that only a few rocks were thrown, the testimony of construction workers in the area has established that 200 bricks were taken from a nearby construction site. Various students were observed carrying rocks in sacks to the 'rally'; others brought gas masks and other equipment from off campus in obvious anticipation of what was to happen. Rocks had been stockpiled in the immediate vicinity and cries of 'Get the rocks' were heard as the Guardsmen went onto the practice field. There was additional evidence that advance planning had occurred in connection with the 'rally' held at noon on May fourth." Shortly before 12:30 p.m., while retreating under firea brick can be as deadly a weapon as a gunthe guardsmen suddenly wheeled at the corner of Taylor Hall and opened fire. Nine students were wounded and four were killed. The conspirators finally had the "martyrs" they neededthe martyrs they had incredibly faded to get less than two years earlier at the Democrat National Convention in Chicago.
The question arises of why anybody would be so foolish as to throw rocks and bricks at close range at a military unit armed with M-1 rifles. And the answer can be found in a remark by Guard Captain John Martin: "Agitators had those kids believing we had blanks. Somebody told them that."
So here is more proof that the terrorists were deliberately trying to get the students killed. As Police Chief Thompson puts it: "The Guard didn't kill the students. The agitators did. The Guard simply pulled the triggers." It is interesting to note that a while back a lady telephoned a Sandusky call-in show, run by Bill Swain, to report that her sister, who is now a schoolteacher, was on the campus that day and tried to get awaybut the revolutionaries dragged her back by the hair, knocked her down and kicked her. According to her sister, she is still too afraid to come forward to testify.
In the days following the shooting, hundreds of colleges across America either closed completely or almost closed. Thousands of students were successfully radicalizedjust as planned. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer of May 7, 1970, Communist Jerry Rubin, who helped provoke the shooting, later put it this way: "It was the most significant day of all of our lives because in 48 hours more young people were radicalized, revolutionized and yippieized than in any single time in American history." In fact, your reporter speaks very often in high schools, and sometimes in colleges, and can report that even today, four years later, students across the country are still angry about the "massacre" at Kent State. Needless to say, they have been told nothing of what you have just read.
But even more revealing has been the maneuvering by the same Establishment that gave Jerry Rubin a tax-exempt foundation. In January, 1971, federal judge William K. Thomas ordered the destruction of the state grand jury report from which you have just read excerpts, on the ground that it would have made a fair trial impossible for the twenty-five indicted defendants. The twenty-five did not come to trial until more than eighteen months after the shooting, when almost all the charges were dropped for "lack of evidence."
The expunged grand jury report had found "that those members of the National Guard who were present on the hill adjacent to Taylor Hall on May 4,1970, fired their weapons in the honest and sincere belief and under circumstances which would have logically caused them to believe that they would suffer serious bodily injury had they not done so. They are not, therefore, subject to criminal prosecution under the laws of this state for any death or injury resulting therefrom."
But from the very beginning, the revolutionaries at the top have been trying to transform the tragic incident from the criminal riot it was into a propaganda weapon they could use to convict some guardsmen and attack the National Guard. Soon after the shooting, a representative of the civil rights division of the Justice Department showed up to determine whether the civil rights of the rioters had been violated. Typically, the Justice Department's idea was that rioting is a civil right. Remember that arson had been committed against the R.O.T.C. building and that arson against a military establishment is one of the most serious of crimes, so one would have expected that the criminal division would take charge. But, as far as we know, the criminal division showed no interest.
In 1973, J. Stanley Pottinger was appointed Assistant Attorney General in charge of the civil rights division. Pottinger earlier had been an official at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, in which capacity he traveled throughout the South requiring local school boards to impose forced bussing a scheme to take control of children away from mothers of all colors. He also was in charge of enforcing quotas to assure "equal employment" a scheme to harass business by dictating hiring practices in which members of "minorities" are to be given job priority on the basis of race rather than ability.
In other words, Pottinger is one of the totalitarians at the top who is working to impose total collectivism on our people. Stanley Pottinger went to Elliot Richardson, the ambitious "Liberal" who was then Attorney General, they reopened the case, and their federal grand jury recently indicted eight guardsmen on charges of violating the students' civil rights. "The federal grand jury was only interested in who got shot not in what led up to it," says Chief Thompson. One would expect that as Kent Chief of Police at the time Thompson would have valuable testimony to giveand he doesbut he recalls wryly that he was not called to testify.
And, needless to say, the national press did its part to distort what really happened at Kent State; the same national press which, in 1968 at the Democrat National Convention in Chicago, repeatedly showed the police manhandling "students"but never showed the "students" assaulting the police with rocks, bottles, chunks of asphalt, potatoes studded with razor blades, Iye, and plastic bags filled with human excrement. Chief Thompson reports that CBS interviewed him before the shooting, about the rioting and the burning of the R.O.T.C. building, but CBS didn't broadcast his explanation of the causes. And Guardsman Simon reports that he was "insulted" because network television men recording on the scene shut off their microphones as he and other guardsmen approached, as if they had "something to hide." Simon asks: Why don't they interview a guardsman, or a guardsman's wife?
Why did the Guard suddenly turn and fire? The answer is that they were under fire by a sniper. And this single fact now becomes the most important element of the tragedy. As we have seen, the retreating guardsmen were being assaulted by a mob throwing bricks, but many "Liberals"and even some sensible peopleare dubious about whether this justified retaliation with rifle fire. However, if the guardsmen were being fired upon with guns, there can by no doubt that they took the proper action.
As we have seen, in the months before the "major confrontation," the terrorists talked loudly of gunplay. And on April 20, 1970, the Illinois Crime Investigating Commission described S.D.S. plans for campus violence as follows: "We expect the incidence of sniping at police and assassination to grow in future months...." But James Michener says this: ". . . We have studied all available documents and find no need to postulate the existence of a sniper and nothing to support the theory that one existed. The Guard, the highway patrol, the FBI, the Scranton Commission and the grand jury all investigated this theory exhaustively, tracking down at least a dozen alluring tales of snipers seen here and there, and no shred of evidence was found to support any of them." No shred of evidence?
Let us take a look at the available shreds. Elsewhere in his book, Michener quotes a guardsman named Jim Pierce, who warned a friend on Sunday at the scene: "Don't go in there. We just got word there's snipers on lots of the rooftops." National Guard General Robert Canterbury said he heard a shot precede the gunfire, and Plain Dealer staff writers Joseph Eszterhas and Michael D. Roberts later wrote as follows (May 6, 1970): "Ballistics experts were also checking a wall which had allegedly been struck by a bullet or bullets fired toward the guardsmen. Some students in the group fired upon by guardsmen insisted yesterday they had heard no sniper fire before the shootings. Some agreed, though, with Canterbury's contention there was a single shot preceding the volley."
Then there was Dr. Joseph Ewing, of Akron, who treated more than a thousand gunshot wounds as a military surgeon during World War II. Ewing treated wounded student Donald MacKenzie at St. Thomas Hospital, and told the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram (May 9,1970): "This boy was not injured by a weapon carried by the National Guard. I found no indication of fragments of any bullets in the x-ray, which means it had to be of small caliber. If the bullet had been either a .45 or a .30 caliber, he would be dead, his spinal cord would have been severed and the side of his head blown away." It is interesting to note that Michener, who names everyone else, simply describes Ewing as "an elderly doctor."
And there was student Terrence Norman, who according to the Akron Beacon Journal (May 5, 1970) heard "either a .22 or a firecracker and it sounded like it came from atop Taylor Hall or just to the right of it." The guardsmen were at one corner of Taylor Hall when they fired. Just to the right of it is a parking lot where some of the students were wounded, and another building called Prentice Hall.
All of this of course is circumstantial and proves nothing. But it is unnecessary. Tony Tucci writes of his interview with Colonel Fassinger: "Fassinger said police have a tape recording of the shooting which proves that there was a single shot, a pause of 10 to 11 seconds, and then a volley. Fassinger said other reports, such as the finding of a .32-caliber pistol with two spent shells in the Cuyahoga River at Kent, also indicate that the Guard may have been fired on first. 'Investigators have found both .22 and .32-caliber shells on the campus. There also are reports that some students were wounded with small caliber, non-military weapons,' Fassinger said. 'No troops were hit, thank God, but there are indications that there were rounds fired other than ours and in a direction other than the one in which we were firing.' He referred to reports of a bullet hole in a metal sculpture and furrows in the ground which may have been caused by bullets."
The sculpture the colonel refers to is in front of Taylor Hall, and therefore is between the guardsmen who fired and some of the students who were shot. It is composed of small, metallic plates welded together, and it is mentioned here and there in the various stories on the matter. For instance, the Akron Beacon Journal of May 24, 1970, describes the shooting of student John Cleary as follows: "When hit, Cleary stood 113 feet from the pagoda, just next to the 15-foot-high abstract sculpture by Don Drumm, a work of art financed by the National Defense Education Act. A .30 caliber slug pierced its three-eighths of an inch steel. Another bullet drilled through a foot-thick elm and sped on."
The pagoda is another structure, next to which the guardsmen were standing. Your reporter has measured the plate of steel and it is exactly five-sixteenths of an inch thick. Michener quotes teacher Elizabeth Runyan, who says this: "My students and I walked in a kind of daze to that big piece of steel sculpture in front of Taylor Hall and we saw where one of the bullets had cut its way right through the thick steel ...." He writes of photographer Howard Ruffner: "The photograph that Ruffner especially treasures was taken a second before the shots, and it shows one of the Guardsmen on the left flank aiming directly at Ruffner. As you look at the photograph, you can see straight into the barrel. Ruffner hit the dirt; the shot that would have struck him passed through the steel sculpture." And photographer John Filo says this: "Then, to my amazement, a bullet came ripping through the sculpture and two more rattled through the tree with such force that they knocked my camera out of my hands. I hit the ground very fast. They were real bullets!"
Finally, Esztherhas and Roberts speak of the discovery of a non-military shell casing and add: "A preliminary test indicated there was a bullet hole in a 15-foot welded steel sculpture in front of Taylor Hall. The bullet would have been fired in the direction of the guardsmen."
And to your reporter's knowledge, this last quotation is the only public indication of where that bullet hole really came from. As far as I know, AMERICAN OPINION is the first publication to produce photographs of it. As you see on page seven, they show one side of the plate is jagged, with shards of extended metal around the circumference of the hole. That is the side of the plate where the guardsmen were standing, which means that the bullet that made the hole was fired at them, not by them. It does not even take a ballistics expert to determine that the aforesaid condition of the plate indicates that the bullet exited from it and sped toward the guardsmen. The case is proved. There was a sniper!
Nevertheless, your reporter called Henry Dombrowski, who heads the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (which is part of the Ohio attorney general's office) at Richfield, Ohio, and asked for an expert. Dombrowski recommended C.H. Mallett who was chief of the Windham, Ohio, Police Department for twenty-eight years, has an instructor's card for Ohio police, and participated in the Law Enforcement Officers Training Program. Chief Mallett examined the bullet hole in the steel plate for several minutes with various instruments, and I asked him which way the bullet went. He pointed to the spot between the pagoda and the corner of Taylor Hall, where the guardsmen had been standing. "How sure are you?" I asked.
"Is there any doubt in your mind?"
In fact, there is also the testimony of Sergeant Evanko, who reports that on the morning after the shooting, shortly after eight a.m., he saw an F.B.I. agent examining the bullet hole and asked: "What direction would you say this round came from?"
"Well, Sergeant, I am not a ballistics expert, but I can tell you this shot was fired in the direction of the Guard."
Sergeant Evanko says he thinks he could identify that F.B.I. agent today.
So there was a sniper. It was because of the sniper that the guardsmen suddenly about-faced and fired. In fact it is reasonable to speculate that the sniper finally fired when he did because the students had failed to provoke the guardsmen to retaliate. When the professional terrorists became afraid that the incident would end without the "martyrs" they had worked almost two years to get, the sniper opened up with his weapon. The guardsmen did what they were trained to do they fired in the direction from which the sniper's bullet came. A look back through the hole in that direction shows that it came from beyond the parking lot where several students were hit, in the general area of Prentice Halleither from the green door on the roof leading to the stairwell, from one of the windows, or from the grassy area at one corner of the building.
Who was the sniper? Your reporter doesn't know. Most probably he was a member of one of the revolutionary terrorist squads trained for the purpose. It is nonetheless interesting to note that the Akron Beacon Journal reported on March 31, 1974, that several federal undercover men were on the campus at the time of the shooting. One of the men "said he was part of a federal narcotics strike force sent to the campus to make a drug raid," and was "quickly ushered out of town after the shooting." Another man "said he was on campus May 4, 1970, working for Army intelligence and other unnamed federal investigative agencies." Also according to the Beacon Journal, "the .45-caliber pistol assigned to a Guard mechanic on duty at the Ravenna Armory at the time of the shooting was taken from the arms room and fired on the campus by an unknown Guardsman." And there is the charge by state grand jury prosecutor Seabury Ford (Beacon Journal, October 24, 1970) that shortly before the shooting a message was circulated on campus saying, among other things: "Some of these people will be wearing Army fatigues, will attempt to infiltrate NG."
How It Adds Up
So, once again, we don't know who the sniper wasbut we do know there was a sniper and that he was firing on the National Guard when they turned and returned the fire. Which means that the eight indicted guardsmen are innocent. And remember that the evidence which proves this was not newly dug up by your reporter. It has been standing in front of Taylor Hall for four years. It is there now or at least it was when your reporter last saw it. The steel around it has been discolored by the innumerable fingers which have examined it. And yet the President's Commission on Campus Unrest the Scranton Commission which conducted an "investigation," claims it could find no evidence of a sniper.
Which means not only that there was a conspiracy to force the Guard to fire on the students, but that there is a conspiracy to conceal the fact that the guardsmen and the students were victimized by that conspiracy.
The guardsmen were on campus in obedience to the lawful order of their governor. Had they refused to go, they could have been court-martialed. And they had their orders. Before the shooting, reported the Beacon Journal of May 3, 1970: "Ohio National Guard Adj. Gen. Sylvester Del Corso at the Kent City Police Department command post, ordered Guardsmen to shoot any rioters who cut fire hoses." (Emphasis added.) It is one thing to stop revolutionaries from cutting fire hoses at a holocaust in which not to do so might mean death for the trapped innocent. Such an order is reasonable. Just as it is reasonable for guardsmen being attacked by a mob, bloodied with bricks, to return fire when under assault by one or more snipers.
If even one of the eight indicted guardsmen is convicted, other guardsmen around the country will be very reluctant, indeed, to obey future lawful orders of their governors. The Plain Dealer quotes one of the eight defendants, Matthew McManus, as follows: "Don't go. Remember Kent State and eight guys taking the blame. It's not worth it."
And if other guardsmen take his advice, the way would be cleared for some would-be dictator in Washington to send in the U.S. Army, in future incidents, under federal controlwhich would go a long way toward setting the tyrannical precedents that the conspirators and revolutionaries need to take control of our country. The scheme to impose martial law on America must be stopped. The Kent State Eight are innocent. They must be freed. * James Michener, Kent State, Fawcett World, New York, 1972. ** It is interesting to note that at the same time Jerry Rubin was foaming to destroy the Establishment, he had a tax-exempt foundation to shelter his earnings, granted by the Nixon Ad ministrationwhich is further proof that he is just a stooge of the Establishment Socialists at the top. Reprinted with permission from American Opinion, June 1974
Kent State was treated to two appearances by Mark Rudd, the S.D.S. Ieader
Mark Rudd was a Columbia undergrad. When I went to Columbia I spend a lot of time in the archives of the Columbia Daily Spectator going over microfiche of old papers. What I learned, and wrote about, was that Rudd was a coward. He would agitate for protests and the taking over of buildings, but whenever the cops showed up he let his dumb followers get arrested while he always jumped out the back window, ran away, etc.
I graduated college in 1970 (note my username). I flew helicopters in Vietnam. Sorry to sound like sKerry. I regret people were killed at Kent State that spring.
After Vietnam, I served ten years in the National Guard with ordinary likeable citizens.
Those deaths did not have to happen. Sinister forces made it so. If the instigators still live, pox on them.
God Bless all of our National Guardsmen.
Ditto that times infinity!
Wikipedia has this on the SDS:
"The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) is a student activist movement in the United States founded in 1959. As part of the New Left movement in the United States, the organization developed rapidly in the mid-1960s, before dissolving for decades in 1969 until its revival in 2003."
Which implies they didn't get involved in Kent State.
Anyone know more?
Bump for later
I flew helicopters in Vietnam....After Vietnam, I served ten years in the National Guard with ordinary likeable citizens.
Thank you for your service to our country.
Bill Bennett was actually very very close to joining SDS in the 60's. But his brother persuaded him not too. As an aside, Bill Bennett once dated Janis Joplin.
Okay, you have me there. They were as red as red can be.
And everyone knows, Wikipedia is the most accurate source of info out there....sorry for the sarcasm, but the SDS was still going strong well into the 1970s.
"God Bless all of our National Guardsmen."
I'm curious what you think of the Oklahoma NG going door to door in New Orleans confiscating citizen's firearms.
Thank you for your heartwarming reply. I am grateful to G-d that I am still able to do so. But, please, give greater thanks to our brave young soldiers who risk far more than that which is already behind me.
Bill Bennett dated Janis Joplin? YIKES!
"Besides, it's Nagin's PD doing that not the National Guard."
Nope. OK NG. Just following orders, huh? Simple as that?
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