The Anti-War Movement In The Late 1960’s And Early 1970’s And The May 4th Kent State Shootings
During the late 1960’s the United States was raging a war on two fronts. One front in Vietnam fighting the communist North Vietnamese forces, the other on the campuses and streets fighting the students and protesters across America. The anti-war movement was one of the most successful moments in US history. For 11 years from 1964- 1975 Americans protested a war they believed they did not need to be in. The movement while mostly peaceful, sometimes violent groups or actions on both sides fueled a modern uprising. An uprising that would define not only the people or the generation but the decade.
On April 30th, 1970 President Nixon announced that United States forces had begun a Cambodian Incursion, a effort to defeat 40,000 People’s Republic of Vietnam troops protected behind Cambodian borders. Nixon believed that by expanding our forces that we could contain North Vietnam and begin pushing back. A majority of Americans on the other hand believed that this was just one more death sentence to the men on the fronts. On May 1st at Kent State University, 500 students gathered in the Commons (a central open air quad used for meetings and leisure) for a demonstration. At the demonstration a widespread anger floated the crowd. Protesters called to "bring the war home." Symbolizing their protest to Nixon's decision to send troops, a group of students burned a copy of the U.S. Constitution burned their while another group of students burned their draft cards. When the time for student to attend afternoon class came an announcement was made that on Monday May 4th, a protest would take place on the Commons when the Victory Bell ( a bell in the center of campus traditionally rang when teams won a sporting event) rung. Later in the evening just after the 11 pm news broadcast violence erupted as news of the first deaths of American soldiers in the Cambodian Incursion...
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