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The Kent State Massacre
When Richard Nixon was elected president of the United States in 1968, it was partly because he had promised to end the Vietnam war. So when it announced two years after the United States had invaded Cambodia, anti-war activists across the nation soon erupted in protest.
Then, in the evening, what started as a peaceful protest on the streets of central Kent turned into a violent clash between protesters and local police. The mayor of the city declared a state of emergency and the huge police force that was called in the end used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Fearing further disruption, the mayor asked the governor of Ohio the next day to send the state national guard to Kent. Clashes between guards and demonstrators continued on 2 and 3 May, with a ROTC building on campus that eventually went up in flames. It is not clear who was responsible for the fire.
Shortly before noon, the guards ordered the protesters to disperse. When the crowd refused to leave, the guards fired tear gas at the students and started following them directly. After several confrontations, the troops returned to the top of a steep hill, where they turned to the protesters and fired into the crowd for 13 seconds.
Four students were killed and nine were injured. The university was immediately closed and millions of students on campuses across the country protested the accident.
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