On May 4th, 1970 a little bit past noon the Ohio National Guard opened live fire on unarmed students at Kent State University. 67 rounds were fired in 13 seconds and at the end of it 4 students lay dead while 9 more were wounded. John Filo who was a photojournalism student at Kent University wound up taking one of the most iconic photographs of a generation, that of 14 year old runaway Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the lifeless body of Jeffery Miller. Vecchio had earlier befriended Alan Canfora(wounded) and Sandra Scheuer(killed) who were also caught up in the gunfire, in Scheuer’s case she had not even been taking part in the protests against the Cambodian campaign.
Following the the fatal shootings hundreds of universities and high schools around the country shut down as hundreds of thousands of students and teachers walked out in protest. Most protests while usually tense did remain generally peaceful, however there were numerous ones that turned violent, in fact just over a week later on May 15th state troopers in Mississippi opened fire and killed two at Jackson State College. In New York City on May 8th in what became known as the Hard Hat Riot almost 200 construction workers mobilized by the AFL-CIO attacked a group of about 1,000 students who had gathered to protest the shootings resulting in over 70 injuries(politics makes strange bed fellows. In this case you have a labor union organizing a mob against anti-war leftists while bankers and lawyers on nearby Wall St actually tried to shelter some of the students from the mob as the police were doing nothing and in some instances wound up being attacked themselves). A few days after the shooting more than 100,000 in Washington D.C and 150,000 in San Fransisco gathered to protest against the Vietnam war.