It all started when anti-war protesters from off-campus showed up by Friday, 1 May 1970 to host a May Day protest rally. That night, a handful of idiots decided that it was a good idea to get drunk and start trashing Water Street. The police quelled the violence within an hour.
The Police Department contacted the Mayor who contacted the Governor of Ohio who contacted the National Guard.
The next day, the National Guard was on campus. That Saturday night another handful of idiots decided to set fire to the ROTC building, and sabotaged Fire Department’s efforts to stop the blaze by slashing the hoses.
The National Guard was made up of young men the same age as the students. Not much happened on Sunday, 3 May.
On Monday, 4 May, the agitators cranked it up a notch, and someone in the National Guard gave the order to shoot across the Prentiss Hall parking lot from the front of Taylor Hall, the School of Architecture Building. Four students were killed, nine wounded.
There was a lot of overreaction on 4 May 1970, but who lit the fuse? The handful of vandals that started throwing rocks and bottles on Water Street, or the handful of idiots who burned the ROTC building on campus? What about the rally organizers who were neither students nor residents of Kent, Ohio, and arrived by the busload? Unless I’m mistaken, none of them were ever brought to trial. It was entirely the National Guard’s fault. Right.
Although the sub-genius that produced this video and posted it on the Utoobage got the date wrong (a lot of the “documentaries” have blatant factual errors) it still has the requisite soundtrack: “Ohio” by CSN&Y.
[Update 4 May 2009: It appears that the soundtrack has been altered from the original utoobage. Now the video’s even more obnoxious than before. – Bunk]