CLEVELAND - When protestors clashed with Ohio National Guardsmen on May 4, 1970, the aftermath left our nation shocked.
The tragic events that occurred on the Kent State University campus left four students dead and nine injured.
Rummaging through our archives, I came across a compilation of film from the days after the Kent State shootings. Someone saved all sorts of events, from a WIXY mini-skirt contest to shoppers crowding the sidewalks of downtown Cleveland. But most of the stories in the collection revolved around Vietnam War protests and reaction to Kent State.
The film in our video player begins with a protest in Cleveland’s University Circle. Another protest at Public Square starts with a speaker bemoaning the deaths at three domestic “battlefields”.
The next clip was simply labeled “KSU victim funeral."
Former WEWS news director Garry Ritchie delivers a story on security concerns for the KSU commencement.
The university was closed for a number of days following the shootings and fears ran high there would be trouble. A university spokesman dismisses fears and says extra security has been added because of the increased interest in the graduation following the tragedy.
A search showed the date of the KSU graduation as June 13, 1970.
There are shots of cars being stopped in advance of graduation, but what scared me was the shot of the exit doors chained and locked shut at the graduation venue.
Finally, Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes handing out diplomas and the Reverend Jesse Jackson giving a commencement speech. This clip was unlabeled.
An internet search showed Jackson gave commencement speeches at a number of locations around the United States that year with one local stop being Oberlin College.