Kent State 43 Years Later

Kent_State_massacre

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

Yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of the day when time stood still for me.  As a freshmen in college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale,  Illinois, I was stunned to learn of the killing of 4 young people by the Ohio National Guard during protests on the campus of Kent State University.  The protestors were using their First Amendment rights to voice their opinion on the United States participation in the Vietnam War and the military’s recent incursion into Cambodia upon orders from then President Richard Nixon.   Those events not only scarred me, but they also opened my eyes to the power of the government and more importantly, the power of the people. 

When I read fellow Guest Blogger Mike Spindell’s wonderful article titled, “You Say You Want a Revolution”, I started thinking about Kent State and what the country went through and what, if anything the country learned from those tumultuous times.   Sadly, the killings at Kent State were shortly followed up by city and State police killing two students and injuring 12 others at Jackson State University, in Jackson, Mississippi on May 15th. Jackson State

The Kent State killings and the Jackson State killings were perpetrated by National Guardsmen and city and State police and the victims were protestors and bystanders alike.  The First Amendment was in full bloom in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but the authorities were not happy with the students standing up to the government.  When we consider if this country is really ready for or in for another revolution, I submit that we have already experienced a revolution in my lifetime.  It was the protests during the Civil Rights movement and the Women’s Rights movement and culminating with the unrest surrounding the Vietnam War.

One author thinks that there is a distinct connection between the 1960’s and today.  “The question of why the 1960s matter to me is one thing, but what’s important is, should the events of 50 years ago matter to the rest of us? Is what happened on May 4, 1970 – and in the tumultuous years leading up to it — still relevant on May 4, 2013? OK, I’ve clearly revealed my bias, but I think the answer is undeniably yes — because there is a straight line between the skirmishes people fought then and the all-too-real war for the future of America that is taking place today.

Here’s another question to put that era in perspective: Was what happened on the homefront just a brief time of heightened social upheaval, or was there really a full-blown revolution in this country? Well, before you jump in with what seems like the obvious answer — consider the hallmarks of the other revolutions that you’ve seen. You’d see peaceful protests escalate to street violence, with a mounting death toll and with the military eventually called up. You’d see revolutionary cadres form, and intensifying government efforts to stop them but also legitimate protest. with wiretaps and informants, leading up to targeted killings. There’d be deadly suppression of protests, and daring acts of defiance. Yet in some revolutions, the government is ultimately toppled, its leaders put on trial, its secrets aired in a national reconciliation effort. But the underlying tensions remain.”  Philly.com

Think about the last sentence in the above quote.  The “underlying tensions remain”.  There are tensions in this country between the right and the left and pro-lifers and pro-choice advocates.  There are tensions between gun control advocates and the NRA and those who do not want any limitations or controls put on gun ownership.  Once again there are wars and various incursions and drone attacks that are dividing the country.  There are divisions between those that want austerity to rule the economic day and those that believe that the government must be involved in spending our way  out of the recession/depression that we are ever so slowly coming out of.

The above quoted author goes on to claim that although the Kent State killings were a kind of end to a movement and at the same time they are related to the strife we are going through even today. “For a few days after Kent State, the volley of National Guard bullets that inexplicably killed four young people (none of whom were breaking the law, including two bystanders who weren’t involved in the anti-war demonstrations) felt like the start of an even bigger revolution, but in the reality is was the end; campuses closed for the summer and when the students came back in the fall, the active protests were all over but the shouting. Killing people has a way of doing that. We don’t like to admit it, but too often, violent repression works.”  Philly.com

I have to admit that I agree that the killings at Kent State and Jackson State did slow or impede the protests.  On May 11th and May 12th, 1970, I spent the early morning hours of my 19th birthday in the Jackson County, Illinois jail as I was arrested for “unlawful assembly” because I was in a group of people who numbered greater than 2!  You read that correctly.  The city ordinance stated that when there was a protest the police could arrest anyone found in groups larger than two people.  I was later acquitted of these obviously unconstitutional charges, but they had succeeded in ending the protest and getting students off the streets.

Our campus was closed a day or two later, like many campuses across the country and when we returned in the Fall, our desire to take to the streets and exercise our First Amendment rights were dampened.  They were dampened in my case because I could not afford to get arrested again because I was placed on probation by the University, even though I was acquitted of any charges.  The protests did aid in getting us out of the Vietnam War, but I do not think they succeeded in stopping government from overstepping its bounds.

The protests of the 60’s and 70’s may have spurred the government into looking for additional ways to spy on its citizens with and without a warrant.  Did we learn anything from these protests and from their aftermath?  We are still fighting against government aggression overseas.  We are still fighting to reduce the numbers of poor and uneducated and we are still battling to end discrimination.  We are still in a fight over the extreme financial inequality in our country.

While the arrests and abuses of the Occupy movement protestors were abhorrent, they did not reach the extreme of that warm day in May of 1970, but the police may have learned from Kent State that arresting people and worrying about the legality of those arrests later can be successful.  Does that mean that Kent State cannot happen again?  Can this country heal its many fractures and divisions and prevent another Kent State or Jackson State episode?  If the Occupy police violence and spying episodes are any indication, we have not learned the lessons that Kent State taught us.

While I do not expect or want another revolution, I fear that more will have to suffer in the fight to protect our right to redress our grievances with an ever-expanding secret government.  What do you think?  What can we do as citizens to make sure that the government actually operates to serve all of us?

Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandy Scheurer and William Knox Schroeder lost their lives 43 years ago at the hands of the Ohio National Guard.  I do hope their violent deaths have taught us something!  Peace.

69 thoughts on “Kent State 43 Years Later

  1. There is new evidence, including sound analysis technology that did not even exist in 1970. Video footage in the files has also been dug out and analyzed. Terry Norman was the FBI agent provocateur.. Sound analysis suggests Norman fired his pistol at least four times in order to justify the claim that National Guard troops were taking “sniper fire.”

    Video footage and still photography have recorded the minutes following the “sound of sniper fire,” showing Terry Norman sprinting across the Kent State commons, meeting up with Kent Police and the ONG. In this visual evidence, Norman immediately yet casually hands off his pistol to authorities and the recipients of the pistol show no surprise as Norman hands them his gun.

    Source: http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/kent-state-was-it-about-civil-rights-or-%E2%80%A8murdering-student-protesters/

  2. “Think about the last sentence in the above quote. The “underlying tensions remain”. There are tensions in this country between the right and the left and pro-lifers and pro-choice advocates. There are tensions between gun control advocates and the NRA and those who do not want any limitations or controls put on gun ownership. Once again there are wars and various incursions and drone attacks that are dividing the country. There are divisions between those that want austerity to rule the economic day and those that believe that the government must be involved in spending our way out of the recession/depression that we are ever so slowly coming out of.”

    Larry, Great job and as that quote from you above intimates those “underlying tensions” today are the residue of what you and I participated in in the 60’s. As far as us “losing” that revolution I think that is a mixed bag. To a certain extent we of that 60’s movement succeeded in changing this society in many ways. We opened up the dialog in terms of the rights of those oppressed by racism, sexism and homophobia. We relaxed the way people lives are led. As someone older than you and thus more aware of the 40’s and 50’s those decades represented oppressive/conformist times and in the 60’s we broke that mold.

    However, obviously that “Revolution” failed in its goal of ending unneeded foreign wars. That “Revolution” was co-opted by Corporate propaganda sold to us in the guise of advertising that only “appeared” to champion the goals we sought. Think about the ubiquitous today of Jeans and the fact that they are now sold as “designer brands”. What started out as our “generation” disdaining the conformity of clothing and moving to a new model that was more comfortable, ended up as merely another aspect of Fashion. That is a minor illustration of the co-opting of our movement into “lifestyle”. That word itself was a propagandist trick that turned a sincere desire to lead better, more meaningful lives, into a selling feature of commercialism. You are correct that our revolution ended with these murders, as it scared people into understanding that our shouted epithets against our “fascist” State, were not hyperbole but actually true. However, these murders also changed forever our trust in the system that runs our government. That in itself becomes subversive. As we age we need to keep informing those who come after us about the real history that we lived through and retain hope that a new, wiser movement might rise again.

  3. Thanks for the link OS. Another good read is the book Kent State How and Why, by James Michener. It was written shortly after the event and provided hard evidence that the protestors and students were not firing on the Guardsmen and were approximately 100 yards away.

  4. Well said Mike. The cultural evidence passed down from one generation to another is vital to insure that the true history is taught.

  5. Excellent reminder, I (we?) needed that. In these 43 years we have come so far and yet we are in the same place. We have the power in whom we elect to public office. If we want war, debt, surveillance, keep putting the same people we have into office. If you want change, vote for change, not the person that talks about change, the person that lives that change.

  6. I tried three time to post an excerpt about this on the previous post. All posts went in cyber never-never land. I tried again with a much shorter excerpt (only one link). And it didn’t who up. I wonder if this will make it?

  7. ok. Guess wordpress doesn’t like the article. It contains information posted above by OS. It also describes coverup activities by the FBI – guardsmen’s guns being shipped overseas to be used by NATO forces, the informant’s gun being retooled so it would show that it hadn’t been fired, the destruction of the tape recording of the shots.

    The book:
    Censored 2013: Dispatches from the Media Revolution and intends to expose the lies of American leadership in order to uncensor the “unhistory” of the Kent State massacre, while also aiming toward justice and healing, as censoring the past impacts American Occupy protesters today.

    by Laurel Krause with Mickey Huff

  8. BK,
    If you try to post a link to an item from online booksellers such as Amazon, there are so many associated embedded links WordPress’ spam filter will block it.

  9. Larry,

    Excellent job once again.

    BK (and everyone else),

    Just so you know, the spam filter in general has been “in a bit of a mood” lately. It’s mislabeling an unusually high number of non-spam comments as spam, some that contain no links at all. It happens every so often, but I’m sure WordPress/Askimet are on the maintenance job.

  10. Raf,

    Synchronicity? ;)

    I remember the huge number of students descending on Washington after the massacres and Nixon being quickly removed to Camp David by the Secret Service for his own safety. I believe the 82nd Airborne was stationed in the basement of the executive office building just in case they were needed to quell the rabble. The standard cry from students, “They can’t kill us all!”

    “Shortly after the shootings took place, the Urban Institute conducted a national study that concluded the Kent State shooting was the single factor causing the only nationwide student strike in U.S. history; over 4 million students protested and over 900 American colleges and universities closed during the student strikes. The Kent State campus remained closed for six weeks.”

    My brother-in-law was a student at Kent and had spent the two nights before the killings on beer runs for the National Guard Troops who had been trucked in from the Teamsters’ Strke in Cleveland. The troops were all excited because the rubber bullets they had been issued for the Teamsters’ Strike had just been replaced with live ammo. They got to kill some kids the next day … Hurrah, hurrah!

  11. The antiwar movement was largely upper middle class and professional class young people. Blue collar kids like myself were either against it or just too busy working our way to school to have time for it. I was the latter.

  12. Peace. Why do you think you can’t find any ammo?

    The human brain doesn’t fully mature until the mid-twenties. That’s why they like to get them young. Some of them don’t have the compunction to not open fire. Give them a little bit of authority, and you’re going to get it.

    If you think otherwise, you’re naive.

  13. I think Kent State is only relevant to those of us who were alive when it happened. There is a whole generation of kids who are voting age who do not even know what Watergate was. They are America’s future.

  14. The struggles of the 60s and 70s were put down by government infiltrators that fomented the violence that were used as excuses to use violence against the demonstrators. It was just the anti-war protests. Consider the American Indian Movement and Black Panthers. In both cases the FBI used infiltrators, false evidence, and murder to put these groups out of business. Many of the leaders of these movements were murdered outright or put in prison, mostly due to FBI instigated violence. Leonard Peltier is one political prisoner who was a victim of FBI’s manufactured evidence and a racist judge. Mumia is another political prisoner, victim of corrupt Philadelphia police. And, of course, JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X. Leaders that challenge the 1% don’t fair well.

  15. And OWS has been diminished due to the same tactics by co-ordination at the federal, state and city level, a precursor to these groups working together to install martial law in Boston.

  16. Bonnie 1, May 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I think Kent State is only relevant to those of us who were alive when it happened. There is a whole generation of kids who are voting age who do not even know what Watergate was. They are America’s future.
    ————————————————————————————-
    You were supposed to be America’s future. Did you fail? Why is it the children’s burden?

  17. Thanks, Larry.

    *****

    nick,

    Does it really matter what class of people that the protesters belonged to? Not all college students came from families of means. There were kids like me from working class/blue collars families who attended state colleges where we were commuters students. I didn’t participate in the anti-war demonstrations at my school. I’m sorry that I didn’t. It wasn’t until my first year of teaching (1968-1969) that I became anti-war.

  18. Nick,

    As usual you don’t know what you’re talking about, merely exposing your own incorrect pre-judgments, in service of your political views. Like Elaine I’m working class, I was in the movement and I worked full time. I also was an orphan and working my way through school. Difference was I cared and you didn’t seem to care enough.

  19. Elaine, I was not making any value judgements, merely pointing out the class structure of protestors. History shows that it’s the burgouise that revolt, the poorer folks are merely working too hard to exist. Mao changed that dynamic. Elaine, we are on the same page in this regard, I think. Coming from a blue collar family where my father and 5 uncles fought in WW2, I had a different upbringing. My father did not want me to have to go to war, but it was expected of me to obey the law. In an Italian family you honor the family and it’s heritage. My point is that the people protesting had deferments and families who were active in keeping them out of the war. It was black and blue collar whites who made up the fighting force, at least until the draft lottery was instituted. We previously discussed having family and friends who went there and came back much different. By the time I got of school Saigon had fallen.

    “I cared and you didn’t seem to care enough.” There’s nothing to say to that but, “WOW, I’m not worthy to even be in your presence.”

  20. Back in my last incarnation as a human I went to May Day in Washington DC on May 1st 1971. That anti war event would not have come about had not Kent State and Jackson state gone down. The most interesting and rabid demonstrators were Vetnam War Vets. I was back in DC in August 1974 when Nixon resigned. We gathered outside the White House and Tricky came out for a bit and said something and we yelled Jali To The Chief. In his Memoirs he said he heard Hail To The Chief. The Draft was a good thing because it movilized people against the war, Afghanistan is Nam at a higher altitude and without swamps. The Military Industrial Complex is still winning their war over your minds. Syria is next. I gotta go assist my half blind guy at a Ball in Amsterdam. I am thinking about blowing my cover and letting him know I can read, write and think like a humanoid.

  21. We need a national holliday called PIG Day.

    When we review and condemn by name, all the pigatrocious things like Kent State, that named people posing as Americans did to us.

  22. Nick,

    In an Italian family you honor the family and it’s heritage. My point is that the people protesting had deferments and families who were active in keeping them out of the war. It was black and blue collar whites who made up the fighting force, at least until the draft lottery was instituted. We previously discussed having family and friends who went there and came back much different. By the time I got of school Saigon had fallen.

    “I cared and you didn’t seem to care enough.” There’s nothing to say to that but, “WOW, I’m not worthy to even be in your presence.”
    ——————————————————————————–
    I’m a blue collar white. I did four years in the Navy right after high school. Girls would ride by on their bikes and flip me the bird.

    I joined the Navy an E1 and left four years later an E5. I didn’t have a deferment. Did you?

  23. “Leonard Peltier is one political prisoner who was a victim of FBI’s manufactured evidence “
    ~+~
    Wrong

    Leonard Peltier was stopped by the Oregon State Police after having murdered Agents Williams and Coler in South Dakota. In the vehicle was found agent Coler’s department issued handgun which was under the front seat of the RV Peltier was driving, and that was after an exchange of gunfire that Peltier engaged the OSP in.

    Peltier later admitted to shooting at the agents.

    Additionally, I happen to know the sister of one of the agents, Jack Coler. She lives two houses down from a close friend of mine. For the past 28 years she has had to endure the constant media circus associated with the man who killed her brother. All this talk about how Leonard Peltier is a great man who was the victim and hardly even a mention of her brother or his partner who were assassinated simply for serving an arrest warrant as ordered by a judge. And those trying to portray themselves as champions for justice by taking up the Peltier cause so that they can earn additional fame and notoriety makes me sick to my stomach. How about these celebrities take up their time sponsoring a memorial for the two agents who were killed in South Dakota that day, or is it just that they are part of the evil team that connives to frame an innocent man, a man so innocent that he shoots at state police and federal agents.

  24. I remember watching the momentum just stall out in the wake of Kent State. It was all fun and games and defiance (and for the right reasons in most cases) until the National Guard killed students. It also served to wake up some of our middle class/working class parents who, until then, were maybe listening a little bit to their kids. But after that, I think a lot of our parents shifted a little more to our viewpoint.
    I also recall we wore T-shirts to school following Kent state that had a target on the chest with the word STUDENT underneath. My HS principal wanted to send me home for wearing mine, but couldn’t really think of a good reason to do so. Today, that T shirt would have an even darker connotation in light of a spate of school massacres by psychos.
    Finally- a point to make: Anyone remember the animated film Fritz The Cat? I thought then…and now…that it was a metaphor and strong condemnation of the privileged white students partying their way to “revolution”… getting passionately involved in civil rights and helping to stir the pot as it were and then abandoning the cause as soon as the shit hit the fan. (Riots, excessive government force, etc. etc.) I realize the film painted the white students with a broad brush, but perhaps it merely was condemning those who turned tail at the first sign of trouble. Interesting film. Watch it again or for the first time if you haven’t already seen it.

  25. Darren Smith 1, May 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    How about these celebrities take up their time sponsoring a memorial for the two agents who were killed in South Dakota that day, or is it just that they are part of the evil team that connives to frame an innocent man, a man so innocent that he shoots at state police and federal agents.
    —————————————————————————————-
    He won’t shoot if he’s innocent. Unless he really does think they’re evil.

  26. Matt, I was part of the draft lottery and had a very high #, almost like being a “Senator’s son.” How you and your brothers in arms were treated by protestors who “cared more” is a black eye on our nation. It’s easy to villfy soldiers if you don’t know any of them.

  27. Elaine, Ironically, Cheney got some of his deferments while attending grad school @ the U. Of Wi., a hotbed of protest.

  28. iconoclast, Thanks for a thoughtful comment. I never looked @ Fritz The Cat in those terms but would like to watch it again w/ your take in mind. Yeah, the movement did fizzle w/ a few deaths.

  29. Nick,

    I wasn’t a soldier, I was a sailor. Electrician’s Mate Second Class. That was over thirty years ago. I did my mess duty in officer’s country.

    I didn’t have to put with the protesters except to get flipped off once in a while.

    If you think I meant to insult you, I didn’t. You have my apology.

  30. Matt, I in no way thought you were insulting me. Ironically, those who do insult me could “care” less.

  31. We need a national holiday called PIG Day.

    A day when we review and condemn by name, all the pigatrocious people who did pigatrocious things, like Kent State.

    On that day we expose the pigs who, posing as Americans, did unAmerican things to Americans.

  32. Nick,

    MLK Jr would have agreed with you for he was saying much the same about the disportunate numbers of blacks/poor whites in Nam. It has been suggested by more than one historian that it was these sorts of observations that led to his assassination.

    The place the rich parked many of their sons when all other deferments failed? The National Guard because those units never left the states during Nam. (Just ask Georgie Jr). I always found it amusing that the boys trying to stay out of Nam by joining the Guard were the ones who willingly killed the kids demonstrating against that same war.

  33. nick spinelli 1, May 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Matt, I in no way thought you were insulting me. Ironically, those who do insult me could “care” less.
    —————————————
    Amico. So it goes.

  34. Blouise, MLK, Jr. said many hard truths. However, when you screw w/ the war machine there’s hell to pay. You probably remember the draft lottery. It was obviously more poignant for young men. It was surreal as we watched the ping pong balls being pulled out w/ the fate of our lives in balance. Most of us were stoned and drunk as we watched, but those poor guys w/ low numbers sobered up quickly.

  35. On May 11th and May 12th, 1970, I spent the early morning hours of my 19th birthday in the Jackson County, Illinois jail as I was arrested for “unlawful assembly”
    ==========================================================

    criminal

  36. Darren,

    There’s a lot more to the story but here’s the meat, especially the last sentence.
    The FBI fabricated evidence, they withheld evidence. they used a mentally challenged native woman to lie in order to extradite him from Canada.

    At the conclusion of Peltier’s trial, the prosecutor closed his argument saying, “We proved that he went down to the bodies and executed those two young men at point blank range.” However, at the appellate hearing, the government attorney conceded, “We had a murder. We had numerous shooters. We do not know who specifically fired what killing shots…We do not know who shot the agents.”.[10]

    According to Peltier, when he appealed his first degree murder conviction in 1992, the charge was illegally changed to aiding and abetting.[18]

    The Pennsylvania Parole Commission, which presides over the Lewisburg prison where Peltier was held, denied Peltier parole in 1993 based on their finding that he “participated in the premeditated and cold blooded execution of those two officers.” But, the Parole Commission has since stated that it

    “recognizes that the prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence that [Peltier] personally participated in the executions of the two FBI agents.”[19]

    It’s too bad that the FBI agents were killed, but demonizing and imprisoning the wrong person doesn’t bring them back and sure doesn’t look like justice.

  37. Betty:

    There are two tenets of law that would apply in this.

    First, there is the notion of what is referred to as a “felony murder”. That is, if a person is in the act of committing a felony and as a result of that felony a person, other than one of the actors, dies, it is considered a murder perpetrated by the actors. Peltier was, even by his own admission, engaged in shooting at the agents, which would be a felony assault. As a direct result of that two of the agents died, and hece the felony murder rule would apply.

    Second, there is the notion of Accessory After the Fact. Here Peltier had been caught transporting the stolen firearms and had rendered criminal assistence with the other actors in it. Though this would be prosecuted with less severity to a direct murder, it could carry a substantial prison sentences.

    I agree with you that in even in prosecuting those involved does not bring back agents Williams and Coler, but forgetting about them doesn’t do the two agents justice either.

  38. color me shocked that the, this government would do anything to obtain what they wanted…..just color me shocked….

  39. Guys and Gals: A lot of the Vietnam War protesters were Vietnam War Veterans. The notion that all the protesters were a bunch of hippie pot smokers is horseapcray/

  40. You forgot to mention New Mexico…they bayoneted students & journalists there…(11)
    But then when our government protests human rights in other countries they conveniently forget it too, so I won’t hold it against ya…LoL

  41. I wasn’t deferred. I actually had to go for two physicals and was not taken due to high blood pressure. Also coming from a working class family that had nine siblings each on both sides, actually I had 7 Uncles who served in WWIi and it was a close knit family. What does that prove? How much insight does that give me on who protested in Viet Nam? None. But then again I don’ t use anecdotes tp blow smoke out my ass.

  42. In fact, the anti-war movement was buttressed by the returning Vietnam veterans who were sick at what they had been doing. Many were like myself who volunteered because I bought into the crap and lies that were told about the war. I left college after one sememster because I felt that since all my male relatives had served in the military in WWII, I should do the same when my turn came. So I joined the Air Force and was pro-war too.

    It was only later when I did some research into the war and history of Vietnam that I learned that I was a SUCKER. One of the most compelling speakers against the war I heard was Capt. Ed Miles who was a Green Beret in Vietnam. He had both his legs blown off when he was in a Ruffpuff outfit in an attack on the hamlet. During his rehabilitation, he got a lot of time to read about Vietnam and its history which totally changed his view of what he had been doing. I also knew many Vietnam vets in VVAW and it grieved me that I could not join because I had not been there.

    In my experience on campus and off campus, I found that most of the activist were not upper class kids, but the ones who were facing the draft. The kids like Bush and Cheney had NO worries at all since they had the money,and connections to aviod going to that war.

  43. ARE,

    You’ve got it right and you slso served. Those of us who faced the draft, prior to the institution of the draft lottery were faced with serving and it opened our eyes.

  44. Arthur Erb has a very good perspective and comment above.

    The politician in today’s world who has chimned in on Syria named McCain is the one who I wonder about. His daddy was an admiral. He was a prisoner of war for a number of years. He wants to go in and arm the right guys in Syria. He really does not know who the right guys are. I suspect he wants to send in our troops. I think he is a bit warped and I dont know if he gets it from daddy or is brain addled from being locked up in Nam all those years. Thank Dog he was not elected President.

  45. nick,
    I do remember the draft lottery and I was in the first one. I was sober while watching it, but not everyone in the room was. One guy whose birthday was chosen #1, left school the very next day.

  46. Blouise, You are so right about the “Guard”. My brother in law was able to get this while the person I married drew a very low number. He was also a protester. It had a good ending though because during the physical they diagnosed him with a medical condition that turned out to be nothing. They said they would do a callback but never did.

  47. raf, I wonder if they have those lottery drawings in the can? Think of how different it would be w/ today’s technology. There would be remote cameras in dorms across the country w/ reactions from the “winners” and “losers.” And, would women be in the lottery..probably not.

  48. Darren,

    Three people were accused. Two were found not guilty on self-defense grounds. The FBI doubled down in going after Peltier – perjury and false evidence. Once the perjury and false evidence are removed, the charges were not proved. The prosecution has admitted it doesn’t know who shot the agents. I don’t understand the logic of keeping a man in prison by changing the charges after the fact.

  49. nick,
    I don’t know if there are copies of the first lottery drawings. I watched it on TV, and my number was 210 so I was not drafted. However, the army recruiters kept calling my mother because my deferment for school was “lost” at the Selective Service office and I had to take my preliminary draft physical. The recruiters were trying to get in touch with me and I received one call and the recruiter lied to me and said my number was low and was about to be drafter. The conversation didn’t go too well. I kept the Tribune story that listed all of the numbers and birthdays so I knew I had the right number. That preliminary physical is a story in itself!

  50. raf, I had a high 300 number. However, when I enlisted in the Peace Corps/Vista I had to take my physical in New Haven w/ all those getting drafted. I felt so bad for those guys. A bunch of young men so sullen. I was so thankful. My son had the same experience as you w/ an aggressive recruiter. He graduated from hs in 2002. He kept getting calls and I finally told the guy to stop calling. He tried to intimidate me but quickly learned he picked the wrong mofo. My son had a good friend who enlisted in the Marines and he toyed w/ the idea. In a rare instance, my son listened to me about not wanting to go to war. Another reason to be thankful.

  51. rafflaw and nick,

    At the time my husband was drafted, the army was taking anything that was breathing–even young men who were legally blind. My husband recalled a young man who had a pin in his knee who wound up in the hospital after a forced march. My husband was 1Y and still got drafted. Fortunately, the doctor at Fort Devins asked my husband about the long scar on the trunk of his body. After my husband told him the reason for the scar, the doctor responded: “What the hell are you doing here?” The army tried to talk my husband into staying–but his mother and I convinced him to come home.

  52. Elaine, We men always need wise women in our lives. It is amazing to think how our lives could have turned out SO DIFFERENTLY @ different junctures. Life is so serendipitous.

  53. The Ho Chi Minh Trail, sung by Toby Hughes. Toby says that if the Almighty wanted to give the earth an enema, he knows exactly where to insert it. Near the beginning of the song, you hear Col. Hughes sing of “Nimrod.” There is a lot more to this story. Last week a group of us friends and family met and drank a toast to our friend Capt. Paul Marchalk, DFC, of the Nimrods, who recently has “flown west.”

    Paul is the tall guy on the right. The shorter fellow is “Crazy” Poteet, his co-pilot.

  54. Elaine, at that time they were taking admitted homosexuals. In fact, one guy they took found out he liked the Army and made a career of it until a couple of years shy of his 20. THEN they “discovered” he was gay after having told them for 18 yrs and discharged him.

  55. SwM,

    I stayed out of the public demonstrations against the Nam war because my brother and and three of my best friends were in-country. All four returned but one was minus a leg.

  56. I got involved in the anti-war movement BECAUSE a number of my friends were in Vietnam. Most of them wanted OUT NOW! The only people who loved the war were the lifers who saw it as a means of promotion and career advancement.

  57. randyjet,
    I got more interested in the anti-war movement because of my arrest in May of 1970 and because my brother was in Viet Nam during my freshman year.

Comments are closed.