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May 4, 2011

This day in history…May 4

 

May 4, 1626

Barely holding their laughter at the gullibility of these pale-skinned travelers from across the ocean, nomadic Native Americans sell a worthless island to Dutch explorer Peter Minuit for $24 in cloth and buttons. To the Natives it was inconceivable that an individual could own land. It would make as much sense for us, today to sell the air above our heads. But those white people are such suckers, aren't they.

Today we call that island, New York City.


May 4, 1776

Rhode Island declares independence from England. England responded, “Rhode what?”


May 4, 1970

Angered by the expansion of the Vietnam war into Cambodia, students at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, opposed to government’s use of violence to solve problems, demonstrated violently, eventually burning the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps building to the ground. The National Guard was called in and martial law was declared.

On the night of the 4th, police and guardsmen drove students into their dormitories and made 69 arrests. A National Guard jeep drove onto the Commons and an officer ordered the crowd to disperse. When students ignored the authorities, several canisters of tear gas were fired, and the students fled up a hill that borders the area and retreated into buildings.

A platoon of guardsmen chased the main body of protesters across the green and over the crest of a hill, but the students had split into into two groups, effectively surrounding the guardsmen. As the crowd became increasingly agitated, the guardsmen fired teargas, in an effort to break them up. The students responded by attempting to throw the tear gas canisters back at the guardsmen as well as any stones or pieces of loose pavement they could find.

Then to the guardsmen’s surprise a shot was heard, many fearing a sniper on one of the rooftops. The troops returned fire.

Six students were taken to the hospital for gunshot wounds, three were dead on arrival. Four died.

The students claimed they were protesting the government's use of violence to solve problems in Asia.

Posted by Danny Carlton at May 4, 2011 6:34 AM

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