HISTORY WANTS YOU TO REMEMBER KENT STATE BUT FORGET JACKSON STATE
The Civil Writer Magazine
Four Kent State University students were killed and nine were injured on May 4, 1970, when members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd gathered to protest the Vietnam War. The Jackson State killings occurred on Friday, May 15, 1970, at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) in Jackson, Mississippi. On May 14, 1970, a group of students were confronted by city and state
police. Shortly after midnight, the police opened fire, killing two students and injuring twelve. A burst of gunfire from authorities. It sounds a lot like the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970, but it happened 10 days later at a predominantly black college in the South. Police fired for about 30 seconds on a group of students at Jackson State in Mississippi, killing two and wounding 12 others.
Tensions rose when a rumor spread around campus that Charles Evers -- a local politician, civil rights leader and the brother of slain activist Medgar Evers -- and his wife had been killed, according to Lynch Street: The May 1970 Slayings at Jackson State College. The situation escalated when a non-Jackson State student set a dump truck on fire.
Police responded to the call. A group of students and non-students threw rocks and bricks at the officers. Police advanced to Alexander Hall, a large dorm for women. According to a 1970 report from the President's Commission on Campus Unrest, police fired more than 150 rounds. And an FBI investigation revealed that about 400 bullets or pieces of buckshot had been fired into Alexander Hall. The shooters claimed that there was a sniper in the dorm, but investigators found "insufficient evidence" of that claim.
The two young men who were gunned down in the melee were Phillip L. Gibbs, a junior at Jackson State and the father of an 18-month-old; and James Earl Green, a high school senior.