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Narrator Vacarella, James T.
Narrator's Role Student at Kent State University in 1970
Date of Interview 2000-04-03
Description James Vacarella was an undergraduate student at Kent State University in 1970 and, in this oral history, he discusses his memories of the days surrounding the May 4, 1970, shootings on campus. He begins with describing being in Moulton Hall and watching Nixon's television address on April 30, 1970, and the fear that everyone there felt about being drafted and sent to Vietnam. He describes the burning of the ROTC Military Science Building on Saturday, May 2, the arrival of National Guard troops that night, and the fights, in which rocks were thrown at the Guardsmen, that he was involved in. He then describes events that took place on Sunday, May 3, beginning with a protest that started in the Commons area and ended with a confrontation, in which bayonets were used, between protestors and National Guardsmen on Lincoln St. near the Front Campus. He gives his eyewitness account of the shootings: he was on the hill by Taylor Hall, near the pagoda, when the shots were fired. He also discusses his interrogation by the FBI and his federal indictment for refusing to be drafted into the United States Army.
Length of Interview 39:32 minutes
Places Discussed Kent (Ohio)
Time Period discussed 1970
Subject(s) Bayonets
College students--Ohio--Kent--Interviews
Draft registration
Eyewitness accounts
Kent State Shootings, Kent, Ohio, 1970
Kent State University. ROTC Building--Fires
Miller, Jeffrey, d. 1970
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
Ohio. Army National Guard
Tanks (Military science)
Tear gas munitions
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation
Repository Special Collections and Archives
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