Kent State Shootings: Oral Histories

Walter C. Adams Oral History

Kent State Shootings: Oral Histories

Walter C. Adams Oral History

Transcription Show Transcript
Narrator Adams, Walter C.
Narrator's Role Professor at Kent State University in 1970
Date of Interview 1990-05-04
Description A biology professor at Kent State University in 1970, Walter C. Adams recounts his memories of the events surrounding the May 4, 1970, shootings on campus. He relates his eyewitness account of the shootings; he was very close to the Guardsmen who opened fire on the crowd. He was one of the Faculty Senate observers who monitored the campus protests and he describes what he observed when the Ohio Army National Guard arrived on campus, what he witnessed at the burning of the ROTC building, and encounters he had with Guardsmen. He also describes the curfew and the Army helicopters using searchlights circling over the city. He discusses the long-term effects of the shootings on Kent State University as well as the effect the events had on his personal life. He describes how he became active in local politics following the shootings, first on the Kent City Council and later as the mayor of Kent. He discusses the lack of communication between the City of Kent and Kent State University in 1970 and his work to promote cooperation between them. He also discusses the 1977 Tent City protests against the construction of the Gym Annex building on the site of the shootings.
Length of Interview 48:29 minutes
Places Discussed Kent (Ohio)
Time Period discussed 1970-1977
Subject(s) College teachers--Ohio--Kent--Interviews
Community and college--Ohio--Kent
Eyewitness accounts
Kent State Shootings, Kent, Ohio, 1970
Military helicopters
Rhodes, James A. (James Allen), 1909-2001
Satrom, Leroy
Schroeder, William, d. 1970
Searchlights
White, Robert I., 1908-
Repository Special Collections and Archives
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