SEARCH UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
Mayor of Kent, Ohio, prior to 1970
Resident of Kent, Ohio, in 1970
|Date of Interview||
John Carson was a business owner and a resident of Kent in 1970. He had been mayor of the City of Kent from 1966 to 1969, was a pharmacist, and owned a large drugstore, W. H. Donaghy, in downtown Kent. He was downtown on Friday, May 1, 1970, when the unrest began and he relates what he saw in the early evening: antiwar activists were giving speeches, motorcyclists were downtown, and he describes the mood among people in the bars and on the streets. He then goes on to describe what he witnessed later in the evening as law enforcement personnel were attempting to drive crowds of people back east on Main Street towards the Kent State campus and also discusses the burning of the ROTC building. He describes in depth the way the city reacted to the crisis and analyzes it from his perspective as former mayor. He discusses the various law enforcement personnel that were called in, what he would have done differently, and is firm in his conviction that, if he had been mayor in 1970, the shootings could have been avoided. He describes his experience testifying before the Scranton Commission. He also discusses relations between the city and the University, city government, and the City of Kent's economic development, providing additional background and context for the events of May 1-4, 1970.
|Length of Interview||
|Time Period discussed||
Community and college--Ohio--Kent
Kent (Ohio)--Politics and government
Kent (Ohio). Police Dept.
Kent State Shootings, Kent, Ohio, 1970
Kent State University. ROTC Building--Fires
Ohio. Army National Guard
Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)
Special Collections and Archives
This digital object is owned by Kent State University and may be protected by U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, USC). Please include proper citation and credit for use of this item. Use in publications or productions is prohibited without written permission from Kent State University. Please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives for more information.
Kent State University
|DPLA Rights Statement||
|Format of Original||
audio digital file
The content of oral history interviews, written narratives and commentaries is personal and interpretive in nature, relying on memories, experiences, perceptions, and opinions of individuals. They do not represent the policy, views or official history of Kent State University and the University makes no assertions about the veracity of statements made by individuals participating in the project. Users are urged to independently corroborate and further research the factual elements of these narratives especially in works of scholarship and journalism based in whole or in part upon the narratives shared in the May 4 Collection and the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project.
May 4 Collection