Today in History
1820–the US Congress designates the slave trade as a form of piracy…..
1970–year of student deaths…….
We were recently reminded about the deaths among the protesting students at Kent State…..but why is that news and a couple a weeks later students were killed at a prominently black university in Mississippi, Jackson State?
Yep, another history lesson is on the way…..
In the Spring of 1970, campus communities across this country were characterized by a chorus of protests and demonstrations. The issues were the escalation of the war in Vietnam and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia; the ecology; racism and repression; and the inclusion of the experiences of women and minorities in the educational system. No institution of higher education was left untouched by confrontations and continuous calls for change.
On May 14-15, 1970, Jackson State students were protesting these issues as well as the May 4, 1970 tragedy at Kent State University in Ohio. Four Kent State students — Alison Krause, Sandra Scheuer, Jeffrey Glenn Miller and William K. Schroeder — were killed by Ohio National Guardsmen.
According to reports, the riot began around 9:30 p.m., May 14, when rumors were spread that Fayette, Mississippi mayor Charles Evers (brother of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers) and his wife had been shot and killed. Upon hearing this rumor, a small group of students rioted.
Neither at the time, nor 45 years later did the Jackson State killings have the same effect on people that Kent state did. (Not that middle America was terribly worried about the Kent State killing either, since 58 percent of them decided the students were to blame.) Perhaps they simply were overpowered by the loudness of Kent state, and a similar incident with a smaller body count was doomed to appear as just aftershocks. Yet, it seems unjust to forget one and sing about the other.
It is sad that this incident is basically forgotten in the annals of history……