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tv   1970 Kent State Photographs  CSPAN  November 4, 2019 8:57pm-9:50pm EST

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>> thank you all for coming out tonight. we are hosting photographer howard ruffner, who during his college years at kent university was a photographer for the yearbook as well as the newspaper. his book "moments of truth" is a collection of more than 150 of his photos surrounding the kent state massacre of the 1970's in which 4 students'lives were lost. (applause)
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(applause) (applause) >> first of all, i have to say, it's nice to see familiar faces out here. lots of people from pasadena village and relatives. my daughter is out here with my son-in-law and his parents are here. most of all, i have to thank my wife for being here. if she will just raise her hand. >> as most of you know, whenever you endeavor on a real good project, your spouse is the one who picks up the other stuff, and lark kept me organized, kept me going and made sure i did not lose too much focus of where i was going with this. so let me get started. the intention of my book is to let you know more about me in the beginning before i attended kent state, my introduction to photography, and the rest of the story starts with when i enrolled in
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kent state in march of 1969. i will give you a glimpse of the campus life i knew before may 4. the rest is about the photography of my experience. that's me in the photo standing next to my mom looking up at my newest brother, rick. that's rick. the cleveland press back in those days. a family of six boys made a good human interest story, so they title it "sing a song of six pants p or, pants." they sent a photographer to our home. he positioned us and took the picture. the photo ran on the front page of the afternoon paper the next day above the
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fold. neighbors could not wait to share the front page. we were famous. this was 1953. here we are 18 years later. we are now seven boys in eight years. my youngest brother nick is on the far left. he was still in high school. three of us had been in the service, two air force, one army. two more will be joining, one air force, the other in the navy. it was about a year after high school when i enlisted in the air force. during my first two years as a writer in the information office in waco, texas, i applied and was accepted to a group called department of defense broadcast specialist course in indianapolis, indiana. through the eight weeks of broadcast journalism, we were taught how to write for tv news and
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incorporate news film and slide and television broadcasts. afterward, i was assigned to the american forces philippines network. my duties included editing film, running a television camera during live news shows and uso broadcasts, and it sharpen my ability to quickly frame and compose pictures. if you television camera or 35mm slr, my visual awareness was growing, and later, i became the primary news director and got to call all the shots at the station. so the base offered me lots of opportunity to take photographs of celebrities. many uso shows with comedians, singers, movie stars to entertain the troops and families, and the uso shows were on their way to vietnam. general benjamin o davis in
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this photograph, the highest-ranking african-american u.s. air force officer, greeted bob hope upon his arrival at clark airbase. davis would be asked to investigate the shootings that can state in 1970. many of the photos i took then were used during our daily television show. it was at clark airbase where i got seriously involved in photography. this is where i bought my first nikon f camera and lenses. now i had a professional camera. the hobby shop on the base was my escape from work. next came printing my images. they really taught me how to make a really finished photograph. watching your own photo appear in developer was just like magic, like i'd heard. i was being given assignments and taking pictures daily and printing
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what i thought was good. after a while, the photo lab techs encouraged me to enter an air force photo competition. with their encouragement, i entered this photo which won first place for portraiture. another photo i entered won third place for landscapes. having completed in one gave me a sense of accomplishment and encouraged me to get even better. now that my photography was taking off, so to speak, i decided to submit the recent photo i took to the newspaper. this was my first published photograph. it took some planning to get exactly what i wanted, and i had a feeling i was beginning to become more accomplished as a photographer.
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now it's march of 1969 and i enrolled at kent state university ready to pursue my degree in broadcast journalism. spring on campus was a time for students to get out and play and enjoy college life beyond books. these students had not been involved in anything as silly as a modified probably since elementary school. it seemed like a perfectly natural way to break the ice, get to know your fellow classmates. this helped me realize there was a lot more to college than just going to class and studying. while i was surprised by seeing this, it reminded me that it was safe and a playful way to relieve the tensions of school. from mud fights to dating. casual fridays had not been invented yet. few students wore jeans, and sneakers were for gym class. it was date night for a sly and the family stone concert that spring. sly arrived on stage with mutton chops, long hair and an outrageous hippie outfit. students, however, wore their best date night clothes. they look like they are going to job interviews. kent's student
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conservative side was apparent at the concert. this was my first student protest photograph. up until now, the school was pretty quiet as far as protests were concerned. students had been working on signs and banners during the week in the morning of the antiwar march. it was thursday morning october 1969. students grab signs and a banner as they left the university campus and headed to downtown kent to protest the war. they did this on thursday because kent was a suitcase campus. a lot of students went home. it was the kind of school where friday afternoons, weekends, the campus was deserted. the woman standing behind the word "all" is alison krauss. i will tell you more about her later. antiwar sentiment was on the minds of many kent students, especially young men who knew they were deferred from the
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draft as long as they remained in school. this would change, however, on december 1 that year when the draft lottery was put in place. as a photographer on campus, other than this protest march, most of the protesting i heard was in the classrooms and the student union. the next large antiwar gathering would not occur until may 1, 1970, when 300 to 500 students would attend a rally to protest axon's expansion of the war into cambodia. by the fall, the antiwar movement had grown off colleges, campuses, and d.c. four of us decided to drive to washington, d.c. to join the antiwar protest a few weeks after our own homecoming. we arrived friday evening in time to watch people honoring the soldiers had died in vietnam. that night, 18 of us slept in one room of a friend's
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dorm. the next morning, we headed to the mall and i was impressed by the size of the crowd and by their focus and steadfastness to be part of something so big it would make the government take notice. this was my first trip to washington, d.c. everything was very new and exciting. the resentment of 500,000 people of discontinued war could be felt as i moved my way through the crowd. their determination to have their voices heard was deafening. with the u.s. capitol or background, these protesters amended an end to the war. i needed to push my way through the crowds to find out where the march began. after a lot of walking and nudging my way around, i came to the beginning of the parade. i stood in awe as i spotted coretta scott king and george mcgovern at the front of the parade. i nudge my way through to get as close as i could and took my photos. left arm in arm,
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mcgovern and king showed the strength of their unity and commitment and i was moved to be so close to such committed and important people who opposed the war history grad student steve sheriff urges a rally of 300 500 students to protest nixon's decision to invade cambodia. nixon did this without the consent of congress, and according to steve, nixon murdered the constitution. therefore, it was dead and needed to be buried. with the constitution buried in the crowd beginning to leave, the grad students got back up and went on their way, but one last grad student sees this as an opportunity to speak to the dwindling crowd, to remind them
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how important the rally wasn't that the discussion of the war needs to continue. he urged students to return to the same place unknown monday, may 4, and this rally on may 1 took place between 12:00 noon and 1:00 and both students started leaving before the lunch period ended. after the rotc building was set on fire saturday evening, i stayed up late saturday night into sunday morning and watched as the national guard took up positions on the campus. i had a surreal feeling as we observed the movement of the troops. where did they come from so quickly? how did they get here? what kind of trouble
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what happened when students arrived back on campus after the weekend. students walked around the burned out rotc building sunday morning as i returned to campus. a flimsy wooden fence had been erected while they were gone and national guardsmen were posted at the building to keep gawkers from getting too close. the protesting had stopped. there were no rumors of more protesting or of more buildings being set on fire. everything had quieted down, so why weren't the national guard leaving? one reason was around 10:00 a.m. on may 3, ohio governor james rhodes and an entourage of officials arrived on campus. they were there to survey the damage on campus after they determined what they would do about student protesters. the governor was running for a u.s. congressional senate seat and the election was may 5, just a day later two days away. when i heard this, i realized his viewing of the burned out rotc building was likely a planned event to get media coverage so he could be splashed across newspapers and tv across the
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state. he wanted to impress voters that he was the law and order candidate so they would send him to washington. they did not. >> using streetlights and searchlights from helicopters sunday evening, i took photos as students staged a sit in at the center of town. they wanted to hear from the mayor of kent. they wanted to know what was happening, who was in charge. what was the national guard exactly the national guard's exact role? confusion reigned all around. on may 4, around 11: 30 am, students gathered on the
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commons to continue the rally of may 1. i have adjusted this photo to allow specific students to stand out. you cannot see it very well. in the front row are the legs and arms of jeffrey miller who is standing behind a female student. this is jeffrey miller. he was a native of plainville, new york, where he was born in 1950. to his right is marion becky a vecchio, the most widely recognized nonuniversity protester. 14 years old, a runaway from florida. there are two shaded individuals in the middle right of the photo. these students are carrying their books on the way to class. he was a native of cincinnati, ohio where he was born in 1950. the speech
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therapist, honor student, going to class. she was born in 1949 in youngstown, ohio. i watched as a line of guards, students, reached the crest of the hill and the guard continued to advance on them. on the right just under the pagoda is alison krauss. again, that is the person i took a photograph of in 1965. alison krauss was a freshman honor student. she was born in cleveland in 1951. this photo is particularly difficult for me to look at because i see her holding hands with her boyfriend barry levine and go back to 1969 and remember the original photograph i took of her and the banner that read "bring all the troops home." at this point, the guard seemed to have completed its objective.
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they were supposed to disperse the students from the crowd that had gathered in front of taylor hall. yet, the guardsmen were still advancing. what more did they need to accomplish? what was their real objective here? what they really wanted was for this all to end so they could go home. as the guard continued their marching, they reached the corner of taylor hall. i witnessed the group at the rear turn in unison. some crouched down while others stood. and the gunshots began. of course i thought they would be shooting blanks. i took a photograph as they turned and fired, and i stood there. a moment later, i thought to myself i better get down anyway. i probably look like a good target with these cameras hanging around my neck. back then, the lenses were pretty
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long. we did not have the little tiny lenses or cameras. so what i did as i swung my left arm around my cameras, my camera bag, and i went down to the ground. just as i was getting down and dropping to my knees, i heard a young woman scream, "oh, my god, get down, they are using real bullets! they are shooting real bullets! " i was 80 feet from the guard when they turned and fired. this crop photo shows the ground in front of taylor hall where the national guard turned and fired. it does not show evidence of anything thrown at the guard or anything that would have put their lives in danger as they would later testify at civil trials. i show this because when you look at a photograph sometimes, you look at what the photographer intended for you to see. in the first photograph, you see the guns pointed in the air, bayonets, people looking. if i go back, you will see what i mean. maybe i'm not in the right spot. >> kind of getting
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close to looking at me in my direction. i spotted john cleary, at the base of the medical sculpture in front of taylor hall. i cannot tell if he was dead or alive. cleary was lucky. he survived a shot to the chest. the first time i saw this photo was more than a week later on the cover of "life" magazine. someone from the magazine had called me a week before at 2:00 a.m. to let me know they had chosen one of my photos for the may 15 cover.
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because i had sent unprocessed rolls of film to "life" in chicago, i had no idea how my film turned out or what my images look like or what i had captured. i never knew exactly what the cover shot was until "life" hit the newsstands later
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that week. some of you might remember this cover. at the memorial side of the shootings, visitors see these engraved words as they get to the memorial plaza at kent state. if you have not been to the memorial or can state recently and you well, you will not be getting there from here, but it is a thing to see if you go there. as i wrote this memoir, i asked myself hundreds of questions about what truth my
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at hanoi university where i was invited to speak to 200 undergraduates. these young students that heard about the protest that had not heard about the had heard about the protest in the united states from their parents and grandparents and on sunoco's, but this was the first time they heard the story from someone who actually was there and was a primary witness. the other thing that made this so important to me was just that the students at hanoi university and their parents and grandparents and the protests were determined the end of the war. it had been 10 months what happened at kent state that 90% of the troops
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were either leaving or scheduled to leave. they recognize that, and i think they really responded to what i had to say and actually, the people i told you about, those with a four students who died. nine students were wounded. one was crippled for life from the waist down. so i would like to turn this over to any questions anyone would have. the mr. ruffner: yes? (applause) >> i'm interested in your transition from a family that had many people in the military and the military that you served in and how if, how
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your experience in the military affected your view of what was going on, if you became an antiwar activist at some point, or just even antiwar without being an activist. i'm interested in that transition. >> growing up in a family of seven boys born eight years apart, my family never drove, we actually did not have money for college. as a young poor, middle-class kid, i stayed out of school for about a year working jobs and trying to go to an extension school but realizing it is not all going to work out very well, and a friend came in one day and decided that he had just joined the air force and asked if i wanted to join, too, and did not take but have a second. "i'm with you." i was ready to go. as far as the war goes, i was against the war, but i knew if i did not enlist and get g.i. bill money, i could be
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something other than what i was. in 1965 when i enlisted, when you got to your draft place, if they drafted you, if the marines did not have enough marines to fill their quota, you're a marine. you're a marine. air force and navy did not have that problem. i thought it was better to enlist instead of taking my chances in the army or the marines. when i was in the service, they probably did not have the same experience lots of other people did. i have a brother who was a mechanic in vietnam. another one who built roads in vietnam for two years. i wrote press releases in waco, texas, and directed tv in the philippines. my view of the war was still the same. i did not think it was just. i felt we had no reason to be there. when we got to kent state, i held that view, but my personal desire to do photography was stronger than
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my desire to be a protester, so i chose that. i had to keep myself a little more objectified than trying to do one side or the other. ok? yes? (inaudible) >> no, i can explain that, really. it's quite strange. when governor rhodes and all this is in the book whenever governor roads arrived on campus, he had his public appearance, but then he had a private appearance in the firehouse with the i don't even believe there were any kent state officials or administrators there. fire chiefs, state police, national guardsmen, some reporters. his words were being broadcast also
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to the i don't want to call them dormitories, but the facility always facilities where the national guard were being kept and he made it clear in his pronouncements at the fire station that he said these students are worse than the brownshirts of world war ii, and we are not going to let them get away with anything. this kind of stuff is going to stop here. they are no longer going to burn down our million-dollar buildings. the only thing that burned down was in 1942 world war ii barracks worth about $100,000 may be. but he gave the guard in that talk, which people could hear, permission to use any force they could to stop the protesting, and what becomes very confusing and is probably something that needs more answering is why did the
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university administration give up their role in protecting their students and why did they feel they had to give up their position to the ohio governor at that time? when governor roads took control of the university, he gave permission to the generals to do whatever they could to stop rioting, and that included that there would be no protests of any kind, peaceful or otherwise, no gathering of students. at 12:15 on may 4, the jeep went around where the students were gathering and told students they had to disperse or suffer the consequences. at that point
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in time, though we did not know it, but their guns were locked and loaded. their bayonets were out. they had their gas masks on, and even though if i were to go back to that one photograph people in the front of the crowd, maybe 300 to 500 protesters, ok? behind them were people who said, you know, maybe cheerleaders or whatever, and behind that, you just had onlookers. kent state was a school of 18,000 students at this time and the number of real protesters was fairly small. the guard just said that they had permission to disperse the crowd. the problem is they did not have a plan b. because kent is a huge campus, like many college campuses, and they chased them, and they disappeared, but when you look at the book, you will see that
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the guard ended up in what they call a practice football field, which is surrounded on three sides by six-foot chain-link fence, and they had nowhere to go themselves, and the students gathered again right in front of them. they could have gone down back to the rotc building very easily and avoided any confrontation, but they chose to again disperse the students. from a military standpoint, they chose to do it by chasing them up a hill, giving the guarded 20-foot advantage over the parking lot of the football field, so when they reached that spot, there were a certain number of guards. we just heard them fire. a lot of conspiracy things about was there an order to fire, some people say there were, some say they might have been a gunshot. it really did not matter because the guard claimed their lives were in danger and we know that to be a lie. regardless of what the guard had said, they shot and fired, and it took 10 years for one guardsmen to admit to a reporter that he intentionally stood there and shot two bullets into joe lewis, a
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student 60 feet in front of the guard when they fired. there's a lot of secrets, a lot we don't know, but we do know the guard got away with murder that day. >> there was a report that there was a tape where the word "fire" was heard. have you heard that or any opinion on that? >> i have heard about the tape. i know who has the tape. the person who the audiologist who listened to it, he has passed away, so he cannot testify to anything anymore. i think it is interesting. i was 80 feet in front of the guard
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when they fired. i did not hear anything. it could have happened, but to me, it does not matter. i feel that there was a group of guardsmen there were a group of older, more seasoned guardsmen, and it seems they are the ones who stayed back as they marched up to the hill, and it was only that certain group who turned and fired. if you go back and look at that picture, you will see that the general is far ahead. that's one of the things that is confusing about kent because no one knows who had control of the university. martial law was never officially proclaimed, but it is often thought that it was
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there. the ohio telephone operators have a procedure that if a school or any unit or any place in town is under martial law, they cut all telephone lines. they were under the impression it was under martial law. they were under the impression it was under martial law but had never been officially documented. peter? >> to the comment about if someone said "fire, " how much noise were protesters making, per your recollection, at that crucial point? >> actually, there was no noise. the guard walked up the hill, students were watching them, i was watching them. i was kind of alert. i was trying to keep my eyes and ears open and trying to be ready for anything that might happen. i looked for rocks to be thrown. i did not see anything, did not feel anything, and i did not hear
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anything. there wasn't really any noise at that point in time until they turned and fired. then it became you know, to this day, i still get shook up or have a reaction to helicopters flying overhead with searchlights or ambulances racing down a street. i can still see kids being put on gurneys and hauled away from campus that day. yes? >> sort of as a recap, how does this incident compare to any other university campus violence at the time? was this a huge deal? as far as i can remember being really young is that there was violence and burglary and ucla had a riot. i mean, was this
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vastly larger than those other larger places? it seems like ohio is kind of not really on the board. >> i cant speak completely for those other universities, but i know i had gone to ohio state several times before the university at kent state and i had seen national guard in parking lots and protesting, and i think it was more pronounced at other schools, but the burning of the rotc building, which happened on campus that particular time, was the straw that broke the camels back for the governor. and the fact he was running for public office at a high level. that is what i would attribute kent state's situation or tragedy to be all about. schools in east columbia, and a lot of violence, berkley had violence, but that's the kind of violence that precipitated
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the national guard to stop anybody physically like they did at kent. it became a political thing because governor rhodes was there, and it was a new mayor. friday evening, there was some roughhousing going on after the cambodia invasion. some trash cans were set on fire at midnight. the mayor immediately called for curfew for the town and demanded there be a curfew on campus. it all gets down it all gets down to who is in control of what. we did not know who was in charge, and for the record, the president of kent state university, robert white, at 12:00 on monday, may 4, was having lunch at the brown derby 20 minutes away
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with one of the other generals who was in charge of the national guard. give you an idea of what's going on. post-may 4, then there were massive demonstrations at universities across the country. i lived in seattle at the time, and at the university of washington, maybe as many as 10,000 students decided to march downtown to the federal courthouse in protest, and they melt they marched out onto interstate five and shut down the freeway, but in effect said and certainly implied that it was not unusual for universities to public as well as private to insist on their police forces, the university police retaining control over law enforcement on the campus, and that is what was the case at the university of washington at that time. the university president absolutely insisted
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that neither the state patrol nor the seattle police department were to come on campus without express permission from the university. i think that is what happened at kent. the mayor gave in very easily, called governor rhodes, who sent the troops in. troops came in. it was friday. the building was burned on saturday, and i was watching the troops role in, you know, under the cover of darkness. it was 2:00 in the morning. students are in their dorms. no one could see them. we wake up and we have the national guard. if the national guard had not been there, i'm not sure there would have been a problem at all. students went to rallies back in those days for one thing, right? to get information,
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really. a rally was not to storm or take over a building. that was decided at the rally, but the rallies were to get information, to see what you were going to do, what you believe, what you did not believe. we did not have instant information. remind the younger readers that we did not have cell phones. we did not have a tv in every room. let me say one other thing about the book before we close things out. another intent on the book 50 years later, and it's very timely right now, is that back in the 1960's and early 1970's, we saw a lot of passion. we would end the war. there was a lot of passion with students in our schools. today, that passion is just beginning again with the youth of the united states to end gun violence, climate control, and i'm hoping that the book will help them understand, you know, keep your passion, keep the fight. you
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are going to have to make some sacrifices, but you can make a change. the book is more than just a reflection of kent state. it is a hope for future students and generations to know that they can make change by being passionate about something. >> what motivated you to put this book together? was it someone told you to do it, or you sat there and said, i want to leave the whole thing of using it as a teaching tool? >> i know i had all these photographs and i just did not know what to do with them. my wife and i have real close friends who are phd's in history and teach history at colleges. they also have a cabin in wyoming. we were up there for a while visiting and spent some time with them. jeff looks at me and says, "howard,
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whenever i with somebody, it usually gets around to kent state, and jeff says, " you know, howard, you are an eyewitness. you are a primary witness. you need to write that book." they gave me a good kick in the but, so to say. we have another close friend who lives in brooklyn, new york, named michael mcconnell, and he wrote a book called "all souls, " which i highly recommend. it's about south boston where he grew up, and it's about a family of 11 or 12, and it's about whitey bulger. i asked how i get this started. i wanted to do this and i did not have a clue, and i taught english for two years in high school. he said well, there is my writing desk, and this is what i did. you get all that rough stuff out of your head, and then you get organized and focus. that is how it all got started. it took about actually, it took about three years. so
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it was a long process, but it was something i wanted to get done. as the only photographer there for the entire weekend, i have the only record. i was hired by "life" on may 4 to be a stringer. the rest of the time, it was just me doing what i was compelled to do. i went to kent on the g.i. bill. i had nothing to do. had two roommates, five dollars a week spending money. you know, i had free film, so what better thing to do with free film then take pictures? a few more questions. >> didn't anyone think these are the kids of affluent citizens, and what are the repercussions? this was a horrible decision, and what were the positions of these parents who send their kids to college and then to have them slaughtered? what were the the
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repercussions? we know the tragedy but what were the consequences? >> some of the students went home. i know somebody who has a masters in journalism, and her dad said if you were involved in the protesting, you should have been shot. the conservative nature back then i think we have to look at the generational thing. if your dad or uncle had gone to world war ii and fought in the war and you did not want to fight in a war, they did not think you were very manly. they did not understand there was a difference because of that generation. they fought for something that was meaningful and we were trying to, you know, say that you need to be democratic here, not communist and sending people over to get shot. we were protecting ourselves. we were just advancing ourselves. >> in terms of repercussions for the national guard, they went to trial twice. i was a lead witness at both civil trials. the witness stand three days, advanced only photography. the first time they actually were convicted, but then it was thrown out and appealed. so they had a second trial, and that was 1978. i was on the witness stand. they got the second witness up there and while he was up there, the judge came out and said, "we've reached a conclusion." the government and court had agreed to a settlement with regard writing a letter of they did not want to say it was a letter saying they were your dad or
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uncle had gone to world war ii and fought in the war and you did not want to fight in a war, they did not think you were very manly. they did not understand there was a difference because of that generation. they fought for something that was meaningful and we were trying to, you know, say that you need to be democratic here, not communist and sending people over to get shot. we were protecting ourselves. we were just advancing ourselves. >> in terms of repercussions for the national guard, they went to trial twice. i was a lead witness at both civil trials. the witness stand three days, advanced only photography. the first time they actually were convicted, but then it was thrown out and appealed. so they had a second trial, and that was 1978. i was on the witness stand. they got the second witness up there and while he was up there, the judge came out and said, "we've reached a conclusion." the
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government and court had agreed to a settlement with regard writing a letter of they did not want to say it was a letter saying they were sorry, it was a letter saying that they wish it could have been handled in a different way, and the judge awarded the plaintiff $650,000. the reason for this was dean taylor, who had been wounded and paralyzed from the waist down he did not have a rich family and is still paralyzed, so they gave him $450,000. part of the settlement was to end the whole thing and get to help people out, people who died, parents of children who were
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killed, but most of it went to dean taylor so he could live the rest of his life. he worked for the state of ohio. he has been a teacher. he is in a wheelchair. he does wheelchair races every weekend. he is still alive and well, lives in kent. >> pardon? yeah, but he's actually, i have a photograph. hector called me one day and said you know, that photograph you have over there? he said i've never seen that photograph before and that's the last photograph taken of me standing. one last question, i guess. >> how did you maintain your ability to take photographs on such an emotional day? >> yeah, really. >> i have been asked that several times. maybe i have i have an ability to not let my emotions get involved with my work, and that's it's kind of
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difficult because when i got down you know, we all thought they were shooting blanks or over their heads. the bullets they were shooting, there is a sculpture on the campus, a metal sculpture with 3/8-inch thick steel. some of the bullets were armor piercing and went right through that steel. i maintained awareness of myself. i had a job to do and i maintained that sense of separateness. i was even told or asked to stop taking pictures by some people on campus. i just told them i had to keep taking pictures because people had to know what
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actually happened. but if i was taking pictures and somebody looked at me and said don't take my picture, i certainly would not have taken it. and the person on the cover of "life" magazine, if there was nobody coming to his aid, i would have put my camera down and help them. i have done that in other situations where somebody was down and hurt, it was not a picture opportunity. some but he was hurt. you cannot let your feelings sometimes get in the way of your job. it's tough. i thank you for coming tonight. (applause) >> thank you all again for coming tonight. we now are going to move onto the signing portion of the event. we ask that you do please buy a book before getting it signed. you can find copies on the table as well as that shelf on the left and you can buy them at our registers downstairs or it will call across the hall. hope you have a great night. thank you. (applause)
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