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49 Years After the Kent State Shootings, New Photos Are Revealed

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tags: photographs, Kent State, Protest, college campuses



Photography has shaped the American memory of the May 4, 1970, Kent State shootings.

The image of a young woman screaming in horror as she crouches beside the body of a student has become the defining moment of the day when National Guardsmen shot and killed four students at Kent State University in Ohio.

This year, on the 49th anniversary of the shooting, history’s lens has gotten a little wider. Getty Images has released previously unpublished pictures revealing the weekend leading up to the tragedy, the moments when the guards opened fire and the grief afterwards.

The new photos were taken by John Filo and Howard Ruffner, two students at the university. Filo captured the day’s most iconic image: 14-year-old Mary Ann Vecchio beside the body of 20-year-old Jeffrey Miller.

Ruffner, a second-year-student who had learned about photography while serving in the U.S. Air Force, was working on the university’s yearbook. Recruited as a freelance photographer by Life Magazine, he snapped photos after students set fire to the campus’ ROTC building and National Guardsmen began to take over the school grounds. The campus was mostly empty, because Kent State was known to be a “suitcase school” – where students leave on the weekend, Ruffner told TIME.

Read entire article at Time

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