my original 1997 web site here contains only words.
My new web site includes the text info plus
photos, a guestbook,
THE BEST KENT STATE LINKS
ON THE INTERNET,
current Kent State news/info
Kent State massacre
victim & eyewitness
Alan Canfora -- campus lecturer:
--May 4, 1970, Kent State tragedy;
--student activism--past, present & future.
KENT MAY 4 CENTER
...for much new internet Kent info
especially the Questions/Answers section.
The Kent May 4 Center
will greatly expand this site soon.
"...we don't seek revenge,
we just want the truth."
*** NOTICE ***
It is my sad duty to announce
the recent deaths of
MARTIN SCHEUER, age 88,
and LOUIS SCHROEDER, age 85,
fathers of Kent martyrs Sandy Scheuer & Bill Schroeder.
Martin Scheuer & wife Sarah
married on May 4, 1943,
always joined us in Kent every May 4.
Louis Schroeder & Martin Scheuer
live forever in our hearts.
Arthur Krause, father of Kent martyr Allison,
died in 1988.
The location of Jeff Miller's father,
Bernard Miller, of New York City,
is unknown to us in Kent.
If you know Bernard Miller's whereabouts,
please let us know.
All four mothers of our four martyrs
are alive and well.
All four mothers are expected to
join us in Kent on May 4, 2000.
author, campus lecturer, political activist
Kent State shootings
* Vietnam War *
US Justice Department's
1970 Summary of
the FBI Report on Kent State
(key excerpts included below)
Check this out...
to view a dramatic photo of me
on May 4, 1970, at Kent State
waving a black protest flag
while guardsmen with fingers on triggers
aimed rifles in my direction
only minutes before the deadly gunfire--
My name is Alan Canfora.
I live in Barberton, Ohio, where I
have been the chairman/chairperson of
the Barberton Democratic Party
and Deputy Director of the
Summit County Board of Elections since 1992.
I have been politically active for over 30 years now.
As a direct result of my lifetime of
persistent, patriotic political activism,
I have been shot by the National Guard
at Kent State University in 1970,
falsely arrested on several occasions
& subjected to
occasional attempts at character assassination.
Like many others,
I have paid a dear price for my life of
outspoken opposition to injustice.
Alas, as the French people say:
"C'est la vie pour les enfants terrible".
Uh, something like that.
Still, I've moved forward and
grown older and wiser in this sometimes
I also make it a point to
attempt to enjoy this wicked world
while I continue to fight for the common people.
Resistance to oppression is
the imperative and meaning of life,
Meanwhile, education is our
noblest goal & duty.
Like the great romantic poet,
Bryan Ferry, once sang:
"...truth is the seed we try to sow."
Since my college years,
I've been guided forward by many
shining lights of wisdom provided by
a variety of influences, including:
Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche,
Edgar Allan Poe, Jimi Hendrix, Bryan Ferry,
the Surrealists, Pre-Raphaelite artists and many others.
In addition to political activism,
I live for art and beauty.
I am also the
volunteer Director of the Kent May 4 Center, Inc.,
a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational charity.
Since 1989, the Kent May 4 Center has
provided information and education concerning:
*** the Kent State tragedy of May 4, 1970;
*** other similar examples of excessive force,
mainly against minorities, at Jackson State,
South Carolina State College (Orangeburg), Southern University (Louisiana), University of Kansas, etc.;
*** student activism--past, present and future;
*** the importance of the continuation of the
longstanding tradition of American
student activism to promote positive social change.
On May 4, 1970,
four Kent State University students were killed
and nine others wounded (including me)
when numerous members of the Ohio National Guard
--mostly from Troop G, the death-squad--
fired 67 bullets into a crowd of unarmed students during
an anti-war demonstration under the noonday sun.
All 13 of the Kent State massacre victims were
This fact dispels the myth of
"outside-agitators" in the student demonstration.
Kent State was where the most American students
were killed in one incident (4),
and the only incident where women were killed (2).
Unlike previous massacres of American students during
the Vietnam war era,
the Kent State tragedy sparked a massive wave of
national student outrage--
the national student strike of May, 1970.
The American reaction to "the Kent State tragedy" was
much greater than the response to the
massacre of three African-American students
at South Carolina State College (Orangeburg) in 1968.
Racism was the main reason for the difference.
The American news media and much of the public
(five million people, mostly students)
expressed shock and anger when four Caucasian students
were gunned down at
Kent State in broad daylight. After the Kent State massacre
the only national student strike in American history
changed the course of American history.
I am convinced that the unprecedented
national outpouring of anger
was greatly provoked by the murders of these
only female American martyrs of 1970.
Among the four students killed at Kent State,
I knew Jeff Miller.
My girlfriend Bonnie had introduced me to Jeff
several months before he was killed.
Jeff was a kind, peaceful, gentle person from
New York City.
Jeff was soft-spoken but brilliant and
opposed to the Vietnam war for many years.
The last time I saw my friend Jeff,
he was lying dead in the back of an ambulance
--killed by a bullet through his head.
The four dead Kent State students were shot and killed
by bullets while they were far away from their killers
who fired 67 deadly bullets,
mostly from powerful M-1 rifles,
during 13 seconds of mayhem:
* Jeffrey Miller was shot through the head 275 feet away;
* Allison Krause was shot through the arm & chest 350 feet away;
* Bill Schroeder was shot in the back nearly 400 feet away;
* Sandy Scheuer was shot through the throat nearly 400 feet away.
Allison and Jeff were active protesters.
Allison was an aspiring artist in the Honors College at Kent State.
Jeff Miller had recently transferred to Kent from
Michigan State University.
Sandy and Bill were bystanders killed as they
walked away toward their classrooms.
Bill Schroeder was an "all-American boy" & a ROTC student of
military science and business administration.
Sandy Scheuer had been a member of
Alpha Xi Delta sorority.
I was one of the nine surviving students wounded at Kent State on May 4, 1970.
I was shot through my right wrist by
a bullet fired from a high-powered M-1 rifle.
When I was shot, I was 225 feet away
from the shooters who fired from the top of a hill.
That was as close as I ever approached the National Guard
at Kent State on May 4, 1970.
As I kneeled behind the only tree in the direct line of fire,
I was fortunate to survive a quite
In addition to the bullet that pierced my right arm,
several other bullets hit the oak tree that saved my life.
I heard many other bullets ripping through the grass
and zipping through the air into the parking lot
behind me where four of my fellow-students died.
As an active, vocal protester on that fateful day,
I waved a black flag that was a symbol of my despair.
I'm certain that I was shot intentionally because of my
visible role as a leading protester on May 4, 1970.
If you care to view a dramatic photo of me
waving that black protest flag
in front of those aimed rifles at Kent State,
go to your local library and
see LIFE MAGAZINE (May 15, 1970, or May of 1990).
Only 10 days before May 4, 1970,
I attended the funeral of Bill Caldwell,
my good Barberton friend who was killed in Vietnam
on April 13, 1970.
I had known Bill since our childhood years in Barberton schools.
As teenagers, we enjoyed many days,
months and years
together in a Barberton poolhall where Bill Caldwell
emerged as Barberton's best pool shark at age 17.
My anguished, fresh recollection of Bill's
death and funeral provoked my militant actions
at Kent on May 1-4, 1970.
When Bill Caldwell was killed in Vietnam on
April 13, 1970,
Bill's brother George Caldwell (an ex-Marine) was
living in my apartment in Kent on Summit Street.
For me and my roommates
and friends who knew George Caldwell in Kent
at that time, the war came home...
and so we attempted to further
"bring the war home".
We became involved in militant action when President Nixon
announced the US invasion of Cambodia
only six days after we
attended Bill Caldwell's Barberton funeral.
During the previous year, I am proud to say
I was a member of the Kent State chapter of the
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).
Kent SDS was a
dynamic, radical, anti-war organization.
We militantly opposed a faraway war that
killed too many of our
friends, neighbors, relatives and schoolmates.
Our love and patriotic compassion
for our fellow-Americans,
and for the Asian victims as well,
prompted our participation in angry,
spontaneous anti-war actions all across America.
History has proven that the US war
in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos was
immoral, unjustified, racist and genocidal.
In addition to the
more than 58,000 Americans killed in that wrongful war,
millions more Asians were sacrificed.
Millions of Asian children, youths,
women, men and elderly citizens were killed
by our tax dollars and war machine.
The amount of American bombs dropped on Cambodia alone was
greater than all of the combined bombs dropped
throughout all of World War II.
Cambodia is a small country
approximately the same size as the state of
Missouri or Washington state.
Clearly, our own US government
killed more Asians than the brutal
Vietnamese or Cambodian communist governments
that emerged after our bloody war there.
We had no choice in 1970.
Dramatic action was our patriotic duty.
With life and blood, we valiantly fought
to send a
passionate, patriotic message to President Nixon:
STOP THE BLOODY WAR IN SOUTHEAST ASIA !!!
As the great man John Lennon once cried out:
"GIVE PEACE A CHANCE !!!"
Sadly, we paid a very dear price
at Kent State on May 4, 1970.
Four students were killed:
Allison Krause, Sandy Scheuer, Bill Schroeder and Jeff Miller.
Nine Kent students were wounded:
Alan Canfora, John Cleary, Tom Grace,
Dean Kahler, Joe Lewis, Scott Mackenzie,
Jim Russell, Robby Stamps & Doug Wrentmore.
Only 10 days later, two more students were killed
by racist highway patrolmen
at Jackson State University, in Mississippi:
James Earl Green and Philip Gibbs.
The national student strike of May, 1970,
was sparked by the
US invasion of Cambodia and the massacres at
Kent State and Jackson State Universities.
Nearly five million American students
shut-down over 800 campuses during the
only national student strike in American history.
President Richard Nixon was pushed to
the point of physical and emotional collapse.
US soldiers armed with machine-guns
were posted inside the White House
while over 150,000 angry protesters
rallied outside on May 9, 1970.
Former US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren
described the post-Kent State crisis as
the worst in America since the Civil War.
Clearly, America was on the brink of civil war--
citizens were so divided against each other
because of war and the abuse of
political and military power in Washington, DC.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC,
stands as a powerful reminder of
the tragedy our nation endured after
the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.
The horrible loss of
over 58,000 young Americans from my generation
-- our beloved fellow-citizens --
was the primary cause
of the growing crescendo of voices and
militant, patriotic actions against property.
Student activism and anti-war anger culminated in
an epic tragedy of a generation
at Kent State University on
May 4, 1970.
Since 1970, I graduated from
Kent State University in 1972 with a
Bachelor of General Studies degree (BGS)
and in 1980 with a
Master of Library Science degree (MLS).
Besides remaining active politically
in my hometown of Barberton where I have
evolved into my present position as
chairperson of the Barberton Democratic Party,
I have remained active at nearby Kent as well.
Kent is a 21-mile drive
(13 miles "as the crow flies") east through Akron
from Barberton here in northeast Ohio.
In less than an hour, we can
drive north into Cleveland,
the "rock and roll capital of the world"
and home of the fantastic
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
At Kent State University,
I have worked annually with the students of
the May 4 Task Force (M4TF) --
a registered educational student organization
at Kent State University since 1975.
I was a charter member of the M4TF in 1975
when I was a graduate student at KSU and
I have worked with these dedicated students
each year since that time.
The M4TF students meet each week at KSU
from September until May
when they sponsor the annual commemoration
program on the Kent State campus on May 4.
Recently, the great band
Crosby, Stills and Nash (CSN) performed
as part of the 27th annual commemoration
program sponsored by the M4TF students.
Only last spring, noted Vietnam Veteran Ron Kovic
author of *BORN ON THE 4TH OF JULY*
led a very effective May 4 Task Force
students protest march involving hundreds of students
on the Kent State campus.
The KSU administration soon capitulated and
agreed to finally prevent cars from parking
on the spots where our four martyrs died in 1970.
To reach the May 4 Task Force students at KSU,
As the volunteer director of the
Kent May 4 Center,
I am honored to work with
young Kent State students each year who seek
to pay a tribute to the memories of
Allison Krause, Sandy Scheuer, Jeff Miller and Bill Schroeder --
the four Kent State students killed on May 4, 1970,
by the Ohio National Guard.
The M4TF students perform educational activities
throughout the school year and seek to
educate the public so that
future massacres may be prevented.
The Kent May 4 Center seeks to provide
educational information to the general public
in an off-campus attempt to complement
the work of the Kent State University students
of the May 4 Task Force.
In this regard, as director of
the Kent May 4 Center,
I regularly lecture on campuses across America.
I have lectured on more than
125 American campuses from coast-to-coast.
My lectures focus upon:
* the Kent State tragedy of May 4, 1970,
& other student massacres;
* American student activism -- past, present & future --
and the importance of continuing
the fine tradition of US student activism;
* student action organizations
-- how to build and maintain a new
student activist movement on campus today.
I have also appeared on CNN's "Crossfire"
where I debated
Patrick Buchanan and David Horowitz
about student activism and Kent State.
I've also appeared on "Nightline", "Good Morning America"
and recently, "Dateline".
Numerous publications have featured
my comments on the
Kent State incident and student activism.
For years, I have also been writing
a book --
based upon my experiences in
the anti-war movement at Kent State
and the experiences of
my friends who were soldiers in Vietnam.
I've always wanted to link
the inside story
of the Kent State tragedy with
the truth about our understanding and
love for our childhood friends
who were fighting to survive in Vietnam.
The turning point in my literary project is
the death of my good friend in Vietnam.
Bill Caldwell, age 19, was killed
in the war on April 13, 1970.
Along with many of my Kent friends,
I attended Bill's funeral in Barberton
only 10 days before I was shot at Kent State.
The death and funeral of my friend was
a catalyst that helped trigger
the Kent State protests of May 1-4, 1970.
I became convinced that this was
an important story for my generation,
Vietnam and Kent State,-- "an epic tragedy of a generation"
-- and an important lesson
for today's younger generation as well.
In the summers of 1985 and 1989,
I was living in New York
and attempted to promote my book.
I was unsucessful
during those conservative Reagan/Bush years.
I expect publication of my book soon--
either on the internet for free
or as a published book
in spring of 2000.
Watch for it soon!
ON MAY 4, 1970, AT KENT STATE UNIVERSITY...
(these are verbatim quotes as indicated within quotation marks below)...
"...the crowd apparently was initially peaceful and relatively quiet."
"...96 men of Companies A and C, 145th Infantry and of Troop G, 107th Armored Cavalry were ordered to advance. Bayonets were fixed and their weapons were "locked and loaded", with one round in the chamber...all wore gas masks. Some carried .45 pistols, most carried M-1 rifles, and a few carried shotguns loaded with 7 1/2 birdshot and double-ought buckshot."
"...the combination of the advancing troops and the teargas forced the students to retreat."
"...fifty-three members of Company A, 18 members of Troop G and two members of Company C, all commanded by General Canterbury and Lt. Col. Fassinger moved...pursuing the main body of students who retreated..."
"...one group of students retreated to a paved parking lot south of Prentice Hall..."
"...the Guard then moved...onto the field where it took up a position..."
"...some of the students...then returned to within range of the Guard and began to pelt them with objects..."
"...four Guardsmen claim they were hit with rocks at this time..."
"...some rocks were thrown back at the students by the Guard."
"...just prior to the time the Guard left its position on the practice field, members of Troop G were ordered to kneel and aim their weapons at the students in the parking lot south of Prentice Hall. They did so, but did not fire."
"...the Guard was then ordered to regroup and move back up the hill past Taylor Hall."
"...when the Guard reached the crest of Blanket Hill by the southeast corner of Taylor Hall at about 12:25pm, they faced the students following them and fired their weapons. Four students were killed and nine were wounded."
"...the few moments immediately prior to the shootings are shrouded in confusion and highly conflicting statements. Many Guardsmen claim that they felt their lives were in danger from the students for a variety of reasons...because they were 'surrounded'...because a sniper fired at them...stones...the students 'advanced upon them in a threatening manner'..."
"...we [the FBI] have some reason to believe that the claim by the National Guard that their lives were endangered by the students was fabricated subsequent to the event..." [!!!]
"...[a Guardsman] admitted that his life was not in danger and that he fired indiscriminantly into the crowd. He further stated that the Guardsmen had gotten together after the shooting and decided to fabricate the story that they were in danger of serious bodily harm or death from the students...
[NOTE: that same triggerman Guardsman added]:
"...the guys have been saying that we got to get together and stick to the same story, that it was our lives or them, a matter of survival. I told them I would tell the truth and couldn't get in trouble that way."
"...also, a chaplain of Troop G spoke with many members of the National Guard and stated that they were unable to explain to him why they fired their weapons."
"...available photographs indicate that the nearest student was 60 feet away" [at time of shootings].
"...no verbal warning was given to the students immediately prior to the time the Guardsmen fired."
"...one Guardsman, Sgt. McManus, stated that after the firing began, he gave an order to 'fire over their heads'".
"...the Guardsmen were not surrounded...they could easily have continued going in the direction in which they had been going."
"...no Guardsman claims he was hit with rocks immediately prior to the firing..."
"...only one Guardsman, Lawrence Shafer, was injured on May 4, 1970, seriously enough to require any kind of medical treatment. He admits his injury was received some 10 to 15 minutes before the fatal volley was fired."
"...there was no sniper."
"...the great majority of Guards do not state that they were under sniper fire and many specifically state that the first shots came from the National Guardsmen."
"...the FBI has conducted an extensive search and has found nothing to indicate that any person other than a Guardsman fired a weapon."
"...at the time of the shooting, the National Guard clearly did not believe that they were being fired upon."
"...in addition, no Guardsman claims he fired at a sniper or even that he fired in the direction from which he believed the sniper shot."
"...a minimum of 54 shots were fired by a minimum of 29 of the 78 members of the National Guard at Taylor Hall in the space of approximately 13 seconds."
"...seven members of Troop G admit firing their weapons, but claim they did not fire at the students. Five persons interviewed in Troop G, the group of Guardsmen closest to Taylor Hall, admit firing a total of eight shots into the crowd or at a specific student."
"...some Guardsmen had to be physically restrained from continuing to fire their weapons."
"...Sergeant Richard Love of Company C...asserted he 'could not believe' that the others were shooting into the crowd so he lowered his weapon."
"...when the firing began, many students began running; others hit the ground."
"...in all, only two [student victims] were shot from the front. Seven students were shot from the side and four were shot from the rear."
"...of the 13 students shot, none, so far as we know, were associated with either the disruption in Kent on Friday night, May 1, 1970, or the burning of the ROTC building on Saturday, May 2, 1970."
(2) THE TRUTH ABOUT KENT STATE
by Peter Davies;
An early book, Davies courageously exposes the
cover-up of murder. Many important photos.
(3) THE PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON CAMPUS UNREST
by US Government Printing Office;
Many photos, based on official FBI investigation.
Thorough Jackson State section, too.
by J. Gregory Payne of Emerson College;
Good info about Kent, 1970, our four martyrs
& NBC-TV's 1981 docudrama.
(5) THIRTEEN SECONDS
by Joe Eszterhaus & Michael Roberts;
A good, factual early book by a great Hollywood writer.
(6) FIRE IN THE STREETS
by Milton Viorst;
Final chapter features my narrative about Kent, 1970.
(7) FROM CAMELOT TO KENT SATE
by Robert Morrison;
Features narrative of Kent wounded student Tom Grace.
Tom Grace & I arrived at Kent State in 1968;
we both joined the College Democrats in 1968
while we were dorm room-mates;
we joined Kent SDS together in 1969;
during 1969-70, we were room-mates off-campus;
on May 4, 1970, at Kent State,
we were both shot & wounded.
We both lived to tell the story.
*** NOTE A): These seven RECOMMENDED BOOKS listed above have
good photos & information;
NOTE B) Unfortunately, these seven RECOMMENDED are
& are available only in libraries, used-book stores, etc.
NOTE C) If you seek these RECOMMENDED BOOKS,
you can BORROW THEM FOR FREE
from your local library or, if unavailable there,
ask your librarian to BORROW THE BOOKS FREE
from another library by
(1)KENT STATE--WHAT HAPPENED & WHY
by James A. Michener;
Michener's book has some good vignettes about the slain students
& some other aspects but much unreliable,
biased opinion & distorted info as well.
Still, Michener's is the most widely read book,
*** Until my memoir is published in 2000 ***
(2) FOUR DEAD IN OHIO
by William A. Gordon;
published in 1995--an earlier version,
titled THE FOURTH OF MAY, was published in 1990.
There's speculation in Kent that Gordon will
opportunistically re-publish his mediocre book
a third time with a third title
in the year 2000
& again attempt to deceive unsuspecting customers.
Bill Gordon's book contains many
factual errors & biased opinions
and he's offended many of the key people involved
in our longstanding battle against the Kent cover-up.
In his book's preface, amidst many inaccuracies,
Gordon wrote the following misinformed statements:
p.17: "...I am not aware of a single historian
who has argued that the tragedy had that much
impact on the conduct of American policy in Vietnam."
p.17: "...we cannot conclude that the killings were a pivotal or watershed event..."
p.18: "...these were the most popular murders ever committed
in the United States."
Such gross distortions
are plentiful in Gordon's book
and are quite offensive
to those of us who know the truth
and also those of you who seek the truth
about one of the greatest tragedies
in American history.
a tourist-guide author living in California,
is not a legitimate Kent State "expert", in my opinion.
I would like to note,
Gordon was recently disappointed when
he failed in his attempt to interject himself
into our Universal film project.
*** NOTE about these two NOT-RECOMMENDED BOOKS:
unlike the recommended books,
these two not-recommended books are still available to the unsuspecting buyer.
If you must buy one of these available books,
I'd suggest Michener's, not Gordon's...
much more value for your hard-earned money.
Please send your preferred links by e-mail
and I'll add them to my list.
NOTE: I will not list any fascist, nazi, communist, Trotskyist or
other religious/cult organization links.
Sorry, but I DISCOURAGE fanatical activism that
primarily seeks to recruit/brainwash youths.
I ENCOURAGE MAINSTREAM STUDENT ACTIVISM
to promote POSITIVE social change (& not cultism).
Hey, it's my page & I'll do it my way.
Again, I encourage students to
be aware but beware
of some "activist" groups with hidden agendas.
Finally, I welcome any CONSTRUCTIVE criticisms of my page.
Feel free to send e-mail to me:
Also, if you appreciate this web-site
(if we assisted your school assignment or activism)
your message of appreciation inspires us here in Ohio!
If you require any further assistance, just ask.
*** ATTENTION STUDENTS ***
I get many e-mail messages from students.
If you request info for your school project...
* ATTENTION STUDENTS: if you send an e-mail request...
(1) please mention your school project's deadline;
(2) please mention your approximate level in school;
(3) please mention where in the world you are--
your approximate region, state or country.