Special Collections and Archives

Leslie Wasson, Personal Narrative

Special Collections and Archives

Leslie Wasson, Personal Narrative

Leslie Wasson, Personal Narrative

Submitted via email, May 5, 2000


I remember May 4th 1970 as a warm sunny spring day. I lived in Munroe Falls which is a small township just west of the county line next to the city of Kent. I attended a small junior high school called Kimpton, and was at school at the time of the shootings. Our school was abuzz with talk about the past weekend and all the demostrations in Kent. We all could see the ROTC building burn on Friday night. We saw the damage to the downtown area from the demostrations that spilled over from campus on to the streets. I was 15 and thought of myself as very much a hippie...little did I know that this day would change my life forever by bringing in the harsh reality of the government's use of force to accomplish their personal agenda. I remember feeling nervous and anxious that moring as our classes got under way. The tenson was very thick due to our proximity to town, campus, and the turmoral from the weekend.

We had faculty and staff that lived in Kent and had family members there on campus that Monday morning. I'm not sure how word had gotten out to our school about the shootings, but we knew within fifteen minutes of what had happened. Our school sent all of us home, some parents were there to pick up their children, some took buses, myself, I walked home the three blocks to my house.

When I got there no one was home, I was scared and really didn't know what to do. About the time I was at my wits end, in comes my dad to save the day. So he was able to calm me down and by then the news was breaking over the television as to what had happened. My brother and his friends knew one of the four killed through a high school in another town. But I only knew of people who had been there on campus when the shooting took place.

This changed my view of the world, I no longer saw our society through children's eyes. I had started my journey in life with a new perspective from that point and I must say that never has a May 4th gone by on my calender without a moment of thought and reverence to those lost and those effected by the actions taken that day. God Bless Us All...