BlogThe Tragic Story of Collin Palmer?

The Tragic Story of Collin Palmer?

On May 4, 1970, the campus of Kent State University in Ohio witnessed a devastating event that would leave an indelible mark on American history. On that fateful day, National Guardsmen opened fire on student protesters, killing four and wounding nine others. Among the victims was Collin Palmer, a young student whose life was cut short in the tragedy.

Who was Collin Palmer?

Collin Palmer was a 20-year-old sophomore at Kent State University, majoring in psychology. Born on June 22, 1949, in Kent, Ohio, Palmer was a bright and ambitious student with a passion for learning. He was also an avid music lover and played the guitar in a local band. Palmer’s friends and family remembered him as a kind and gentle soul, always willing to lend a helping hand.

The Events Leading Up to the Tragedy

In the spring of 1970, tensions were running high across the United States, with protests and demonstrations erupting on college campuses against the Vietnam War. On April 30, 1970, President Richard Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia, sparking widespread outrage and protests. At Kent State University, students organized a series of protests and rallies, calling for an end to the war.

The Shooting

On May 4, 1970, a group of National Guardsmen were deployed to the Kent State campus to disperse a crowd of student protesters. The situation quickly escalated, with the guardsmen firing tear gas and live ammunition into the crowd. In the chaos that ensued, Collin Palmer was shot in the chest and killed, along with three other students: Jeffrey Glen Miller, Allison Krause, and Sandra Lee Scheuer.

Aftermath and Legacy

The Kent State shootings sent shockwaves across the nation, sparking widespread outrage and protests. The event marked a turning point in the anti-war movement, with millions of Americans calling for an end to the Vietnam War. In the years that followed, the tragedy at Kent State became a symbol of the devastating consequences of violence and the importance of protecting the rights of peaceful protesters.
In memory of Collin Palmer and the other victims, Kent State University established the May 4 Memorial, a poignant tribute to the lives lost that day. The memorial features four granite markers, each bearing the name of a student who was killed, surrounded by a circle of benches and a walking path.


Collin Palmer’s story is a poignant reminder of the tragic consequences of violence and the importance of protecting the rights of all individuals to peaceful protest. His legacy lives on through the countless lives he touched and the lessons we continue to learn from that fateful day in May 1970. May his memory serve as a beacon of hope and a reminder of the power of peaceful activism.
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