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Copy of Vietnam War - Exploring Perspectives through Primary Sources: Student Protests


First, read through the UK and EKU newspaper clippings for the dates below, and then listen to the oral history interviews. Please answer the following questions about the UK and EKU student protests, based on the readings and oral history interviews.

1.  Who are the narrators of these items?  Under what conditions and circumstances are they writing or speaking?

2.  Do these items present a particular point of view, multiple points of view, objectivity, or bias?  Explain your answer using evidence from the sources.

3.  How do these sources and events described change or inform your understanding of the Vietnam War in Kentucky?

Student Protests in the Bluegrass

Charred remains of the UK ROTC building, May 1970


UK students march down S. Martin Luther King Blvd. against the Vietnam War carrying signs with peace slogans, May 1970.











UK students marching down what is now S. MLK Blvd.


In April 1970, President Nixon decided to expand the war effort into Cambodia and lessen the amount of American troops on the ground in Vietnam. Nixon also pledged to abolish the educational deferment policy, which allowed drafted undergraduate men to postpone their military service until they had finished the semester.  In response to this announcement by President Nixon, protests erupted on college campuses across the country. On May 4th, a protest on the campus of Kent State University turned violent when students were shot at by Ohio National Guard Troops. Four protesters were killed and nine were injured. Students across the country then protested this act of violence throughout the month of May. At UK, the ROTC building was burned to the ground and tensions were high on campuses throughout the country.