History that can’t be forgotten

I learn something new every time I read through the Today’s Document Tumblr page published by the National Archives. Sometimes it’s stuff that I learn that I guess I wish I hadn’t.

I felt that way reading a recently posted document on the Kent State shooting. Saturday marks 43 years since National Guard troops killed four and wounded nine others on campus who were protesting the invasion of Cambodia.

The Archives posted the letter from the mayor of Kent, Ohio on May 2, requesting the National Guard’s help “in restoring law and order … I leave the mode and means of execution to your discretion.”

Click on the letter for a larger view.


An “upsetting primary source” one respondent said, to which the Archives folks responded, “if you’re not bummed out sometimes by our posts, then we’re probably not doing our job.”

  • Gordon P. Hemsley

    The document says “your direction” not “your discretion”, though it’s debatable whether that changes the meaning in any significant way.