Revised by Nancy Birk, October 18, 1994. Updated by Penny White, December 18, 2012.
1 cubic foot. 12th floor.
Series 1 -- Bill Gordon, Papers
Biographical Sketch (written by Bill Gordon and submitted to the Archives
in Nov. 1999)
William A. Gordon, the author of Four Dead in Ohio, is a 1973 graduate
of Kent State. He began writing about the events of May 4 in the fall of
1970 while attending UCLA. Later his articles and opinion pieces appeared
in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kent Record-Courier,
American Report, and College Press Service. He also freelanced for
National Public Radio.
After transferring to Kent, Gordon also worked behind the scenes with
Peter Davies, the author of The Truth About Kent State, and the
students who petitioned the Justice Department for the federal grand jury
investigation. that grand jury resulted in the 1974 indictment and acquittal
of eight Ohio National Guardsmen on federal civil rights charges.
Gordon's book was originally published by Prometheus Books in 1990 under
the title The Fourth of May: Killings & Coverups at Kent State.
After Prometheus allowed the book to go out of print, Gordon secured the
rights and in 1995 issued an updated paperback edition under his publishing
company with a new title Four Dead in Ohio: Was There a Conspiracy at
Now a full-time author and publisher based in Southern California, Gordon
has written three other books, including The Quotable Writer (McGraw-Hill,
2000), which he has described as "a thinly disguised professional autobiography."
Scope and Content
This collection consists of some of the articles Gordon donated in the 1970s.
Gordon retains possession of his interviews, reporter's notes, and the personal
diaries he accumulated during his 19-year-long investigation of the shootings
Articles by Bill Gordon in newspapers: 1970-74. Includes Alabamian (University
of Alabama), College Press Service, Daily Kent Stater, Kent Ravenna Record
Courier, UCLA Daily Bruin
Articles by Bill Gordon in magazines: 1972-73, Includes American Report
Report/Paper: "Kent State University's Petition to the White House: Ten
Months of Deceit", reprinted in the Congressional Record, Aug. 18, 1972
Report/Paper: "Kent State: Three Years Later A Legal Summary": April 20,
Subject file: "The Kent Four"; Granville-Jackson Sculpture
Series 2 -- Ken Hammond, Papers
Ken Hammond was a student and SDS leader at Kent State University in the
late 1960s. In the spring of 1970, Ken Hammond was a junior. He spoke at
the rally at the Victory Bell on that fateful afternoon of May 4, 1970,
and witnessed the events that took place that afternoon. Hammond was named
one of the "Kent 25," the group indicted for their involvement with May
Following May 4, 1970, Hammond remained active in May 4 organizations
and committees, such as the Kent Liberation Front, the Mayday Coalition,
and the Kent Legal Defense Fund. Hammond describes the Kent Liberation
Fund as having been "set up in September 1970 to try to counteract the
fear and frustration stemming from the shootings May 4th. It functioned
while the special grand jury met and during the period following the Kent
Scope and Content
The materials in this collection are photocopies of items held by Ken Hammond.
Of particular interest are the SDS flyers, the materials for the post-1970
period, and Hammond's own recollections. In addition to his papers, Hammond
also included notes detailing the purbpose and distinguishing between the
groups in which he was involved as well as to contextualize flyers and
other papers included in the collection. They were accessioned in October,
1975. Literary and property rights do NOT belong to the University Archives.
This collection is associated with the Institute for the Study of Everyday
Flyers/Newsletters: Kent Legal Defense Fund: 1971
Flyers/Newsletters: Kent Liberation Front: 1970-73
Report/Paper: "A Political Analysis of May 1-4 1970 at Kent State: 1970
Report/Paper: "Position Paper -- Mayday Coalition": [n.d.]
Reply Brief of Appellants: Hammond et al. v. Paul W. Brown, et al.: 1971
Series 3 -- Thomas Lough, Papers
Thomas Lough was an associate professor of Sociology in May 1970. He was
a former faculty advisor to SDS, on the steering committee of the Concerned
Citizens of the KSU Community (CCC) and the only professor to be named
one of the "Kent 25."
Scope and Content
The majority of papers in this collection focus on the BUS-SDS Walkout
and the activities of the CCC. The BUS-SDS walkout was a response to the
Oakland Police recruiting on campus in November 1968. Various members of
BUS and SDS staged a sit-in protesting the Oakland Police (Oakland was
the home of the Black Panthers.) When the administration would not agree
to demands that protestors go "unpunished" by the university, 250 black
students marched off the campus for a week. Papers chronicling this event
include newspaper clippings, correspondence, flyers, notes, and other papers.
The Concerned Citizens of the Kent State Community (CCC) was created
in 1969 in the aftermath of arrests and suspensions of students breaking
into the Music and Speech building and disrupting a private hearing of
SDS leaders, and the SDS charter being revoked. The group, made up of a
diverse group of faculty and students, focused on issues of due process
and the rights and civil liberties of students on campus. The group formulated
demands that the charter be reinstated and charges and suspensions be dropped.
In its short three week existence, the group sponsored rallies and a referenda.
Lough's collection of newspaper clippings, flyers, correspondence, and
other papers detail the events and activities of the group.
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