May 14

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May 14 in Clemson History

  • May 14, 1970-May 15, 1970: The Jackson State killings occur on Thursday/Friday, May 14-15, at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) in Jackson, Mississippi. A group of student protesters were confronted by city and state police. The police opened fire, killing two students and injuring twelve.(Review of "Lynch Street: The May 1970 Slayings at Jackson State College" (Tim Spofford) Review author: William M. Simpson The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 56, No. 1. (Feb., 1990), pp. 159-160. This happened 10 days after National Guardsmen killed four students in similar protests at Kent State University in Ohio, which first captured national attention.
A group of around a hundred African-American students had gathered on Lynch Street (which at the time bisected the campus) on the evening of Thursday, May 14. By around 9:30 p.m. the students had started fires and overturned vehicles, including a large truck. Firefighters dispatched to the scene quickly requested police support. The police responded in force. At least 75 Jackson Mississippi Police units from the city of Jackson and the Mississippi Highway Patrol attempted to control the crowd while the firemen extinguished the fires. After the firefighters had left the scene, shortly before midnight, the police moved to disperse the crowd now gathered in front of Alexander Hall, a women's on-campus dormitory.
Advancing to within 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 m) of the crowd, at roughly 12:05 a.m., police opened fire. The exact cause of the shooting and the moments leading up to it are unclear. Authorities claim they saw a sniper on one of the building's upper floors, and were also being sniped in all directions, while the students say police fired for no reason. The crowd scattered and a number of people were trampled or cut by falling glass. Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, 21, a junior, and James Earl Green, 17, a student at nearby Jim Hill High School, were killed and twelve others were wounded. Gibbs was killed near Alexander Hall by buckshot, while Green was killed behind the police line in front of B. F. Roberts Hall, also with a shotgun.
The President's Commission on Campus Unrest investigated this event and also held public hearings at Kent State, in Los Angeles, and Washington. There were no arrests in connection with the deaths at Jackson State.
  • 2007: Late registration and first day of class for Maymester 2007.

May 13 May May 15