[sixties-l] "Kent State" Gov. James Rhodes, dead at 91

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Mon Mar 05 2001 - 17:31:13 EST

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    > http://www.latimes.com/obituary/20010304/tCB00V5136.html
    > Sunday, March 4, 2001
    > Ex-Ohio Gov. James Rhodes, 91, Dies
    > COLUMBUS, Ohio--Former Gov. James A. Rhodes, whose decision to quell
    > an anti-war protest by sending National Guard troops to Kent State
    > University in 1970 led to four student deaths, died Sunday. He was 91.
    > Rhodes, the state's only four-term governor, died at 2:45 p.m. at Ohio
    > State University Medical Center from complications from an infection
    > and heart failure, said David Crawford, a hospital spokesman.
    > The son of a coal miner, Rhodes rose from poverty to become Columbus
    > mayor when he was 33. The election marked the beginning of a political
    > career that spanned nearly 50 years.
    > Rhodes was credited with bringing many industries to Ohio. During his
    > administrations, the state built highways, expanded the university
    > system and put an airport in almost every county.
    > A college dropout, he also was credited with making Ohio a leader in
    > vocational education.
    > But the Kent State shootings cast an indelible shadow on his career.
    > On May 2, 1970, he decided to send the National Guard to Kent State,
    > which, like campuses across the nation, was in turmoil over the
    > incursion into Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Protesters had
    > vandalized businesses in downtown Kent and the campus ROTC building
    > was burned.
    > On May 4, four students died and nine were wounded when troops opened
    > fire. The reason behind the shootings was never fully learned.
    > Lawsuits against Rhodes and other officials ended in January 1979,
    > when the victims' families agreed to settlements totaling $675,000.
    > Those close to him said he was saddened by the tragedy but blamed the
    > turbulence of the war era and believed his action was necessary.
    > Already that year there had been three riots on Ohio campuses.
    > "The Kent State call came from the merchants and county commissioners
    > because of the conditions that were existing the night before," Rhodes
    > said years later. "You see, it was a consensus."
    > In 1999, Rhodes still believed the protesters were misguided: "It was
    > people who thought something was wrong with America."
    > When he ran in the GOP Senate primary on May 5, 1970 -the day after
    > the Kent State shootings -he lost to Robert Taft Jr., the father of
    > current Gov. Bob Taft -by 6,000 votes out of about 900,000 cast.
    > He made a comeback in 1974, narrowly defeating Democratic Gov. John
    > Gilligan. He served two more terms, then tried another comeback in
    > 1986, but lost.
    > In later years, Rhodes was an Ohio presidential campaign adviser to
    > Ronald Reagan and the elder George Bush, who said he helped them carry
    > the state.
    > Rhodes' wife, Helen, died in 1987. He is survived by two daughters.

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