Today In History: May 4, Four Killed During Anti-War Protest At Kent State University

Today in History

Today is Saturday, May 4, the 125th day of 2024. There are 241 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

On this date:

In 1776, Rhode Island declared its freedom from England, two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.

In 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal from the French.

In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)

In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval clash fought entirely with carrier aircraft, began in the Pacific during World War II. (The outcome was considered a tactical victory for Japan, but ultimately a strategic one for the Allies.)

In 1945, during World War II, German forces in the Netherlands, Denmark and northwest Germany agreed to surrender.

In 1961, the first group of “Freedom Riders” left Washington, D.C., to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals.

In 1998, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski (kah-ZIHN’-skee) was given four life sentences plus 30 years by a federal judge in Sacramento, California, under a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty.

In 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley, wife of actor Robert Blake, was shot to death as she sat in a car near a restaurant in Los Angeles. (Blake, accused of Bakley’s murder, was acquitted in a criminal trial but found liable by a civil jury and ordered to pay damages.)

In 2006, a federal judge sentenced Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee) to life in prison for his role in the 9/11 attacks, telling the convicted terrorist, “You will die with a whimper.”

In 2011, President Barack Obama said he had decided not to release death photos of Osama bin Laden because their graphic nature could incite violence and create national security risks. Officials told The Associated Press that the Navy SEALs who’d stormed bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan shot and killed him after they saw him appear to lunge for a weapon.

In 2012, Adam Yauch the gravelly-voiced rapper who helped make The Beastie Boys one of the seminal groups in hip-hop, died in New York at age 47.

In 2013, a limousine taking nine women to a bachelorette party erupted in flames on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over San Francisco Bay, killing five of the passengers, including the bride-to-be.

In 2018, the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel in the 1975 bludgeoning death of a girl in Greenwich, finding that Skakel’s trial attorney had failed to present evidence of an alibi.

In 2020, former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula died at 90; he’d won more games than any other NFL coach.

In 2022, comedian Dave Chappelle was tackled during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Security guards chased and overpowered the attacker.

In 2023, former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and three other members of the far-right extremist group were convicted of a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol in a desperate bid to keep Donald Trump in power after the Republican lost the 2020 presidential election.

Today’s Birthdays: Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson musical family, is 94. Jazz musician Ron Carter is 87. Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator George Will is 83. Pop singer Peggy Santiglia (The Angels) is 80. Actor Richard Jenkins is 77. Country singer Stella Parton is 75. Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks is 74. Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 73. Singer-actor Pia Zadora is 72. R&B singer Oleta Adams is 71. Violinist Soozie Tyrell (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 67. Country singer Randy Travis is 65. Actor Mary McDonough is 63. Comedian Ana Gasteyer is 57. Actor Will Arnett is 54. Rock musician Mike Dirnt (Green Day) is 52. Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 52. TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 49. Sports reporter Erin Andrews is 46. Singer Lance Bass (‘N Sync) is 45. Actor Ruth Negga is 43. Rapper/singer Jidenna is 39. Actor Alexander Gould is 30. Country singer RaeLynn is 30. Actor Amara (uh-MAH’-ruh) Miller is 24. Actor Brooklynn Prince (Film: “The Florida Project”) is 14.