40 years ago, York native on scene at Kent State shooting that left four dead in Ohio
York native Harold Walker was on the scene after bullets from Ohio National Guardsmen at Kent State killed four unarmed students.
The following from “Never to be Forgotten” tells Harold Walker’s story after he photographed that terrible moment 40 years ago today, May 4:
“He contacts The Washington Post, which flies Walker to their offices. For reasons that are in dispute, the Post refuses the photos. But J.W. Gitt’s The York Gazette and Daily runs them, along with Walker’s eyewitness story.
In that account, Walker concluded: “I believe the incident may bring the student and the adult communities together. It may bring about mutual understanding.”
Author James Michener pointed to Walker’s mistake:
“Never in his future career as newspaperman will Harold C. Walker, Kent State 1970, be more completely wrong, for even as the paper in York was printing these hopeful and constructive words, the newspaper in Kent was being forced to find space for what will be remembered as one of the most virulent outpourings of community hatred in recent decades. It seemed as if everybody in the Kent area suddenly wanted to unburden himself of resentments against young people, colleges and education which had been festering for years.”