On May 4th, 1970, John Filo was a young undergraduate working in the Kent State photo lab. He decided to take a break, and went outside
to see students milling in the parking lot. Over the weekend, following the
burning of the ROTC building, thousands of students had moved back and forth
from the commons area near to the hill in front of Taylor Hall, demonstrating
and calling to an end to the war inj Vietnam. John decided to get his camera, and see if he could
get an interesting picture. He saw one student waving a black flag on the
hillside, with the National Guard in the background. He shot the photograph,
and feeling that he now had recorded the moment, wandered to the parking lot,
where a lot of the students had gathered. Suddenly, G company of the Ohio
National Guard opened fire. John thought they were shooting blanks, and started
to take pictures.
A second later, he saw Mary Vecchio crying
over the body of one the students who had just been killed. He took the
A few hours later, he started to transmit the
pictures he had taken to the Associated Press from a small newspaper in Pennsylvania.
The photograph won him a Pulitzer.
Halstead Dirck, The Picture from Kent State. The Digital Journalist.
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