Phi Beta Cons

“Four Dead in Ohio”

This Friday is the 37th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, in which members of the Ohio National Guard fired on antiwar protestors, killing four. In a new analysis of an audio recording of the incident, voices allegedly can be heard ordering soldiers to fire:

Through grainy static and the high-pitched calls of protesters, it was possible to faintly hear someone shout “Point!” Mr. Canfora said the full command is recorded on the tape, with multiple voices shouting “Right here!” “Get Set!” Point!” and “Fire!” Those words, however, were difficult to discern when he played the recording.

Canfora, it should be noted, was wounded at Kent State and is writing a book, so he arguably has a conflict of interest. But he also found the recording in a Yale archive and used modern technologies to filter out background noise. Odds are this won’t settle any controversies–it will just stir the pot, 37 years later.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.