Remember The Titans - SCHOOLS IN TURMOIL

The Johnson Administration used B-52s during America’s involvement in Vietnam. This image, online via the National Museum of the US Air Force, depicts a Boeing B-52F-70-BW (S/N 57-0162) in flight and dropping bombs. Curators at the Museum tell us more about it:

“A U.S. Air Force Boeing B-52F-70-BW Stratofortress (s/n 57-0162, nicknamed 'Casper The Friendly Ghost') from the 320th Bomb Wing dropping Mk 117 750 lb (340 kg) bombs over Vietnam. This aircraft was the first B-52F used to test conventional bombing in 1964, and later dropped the 50,000th bomb of the 'Arc Light' campaign. B-52Fs could carry 51 bombs and served in Vietnam from June 1965 to April 1966 when they were replaced by 'Big Belly' B-52Ds which could carry 108 bombs.” Such bombing activities helped to fuel student anti-war protests at the same time as American schools were required to end segregation policies. Click on the image for a full-page view.


A change in presidential leadership did not end the war in Vietnam.  "Peace with honor" seemed like an elusive concept.

As Richard Nixon conducted a press conference on April 30, 1970 (to explain why he had sent B-52s into Cambodia to bomb "Viet Cong" strongholds), a protest at Kent State University was brewing. It began the next day (May 1, 1970). Among other reasons, students were upset that innocent Cambodians were being killed.

By May 4th, members of the Ohio National Guard, sent to the Kent State campus, were ready for battle. Armed with tear gas, rifles and fixed bayonets, they looked as though they were about to end an armed insurrection. Examining the police photographs today, one can only wonder what both sides must have been thinking when the National Guard fired into the crowd of people milling about on campus.

Four unarmed students were killed at Kent State. Not all the dead students were part of the protest movement.

After the shootings, an injunction temporarily closed the University. Students and their professors had to find other means to finish the term.

Meanwhile, African-American students were still trying to find other means to begin equal educational opportunities. The case filed by Dr. Swann was making its way to the United States Supreme Court.

By April of 1971 (eleven months after the Kent State shootings), the high court delivered its judgment to the country. In Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, the now famous case that permitted busing of students to achieve racial integration, the high court sent a message to the country.

Public schools could no longer ignore the mandates of Brown v Board of Education, the case that was supposed to have ended America's policy of "separate but equal." All schools had to become integrated immediately.

That included schools in Alexandria, Virginia—a place where football was king.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Jul 19, 2019

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"SCHOOLS IN TURMOIL" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 01, 2000. May 30, 2020.
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