MAY 15

MAY 15

MARY ANN VECCHIO was a fourteen-year-old a runaway who just happened to be on the Kent State (Ohio) campus when National Guardsmen fired at students protesting U.S. military expansion into Cambodia during the Vietnam War on this date in 1970. Four protestors were killed, including twenty-year-old Jeffrey Miller, whom Vecchio kneeled over in a screaming, anguished pose that John Filo captured in a now-iconic still photograph that brought him a Pulitzer Prize.

Filo and Vecchio, reunited

Filo and Vecchio, reunited

The photograph made Vecchio a symbol of compassion and antiwar distress, which wasn’t always a good thing in the politically divided 1970s. Many years later she said the photograph brought her constant harassment by police and Vietnam war supporters and resulted in “25 years of trauma.” In 1995 she reunited with Filo, who had been a twenty-one-year-old photojournalism student, and free-lance photographer, at the time of the shootings.

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