This Day in History

May 15, 1970: Jackson State Killings

Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements

On May 15, 1970, 12 students were wounded and two were murdered in the Jackson State killings: 21-year-old law student Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and 17-year-old high school student James Earl Green. The police opened fire shortly after midnight on students (and passersby) in a May 14 protest of the U.S. invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green via the Jackson Free Press.

Here is an interview on Democracy Now! with Dr. Gene Young about this story that, while only 10 days after the Kent State Killings, does not get the same attention in the press and textbooks.  The other untold story is that of the Orangeburg massacre, two years earlier, as documented in the film Scarred Justice. Here are lessons for teaching outside the textbook about the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement