The Anti-War Movement
The high level of activism at Florida State continued into 1970, but students turned most of their attention to a larger issue: the war in Vietnam. Like many throughout the nation, students at FSU were growing tired of the continued war and its draining effects on society. Meanwhile, SDS voluntarily disbanded in February and other activist organizations began appearing on campus: the Committee for Immediate Action, the Revolutionary Film Committee, Women’s Liberation, and the Student Mobilization Committee.
On May 4, the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University opened fire on unarmed students who were protesting Nixon's Cambodian Campaign, killing four and wounding nine others. The incident shocked the nation and college campuses all over the country broke out into riots, strikes, and demonstrations. At FSU, students called to have classes cancelled for two days and a large group held a rally on Landis Green during which arose multiple confrontations with ROTC officers. Three days later, student body President Chuck Sherman invited Florida Governor Claude Kirk to speak at FSU. Kirk sat in a wicker chair on Landis Green to discuss issues with the students. He stayed all night.
Throughout the rest of the year, anti-war activity increased. Students organized and participated in frequent demonstrations and prominent activists such as Abbie Hoffman visited the campus. Although several different student organizations coordinated their efforts against the war, it was not the end of their troubles within the university.