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Freedom Trail marker to be presented Thursday at Jackson State

October 17th, 2012 No comments

The fourth Mississippi Freedom Trail marker will be unveiled Thursday morning on the campus of Jackson State University.

The marker will commemorate the student protests at what was then known as Jackson State College in 1970. On May 14, students had gathered on Lynch Street to protest the American invasion of Cambodia that was part of the Vietnam War.

Protesters set fires, threw rocks at motorists and overturned vehicles. Two students were killed by law enforcement gunfire while city and state police attempted to control the crowd while firefighters tried to extinguish the blazes.

Exactly what provoked police to open fire is still a mystery. Police reported seeing a sniper firing from a nearby roof, though a subsequent FBI investigation turned up no evidence of that. Students claimed they did nothing to warrant having weapons turned on them.

The killings came 10 days after a similar incident at Kent State University in Ohio.

The marker, which will stand on Lynch Street across from Rose E. McCoy Auditorium, will be unveiled at 11:30 a.m. The project is a joint venture of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division and the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau.