Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Kent State, Northwoods, and the SCA

This day is the anniversary of the Kent State University shootings, where the Ohio National Guard, faced with unruly demonstrators against the Vietnam War, shot several of them including people who were not part of the demonstration. I was in university at the time in the United States and opposition to the war was pretty high. This however got many people who had not actively protested the war very angry. The Kent State demonstrations had been a reaction to the invasion of Cambodia, a major expansion of the war that Richard Nixon had promised to wind down when he was elected. The invasion of Cambodia and the shootings at Kent State and also at Jsckson State University in Mississippi got me and thousands of others to take part in antiwar marches who had never done so before.

Two days before the shootings, and a week before the marches against the Kent State killings, I had taken part in the first tournament held by the SCA in East Lansing Michigan. Lke the first SCA tournament four years earlier, it was a great success that inspired us to do more. As a result our Michigan State University – based group became the barony of Northwoods, part of the Middle Kingdom, which was headquartered in the Chicago area." NorthWoods for a good while was the largest and most dynamic SCA group between the two coasts. I have often wondered if we had scheduled our tournament on May 9 instead of May 2,1970, whether we would have had the heart or the interest in putting on Northwoods' oh so successful first SCA tournament? And if not, what would the history of the SCA have looked like?

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