WKSU: Bob Woodward shares ‘chilling’ words from former President Richard Nixon about May 4 shootings


Journalist Bob Woodward spoke at Kent State University on May 4, 2019.

Kabir Bhatia, WKSU

Kent State University marked the 49th anniversary of the May 4 shootings with keynote speaker Bob Woodward.

The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist discussed his career at The Washington Post starting in 1971. 

They discovered a previously unknown section — recorded in 1971 — in which Nixon discusses the Attica Prison uprising, which ended when New York State troopers dropped tear gas and opened fire, killing 29 inmates. Woodward quoted the exchange.

Nixon: “You know what I think?  This might have one hell of a salutary effect.  You know what stops them?  Kill a few.” 

“Sure,” Haldeman said. 

Nixon: “Remember Kent State?  Didn’t it have a hell of an effect?”

Woodward called the remark “chilling” and counts it among Nixon’s “most outrageous” statements.