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Covered Bridge, Kent State Shootings Site Designated National Historic Landmarks

Jan 12, 2017

Eldean covered bridge
Credit m.visitmiamicounty.org

The U.S. Department of the Interior has declared the Eldean Covered Bridge near Troy as a National Historic Landmark, citing it as the longest example of bridges designed by Stephen Long in the 19th century.

The designation will help support preservation efforts by local, state and federal agencies. The agency has also given the designation to the site of the May 4th, 1970 shootings at Kent State University. That's where Ohio National Guard troops shot and killed four students and wounded several others during a Vietnam War protest. Phil de Oliveira of member station WKSU in Kent has that story.

Laura Davis was a freshman at Kent State when the shooting took place. In 2012, she was part of a group that applied to make the site an historic landmark. She says the landmark designation reinforces the national impact of the shooting, including the withdrawal of ground troops from Cambodia and changes in how the government handles protests.

"It no longer was going to be a matter of course that guardsmen would come onto a campus with loaded weapons."

Davis hopes the site's elevated status will help visitors place the shooting in a broader historical context.

"By knowing these particular stories, we can react better, think things through better, connect things better in our minds, so that we can be better citizens today."

The landmark designation doesn't automatically entitle the site to federal money, but the elevated status could make it easier to get funding in the future.