Denis Smith wrote the following, to commemorate a date that is notorious to those of us who recall the Kent State Massacre, when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed college student protesters:

May 4, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of the deaths of four students at Kent State University. The shootings by a contingent of the Ohio National Guard, which were ordered into the city by Ohio Governor James Rhodes, were in response to rioting that took place on the campus in protest to the escalation of the Vietnam War and the destruction of the campus ROTC building.

At the time, many people felt that Rhodes inflamed the situation when he said that the students were worse than the “Brown Shirts” of the Hitler era. Rhodes, who holds the distinction of being one of only seven four-term governors in the history of this nation, is still a divisive figure a half-century after the Kent State Massacre, where in addition to the four dead, nine other students were also severely wounded and one paralyzed.

In December 1982, a 6 foot- 6 inch tall bronze statue of Rhodes was dedicated on the grounds of the State Capitol in Columbus. It didn’t take long for the statue to be vandalized and hit by a car in 1983, according to Wiki. It was later moved and placed in front of the entrance of the Rhodes State Office Tower, where it remains.

Which brings me to this nugget.

We relocated to the Columbus area five years after the statue was dedicated. In the early 1990s, someone told me that there was a legend about some type of secret message that was contained inside the bronze statute. After Rhodes’ death in 2011, that rumor was confirmed.

Here is an excerpt from the Columbus Monthly Magazine of November 2019:

A Bronze Bombshell

“When James Rhodes died in 2001, a longtime Capitol Square rumor was confirmed. It turned out that the 700-pound bronze effigy of the four-term governor in front of the Rhodes Tower includes a hidden tribute to the four students killed at Kent State University in May 1970.

“There is in fact a message engraved into the bronze on the inside of the statue that makes a statement about the Kent State shootings and the victims,” Ron Dewey, former owner of Studio Foundry in Cleveland, told the defunct Columbus alternative weekly The Other Paper, declining to reveal exactly what the message said. —Dave Ghose”

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kent State, I for one would love to know what the sculptor Gary Ross engraved on the inside of the statue. Wouldn’t you?

If there is an update to this story from six months ago, I would love to know further details. How many folks would be itching to write the story about hidden hieroglyphics inside this statue?

Denis Smith posted this on his Facebook page. You can see the statue of Governor Rhodes there.