Four Dead In Ohio – Kent State – May 4th 1970
In remembrance of the four students who died on May 4th, 1970 at Kent State University. Shot down by the National Guard. A very dark day in American history and a tragedy that did not have to happen and let’s hope will never happen again. 9 more students were wounded that day.
I was just a 10 year old kid at the time but I remember the shock and horror of this. Thank you to my friend Phil (k8dux) for singing harmony with me on this.
Here’s more information about that tragedy:
For those unfamiliar with the Kent State shootings, here is a brief contextual re-cap courtesy of Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman:
It is difficult to overstate the political and cultural impact of the killing of the four Kent State students and wounding of nine more on May 4, 1970. The nation’s campuses were on fire over Richard Nixon’s illegal invasion of Cambodia. Scores of universities were ripped apart by mass demonstrations and student strikes. The ROTC building at Kent burned down.
The vast majority of American college campuses were closed in the aftermath, either by student strikes or official edicts. Nixon was elected president in 1968 claiming to have a “secret plan” to end the war in Southeast Asia. But the revelation that he was in fact escalating it with the illegal bombing of what had been a peaceful non-combatant nation was more than Americans could bear. As the ferocity of the opposition spread deep into the grassroots, Nixon’s Vice President, Spiro Agnew, shot back in a series of speeches. He referred to student demonstrators as Nazi “brownshirts” and suggested that college administrators and law enforcement should “act accordingly.”
On May 3, 1970—the day before National Guardsmen under his purview opened fire at Kent State–Ohio Governor James Rhodes echoed Agnew’s remarks by referring to student demonstrators as “the strongest, well-trained militant revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America They’re worse than the brownshirts and the Communist element and the night riders and the vigilantes. They are the worst type of people that we harbor in America.” Rhodes told a reporter that the Ohio National Guard would remain at Kent State “until we get rid of them” referring to a demographic group that was overwhelmingly white, middle class and in college. The next day, Rhodes, the administration and the FBI sent those students a lethal message.