Thursday, May 04, 2017
May 4, 1970
Forty-seven years ago today, an anti-war protest at Kent State University in Ohio went horribly wrong. Protests began on May first. Local businesses got nervous and a curfew was called. On May 2nd, the governor sent in the National Guard. Clashes between the two sides went on, with protesters throwing rocks and bottles, and guardsmen using tear gas and bayonets. Protesters set the campus ROTC building on fire. On the 4th, the guards got nervous and started shooting at the protesters. When it was over, four students were dead and nine others were wounded -one was permanently paralyzed. Not all the victims were protesting; some were just walking to class.
News about the killings inspired a great number of anti-war protests around the country. Neil Young immediately wrote a song about the incident, and "Ohio" by Crosby, Still, Nash, & Young was receiving national airplay by the end of May.