In the midst of this pandemic, it’s easy to miss anniversaries that in normal times would had major attention. One of those occurred earlier this month. May 4 was the 50th anniversary of National Guardsmen killing 4 student protesters and wounding 9 at Kent State University. It was an indelible moment that helped turn public perception.
In 1970, I was a junior high school student in Manhattan. My friends and I were shocked. This hit close to home — those killed were just a few years older than we were, many of us had family members who were college students, and we lived in a city that had been having its share of protests.
Those of you who grew up in or near Newton – what are your memories of this? How did people here react?
Because of COVID-19, Kent State’s commemoration had to move online. You can see video, interviews, tributes, and articles at their May 4, 50th Commemoration website. It’s worth visiting, especially if you’ve never heard of Kent State or the 1960s are ancient history to you.
A few weeks after Kent State, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released Neil Young’s “Ohio” with a B-side of Steven Stills’ “Find the Cost of Freedom”. Listen and remember.