Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – “Ohio”

The National Guard fire tear gas to disperse the crowd of students.

The National Guard fire tear gas to disperse the crowd of students.

Kent State University

Kent State University

Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

The Kent State shootings occurred on May 4, 1970 at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. That morning, several students were protesting on campus against the Cambodian Campaign, which President Nixon had just recently announced on a television address.   After several attempts by the Ohio National Guard to disperse the crowd, including using teargas, things escalated and the guardsmen advanced toward the crowd, according to eyewitnesses, one guardsman fired his pistol which in turn led to several more shots being fired by the other guardsmen. In all, 29 of the 77 guardsmen fired some 67 rounds of ammunition in just 13 seconds.   Four unarmed students were killed and nine others wounded. Some of the students shot were just walking nearby or watching the protest from a distance.

Neil Young of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, wrote the lyrics to “Ohio” after seeing photos of the incident in Life Magazine. The song with it’s iconic opening verse, “Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming,” was rush released within 2 ½ weeks of the shootings, despite the group already having their hit song “Teach Your Children” on the charts at the time. Young called the incident as “..probably the biggest lesson ever learned at an America place of learning.”   The song peaked at #14 on the US Billboard chart.

John Filo's Pulitzer Prize winning photo of Mary Ann Vecchio gesturing and screaming as she kneels by the body of a student, Jeffrey Miller, lying face down on the campus of Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio.

John Filo’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo of Mary Ann Vecchio gesturing and screaming as she kneels by the body of a student, Jeffrey Miller, lying face down on the campus of Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio.  Photo credit:  John Filo.

 

Memorial to Jeffrey Miller. Taken from approximately the same perspective as John Filo's famous photograph. Photo by M. Stewart, July 8, 2007.

Memorial to Jeffrey Miller. Taken from approximately the same perspective as John Filo’s famous photograph. Photo by M. Stewart, July 8, 2007.

 

Photo taken from the perspective of where the Ohio National Guard soldiers stood when they opened fire on the students. Four of the trees shown did not exist during the 1970 shootings, and were planted in memorial of each slain student. The Kent State May 4th Task Force has moved to have these trees transplanted to another area, as the trees block the original perspective of the National Guardsmen. Don Drumm sculpture can be seen toward left of middle ground. To the right and farther back can be seen some of the lighted bollards designating where Jeffrey Miller was slain.

Photo taken from the perspective of where the Ohio National Guard soldiers stood when they opened fire on the students. Four of the trees shown did not exist during the 1970 shootings, and were planted in memorial of each slain student. The Kent State May 4th Task Force has moved to have these trees transplanted to another area, as the trees block the original perspective of the National Guardsmen. Don Drumm sculpture can be seen toward left of middle ground. To the right and farther back can be seen some of the lighted bollards designating where Jeffrey Miller was slain.  Photo by M. Stewart, July 8, 2007.

 

Map of the Kent State shootings.

Map of the Kent State shootings.

 

Map of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Map of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

 

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - "Ohio"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – “Ohio”