Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – “Ohio”
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.