‘Four Dead in Ohio’

 

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‘Four Dead in Ohio’
(4 May 18)

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Kent State.

Four Dead in Ohio.

May this be that force with you.

‘Tin soldiers and Nixon coming.
Four dead in Ohio.’

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During the Viet Nam War era, from Truman to Ford, more people died in that war – both civilian and combat soldier – under Nixon than all other presidents combined.

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My dad, Slim, and I resided at Ashland, Oregon, that Summer of 1970.  I listened to the Rock radio station KBOY AM from Medford (anyone still remember David R. Kindig?).  The station banned ‘Ohio’, but we still heard it anyway.

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These are a mere sampling of the plethora of web-sites and videos respecting and commemorating this date:

Crosby_Stills_Nash_and_Young_1970*

Here is a sampling of the comments from one of the YouTube videos:

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Michelle Rizzo1 year ago (edited)
It always blows my mind when I see these videos and realize today all those kids are now in their 60s and 70s. And politicians still don’t know any better.

Jeff Silverman2 years ago (edited)
My father saw combat in Korea, always a proud American. But I clearly remember this day because it was the only time I ever saw him ashamed of something America did, and how Nixon took a match to the Bill Of Rights. Kudos to you and your class for putting this together, and rest in peace to the fallen. And to Bungeestrapphil – maybe if any of these people were someone YOU cared about, you’d stow that “four dead goats” bullshit where it belongs, because something tells me you weren’t even around when this happened. Those kids were MURDERED, so maybe one day you’ll pull your head out of your ass and breath some fresh fuckin air for a change.

31543189_1837517216549135_7584676927772819456_nDavid Bergin3 years ago
There is a false equivalency on display here. No, the protesters were not perfect, but they didn’t do anything nearly as reckless as firing a loaded weapon into a crowd of people. Not all victims were even protesters.

Diego O’ Land7 months ago
I always come back to this video. To protest is to be alive.

Howard1 year ago
I was wounded pretty badly in Vietnam and on my way home in a hospital plane, we stopped in Anchorage. I got off of the plane and walked using a cane past a newspaper machine that had the classic photo of the Kent State girl kneeling and crying over one of the dead students. Three additional injured soldiers walking with me, saw the photo, and shrieked “Good for the “f…ing hippies”. “Let them all die or go to Canada”. I was devastated…both that these kids were shot and that the other guys with me had no compassion or understanding of what our democracy meant. I love Neil Young’s Ohio. What a great rock song with great guitar and vocals. It will always be an anthem to me and represent our duty to protest and voice our discontent.

Meri Clason2 years ago
did you realize that this was written in one setting, recorded in one take, and pushed to the radio despite knocking their “Teach Your Children” out of rotation because they were so shocked?

31907202_1837515503215973_2662923652445503488_nKeith Hyman2 years ago
“Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming. We’re finally on our own.” What a brilliant, unforgettable bit of writing. No wonder you are so loved, dear Neil.

Steven Solomon3 years ago
No better time than of late to remember these sublime choruses responding to the most horrid actions of our so-called democracy stomping on its own children.

jack duffy2 years ago
I am still shocked at the bloodshed that day. Four beautiful defenseless people slaughtered and no repercussions from it. I was disgusted with the government then and now under Obama I am sickened again.

vmf2262 years ago
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Now we are on the verge of getting another Richard Nixon. I know what side I was on then. I know what side I’m on now.

Felix Norman8 months ago
tin cops & Trump coming!

D VE3 years ago
still such a powerful song after all these years. May the 4 RIP

31922621_1837524936548363_8638996535998152704_nsurfingsuicune2 years ago
Remember: you’re just an inconvenience to the state. They’d kill you as soon as look at you, given a reason or not. And to think, we had the balls to go to war with despotic regimes who did the very same thing to their people.

Seth Holmes3 years ago
45 years ago today.
Has anything changed?

Anthony Boerio4 years ago
Good work on your video, Mitch.
Interesting that those protesters and those who supported them are now the ones running this Administration. You know, the ones that what to tap your phone lines, fly drones all over the place, re-write The Constitution, etc…..

Eric Hinds4 years ago
I can’t see how people call this event in our nations history boring. You really need to wake up even though it happened in 1970 history recycles itself every twenty years or more and this is happening today. Look at Sandy Hook and the kids that were murdered and then say BORING. Kent state where this took place the students were protesting the Vietnam conflict and because someone set off some firecrackers they were fired upon and four students lay dead.

Ann Lebowitz1 year ago
tin soldiers and trump coming we are finally on are own I’m getting too old to do this again but bring it

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Comments from another YouTube page:

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Joe Crawford6 months ago
i was 3 years old when this took place

Denise Reghetti1 year ago
I remember that day, time, event, …. in OHIO

helmethead721 year ago
This is how any state deals with citizens with a legitimate complaint. What’s the difference between the outrageous shooting of 4 young, unarmed people, 1 of whom wasn’t even involved with the anti war protests, or the 1989 Tiannamen Square killings by the Chinese military? Just the number of those killed and injured. The mentality of the state officials was identical.

Now we have students so shocked by another person’s opinion that they need a ‘safe zone’ to keep their insular view protected. The student protesters in the 60’s and not just America but Europe as well, had guts, a social conscience. Today’s health and safety obsessed generation are frankly an insult to those who stood up to militarism and corporate fascism 46 years ago.

XDreamMD8 months ago
It was just a result of poor planning and training. Johnson realized how badly things were screwed up and left a horrible situation for Nixon, who had nothing to do with the shootings at Kent State.

XDreamMD8 months ago
To see a similarity between Kent State and Tiananmen Square requires intellectual dishonesty at a wholesale level.

31938241_1837518196549037_3309930097284218880_nStop And Think1 year ago
was it all for nothing?

WarblesOnALot1 year ago
G’day,

Hmmn, tricky question…

I was 9 in 1970, and I watched AmeriKa go all Nazi-Stormtrooper, live on the TV News, here in Oz.

My son is 27, and I raised him to never ever join any Armed Farce.

At 17 he was elected the youngest Deputy Captain in the NSW Rural Fire Brigade, at 18 he attended a Fire which killed 172 people the day before he arrived (it was 1,500 Km away), at 24 he became full Brigade Captain, at 25 he helped found the local Remote Area Firefighting Team…

Because of seeing on the TV News, as a kid, the sort of shit which anybody in any Armed Farce can be ordered to do – and owing to their conditioning they will duly fire into the Unarmed Citizenry for Running away ; therefore, I grew up to raise my kids to know better than to enlist with any bunch of Paid Gunmen.

So, tell me again, why you think the Kent State Victims died in vain…; their passing certainly made a difference to me.

And to how I raised my Kids, Firearm-Free.

;-p

Ciao !31906772_1837517269882463_170823635479560192_n

B 031111 months ago
If I were to remind you that for 4 days the protesters caused severe damage, threw bottles, lit fires and repeatedly assaulted police who were present simply to calm the situation, you would most likely respond with ‘that’s nothing compared to what they were protesting, the Vietnam War.’ In effect, you would be justifying violence in furtherance of your will. Such is war, such is life.

It’s not a good look to act morally superior when you can’t use basic deductive reasoning. You are not morally elevated.

Eric Thompson2 hours ago
you’re right, causing property damage absolutely warrants taking someone’s life. (/s)

(1970 06) Slim - Crater Lake (sitting - portrait)*

Thank you to the resources – and lives – who made this essay possible.

Photo of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1970: Thank you (By CMA-Creative Management Associates/Atlantic Records – eBay itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23454092)

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