Saturday, May 04, 2013

"Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming..."

Today is the 43rd anniversary of the shooting of four antiwar protesters by the Ohio National Guard on the campus of Kent State University.

There are a lot of candidates for the official marker between The Sixties and The Seventies, and May 4, 1970 may be mine. In recent years, I've placed the Altamont Speedway Free Festival of December 6, 1969 high on that list, but personally, I don't think the events there were on my radar until Gimme Shelter hit the theaters at the end of 1970.  Kent State's effect was immediate for all of us then in high school. I remember being immediately shocked by the shooting of unarmed 19 and 20-year-old men and women, engrossed by the photos in Life, and buying the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young single of "Ohio" backed with "Find the Cost of Freedom" on the day it hit the local record store a month after the shootings. I then dedicated the years 1971 and 1972 to going to as many anti-war protests as I could in DC, Philadelphia, and New York.

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