today is the 50th commemoration of the Kent State Massacre
Some background from my life:
I went to Kent State as an early admissions high school student in 1967 and 1968, where I stood in vigils against the war as we were photographed us from the roof a building next to the student union. We were a sure we had FBI files, but who knows? Paranoia strikes deep…
In 1968 I went to CU, Boulder, and when Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia was announced, at about noon the streets exploded with furious protestors: a motley crew, which included men and women in suits who’d walked off their jobs. The rage was palpable: fists punching the air, chants of various kinds. We marched to the city/county building, but to what effect? None, really, save maybe a photo-op? Later a Student Strike was called, and some of us later occupied a few seemingly relevant buildings (admin?; I’ve forgotten), but no one seemed to care. No arrests, no notice, no nothing. We all went home just before dawn feelin’ a bit let down, maybe even…sorta silly.
On the year of the first commemoration of the Kent State Massacre, I literally just happened to have been in Kent, and attended the services. Except for those in service to the state and federal apparatus, there wasn’t a dry eye in the college Commons space, at the bottom of Blanket Hill below the architecture building, my old stompin’ grounds.
Due to the pandemic social distancing rules, the planned Kent State four day 50th Commemoration has become a virtual one, dedicated to the memories of Allison B. Krause (19), Jeffrey Glenn Miller (20), Sandra Lee Scheuer (20), and William Knox Schroeder (19), May they rest in Power. Nine other students were wounded, including one who was paralyzed from the waist down.
The Special Tributes tab includes:
- The May 4 Families
- Letter for Sandy Scheuer From Her Sister
- Tribute to Jeff Miller From His Brother
- Letter Written by Allison Krause in 1969
- Poem Written by Bill Schroeder
- The May 4 Task Force
- The Victims of the 1970 Jackson State Shootings
Included is ‘The May 4 50th Commemoration includes the virtual noon program on May 4, 2020, and I’ll bring it when it‘s up and I hate to say it: if it’s worthwhile. I’m hoping it’s original film footage, as all the videos I watched early this a.m. were pretty much dreck, but I did grab the best of the lot, which I’ll embed soon. Until the video was launched, we were invited to their virtual commemoration channel on youtube, but what most of the speaks and musicians have to do with it…I can’t say.
Now Jerry Casale (the cofounder of Devo) was there, and was radicalized to the Nth degree by what he’d witnessed, and again later during the Gulf Wars when he became Jiihad Jerry of the Evildoers after Devo had broken up. And yes, I’d known Casale well from age 15 onward when he was an art major and played bass in a funky band in the basement below an hotel that allowed teens.
Jerry Casale – 50th Commemoration of May 4, 1970
This is the best of the lot I’d found on the history: The Kent State Shootings, Explained | History
Aha: it’s up and on youtube, about 51 mins, although the May 1 history starting with Nixon starts at 8:58. And it is worthwhile, imo, at least for me.
For further reading, these are okay…
‘How the Kent State massacre marked the start of America’s polarization; The killing of four white students 50 years ago brought the anti-Vietnam protests global attention. The killing of black students at the same time went unnoticed’, theguardian.com, May 4, 2020
‘50 years ago, the Kent State shootings changed the country’, nbc news, May 4, 2020
(cross-posted from Café Babylon)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young -- Ohio
I was 14 at the time and remember it vividly. Neil Young's haunting guitar riff and lyrics in the song 'Ohio' are stellar.
14. 14? my stars.
mr.. wd got online earlier this a.m. than i had, and blasted that version. yeah, and it's very personal to me and a hella lot of us. i've cried most of the day, i admit.
and yes, it was back in the day when i still liked neil young. : )
i'd like to correct one thing in the OP (dangit, i'm getting those C-shape eye prisms and need to get offline for a bit until they leave.) but id said the KSU video the may 1 nixon stuff and film started at about 8:58, and really the 'personal reflections' start at about 25 mins, far less interesting to me, anyway.. they actually even use some of the music on their youtube channel for some ungawly reason, including david crosby and some new group paying Ohio, jesse colin young caterwauling 'get together', and so on, but at least not jorma kokonen who'd said 'it happened, and likely will never happen again'. yeah, right, jorma.
thanks, edg. i'll be back in a bit.
Back in 1970, I was not particularly politically active although I did participate two years earlier in a campus protest against censorship. But the shootings at Kent State served to both haunt me and awaken me.
These young people did not deserve to die. They did nothing wrong other than exercising their right to free speech under the first amendment.
Thank you for remembering them and posting this commemoration to the tragedy at Kent State.
Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy
you're so welcome, amiga,
and it's so good to hear the event awakened you further. and thank you for the video from long ago.
I remember getting sent by
the school newspaper to get some photos of a demonstration against the shootings on Wall St. a couple of days after. Turned out the WTC union iron workers held a counter demonstration for some real hippie punching.
I saw what looked like a real, official, dressed in suit news photographer climb on the roof of a news stand and start taking pictures with a really long lens (lens envy). He had "business length" long hair. An iron worker climbed and snuck up behind him, then chucked him off, 8-9 feet to the pavement where all these real men proceeded to kick and stomp him while he was down. I tried to find out what happened to him but couldn't. I thought he was dead. Ef the unions.
Is it a secret that many unions and members are reactionary?
bless your cotton-pickin'
heart for the link to your site and extra links below, but my apologies, but my left eye can't read right yet. so...later it is for me.
the guardian link
i'd provided in the OP had reported this:
though i can't reflexively buy into his equivalence of the portion i've bolded.
For me it was like a cleaver
I didn't mean to hijack the memorialization of the 4, but for me was the beginning of where we are today. Chuck Colson deserves his recognition for it. I don't give a fuck what he did with his life after, he never paid for what he did.
no, no, it's fine that
you'd brought it all up (esp. w/ your union hippie-punching iron workers vignette), but i've sat staring at your comment for 15 minutes with my mind reeling back in time and forward into the future, my heart clutching all the while. esp. after reading some akron beacon journal coverage of the massacre early this a.m., and the photos.
quite the horror story you've told about your returning friend and the VFW whooosh. i seem to recall hearing that VN vets weren't all that welcomed into VFWs was fairly common. and the whole 'hippies spitting on returning vets' seems to be an urban legend, as well.
i understand your cleaver metaphor, and i sincerely wish more did; the young uns? ancient history, yes? it was why from then on i became an avid anti-imperialist, and spent fifteen (?) years blogging against the Western Imperium and NATO/Africom. believe me, for a female to earn any chops blogging anti-amerikan FP was not an easy thing. but as obomba opened the door wide for trump...here we still are. the most-feared Terrorist Nation on the planet. who will stop 'us'? those who can...and must.
casale was right: nothing's changed over these 50 years, save maybe for the worse. and that's the meaning of Devo: 'we've Devolved, not Evolved, as we sixties hippies had hoped. conversations with human consciousness spiraling upward toward the heavens, and so on. i can still see the hand gestures.
now chuck coulson, what a flash from the past: 'nixon's hatchet man', watergate burglar...
thank you, snode.
that's where "Hire a vet" program came from
ay yi yi;
and we can credit sy hersh for true crime reporting on the Mi Lai massacres; another flashback in time.
Remember like it was yesterday. Happened
my first 'quarter' as student in Mexico City (later, Puebla). Walked out of my 11:00 class to a courtyard adjoining the Student Union, to see a Bud holding an English language newspaper with the blaring headlines about the Kent State Massacre.
Stunned shock and disbelief--all of us.
Also, very much relieved to be 'anywhere but the US.'
Appreciate the tribute to the fallen students.
THANK YOU America's Physicians & Nurses, All Medical Personnel, First Responders, To Include Medical (EMT/Paramedics/Ambulance), Pharmacy Personnel, Fire Depts, Police Depts, Retailers/Grocers--Especially, To Marginally-Paid Frontline Retail Cashiers & Clerks.
Last, but not least,
THANKS to America's Truckers/Delivery Persons, Especially, To Over-The-Road/Long Haul Truckers Who Obviously Have The Capacity To Shut Down The Entire Country, If They Were To Choose To Sit Out The Current Public Health Crisis, In Order To Protect Their Own.
You are all truly heroes.
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
~~Will Rogers, Actor & Social Commentator
“Love makes you stronger, so that you can reach out and become involved with life in ways you dared not risk alone.”
~~Author Unknown, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) Website
“In a world where you can be anything–be kind.”
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne
Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.
yes to 'anywhere but the US',
indeed, and of course jorma was wrong! it's still happening in the USA and will happen again.
You were "relieved to be
According to this account of the massacre, the actual number killed by security police may have been closer to 300-400.anywhere but the U.S" while in Mexico City in 1970, but just 2 yrs before, 10 days before the opening of the Mexico City Olympics, gov't security forces killed many student protesters advocating for various things including political speech. The official death count of university students was 44, but most know this is a deliberately undercounted figure put out by the repressive PRI Mexican gov't and seconded at the time by the repressive Nixon U.S. gov't.
Likely not only the actual killed number but also the whole awful story of gov't police insane overreaction was downplayed or misrepresented by gov't censorship, and this may well have been the case continuing into 1970 and beyond.
Thanks for that history lesson. BTW, I didn't attend
the huge public university where that student movement began, so, maybe that's one reason I never heard anything about it.
(of course, was a young teenager during the 1968 Olympic Games--so, didn't catch a whole lot of international news in those days )
Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.
Another article full of links including to Life Magazine
coverage with lots of photos.
Paul Street is one of my favorite writers.
I was 11 when this happened so the whole anti war movement was just on the sidelines of my life. I remember going to Hill Air Force Base and we all wore MIA bracelets, but even that was a fad thing for me and my friends to take part in. I have educated myself since then am I am always left with much sadness and beyond appalled that it happened. And being honest I can see it happening again. Actually it already is isn't with the cops getting away with murdering over 1,000 a year without any consequences. And if they don't kill you they will harass mostly minorities who are then saddled with felony records and a life time of debt against the system. F this country's sociopathic leaders!!
I feel like I’m riding in the backseat of a '66 Thunderbird with Thelma at the wheel and Louise riding shotgun whilst heading towards a cliff.
thank you for both, and i had already
grabbed the RT.com link and title to prove my point that it's still happening, and will happen again in the future.
he done good, yes?
When I lived in Columbus
-- attending The Ohio State University in the Nineties, I was told by an old guy within my department that Jim Rhodes, the governor of Ohio at the time of the shootings, was the type of guy who would call out the National Guard at a moment's notice, and be sure the guns used by said Guard were fortified with live ammo, real bullets in other words.
I gathered from my friend's story that it was because he wanted to kill people -- you know, same reason the head honchos in the US effort in Vietnam, Westmoreland and whomever replaced him under Nixon, pursued an attrition "strategy" within southern Vietnam without the slightest clue as to who the enemy was. So the various divisions of the Army would go in, kill a bunch of people in various places, and harden the resolve of most of the population to get rid of the imperialist enemy. I'm sure the ARVN was full of moles throughout that period, too.
Later, the collapse of the regime in southern Vietnam in 1975 was chronicled most articulately in a book called "55 Days," by a fellow named Alan Dawson who was a UPI correspondent in Vietnam. I think he said something about the mole problem within the ARVN in that book. If you look it up on Amazon, it's out of print. I have a copy, but the book-binding is falling apart, the glue losing its consistency.
I was eight years old when all of the Kent State stuff happened.
James Michener's book "Kent State," which I read in high school, has it that public opinion turned greatly against high school students at the time of the strikes. Reading that book was one of the things that convinced me that I lived in a nation of idiots. Well, maybe "idiots" wasn't quite the word for it -- but something like that.
"The cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation." -- Terrence McKenna
yes, rhodes was a vicious
killer. he was quoted as saying on May 1 that the rioters who torched the ROTC building (never proven) were "the worst type of people that we harbor in America" and called in the national guard. i'd forgotten that had been campaigning for a senate seat at the time.
at the time, i'd read every book i could on the history, including micheners; thanks for reminding me of the cliffs note version. so long ago i can scarcely remember it. but the NBC link i'd provided included a book by Howard Means titled "67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence", reminding me of the murder of amadou diallo with '41 shots', memorialized by bruce springstein. but i'd never read that one, never will by now.
apparently different folks have kept long lists of how many students struck after the kent state massacre, and the numbers are impressive as hell. (steve early at P for one) even nixon's commission took note, even more interesting.
11 tear old protestor
I was 11 myself -- and had just participated in my first protest, against the bombing of Cambodia, just like the wounded and killed in Ohio.
It is a source of personal dignity to this day.
Nihil umquam in oblivione est, sorores et fratres mei! (Nothing is ever forgotten, my sisters and brothers!)
"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar
"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides
Dawson's book is still available
Forget A-monopoly - go to BookFinder.com
Lotta used copies out there.
"The cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation." -- Terrence McKenna
I had been looking on and off
i let my fingers do the
bingling, and found this from kentwired.com, nov. 16, 2010:
Who is terry norman? He's the man who some say could answer many of the persisting questions about May 4. He's also not talking. (with a photo of norman and his gun)
the whole think formats very incoherently on msn...might be better on firefox.
On this point
it's interesting to note that 3 yrs before, in 1967, at the time of a massive antiwar protest at the Pentagon, where far more people were congregating than at Kent, the SecDef, Rbt McNamara, gave the order that federal troops were to have bayonets at the ready but NOT have live ammunition. IIirc, no protesters were killed that day in October by US forces.
Here by contrast is Gov Rhodes:
Rhodes strikes me as a crude, barely educated midwestern WWC type with very low tolerance for dissent, someone who would have been among the "Hardhats" busting up antiwar protests elsewhere in America at the time. Very much a similar type to another prominent Ohio figure then, OSU football coach Woody Hayes. Both ended their careers with a dark stain on their records.
i'd half forgotten
that gerald casale's personal twitter account has been shadow-banned, but this was on the Devo Account. @Gv3Casale is gerald vincent casale.
casale's correct, of course; general canterbury gave the troops the order to shoot if those who would attempt to clear the commons failed after 5 minutes.
I remember that day I was part of the protest in Boulder
I was hanging around the pool hall,The Golden Cue, in the Hilltop building on 'the Hill' by the University and when I heard what was brewing on the campus I left the poolroom with a few students to join in.
I'd been at other rallies, including one protesting the ROTC on campus that turned violent and had cops on horseback rushing the crowd with a lot of people getting sprayed by teargas,and when all the glass was broken out that big bookstore 'on the Hill'(I took no part in that act). I'd been too so many protests on that campus, even tho I was no student, some times I get the protests mixed up but I was certainly in the one about the Kent State crime.
One close friend of mine at the time, Mark Ward, was a recently returned 'Vietnam veteran' a term on which he would correct people by saying he'd spent almost his whole time in Cambodia, not Vietnam.
There he said he came across a lot of rusted out planes in the jungle that showed the US had been there a long time, they hadn't just invaded the place, so he thought the outrage at Nixon/Kissinger invading Cambodia showed how little people really knew about the war.
Very lively times.
did you join the (seemingly)
multitudes down broadway and end up...(where?), all raged up with no place too go? i keep meaning to hunt for images of the city/county buildings, to see which building.
i lived on university ave. just off broadway, and down that avenue was my path to campus events.
i'd never even heard of the post-ROTC teargassing, po-po on horseback, and the smashed windows on the hill, oddly. a drugstore was on broadway and ninth? but of course i remember the U booktore opposite it, the goden cue and head shops (annie __ owned one, although i knew her husband better )along the way. brillig works books, of course (howard, tim, and girlie), as well.
fascinating tale from returning cambodia vet mark ward. i reckon he'd thought our ignorance was epic. and of course...it was. nixon finally owned up to 'the secret bombing of cambodia, which ended, iirc, with Khmer Rouge in power.
makes the ruling elite's Domino Theory and viet nam even more absurd.
The ROTC event happened on the grounds
That's when the chaos started with the police using the horses to break up the crowd and even some students that weren't part of the protest but just happened to be walking from one building to another, were also chased. You could see protesters running to the buildings because the horses couldn't follow, and as the crowd protesting go broke up into smaller groups many, including me decided it was time to get away and avoid arrest.
As far as the bookstore goes a lot of people assume that big bookstore by Broadway always looked the way it does (or still did when I visited in the early 90's) but at one time it used to have big glass windows.
Things changed on 'the Hill' when they put a police substation in the Hilltop building, it certainly put a crimp in the drug dealing (LSD was a big seller at one time and people came from other States to make deals to profit from when they went home).
I also knew a lot of the STP Family, even knew STP John, which is a story in itself.
i apprciate all those updates re:
boulder and the hill; thank you. i don't think i've been there since massage therapy school in...1977? it had been pretty gentrified by then, greeks were on the rise again, streets blocked downtown for walking malls blooming, and tra la la. one STP fellow who called himself 'deputy dawg' was a common menace in my life. i was glad when the weather turned cold and they headed for warmer climes. ; )
but yes, it was the country court where we'd headed and stopped.
I knew 'Deputy Dawg' 'Little Brother' and many others
I recognize that Courthouse picture and just out of sight to the left in that picture was the County jail and there you'd meet the STP family members but also protesters sentenced for some violation of the law, like a few other protesters that got 15 days for disturbing the peace etc.. I was part of a protest one time but I wasn't arrested for that, I was only there because I was given 15 days for stealing a sandwich.
So it was an eclectic group in there and one time protest chants going so loud the guards locked everyone in their cells away from the communal day room, then the jailers sneaked around to find out who was dumb enough to still be making the most racket, and then throwing the fool into the padded cell for a few days.
I didn't that place it a bit, but when I got put back into the general population in the day room it was mostly upbeat hippies talking about where everyone was from, or music, or dope or the next idea for a protest.
The general feeling was 'go ahead' , march, protest, do what you want and you may get thrown in jail, but so what? in a week or two they'd be throwing you out, at least as long it wasn't drug charges or a violent crime.
Rinse and repeat.
your STP & jail vignettes are
fascinating. i will say that i'd had deputy dawg in my karma in very bad ways, but the apex was when i was visiting a friend who lived in aground floor room, and the filthy sod climbed in through an open window. i can't remember what came next, but my guess is that it wasn't pleasant.
i'd visited a denver musician, nathan warner, in that jail once (for weed possession, iirc), and he reported that most of them were meditating and havin' an easy time of it. someone said he'd asked us to bring him cigarettes, we did, but the po-po wouldn't let him have them.
i did get to wondering if i'd even gone up to the hill when i was there for massage school, but i can't recall that i had. the live music had moved downtown, although Tulagi had some awesome music for a long time, including lottsa old bluesmen.
thanks for such an interesting discussion, aliasalias.
15 days for stealing a sandwich; whooosh; guess it could have been worse (jean valjean). how long were you living in boulder (at the time called: The Peoples Republic of Boulder), then? sounds as though you were immersed in the culture.
One funny story about the Tulagi
They did get good acts, one night there was 'The Johnny Otis Show' bus out front and you could hear out the street the great guitar riff of the 15 or 16 year old Shuggie Otis.
Then funny story is about when 'Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen' were playing at the Tulagi one night and the police raided the place.
Fortunately there were no arrests because no one was in possession of any drugs or paraphernalia (rolling paper, pipes etc.) as everyone was searched as they had to exit the front door.
Then when they turned on all the lights they saw drugs and paraphernalia all over the floor, so much they pushed the tables aside and used a janitor's broom to push it all together in one big pile.
Needless to say the Tulagi wasn't open the next night but I don't remember how many days they were shut down.
what a great story!!!! thanks, amigo.
patrick martin had a few things to add
yesterday, and this i hadn't known this:
he'd also added this:
for posterity, this has to be the closing song: