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)