Kent State - 40 Years Later (05/04/1970)

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, May 4, 2010.

  1. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

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  2. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    I'm old enough to remember it. I still don't understand why those guardsmen turned in unison and fired randomly into a crowd of unarmed students. :(
     
  3. Squibble

    Squibble New Member

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    The photograph :(

    I still can't believe that the Guardsmen who did these unprovoked shootings and fabricated their explanation for why they did it got away unpunished. :mad:
     
  4. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    :( That image is burned indelibly into my brain. IIRC, Mary Vecchio was only 14 or 15 that day (I can't remember for sure, but I think she was a runaway).
     
  5. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    She was according to Wikipedia. A few years after the Kent State massacre, I read in the newspaper that she had been arrested for prostitution. Does anyone else remember this?

    About the massacre itself, I remember hearing my parents talk about it. I had a hard time wrapping my then 10 year old brain around it: the National Guard could shoot people even if they weren't doing anything wrong.
     
  6. Susan1

    Susan1 Active Member

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    I was in grade school, so mostly everything I associate it with is from t.v., but I do remember my friend and neighbor's dad did go up and get her oldest sister from school. It seems to me like she didn't go back for the rest of the year? She went back the next year and graduated from there a couple years later.

    I just happened to hear "Ohio" by CSN&Y on a "we play everything" radio station this afternoon at work. I got chills.
     
  7. Susan1

    Susan1 Active Member

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    I should have replied to this post (I was your same age) instead. Today at work, after I heard "Ohio" and I mentioned what day this was to a lady I work with who is 35 and has only lived in Ohio for 3 years. She lived in Virginia during the sniper shootings. I explained to her that this was the National Guard who shot students during what was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration against the Viet Nam War, and she was horrified!
     
  8. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    What I've never understood about that photo is how casual everyone else looks walking by.
     
  9. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    I definitely remember it. I was a junior in high school. I couldn't believe that the killings happened and on a college campus.
     
  10. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I don't remember it, but apparently it's true.

    http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20067741,00.html

    She's a respiratory therapist now, I believe.
     
  11. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Er, she lived in Ohio for 3 years and never knew about the Kent State shootings?! :duh:

    I went to Kent State from 98-02 and the 30th anniversary occurred when I was there. I was in the journalism program, which at the time was in Taylor Hall, the building that it all happened around. Every day I walked to class past a metal sculpture with a bullet hole in it. There are quite a few memorials on campus, including lighted ones in the parking lot highlighting the spot where each of the four died. :yikes:
     
  12. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    I think that many of them likely were unaware of the enormity of what had just happened -- the students had dispersed a bit just before the guardsmen started firing and this photo was taken just seconds later. Two of the students who were killed hadn't even taken part in the demonstration -- they were just walking to class. There are other photos of the events at Kent State in May 1970.

    Here's what John Filo, the photographer of the Kent State photo, had to say last May 4:
    The comment from his uncle was :eek: and :( at the same time -- the Vietnam War really tore this country apart in many ways that are still not completely healed.
     
  13. Susan1

    Susan1 Active Member

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    She's lived in Ohio for the past three years (and this is southwestern Ohio, nowhere near Kent State). She's only 35. I don't think I would know a lot of the details of something that happened in another state five years before I was born that only gets mentioned once a year
     
  14. Squibble

    Squibble New Member

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    It is a sad commentary on American society that this should be the case. Kent State was a landmark event in American history, and any reasonably well-informed 35-year-old American should be aware of Kent State and its effect on civic discourse -- as demonstrated in the hostile comments made to John Filo by his uncle (see skatingfan5's post) and also those directed at 14-year-old Mary Vecchio by the governor of Florida :eek: (see the link to the USA Today article in ilovepaydays' original post).

    I'm not saying that most people are aware of Kent State, only that they should be.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
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  15. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    :respec: I am in my early fifties and clearly remember this event. That was an era in America of "love it (America) or leave it (despite your freedoms, ask no questions and don't dare protest anything)." Which also translated to "don't expect those of us in power to change anything for those of you who are not."
     
  16. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    I'm six years younger and grew up in New York, but I knew about it in high school ...
     
  17. Margot

    Margot New Member

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    This was also about the same time that Richard Nixon referred to Vietnam protestors as "college bums." During a radio talk show regarding protestors, my mother called in to the radio station and said "if I were still in college, I'd be right out there protesting also!"

    My mother is now 93 years old and sharp as a tact. She is pretty cool. Go Mom!!!!!
     
  18. Susan1

    Susan1 Active Member

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    I'm not trying to argue here or stand up for my coworker, but after I mentioned it, she brought up that they lived in Virginia during the sniper attacks. She was connecting that to "shootings". I'm sure she had heard about the Kent State thing before, but wasn't making the connection on the anniversary about it being the National Guard doing the shooting. Heck, she grew up in California. She probably knows more "history" of protesting and riots from there.
     
  19. silverstars

    silverstars New Member

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    The fact that people are possibly growing up not knowing about Kent State is a bit scary to me. I was certainly not around when it happened, but definitely learned a lot about it growing up (er, although this might be because of my love of folk rock...). Kent State represents what happens when communication breaks down and people fail to listen to each other, and it's something that, especially in a nation as politically divided as the US is, we can certainly still learn from.

    The late 60s/70s were completely chaotic, not mention violent, but they're pretty fascinating to me. My school had some major protests in 1968 (against Vietnam as well as civil rights issues), and from what I've heard from professors and alumni who experienced them, it was an incredibly interesting time to be a college student.
     
  20. Squibble

    Squibble New Member

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    Kent State Firing Order Heard on 1970 Tape

    :mad:

    This isn't surprising, since the alternative explanation, i.e., that the Guardsmen all panicked, is inherently implausible.