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  1. #1

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

    New York Times - A Moment Kent State Won’t Forget
    USA Today - 1970 Kent State shootings are an enduring history lesson

    Thoughts? This was 10 years before I was born but I get when I read or watch a news show about it.

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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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squibble View Post
    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).

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    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).
    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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Civic View Post
    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.
    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. #8
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    What I've never understood about that photo is how casual everyone else looks walking by.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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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. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Civic View Post
    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?
    I don't remember it, but apparently it's true.

    http://www.people.com/people/archive...067741,00.html

    She's a respiratory therapist now, I believe.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan1 View Post
    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!
    Er, she lived in Ohio for 3 years and never knew about the Kent State shootings?!

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    What I've never understood about that photo is how casual everyone else looks walking by.
    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:
    Filo said that on May 4, 1970, he had set out on campus for lunch.

    ''I left Taylor Hall with the goal over the next hour to make a photo that represented what was going on in the nation with the students and their protests against the war in Vietnam,'' Filo said. ''I got what I thought was a great picture of [Alan] Canfora holding a U.S. flag, the lone figure against the mass of guardsmen. It was my best photo ever.''

    That all changed a few minutes later, when Filo heard the gunshots and saw Vecchio kneeling over Miller.

    ''That was a reaction shot,'' Filo said.

    Filo said he received hate mail after the picture was published. And he was told by an uncle who had served in the armed forces, ''If you were out there, you should have been shot.''

    ''The thing I remember the most is the feeling of total helplessness,'' Filo said. ''It's the same helplessness I feel at times now later in life.

    ''Sometimes, there is no help, just friendship and an attempt to understand what's going on. That's the way we all felt that day, a day that will be with us all until the end.''
    The comment from his uncle was and at the same time -- the Vietnam War really tore this country apart in many ways that are still not completely healed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    Er, she lived in Ohio for 3 years and never knew about the Kent State shootings?!

    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.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan1 View Post
    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
    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 (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 by Squibble; 05-06-2010 at 05:35 AM. Reason: To insert the omitted word "effect."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squibble View Post
    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 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 (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.
    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."
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan1 View Post
    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
    I'm six years younger and grew up in New York, but I knew about it in high school ...

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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!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squibble View Post
    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 (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.
    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.

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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.

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    Kent State Firing Order Heard on 1970 Tape

    A new analysis of a 40-year-old audio recording reveals that someone ordered National Guard troops to prepare to fire on students during a deadly Vietnam War protest at Kent State University in 1970, two forensics experts said.

    The recording was enhanced and evaluated by New Jersey-based audio experts Stuart Allen and Tom Owen at the request of The Plain Dealer newspaper. Both concluded that they hear someone shout, "Guard!" Seconds later, a voice yells, "All right, prepare to fire!"

    "Get down!" someone shouts, presumably in the crowd. A voice then says, "Guard!..." followed two seconds later by a booming volley of gunshots.


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

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