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Kent State massacre

The Kent State massacre occurred at Kent State University, Ohio, and involved the shooting of students by the National Guard on May 4, 1970. Students were protesting against American involvement in the Vietnam War; the demonstrations had arisen in response to the invasion of Cambodia that President Richard Nixon launched on May 1. The Ohio state governor had ordered the Guard onto campus in response to the burning of the ROTC building by arsonists the previous day. The militia were wearing gas masks in the hot sun (obscuring their vision and causing heat exhaustion) and had little training in riot control. Provoked by several hours of clashes with protesters throwing rocks and taunting them, the Guardsmen fired a single volley of rifle fire at the gathered crowd. Only one of the four students killed was participating in the protest. Several other students were wounded.

A photograph of a 14-year-old runaway girl, kneeling over one of the bodies as she cried, is one of the most enduring images of the tragedy, and it won a Pulitzer Prize for photographer John Filo.

On May 14 of the same year, two students at Jackson State University were shot to death and several others wounded under much more suspicious circumstances.

Neil Young of the Folk-rock group Crosby, Stills and Nash and Young quickly wrote and recorded a protest song in reaction to the massacre called Ohio. The song starts with:

Tin soldiers and Nixon's comin'.
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drummin'.
Four dead in Ohio.

The massacre is also mentioned in Allen Ginsberg's poem "Hadda be Playin' on a Jukebox". .

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