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50th Anniversary of Kent State Massacre Will be Marked by Year-Long Observances in 2019

Unarmed students were gunned down by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970.

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Kent State University in Ohio announced this week that they are planning a series of year-long observances to mark the 50th anniversary of an incident that has come to be known as the “Kent State Massacre.”

“For many members of the Kent State family – including me – the events of May 4, 1970, remain a vivid and emotional memory,” President Beverly Warren was quoted as saying in a press release issued earlier this week.

On that spring afternoon, a peaceful campus protest against American bombings in Vietnam turned into a nightmare, as Ohio National Guard troops opened fire on the unarmed students. Twenty-eight guardsmen fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others.

“That tragic day had a lasting impact on so many individuals here in Kent and around the world,
Warren said in the release. “As we honor and remember the lives lost and those lives forever changed, we reflect on the lessons of May 4 and renew our commitment to lift our collective voices to affect positive change.”

Kent State has set up a website and Facebook page for updates on the commemoration ceremonies. The site of the shooting is now designated as a National Historic Landmark.

The event served as the inspiration for Neil Young’s haunting song “Ohio,” which he recorded with Crosby, Stills and Nash.

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