It’s May 4th — This Is What Really Matters

May the 4th be… Wait! F that! Every news show today is covering the Star Wars meme based upon today’s date, but none mentioned the 50th anniversary of the first occurrence in U.S. history when soldiers fired upon, and killed, college students on campus. May 4, 1970, Kent State in Ohio.

The body of Kent State student Jeffrey Miller lays dead as Mary Ann Vecchio screams in anguish May 4, 1970 (John Filo/AP )

I was a freshman at Archbishop Molloy High School in New York city at the time, and was raised in a conservative household, but the events of this day opened my eyes and changed the way I looked at the world from forever.

The Viet Nam war was a divisive conflict that led to many demonstrations protesting the U.S. involvement. When then President Richard Nixon revealed in 1970 that the U.S. had secretly been bombing sites in neutral Cambodia, protests flared up on college campuses across the country.

o/~… Tin Soldiers and Nixon coming…o/~

Kent State in Ohio was one of those protest sites, and on Friday, May 1, against the war escalation led to the mayor to declare a state of emergency and asking the governor for national guard assistance to disperse the crowd. Saturday, May 2 demonstrators occupied an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) barracks on campus, eventually burning it down. The Guard dispersed them by firing tear gas canisters into the crowd. Sunday, May 3 was quieter as meetings between school, city and state officials produced conflicting information and sightseers added to the assembled crowd, adding to the confusion. Crowds were again dispersed by the National Guard using tear gas.

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