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Jonathan Suttin

Kitty Dunn

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Kent State: 40 years later

It was 40 years ago today that National Guard troops shot and killed four young people at Kent State University in Ohio, sparking protests at campuses nationwide, including here in Madison.  This incident, along with the U.S. bombing of Cambodia (which the government said they'd never do), turned the tide of American opinion against the Vietnam War. When I was in college I wrote a paper about the Kent State shootings and the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song "Ohio."  I probably should have dug that old thing out of the basement and scanned it in for you to read...but now I'll probably wait until the 50th anniversary, since I missed this window of opportunity. While some rock and roll datebooks say Neil Young wrote the song the day it happened..that's not the case. He actually wrote it after reading about it in Life magazine...and it was recorded and released within weeks. Neil wrote this about the song in liner notes to his Decade album: "It's still hard to believe I had to write this song. It's ironic that I capitalized on the death of these American students. Probably the most important lesson ever learned at an American place of learning. David Crosby cried after this take."

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05/04/2010 7:35AM
Kent State: 40 years later
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05/04/2010 8:58AM
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