Monday, 4 May 2020

tin soldiers and nixon coming

In order to quell protests began five days earlier in response to Richard Nixon’s expansive aerial bombing campaign into Cambodia, the US National Guard were deployed to the campus of Ohio State University’s Kent campus on this day in 1970 and opened fire on a group of unarmed demonstrators, killing four and severely wounding nine others.
The immediate aftermath of the massacre solidified anti-US sentiment world-wide for its invasion of Cambodia and prosecution of the Vietnam War in general, coverage precipitating massive protests and a student strike of over four million. Though the war would continue another four more years, it did so to the sharply critical accompaniment of songs inspired the event, including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Ohio”—possibly the greatest minstrel act telling of the revolution and also how it failed to materialise, and a host of other musicians, including the students Chrissie Hynde, who would go onto found The Pretenders, and her former bandmates (also fellow students), Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale, who went on to establish Devo. The Pulitzer Prize winning photograph was taken by photojournalism student John Paul Filo of fourteen-year-old runaway Mary Ann Vecchio screaming over the dead body of twenty year student protester Jeffrey Miller.