2020 marks 50 years since the murders at Kent State. Four protesting students were gunned down by National Guard troops who were basically on campus to force students back to their classes.
The killings appalled many previously “neutral” Americans, including religious congregations and previously-unengaged young people.
1970 was the peak on the Vietnam-era protests. The direct actions of these years compelled the United States to begin disengagement, eventually resulting in the inglorious end of the long war in the early 1970s.
Neil Young’s song Ohio catches the urgent tone of that period.
Kent State photo by John Paul Filo / Library of Congress