The Social Impact Of A Protest At Kent State Shootings

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Another event that eroded support in the war and US Government occured during a protest at Kent State University. During a protest on May 4, 1970, twenty-nine National Guardsmen gathered at the university to oversee a Vietnam War protest. In the midst of the protest, the National Guardsmen fired into the crowd of protesters killing four people in the process (Gordon Page 35). This event sparked an enormous uprising from the public and “the event triggered a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close” (Lewis). This strike had a huge social impact and through the constant strikes and protests that followed the shootings caused the US Government to lose the trust, respect, and support of many American citizens (Gordon Page 35). The Kent State shootings were also able to reach the international stage through the abundance of news broadcasts and songs following the shooting. Ohio, a famous song by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, focuses heavily on the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings with lyrics stating, “Tin soldiers and Nixon coming. We're finally on our own. This summer I hear the drumming. Four dead in Ohio” (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young) as a direct reference to the Kent State tragedy. “A tin soldier is a toy soldier, mindlessly controlled by its owner” (Songfacts Staff). Neil Young was implying with these lyrics that the National Guard was mindlessly following orders from Nixon. This song became wildly popular and is

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