Protest Poetry: Ohio

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by knight115891
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Protest Poetry: Ohio

Story summary...April 30, 1970, President Richard Nixon announced that Cambodia has invaded the U.S. and that 150,000 more soldiers need to be drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. Protests broke out on campuses throughout the country. Protests at Kent State University were so bad that the Ohio governor had to send out 900 National Guardsmen to the campus. On May 4, 1970, 28 officers fired at the crowd. Four were announced dead and nine were injured. After this riots got worse, to the point where around 500 campuses had to temporarily close down. The grand jury dropped all charges against the 28 officers due to the lack of evidence.

Neil Young heard about the attack when reading an edition of Life magazine, given to him by David Crosby. He was reportedly vanished for a few hours and later returned to his bandmates with his written song titled "Ohio". The song was recorded in the Record Plant Studio (Los Angeles) and was quickly released as a single. F.M. stations immediately picked up the song. The song was banned from A.M. stations due to its anit-war and anti-Nixon sentiments.

The Story Behind "Ohio"


Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,We're finally on our own.This summer I hear the drumming,Four dead in Ohio. The tin soldiers refer to how the officers blindly follow the mayor's order, and the "on our own part" refers to how the people can't rely on the country to be on their side.Gotta get down to itSoldiers are cutting us downShould have been done long ago.What if you knew herAnd found her dead on the groundHow can you run when you know?We need to take a stand so that no more lives are taken by the police.

The Song:

Protest Poetry: Ohio

Marielle Guindon & Maizie WakefieldCoach ConnorEnglish Pd. 59/25/15


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