Reflection: 50 Years Later; ‘Four Dead in Ohio’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Today is the day that those of us who were college students 50 years ago will never forget.

For me, it was shocking and frightening news that rapidly spread across the main campus of Penn State University where I was a student in 1970. I remember calling a girl I grew up with who was a student at Kent State to see if she was OK, to hear whatever she could tell me. I don’t remember what she said.

I also don’t remember whether it was that night or the following night that thousands of Penn State students and faculty marched across the University Park campus, peacefully but loudly. Within days, the campus was closed, all classes canceled.

Every May 4th – and the days before and after – the Crosby Stills, Nash & Young protest song “Ohio” plays over and over again in my mind. I want to open up my car windows and blast “four dead In Ohio,” like I did many May 4ths. Maybe I’ll get the chance today.

And so, as the nation marks 50 years since that divisive and deadly day in May, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society is remembering the tragedy at Kent State and particularly, Sandra Scheuer, the young woman from Boardman who died on that battleground.

It’s equally important to also remember the 55,000 Americans who died on battlefields far away in Southeast Asia, and the many more who answered the call to arms and came home scarred, in some form, for life.

CLICK HERE to see Kent State University’s 50th Commemoration webpage.

CLICK HERE to see how the Associated Press covered the shootings in May 1970.

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