“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming / We're finally on our own / This summer I hear the drumming / Four dead in Ohio.”
The four students — Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder and Sandra Scheuer — Neil Young was singing about in perhaps the most famous American protest song ever written were killed On May 4, 1970, after National Guard members fired into a student demonstration at Kent State University in Ohio for 13 seconds. That shooting (which also wounded nine other protesters) was, and should continue to be, a somber lesson about what can happen when the United States government, and especially its executive branch, abuses the power it has been entrusted with.
Coincidentally enough — or perhaps not, given the timing — it’s a lesson the Feds do not want us to forget.
This week, the Kent State shooting site was identified as a place that depicts “a broad range of America’s rich, complex history” and designated as one of 24 new National Historic Landmarks.
“These 24 new designations depict different threads of the American story that have been told through activism, architecture, music, and religious observance,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “Their designation ensures future generations have the ability to learn from the past as we preserve and protect the historic value of these properties and the more than 2,500 other landmarks nationwide.”
The complete list of new landmarks and what you need to know about them is available here.
Main image courtesy of Kent State University Library