Every Star Wars fans favorite holiday is May the fourth. No, the movie was not released on May the fourth. It is simply a pun made, by the Prime Minister of the UK in 1979, that formed this non-traditional holiday. This holiday has thus spiked interest in comic cons and day-long marathons on May 4 since the 1980s. And yet, everyone suppresses the Kent State shootings that occurred that very day in 1970.
It should be no surprise to me that society’s thought’s on history consist more of who Luke’s biological father was, and less on actual US movements during a time of war. Though, someone needs to give an insight on a day where there are endless light saber battles. On April 30,1970, President Richard Nixon announced the launch of the Cambodian Campaign. This was an invasion into Cambodia to attempt to rid the People’s Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong forces. Keep in mind that this was during a time where Nixon was assuring the citizens that troops were being pulled out and US involvement would digress. After that slap in the face, protests broke out on universities across America. One particular protest at Kent State in Ohio on May 4, 1970 ended with almost 30 US guardsmen shooting 67 rounds in 13 seconds, killing four student and wounding nine others.
From that day on, protests broke out and this is what we are thinking about when we hear “1970s protests.” They were very real, and at times, very gruesome and unnecessary. What happened in Ohio should not be forgotten for it created a major impact on how the US was perceiving the Cambodian Incursion and ignited tense US military-student relations. Five days after the shooting at Kent State, 100,000 people protested at the nation’s capital. Without this tragedy, it would have taken longer for Congress to get troops out of Cambodia.
When the American people stand up for something, it should be noted. May the fourth should be noted. If that’s not enough, Neil Young’s recording of “Ohio” should intrigue the history fanatic in us all. Remember, it’s not all about the space and Chewy references, because the massacre that occurred at Kent State needs to be acknowledged by all generations. Carry on galactical Lucas fans and May the fourth be with the US.