Fifty years ago today, Monday, May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam War on the campus of Kent State University. In just 13 seconds, four students were killed and nine were injured. The Kent State shooting was a watershed moment in American history, viewed as the day the United States turned its back on the young people who were supposed to be its future.
Five days earlier, on Thursday April 30, 1970, President Richard Nixon, who won the 1968 election in part due to his promise to end the Vietnam War, announced that the United States would invade Cambodia in an attempt to target the headquarters of the Viet Cong. The announcement sparked