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Notably Quoted

It’s good for an artist to try things. It’s good for an artist to be ridiculous.
Sheila Heti in How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life (p. 18)

« Frozen | Main | Beachcombing »

May 4, 1970

Although it’s been 38 years now, I can’t seem to forget this day.

This is excerpted from the Eau Claire (Wisconsin) Leader-Telegram, May 4, 1970…

Non-Silent Minority Opposes New Thrust

To the Editor:

I [must protest] the decision, announced by President Nixon on April 30, to deploy American ground and air combat troops into neutralist Cambodia. This [action … further compounds mistakes] … [already made] by this and previous administrations …

I truly am unable to comprehend how the American people [are able to] tolerate such irresponsibility [on the part of our national leadership] …

American young men are dying in Vietnam, and now Cambodia. For what?

[If] the South Vietnamese people are determined to be free of Communist aggression, they themselves are the ones who must rally forces to fight and defend their land.

[Our presence] in Southeast Asia is unconstitutional … we are engaged in a large scale war operation without a formal declaration of war. [Surely this is a] mockery of the document upon which our form of government was established … !

[Are] not the “brave young men,” including reluctant inductees, dying needlessly [in a part of the world where we have no legitimate business]? I [believe] this [to be] the case and cannot agree with the President’s decision to expand the war efforts in Southeast Asia for any reason or for any length of time. Mr. Nixon, you must bring all the American troops home immediately and call a halt to this immoral, unjust and unconstitutional fiasco.

Respectfully, from one of the non-silent minority,

James C. Arnold

Of course, also on this day (from the New York Times)…

4 Kent State Students Killed by Troops

Kent, Ohio, May 4 -- Four students at Kent State University, two of them women, were shot to death this afternoon by a volley of National Guard gunfire. At least 8 other students were wounded.

The burst of gunfire came about 20 minutes after the guardsmen broke up a noon rally on the Commons, a grassy campus gathering spot, by lobbing tear gas at a crowd of about 1,000 young people…

For the full text of the article, click here.

See also, the official May 4 website; and for an academic discussion of the day’s events, read The May 4 Shootings at Kent State University: The Search for Historical Accuracy by Jerry M. Lewis and Thomas R. Hensley.

Soundtrack Suggestion

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

(“Ohio” – Neil Young)

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