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Documentary: Songs That Defined History – Kent University And Vietnam War

Aired on May 5, 2017. CNN. Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History.

In a truly unimaginable act of police brutality, national guardsmen shot and killed four college students during an anti-Vietnam war protest on the Kent State University campus in Ohio in 1970. Just weeks later, Neil Young channeled his rage into a haunting song called “Ohio,” which was released and played on the radio almost immediately.

Perhaps no other era in American history saw such an intense outpouring of politically-driven popular music as the years around the Vietnam War. Songs from Buffalo Springfield, Phil Ochs, and Edwin Starr were explicit in their anti-war messaging while also providing a soundtrack for soldiers in the battlefield.

These artists were exercising their fundamental American right to protest government actions, and in a newly ascendant age of protest it is worth exploring the vital role that music can play in society.

From executive producers Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, and Emmy and Peabody Award winners Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre. The new eight-part, hour-long CNN Original Series explores the music tied to pivotal moments in history. Every episode will illuminate how music has played an integral role in celebrating, criticizing, and amplifying these seismic events in our collective history.

Watch our exclusive video report on the Kent State University Shooting in our News section.


Watch rare films and TV series in our Documentaries section.


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