The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

May 10, 2014

1970 Kent State shootings, Herald history stir memories

By Lynn Saternow
Herald Sports Editor

- — Someone asked me why I didn’t write about the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State University last Saturday, considering the next day was the anniversary of the event.

It was a sad day when the National Guard opened fire on the students, killing four and wounding several others.

I had written about it before since I was there that weekend, but left the day before the shootings that occurred on Monday.

About why I didn’t write about it, I said, “It was only the 34th year since. I’ll write about it on the 35th which is more of a significant anniversary.”

And I was then corrected: “You mean the 45th anniversary.”

I said, “Oh, yeah. 45th!”

Man, I’m getting old! Regardless how many years, I can remember it like it was yesterday.

I actually had confrontations that weekend with a group that possibly started the burning of the ROTC building and then fought with the National Guard troops.

It’s hard to forget, especially every time I hear the song “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills and Nash, a song that contains the main line: “Four dead in O-Hi-O” and commemorates that black day in Ohio and United States history.

Stay tuned for next year and I’ll give you the real story again behind what led to the shootings.

ä Speaking of anniversaries, this marks the 150th year of The Herald in operation.

OK, people! I’ve been here a long time, but not that long!

I have been here through six publishers, three different ownerships, and many, many changes. From a smoke-filled newsroom, where pretty much everyone had a bottle of booze in their desks, to today’s newsroom where everyone wishes they had a bottle of booze in their desks.

I went from typewriters and cold type to today’s computers and high technology. It seems like only yesterday that when I covered a state basketball game or wrestling tourney in the Harrisburg/Hershey area that I had to call back the story over the phone and someone on the other end typed it up.

I remember once calling back collect after an afternoon game on a payphone (If you don’t know what that is, ask your grandparents!).

The operator told The Herald receptionist, “I have a collect call from Lynn Saternow.”

Our receptionist misinterpreted and said, “Lynn isn’t here.” AND HUNG UP.

I started working part time here in 1965 during the summers while I went to college. Then I started full time in January 1970.

Although I retired at the age of 50, I still worked as a freelancer until I returned a few years later when CNHI bought the paper from the Ottaways.

It has been a wonderful trip. When I used to speak at high schools or colleges about journalism I would tell the students: “You work long hours for little pay. It’s the greatest job in the world.”

I still enjoy it and hope to do so for a while longer (much to the chagrin of Steelers fans.)

Yes, this is the age of technology and social media that 150 years ago, no one could imagine.

And the newspaper business is much more of a challenge.

But there are some changes ahead at The Herald very soon that we are all excited about. I’d tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you! Or more likely, Publisher Sharon Sorg would kill me.

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for The Opinion Page. He can be reached at