Kent State Ashtabula Announces 50th Commemoration of May 4th Programming
Kent State University at Ashtabula will hold several special events and educational programs throughout the academic year approaching the 50th Commemoration of the tragic events of May 4, 1970 on the Kent State campus. All events are free and open to the public.
The year-long programming launches Tuesday, Oct. 22, with an “Introduction to the May 4th Commemoration and a Factual Chronological Overview of Events from April 30-May 4, 1970” by David Perusek, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology, and associate history professor Bradley Keefer, Ph.D. The program will examine the events that led up to the Ohio National Guard firing on students protesting the Vietnam War, resulting in the death of four students and the wounding of nine others, and the impact of May 4th at Kent State and the world.
“Our year-long programming around May 4 will provide multiple opportunities for Kent State Ashtabula students and members of the community to learn about, consider, or reconnect with an iconic event in U.S. history that has reverberated to this day from Kent, Ohio to Washington, D.C, to Hong Kong in 2019," said Perusek.
Other events include two screenings of the documentary “Fire in the Heartland: Kent State, May 4, and Student Protest in America” by professor, filmmaker and May 4 witness Daniel Miller. The first screening will be held Tuesday, November 19, at 7 p.m. also in the Main Hall Auditorium.
Roseann (Chic) Canfora, Ph.D., a May 4 survivor whose brother was one of the nine students injured, has been a stalwart advocate for remembrance and connecting the issues of those anti-war movements to the movements of today. She will speak to the campus community on April 8, 2020. Canfora was recently named the 2019 Kent State Alumni Leadership Award recipient.
David Hassler’s “May 4 Voices” play, the text of which is based on a collection of over 110 interviews as part of the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, will be performed the weekend of April 18 under the direction of assistant lecturer Natalie Huya. Additional details about those performances will follow at a later date.
On April 23, 2020, Karen Cunningham, J.D., a professor in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State, will look at lessons learned and forgotten from May 4th in her presentation “What Have We Learned?”
The programming schedule is listed below. Additional events may be added, and schedule is subject to change.
Ashtabula Campus 50th Commemoration of May 4th Schedule of Events
- Introduction to May 4th Commemoration and a Factual Chronological Overview of Events from April 30-May 4, 1970, Dr. David Perusek and Dr. Bradley Keefer | Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, 7 p.m., Main Hall Auditorium
- Fire in the Heartland, Film Screening | Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, 7 p.m., Main Hall Auditorium
- Fire in the Heartland, Film Screening | Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, 7 p.m., Main Hall Auditorium
- Music of May 4th, Dr. Bradley Keefer | Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 7 p.m., Main Hall Auditorium
- Dr. Roseanne (Chic) Canfora, May 4 survivor | Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 7 p.m., Main Hall Auditorium
- May 4th Voices | Saturday, April 18, 2020, TBA, Main Hall Auditorium
- What Have We Learned?, Karen Cunningham | Thursday, April 23, 2020, 7 p.m., Main Hall Auditorium
- Bus Trip to May 4th Visitors Center for Students, Faculty and Staff (details to follow) | Wednesday, April 29, 2020
- 50th Commemoration of May 4th Observation | May 4, 2020, across campus
All events related to the 50th Commemoration across the Kent State system can be found at www.kent.edu/may4kentstate50.