Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center Offers Opportunities to Inquire, Learn and Reflect During 48th Commemoration of May 4
On May 4, 1970, Kent State University was placed in an international spotlight after a student protest against the Vietnam War and the presence of the Ohio National Guard on campus ended in tragedy. Thirteen seconds of rifle fire by 28 Ohio National Guardsmen left four students dead, one permanently paralyzed and eight others wounded.
Each year, as part of the May 4 Commemoration, Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center presents events and opportunities to inquire, learn and reflect – words inscribed on the May 4 Memorial located near the center. For the 48th Commemoration of May 4, students, employees, alumni and members of the general public can attend the following.
May 4 Author Book Signing
The May 4 Visitors Center and the Kent State University Bookstore present a book-signing event with several authors who have written about May 4. The book signing takes place Friday, May 4, from 10-11 a.m. in the bookstore.
“We are among a rare group of National Historic Landmarks located on a college campus,” says Mindy Farmer, Ph.D., director of the May 4 Visitors Center. “As such, we think it is especially important to promote the study and research of the events of May 4, 1970. The author event is a way for interested students, staff and guests to interact with just some of the people writing about the events surrounding May 4, 1970.”
This year’s participating authors are:
- Laura Davis – This We Know and Democratic Narrative, History and Memory
- Susan Erenrich – Grassroots Leadership and the Arts for Social Change
- Sabrina Fedel – Leaving Kent State
- Tom Grace – Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties
- David Hassler – May 4th Voices
- Miriam Jackson – We Shall Not Be Moved
The authors’ books will be available for purchase in the bookstore, and each of the authors will be available to meet and sign books.
Visitors to the May 4 Visitors Center can see its newest exhibition, Sandy’s Scrapbook. The exhibition is a special tribute to the life of Sandy Scheuer, who was shot and killed by Ohio National Guardsmen on May 4, while she was on her way to class. Sandy’s Scrapbook is based on the actual scrapbook that Ms. Scheuer kept while at Kent State. It features items and memories provided by her family and her sister, Audrey.
Watch video about Sandy’s Scrapbook
Sandy’s Scrapbook is the first in what the May 4 Visitors Center hopes will be a series of four exhibitions in tribute to the four lives lost on May 4, 1970 – Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder. The purpose behind these exhibitions is to focus not just on the deaths of these students, but on the lives that they lived and the people who they were.
“Too often, Sandy, Bill, Allison and Jeff are known only for their tragic deaths,” Dr. Farmer says. “We want to show that they lived interesting and full lives. And, in many ways, their stories represent the divides of the era. Allison and Jeff were activists. Bill was a member of the ROTC, struggling with the meaning of the Vietnam War. Sandy was an honors student trying to get to class. They were all siblings, children of loving parents and students of Kent State University. They were people with enormous potential, taken way too soon. That is what we hope to convey.”
The exhibition was designed by Glyphix Studio, a student-staffed design studio within Kent State’s School of Visual Communication Design, and IdeaBase, a student-powered design agency within Kent State’s College of Communication and Information. Sandy’s Scrapbook is sponsored by the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, Hillel at Kent State and Kent State’s Jewish Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences.
May 4 Visitors Center Hours
Using images, artifacts and multimedia, the May 4 Visitors Center’s exhibits tell the story of the decade leading up to May 4, 1970, the events of that day, the aftermath and the historical impact. It is located in Taylor Hall.
Hours for the May 4 Visitors Center during Commemoration Week will be:
- Monday, April 30: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 1: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 2: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Thursday, May 3: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Friday, May 4: 9 a.m.-noon; 2:30-3:30 p.m.; and 4:30-5:30 p.m.
For more information about Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center, visit www.kent.edu/may4.