Introducing 50 After 13: A digital publication dedicated to May 4, 1970

Today’s Kent State Students Inquire, Learn and Reflect 50 years after 13 Seconds That Changed Their Campus—and History—Forever

The legacy of May 4, 1970, affects all students at Kent State University. For nearly 50 years, they have walked the same grounds where four students were killed while many were exercising their First Amendment rights, protesting a war. What happened, why it happened and what it means— those questions have been asked, again and again, since 1970.

As the 50th commemoration approaches, however, students from the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication asked other questions: In what ways are the lessons of May 4th relevant today? How do current Kent State students view the tragedy? What does it look like through their lens?

“We challenged students to go beyond the usual things the news media cover every May 4th—the speakers and the events—and search for their own meanings,” says JMC Associate Professor Jacqueline Marino, who teaches the capstone course Advanced Magazine Writing. “What they found surprised and moved me. Many connected with the students of 50 years ago, especially with their passion to bring about social change. Our students also relayed insights about how the lessons of May 4th relate to our nation’s enduring struggles with violence, free speech and political polarization.”

More than 30 students from three courses taught by Marino and Assistant Professor Dave Foster contributed to 50 After 13 (

View the site.

It features original reporting, essays, reflections, photography, video, and multimedia stories, including the following:

  • “The Ground Remembers” Cameron Gorman connects to the tragedy by retracing the steps of those who shared their memories in oral histories. Her words are accompanied by the drone photography of Zachary Davis.
  • “Who Would You Be?” Megan Ayscue, along with Chad Flannery and Lyric Aquino, lead the reader through several versions of the tragedy in a “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” activity. Each “character” is based on real accounts of activists, passers-by and guardsmen, among others.
  • “The Activists” Taylor Patterson relates her own activism to that of Allison Krause and other women protesters of the Vietnam Era.
  • “Why Did They Shoot?” Kathryn Monsewicz explores an effort to bring to campus the “exiled statue” commissioned to commemorate the tragedy, finding it speaks to her own pro-military leanings.
  • “I Just Want to Listen and Be Sad” Valerie Royzman bridges the gap of time between her generation and May 4th’s through poetry.
  • An interactive timeline on the way May 4th has been recognized and dealt with on campus from students’ perspectives through the decades.
  • Several essays and original articles: Adriona Murphy on protest music, then and now; Faith Riggs on misrepresentations of May 4 in the social media era; Tyler Haughn on Kent State students’ changing perception of guns; and Henry Palattella on the enduring work of The May 4th Task Force.
  • Works of photojournalism from Nyla Henderson, Jeremy Brown, Austin Mariasy, Nathaniel Bailey, Samantha Karabec, Jared Mullen, Miranda Kiner, Anu Sharma, Kristen Jones, Sara Donato, and others.

For more information or to request permission to republish writing, video or photographs, please contact the professors.


POSTED: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 10:55am
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 10:55am