Kent State Remembers May 4, 1970, With Annual Commemoration


Kent State University community members and visitors gather on the Kent State Commons for the annual May 4 Commemoration to honor those who were killed and wounded on May 4, 1970.The Power of Our Voices theme inspired this year’s May 4 Commemoration events and programming that focused on tying May 4 and the anti-war movement of 1970 to emerging movements today. The annual commemoration allows members of the Kent State community and the public to gather in remembrance of May 4, 1970, share memories, reconnect with old friends, and pass the lessons learned from the tragedy to new generations of students so they inquire, learn and reflect upon the history that occurred on their campus. 

Wednesday, May 3

Kent State held the Jerry M. Lewis May 4 Lecture Series. Now in its second year, the lecture and luncheon featured Erica Eckert, Ph.D., assistant professor, Higher Education Administration, who will present, Where Were the Administrators? A Student Affairs Perspective on May 4, 1970. This ticketed event is free and open to the public. Tickets are sold out. Click here to watch the Lecture Series Live

A special screening of the film “Young Plato” was held in the  Kent State Student Center Ballroom, followed by a panel discussion with Neasa Ní Chianáin, director; David Rane, producer; and Kevin McArevey, headmaster. Click here to watch the panel discussion. 

The annual Candlelight Walk and Vigil was held at 11 p.m. This cornerstone of the commemoration began in 1971. 

Thursday, May 4

The campus community and visitors gathered at noon on the May 4 site at the Kent State Commons to commemorate the moment that gunfire erupted 53 years ago. The commemoration included a performance by the Kent Chorale, featured remarks from university students and administrators, the ringing of the Victory Bell, and a moment of silence at 12:24 p.m.

The commemoration remembered those killed – Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Schroeder – and those wounded – Alan Canfora, John Cleary, Thomas Grace, Dean Kahler, Joseph Lewis, Donald Mackenzie, James Russell, Robert Stamps, and Douglas Wrentmore – on May 4, 1970. The university also acknowledged key May 4 contributors who have died this past year. Click here to watch the Commemoration.

Student organizations hosted various May 4-related programs, including the May 4 Task Force’s Call to Action Forum.

Film Screenings occurred during the afternoon, including showings of  "Kent State The Real Story" and  "Fire in the Heartland."