May 4, 50th Commemoration

50th Commemoration of May 4

The annual May 4 Commemoration provides an opportunity for all to remember and honor the tragic events of May 4, 1970 that occurred on the Kent State University campus. It was on that day that members of the Ohio national guard opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam war killing four students and wounding nine others. The upcoming 50th May 4 commemoration in 2020 represents a significant and historic milestone not only for the university but for the country as well. Beginning in the fall of 2019 and continuing through May 4, 2020, Kent State University will honor the 50th commemoration with a year-long observance of educational programs and events in addition to the traditional commemoration activities. 

 

Chic and Alan Canfora discuss the impact of the university’s decision to assume responsibility for the annual May 4 Commemoration. Both were students who were present at the shootings; Alan is one of nine students who were wounded.

50th Commemoration Update

The 50th commemoration of May 4, 1970 represents not only an important milestone in the history of Kent State University, but also a landmark moment in the history of our country.

To date, more than 60 programs, exhibits, speakers and special events are planned for the year-long observance. These programs and events cover the wide range of perspectives relating to the history, legacy and education of May 4, 1970.

As we begin this historic year, it is important to remember that we have a great responsibility to use the lessons of the past to guide us and inspire us for the future. The 50th commemoration will not only remember and honor those who lost their lives or were wounded in 1970, but will continue to shape our commitment to the teachings of open dialogue and respectful civil discourse.

Todd Diacon
President, Kent State University

  • For so many individuals, the events of and surrounding May 4, 1970, remain a vivid memory nearly 50 years later. We invite you to discover a diverse collection of stories, poems, personal reflections and some class projects that help us all to inquire, learn and reflect on that day.

  • The first events of the 50th commemoration of May 4, 1970 took place on July 31 and August 1, 2019 during the May 4, 1970 Then & Now: Voices for Change, Educators Summit. Two keynote addresses provided a diverse perspective of the history and legacy of the events of May 4, 1970. We invite you to view videos of these two powerful and moving keynotes delivered on July 31st by Tom Grace and on August 1st by Sara Abou Rashed.

  • Receive updates or volunteer to help with this very special historic event. There are numerous ways you can help including providing programming ideas, participating on committees, helping at events and more. We also need your help in raising national awareness for the 50th commemoration. Please click the link below to sign-up to help.