Commemoration Weekend

After months of planning, Kent State University’s May 4 50th Commemoration Advisory Committee has released details of programs scheduled for the 50th Commemoration of the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State.

The commemoration represents a significant milestone in the history and legacy of May 4, 1970. For the first time, Kent State students, faculty, staff and university leaders, along with May 4 survivors and family members, united around a commitment to forever honor the day when the Ohio National Guard fired on students during an anti-war protest, killing four and wounding nine. The collaboration of groups previously divided on May 4 issues personifies a spirit of unity and reconciliation that has become an integral part of the history and legacy of the Kent State shootings.

In recent years, longtime May 4 activists, survivors, and wounded students began working in concert with university leaders to build a May 4 Memorial, place markers where the slain students fell, establish the May 4 Visitors Center and secure the May 4 site’s designation as a National Historic Landmark. The formation of the May 4 50th Commemoration Advisory Committee was the next logical step in reconciliation and working together to plan for this milestone event.

The weekend of special events for the 50th Commemoration will take place over four days from Friday, May 1, through Monday, May 4, with each day emphasizing a different focus of the May 4 story:

  • Friday, May 1 – The Vietnam Anti-War Movement
  • Saturday, May 2 – Impact of Student Activism
  • Sunday, May 3 – Remembering the 50-Year May 4 Legacy
  • Monday, May 4 – A Commemoration to Honor and Remember

Jane Fonda, Laurence Tribe and Eric Foner are among those who will participate. Kent State will also hold a special benefit concert with proceeds to support the newly created May 4 Legacy Scholarships honoring the four students killed on May 4, 1970. More details, artist lineup and ticket information will be announced soon.