The Department of History at Kent State University will host a research symposium entitled, “The May 4th Event and New Directions in Scholarship on the Vietnam War.” The symposium will be part of the university’s year-long effort to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the May 4 event. The department has invited scholars from across North America with expertise on the Vietnam War to speak on the memory and meaning of this period. The symposium will be organized into two panels with four presenters each. The first panel will address the significance of the Vietnam War in the United States, while scholars from the second panel will speak to the war’s legacy in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Our current schedule of events for the year-long observance of the 50th commemoration of May 4, 1970 are posted below. Be sure to check this page often and our Facebook page for updates. Please note: Events on this page are subject to change.
A Second Moon. Photographs by Ben Brody. Curated by Moema Furtado, an Installation Artist and Independent Curator. Ben Brody is an independent photographer, educator, and picture editor working on long-form projects related to the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their aftermath. His first book, Attention Servicemember, published by Red Hook Editions and designed by Kummer & Herrman, has been shortlisted for the Aperture - Paris Photo First Book Award
The Kent State University Philosophy Department has held a Philosophy Graduate Student Conference every year in memory of the events of May 4, 1970, since the inauguration of our graduate program in 1992–1993. The conference is open to all areas of philosophy, and conference participants come to Kent from throughout North America.
The Cleveland Chamber Choir will join with Kent’s Theodore Roosevelt High School ChoralWorks in We March On! Music of Social Justice, a free concert commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the May 4, 1970 Kent State shootings. The program takes place at the Kent United Church of Christ on Saturday, March 7, at 7:30pm. We will present music that illumines injustice in the world and memorializes those who are working to make the world a better place. Works featured include Joel Thompson’s shocking The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed and music by British and American composers Ethyl Smyth (Songs of Sunrise), Linda Kachelmeier (Each of Us), and Catherine Dalton (I know a Woman, a nod to the Rosa Parks story).
Music of the time - songs about May 4, music of protest, music of counterculture. Event time tbd.
Award-winning documentary about the events of May, 4, 1970 on the Kent State University Campus and changed history. A film by Daniel Miller.
Bringing together leaders who were impacted by campus violence, such as Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University, and Chardon High School (OH). This panel discussion will be focused on how to effectively lead through the tragedy of school and campus violence. Panel members will bring their own unique perspectives and experiences and reflect on what we can do to help our communities when impacted by these tragic events. Panelists include: John Peters – Former President NIU Mark McNamee – Former Provost VT Andy Fetchik – Former Principal Chardon H.S. Brian O. Hemphill - President, Radford University Moderator: Beverly Warren, Former President, Kent State University.
The Wick Poetry Center is now accepting poetry submissions as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the May 4 shootings. The poems should resonate with the themes of peace, conflict transformation, and student advocacy. We are accepting submissions in three categories: youth, adult student, or adult non-student. Poet, songwriter, and novelist, Naomi Shihab Nye, will select one winner from each category who will receive $500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Kent State University to read their poems during the May 4 Music and Poetry Event on April 21.
The Wick Poetry Center invites people from around the world to contribute a line or stanza to a global community peace poem titled “My Voice.” As Kent State University approaches the 50th anniversary of the May 4 shootings, the themes of the poem will reflect peace, conflict transformation, and advocacy. The Wick Poetry Center will begin accepting submissions on Sept. 15, 2019.
The exhibition Culture/Counterculture looks at fashions of the 1960s and early 1970s with a particular focus on the generation gap during that period. The exhibition is scheduled to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Kent State’s shootings on May 4, 1970. Almost 50 years ago, the shootings of Kent State University students by the Ohio National Guard brought to a head the cultural divides that had split the nation. There was a sharp contrast between supporters of the establishment and those opposed – the culture and the counterculture. These cleavages in society saw their clear expression in the fashions of the time. The exhibition draws from the rich holdings of the university’s historic costume collection, private and institutional lenders including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as archival material from the May 4 collection.
This online social media project will recreate the 1969 – 1970 school year at Kent State University through the voices of Chic Canfora, Tim Moore, Jerry Lewis, Tom Grace, and Laura Davis. Each memory, from the mundane to the profound, will help paint a more personalized picture of the issues the divided campus and the events that brought everyone together. This program is similar to print versions of “look-backs” in history. Currently, the goal is to have at least three posts a week continuing to May 2020.
This exhibition will feature posters, flyers, t-shirts and other items created by the May 4th Task Force, a student-run organization founded in 1975, to raise awareness among students, faculty, administrators and the general public about the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970.
Many people know Jeffrey Miller from the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph that shows his body on the ground with a 14-year-old runaway screaming over him after the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of Kent State University students, killing four, including Miller, and wounding nine others on May 4, 1970. What people may not know is Miller was from Plainview, New York. According to his mom, he had a great sense of humor and liked the Mets, music, math and motorcycles. In 1970, Miller had transferred to Kent State from Michigan State University. He died at the age of 20. Guests of Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center can learn more about Miller by visiting “Our Brother Jeff,” a new exhibition at the visitors center that honors Miller’s life. The exhibition will be on display from Oct. 19, 2019, to Feb. 29, 2020. Russ Miller, Jeff’s brother, helped create the exhibition by loaning some of Jeff’s personal items to the May 4 Visitors Center.
This Stark Campus exhibit on the Main Hall 3rd Floor will focus on the historical events surrounding May 4 as well as its importance and legacy. Created by Leslie Heaphy's internship class, the exhibit will run from Dec. 16, 2019, through May 16, 2020.