Welcome to the Virtual May 4 50th Commemoration

Kent State University will have a virtual program to mark the 50th Commemoration with a variety of special online videos, exhibits and learning resources beginning Friday, May 1. The virtual commemoration culminates the yearlong observance of the 50th anniversary of the shootings that included more than 100 programs and educational activities, which took place universitywide and around the country between July 31, 2019, and May 1, 2020. 


Candlelight Vigil

Virtual Candlelight Vigil

Now - May 4th
Information about the virtual candlelight vigil and how you can participate to show your support for those killed on May 4, 1970.

50th Commemoration

50th Annual Commemoration

May 4, 2020. Noon EDT
View a special virtual May 4 Commemoration that honors and remembers those who lost their lives on May 4, 1970, and recounts the events of that day. 

May 4 Web Apps

May 4 Virtual Web Apps

Explore two new May 4 web applications: the Augmented Reality app and the Mapping May 4 app. Both allow users to explore events surrounding May 4, 1970, and also use recorded oral histories to further tell the story of that day.


May 4 Voices Radio Play

“May 4 Voices” Radio Play

Listen online to the new production of the “May 4 Voices” radio play featuring Tina Fey, Joe Gunderman, Ron West and many others.

KSU Students and Nixon

Kent State Students & Nixon: Don Grant Interview

Two days after May 4, 1970, Don Grant and five other Kent State students went to Washington, D.C., and met with President Richard Nixon. Watch a video interview/oral history with Grant conducted by the Richard Nixon Foundation.

Online Exhibit

Kent State Shootings Oral History Project

Since the Oral History Project's founding by Sandra Perlman Halem for the 20th Commemoration of May 4 in 1990, Kent State's Special Collections & Archives has recorded, permanently archived and provided access to audio recordings of people's stories about the Kent State shootings and their aftermath. 

Research Study

May 4 Research Study

Researchers at Kent State's Department of Psychological Sciences are very interested in your thoughts, feelings and reactions concerning the events of May 4, 1970. This is open to individuals who were 13 years of age or older in 1970. All responses are confidential.





Vistors Center Videos

Visitors Center & Site Videos

Watch videos about the May 4 Visitors Center, the Walking Tour and National Historic Landmark dedication. Seven different videos are available.

May 4 Witnesses

May 4 Witnesses & Survivors

Watch videos from May 4 survivors, witnesses and others who were personally affected by the events of May 4, 1970. Six different videos are available.

Reflections From Musicians

Musicians Reflect on May 4, 1970

Watch new video reflections from several well-known musicians whose music and careers were affected by the events of May 4, 1970. Five different videos are available.

Past Commemorations

May 4 Commemorations & Historical Videos

Watch videos from past May 4 Commemorations and other historical footage. Seven different videos are available.

Music of May 4

Music Videos About May 4, 1970

Visit links to videos of artists performing songs related to the history and legacy of May 4, 1970.


Year-Long Observance

Videos From Yearlong Observance

Watch videos from some of the events and special programs held during the yearlong observance of the 50th May 4 Commemoration. Nine different videos are available.

May 4th Voices Video

“May 4th Voices” Video Presentation

Watch video presentation of the play written by David Hassler that brings together first-person narratives about the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State.

Third Party Videos

Third-Party Videos

Watch additional videos and news features about the history and legacy of May 4, produced by third-party sources such as filmmakers or news stations.


Online Exhibits:

Online Exhibit

May 4 Listening Wall Online

“Armed With Our Voices,” the May 4 Listening Wall Exhibit. The tragedy revealed the grave consequences that result when communication collapses. Today, polarized perspectives, divided communities and school violence are commonplace. As we approach the 50th Commemoration of the May 4 tragedy, the Wick Poetry Center, with its partners, has developed an interactive exhibit, encouraging visitors to explore the history of student protest and the timely themes of peace and conflict transformation.

Visitors Center Online Exhibit

Four Fallen Students

This website honors the lives of Jeff, Allison, Bill and Sandy. It is the product of a multiyear collaboration between Glyphix, a student design firm, and the May 4 Visitors Center with special thanks to the May 4 families and friends.

Online Exhibit

Civil Rights, Black Power and Anti-War Actions: Orangeburg, Kent, and Jackson, 1960-1967

Part of 50 Years: Long Live the Memory programming, this exhibit showcases selected key events in and around Jackson State University (Jackson, MS), South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC), and Kent State University (Kent, OH) from 1960-1967. Civil rights actions, anti-war protests, and an emerging Black Power movement are featured. Curated by Cara Gilgenbach, Special Collections and Archives, Kent State University Libraries.

Online Exhibit

The Truth Demands Justice: A Snapshot History of the May 4th Task Force

This exhibition features posters, flyers, 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. Curated by Haley Antell, Special Collections and Archives, Kent State University Libraries.

Research Study

May 4: Through the Looking Glass

RMay 4: Through the Looking Glass, created within Kent State University’s School of Emerging Media and Technology in collaboration with Alan Canfora, is an interactive exhibition that seeks to open up new spaces for thinking and feeling the profound legacies of May 4, 1970.

Online Exhibit

The Campus Strike Papers: The Aftermath of May 4, 1970

In the aftermath of the shootings of May 4, 1970, Kent State University Libraries sent letters to colleges and universities across the nation requesting campus strike newspapers and related documents to be archived for future research. This exhibit highlights a selection of the responses that are found in the Campus Strike papers in Special Collections and Archives. Curated by Anita Clary, Special Collections and Archives, Kent State University Libraries.

Black Student Movements

Black Student Movements

Showcased in this exhibit is the activism of Black students at South Carolina State College, Kent State University and Jackson State College and images of the shootings which occurred there. While the focus of the shootings at Kent State University has historically been on the anti-war activism of the students, this exhibit seeks to frame the activism in a larger political, social and cultural context, examining the civil rights struggles of the time and the self-determination of Black students in particular.


Global Peace Poem

Global Peace Poems

The Wick Poetry Center collected more than 600 poems resonating with the themes of peace, conflict transformation and student advocacy. View the winners, entries and poster artwork. Winners were chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye.