Kent State Remembers the Events of May 4, 1970
Kent State University has scheduled a variety of programs, events and exhibits for this year’s remembrance of May 4, 1970, to honor the four students who were killed, the nine students who were wounded and the countless others whose lives were forever changed when the Ohio National Guard fired on Kent State students during an anti-war protest.
This year’s commemoration events include:
Sunday, May 1
The May 4 Commemoration will kick off on Sunday with an outdoor music festival on the Kent State Commons where visitors can gather, connect with old friends, bring a picnic lunch or enjoy the Brooks Homemade BBQ Food Truck. Students from the May 4 Task Force and Students for a Democratic Society will be promoting May 1-4 programs throughout the afternoon and distributing printed programs of numerous events planned by the university and by student groups connected to May 4. Hear some of the area’s best music by Magpie, Harvest, The TwistOffs and Alex Bevan from noon to 6 p.m. on the Kent State Commons.
In keeping with this year’s theme, our May 4 Film Series kicks off in downtown Kent at the Kent Stage with free screenings of Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple’s documentary “Shut Up & Sing” at 7:30 p.m. The free film series continues on Monday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. with a showing of Glenn Silber’s “The War at Home,” nominated for two Academy Awards.
Monday, May 2
At 11:30 a.m., Kent State will honor the faculty marshals of May 4, 1970, with a luncheon and special recognition at the inaugural Jerry M. Lewis May 4 Lecture Series. Tammy Clewell, Ph.D., professor in Kent State’s Department of English, will give the inaugural lecture with her presentation “Remembering the Contested May 4 Memorializing Process.” The lecture and luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom, and tickets can be reserved at https://ksuevents.universitytickets.com.
University and community members will gather at 7 p.m. to attend a special concert presented by Kent State’s School of Music titled “Stories of Peace, Protest and Reflection” at Severance Music Center in Cleveland. Tickets can be purchased online through the Severance Ticket Office or by calling 216-231-1111.
Tuesday, May 3
At 2 p.m., a special gathering will be held in the Taylor Hall parking lot to dedicate the engraved plaques that permanently mark where the nine wounded students were located when hit by gunfire. The markers were installed in 2021 on the May 4 site, but this will be the first opportunity for an in-person dedication.
This year’s two featured films will have special screenings in the Kent Student Center Kiva, with opportunities for audiences to engage afterward. “The War at Home” will be screened at 4 p.m. followed by a Q&A session with the director Glenn Silber and facilitated by Kent State President Todd Diacon. At 7 p.m., Danny Miller’s “Fire in the Heartland” will include an interactive Q&A with the director and principal figures featured in the film about the Kent State shootings. Following the film, visitors will gather on the Kent State Commons to prepare for the Candlelight Walk and Vigil. A light meal will be served at 10 p.m.
The annual Candlelight Walk and Vigil will begin at 11 p.m. This cornerstone of the commemoration began in 1971.
Wednesday, May 4
The campus community and visitors will gather at noon on the May 4 site at the Kent State Commons to commemorate the moment that gunfire erupted 52 years ago.
Presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham will deliver the commemoration keynote address and will appear the evening of May 4 for Kent State’s Presidential Speaker Series.
Meacham will bring his unique perspective and provide historical context to the issues and events impacting our daily lives when he speaks about civil discourse and the power of collective voice for meaningful change at the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Presidential Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. However, a ticket is required for admission to the 7 p.m. event. Two tickets can be requested per email address. Tickets can be reserved at https://ksuevents.universitytickets.com.
Kent State Student Organizations
Special events and programs hosted by student organizations include a screening of “Fire in the Heartland” on Wednesday, April 27, at 7 p.m. in the Design Innovation Hub, a panel discussion organized by the May 4 Task Force with former leaders on Wednesday, May 4, at 10:30 a.m. in the Reflections Gallery of Taylor Hall and several programs scheduled by Students for a Democratic Society throughout the week. For the full schedule of events, visit www.kent.edu/may-4-1970/schedule-events.
Exhibits will be on display through May 6 in the Kent Student Center, the Design Innovation Hub and the May 4 Visitors Center in Taylor Hall.
Additional Commemoration Information
For the latest information about the commemoration and a complete list of events to honor and remember May 4, 1970, visit www.kent.edu/may-4-1970/commemoration.
Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder were killed on May 4, 1970.
Alan Canfora, John Cleary, Thomas Grace, Dean Kahler, Joseph Lewis, Donald Mackenzie, James Russell, Robert Stamps and Douglas Wrentmore were wounded on May 4, 1970.
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Pictured are the four Kent State University students who were killed on May 4, 1970. From left to right are Allison Krause, William Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer and Jeffrey Miller.
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