Kent State University Holds Virtual May 4 50th Commemoration, Occurring May 1-4

Kent State University’s virtual 50th Commemoration to honor and remember the events of May 4, 1970, will take place online beginning Friday, May 1. Visitors to the May 4 50th Commemoration website will be able to view a variety of special videos, online exhibits and interactive tours, all designed to honor and remember Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder, the Kent State students who lost their lives 50 years ago on the Kent State campus. On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard fired on Kent State students during an anti-war protest, killing four students and wounding nine other students.

Visitors to the virtual May 4 50th Commemoration can view messages and interviews with past speakers, May 4 survivors as well as video tours of the May 4 Visitors Center and the National Historic Landmark site. In addition, several well-known musicians including David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jerry Casale, Jesse Colin Young and others reflect on the events of May 4, 1970, and how it affected their music and careers.

Other special content available on the May 4 50th Commemoration website includes links to several online exhibits, the Mapping May 4 project and the May 4 Augmented Reality Tour app, as well as a variety of historical videos. In addition, users can listen to a newly recorded version of “May 4th Voices,” the play by David Hassler, Kent State’s director of the Wick Poetry Center, featuring the voices of actress Tina Fey and her husband, Kent State alumnus Jeff Richmond.

For the first time, the annual candlelight march and vigil will be observed virtually through social media. Hoping to light up the world with messages of peace and remembrance, users can participate in the virtual vigil by posting a photo of a lit candle to social media with the hashtag #KentStateMay4 and sharing it with their friends and family.

The centerpiece of the online commemoration will be a special video tribute to be aired at noon on Monday, May 4. The video will feature a premier performance of an iconic Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song performed by the Kent State Chorale, footage from past May 4 Commemorations as well as newly recorded messages from several of the students wounded in 1970. The noon virtual May 4 50th Commemoration video will also include a never-before-seen musical performance from David Crosby and the Sky Trails band.

The virtual May 4 50th 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.

In accordance with the state of Ohio’s stay-at-home order and the ban of gatherings of 10 or more people to slow the spread of COVID-19, Kent State announced on March 23 that it regretfully canceled the May 4 50th Commemoration Weekend events that were scheduled to occur on campus. The university has also canceled all on-campus events through July 4. Classes are currently being conducted remotely. On April 17, Kent State announced it would honor and remember the events of May 4, 1970, with an online "virtual" program.

The university urges members of the public to follow travel restrictions and other measures adopted to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during this crucial time. Therefore, for the safety of all, and to comply with restrictions on public gatherings indoors and outdoors, the university asks visitors to reschedule their plans, visiting the May 4 National Historic Landmark site only after the national public health emergency has passed and the university has resumed on-campus operations.

For more information or to view Kent State’s virtual May 4 50th Commemoration, please visit the official website at

POSTED: Friday, May 1, 2020 10:22 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 11:34 AM
Rod Flauhaus