Kent State University to Plan for 50th Commemoration of May 4, 1970

The tragic events that occurred on the campus of Kent State University on May 4, 1970, where four students lost their lives and nine others were wounded by the Ohio National Guard, had a lasting impact that continues to resonate nearly a half-century later.

The 50th commemoration of May 4, 1970, represents not only an important milestone in the history of Kent State but also a landmark moment in history of our country. The events of May 4, 1970, are viewed by many historians as the focal point of the national student movement and the cultural turning point of America’s view on the Vietnam War.

As Kent State and the nation approach the 50th commemoration of the events of May 4, 1970, Kent State President Beverly J. Warren announced plans for a yearlong observance that will begin in the fall of 2019 and continue until May 4, 2020.

“For many members of the Kent State family – including me – the events of May 4, 1970, remain a vivid and emotional memory,” President Warren said. “That tragic day had a lasting impact on so many individuals here in Kent and around the world. As we honor and remember the lives lost and those lives forever changed, we reflect on the lessons of May 4 and renew our commitment to lift our collective voices to affect positive change.”

The yearlong 50th commemoration will begin in the fall of 2019 with a series of special events, programming and academic activities designed to touch all generations in very significant and meaningful ways. The commemoration not only will honor those who lost their lives or were wounded but also will build on the lessons learned over the past 50 years and help inspire others to continue the pursuits of freedom of expression and peaceful conflict resolution.

As more plans are finalized, the university will share additional details about the commemoration via the May 4, 2020, homepage at Those interested in learning more about the 50th commemoration can sign up for periodic updates on the website’s sign-up form or visit the commemoration’s Facebook page at

In 2016, Kent State’s May 4 site was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Just over 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction with the May 4 site as one of 76 such locations in Ohio.

For more information about May 4, visit Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center at

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Media Contacts: 
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595
Kristin Anderson,, 330-672-7907

POSTED: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 10:14am
UPDATED: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 4:21pm
University Communications and Marketing