Category Archives: May 4 1970

Inquire, Learn, Reflect

hillelmemorial.jpg                             alison-krause.jpg

And so our “May 4 remembrance begins” … That’s the title of the article in yesterday’s Kent Stater. Early May is always kind of an interesting time of year at Kent State University. It’s the end of the semester, and the weather is usually nice. However, it’s also a time of reflection because of the May 4 Remembrance.

For those of you who may not know, on May 4, 1970, four students were shot and killed, and nine others wounded by the National Guard during a protest about the Vietnam War. To this day, there is no clarity on what exactly happened and if an order to fire was ever given, and it is still a subject of great controversy 37 years after it happened. This year that’s even more the case, given the recent news coverage about the release of an audio tape that supposedly proves that an order to fire was actually given.

The best-known artifact of the May 4 shootings is probably this picture:


 I was almost 2 years old when the shootings took place and living in the Netherlands, where I learned about the events of this fateful day from my World History classes in high school. I vividly remember seeing this image in my history book.

This year the remembrance will be even more somber, as not only the Kent State shootings will be remembered, but also the recent events at Virginia Tech, and there will be a display of boots to visually represent the losses in Iraq.

Our University will be closed at noon for the remembrance events. I will be in the Commons. Speakers this year include Tom Hayden, Cindy Sheehan, and US Representative for the 17th district Tim Ryan.

 For more in depth information about the events of May 4, 1970, there are plenty of Internet resources. Here are a few of the good ones (see, there is some technology in this post after all):

Wikipedia entry on May 4, 1970

May 4 collection at the Kent State Libraries

Kent State’s May 4 Taskforce

Image Credits:

“Hillel Memorial” and “Allison Krause” by myself (May 4, 2007).

Wikipedia: (the original image was taken by John Filo, who won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for this image)