Kent State and various organizations are offering a series of events leading up to the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the May 4, 1970, shootings at the university that claimed the lives of four students and wounded nine others. All events are free to the public unless otherwise noted.
“May 4 Voices Community Story Quilt”
• A community-generated story quilt created by Ohio Arts Council. Patches will be accepted April 27 to May 29 at the Downtown Gallery. There will be two quilting workshops: May 1 from noon to 2 p.m.; May 13 from 5 to 7 p.m.
• 7:30 p.m.: Premiere of the documentary film “May 1” in the Kent Student Center on campus.
The Kent Stage, 175 E. Main St., will host three events:
• 5 p.m.: KSU Students Readers Theater: “Blanket Hill,” a new work telling the events of May 4, 1970.
• 6:30 p.m.: A set from the band Mays Gone.
• 7 p.m.: The debut of a dramatic performance based on the ongoing May 4 Oral History Project conducted by Kent State University Libraries’ Department of Special Collections and Archives.
“The Vietnam Project: Kent State Alumna Carol Wilder with Thomas M. Grace”
• 9-10 a.m.: Kent Student Center. Wilder was a graduate student at Kent on May 4, 1970 who now teaches about media contributions to such tragedies. Grace is the author of “Kent State: Death and Dissent during the Long Sixties, 1958-1973.”
JMC All-Alumni Reunion Events
• 11:30 a.m.: Martin Center at The University of Akron. The Akron Press Club and JMC will co-host a luncheon called “The Sound and Fury of May 4, 1970,” featuring a panel discussion of journalists who chronicled the day. Reservation is required at $10 per club member or $15 for non-members by calling (330) 564-4211.
• 2:30 p.m.: Franklin Hall at Kent State University: Panel Discussion: “Sound and Fury Part 2,” an extension of the luncheon panel.
• 3:30 p.m.: Franklin Hall: Panel Discussion: “May 4, 1970 – How it affected my life.”
• 4:30 p.m.: Franklin Hall: JMC alumni reception and networking event. Reservation required by calling (330) 672-8281.
• 6 p.m., Franklin Hall: Ray’s Place Reunion.
Dedication of National Register Plaque and May 4 Walking Tour
• 3-4 p.m.: 214 Ritchie Hall. Following a brief program, the dedication will proceed to the plaza behind Oscar Ritchie for a ribbon cutting.
Democracy Speaker, U.S. Rep. John Lewis: “Coming Full Circle: Democracy, Engagement and Social Change.”
• 6:30 p.m.: Kent Student Center Ballroom, second floor of Kent Student Center.
40th Annual Candlelight March and Vigil
• 10:30 p.m.: Participants assemble on the Commons and walk the perimeter of campus in candlelit silence beginning at 11 p.m. Following the march, a silent vigil for the four dead students will be from midnight until 12:24 p.m., the time that members of the Ohio National Guard fired. Reservations for watches throughout the vigil may be made by e-mailing email@example.com.
• Noon - 2 p.m.: At 12:24 p.m., the Victory Bell is rung — once for each of the 13 students wounded or killed, and once for each of the victims of the Jackson State shootings on May 14, 1970.
This year’s speakers include Bobby Seale, a civil rights activist who co-founded the Black Panthers Party and Mark Rudd, an anti-war activist who helped to form the Weathermen.
• 5-6 p.m.: Room 200 in White Hall: Screening of the 50- minute documentary, “The Story of the Kent State Shootings,” produced in 1995 by Drew Tiene, professor of Instructional Technology at Kent State.