Kent State to dedicate May 4 site as National Historic Landmark


A portion of Kent State University’s Kent Campus has taken its place alongside the nation’s most significant historic locations, joining such sites as the Grand Canyon National Park, Pearl Harbor and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the university announced this morning.

Those 17 acres represent the location of the historic events of May 4, 1970, where protesting students, observers and soldiers gathered on that fateful day when the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four students and wounded nine others.

In 2010, the May 4 site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is comprised of 90,000 locations associated with events that contributed significantly to U.S. history. Then in 2016, Kent State’s May 4 site joined a much more select group as it was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Only 2,500 historic places share this national distinction; the May 4 site is one of 76 such locations in Ohio.

As part of the 48th annual May 4 Commemoration, Kent State will formally recognize and celebrate this National Historic Landmark designation during a special dedication ceremony at the Honors College Plaza on Friday, May 4, at 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to register online. In the event of inclement weather, the dedication ceremony will take place at the Kent Student Center Kiva.

Former Ohio Gov. Richard “Dick” Celeste will serve as keynote speaker at the event. Kent State President Beverly J. Warren; Lawrence Pollock, chair of the Kent State University Board of Trustees; and Todd Diacon, Kent State’s executive vice president and provost, will provide remarks at the ceremony.

The ceremony also will feature the unveiling of a plaque to officially dedicate the site as a national landmark by President Warren, members of the Kent State Board of Trustees, the May 4 Task Force and the National Park Service.

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