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Kent State Unveils Plaque Commemorating the Site of May 4th Shootings

photo of Beverly Warren, Lisa Petit
Kent State President Beverly Warren (left), and Cuyahoga Valley National Parks' Lisa Petit (right) helped unveil the plaque, which be placed around the 17 acre site where students clashed with the National Guard in 1970.

Kent State University has officially recognized the landmark status of the site where four students were killed by National Guardsmen in 1970.

The 17 acres on Kent’s campus where students protested on May 4, 1970, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010, and in 2016 was declared a National Historic Landmark – one of just 2,500 such historic places in the country. Kent State has now unveiled a plaque that will be placed at the site. Former Gov. Richard Celeste was the keynote speaker at the commemoration, and said he hopes visitors to the site will reflect on whether they will speak up for their beliefs.

“It was a moment when we asked, ‘how do we value the voice of someone who disagrees with us? How do we value dissent?’”

Celeste added that the new designation is also an indicator that Kent State values its own history. While still governor, he had spoken in 1990 at the 20th anniversary of the shootings, offering a direct apology to those affected.