Marking the 50th Anniversary of the May 4th Shootings
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Guard shootings on the Kent State University campus. After days of protests and simmering tensions over the Vietnam War, on May 4, 1970, guardsmen opened fire on students, killing four and wounding nine more.
Much has changed in the 50 years since the shootings including the university's own acknowledgment and acceptance of what happened on that day. At the same time, some questions and mysteries still remain.
To mark the 50th anniversary, WKSU's reporters will consider the lasting impact of the shootings. This coverage includes "Fragments of May 4", a project working with Kent State University journalism students, who've collected and produced audio stories associated with artifacts donated to the May 4 Visitors Center.
On May 4th itself, WKSU will air four special one-hour programs that capture the details of what happened and the shootings' ongoing legacy:
- 9am - May 4 at 50, a special live one-hour joint broadcast co-hosted by WKSU's Andrew Meyer and WCPN's Mike McIntyre. Guests will include current Kent State president Todd Diacon and past president Carol Cartwright. We'll be joined by Alan Canfora and Dean Kahler, survivors of the shootings and by reporters from both stations to talk about their coverage of the anniversary.
- 10am - May 4 Voices: Kent State 1970. This is a new radio adaptation of a play by David Hassler, entirely drawn from the May 4 Oral History Project. It was produced and directed by WKSU’s Joe Gunderman, using 22 professional actors, almost all of whom have a direct connection to Kent State.
- 11am - APM Reports - Soldiers for Peace. Soldiers for Peace takes a deep look at how GIs were transformed by Vietnam, and the strategies veterans and active-duty personnel used to bring the war to an end. The program upends enduring myths about the anti-war movement.
- Noon - Remembering Kent State 1970. A documentary originally produced in 2000 that uses archival tape from 1970 to tell the story of the days leading up to and including May 4.
- 7 pm - May 4 Voices: Kent State 1970. This is a new radio adaptation of a play by David Hassler, entirely drawn from the May 4 Oral History Project. It was produced and directed by WKSU’s Joe Gunderman, using 22 professional actors, almost all of whom have a direct connection to Kent State.