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 Kent State University Archives


Kent/Blossom Music Festival

Posted by [email protected] on May 7, 2015 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

By: Payge Reynolds


The Kent/Blossom Music Festival is an advance training institute for professional music training operated by Kent State University in cooperation with The Cleveland Orchestra and Blossom Music Center presenting public performances by distinguished artist faculty and talented young musicians.The event, which is hosted by the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music, is among the most respected summer professional training festivals in the country. The 2015 season of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival will run from June 28th through August 1st.


 Photograph of a concert at Blossom Music Center, possibly the Cleveland Orchestra performing. Photograph dated 1975.


The program has also released their own CD, titled Summer Sounds Opus 1, which was recorded live at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival in 2012, and features a collection of classical pieces such as Mozart’s String Quartet No. 14, K 387a, and Rathbun’s Phases.

A vocal/instrumental chamber music coaching session at the Blossom Festival School. Photograph taken during the late 1970’s.


May 1st, 1970: 3 Days Before May 4th

Posted by [email protected] on April 8, 2015 at 11:05 AM

By Payge Reynolds

May 1st, 1970: A beautiful spring day. Many students spent the afternoon attending classes, while other students congregated at the Victory Bell located behind Taylor Hall, listening to those addressing the crowd, and protesting the Vietnam War by burying the Constitution. The United States had been in “conflict” with Vietnam since 1965, which angered many Americans. Anti-War sentiments ran high across the country, but college campuses nationwide were fertile soil for political unrest and student protests.

Students, Professors, and reporters attend demonstrations held on the student commons. Photograph taken May 1st, 1970.

Kent State was no different. On the Commons, a rally took place where a number of speakers made emotionally-charged calls in solidarity to bring an end to the war and to criticize Nixon’s presidency. Some students watched, listened; others participated and gave speeches themselves. It was this sort of student activism seen around the country that gave the 60s its reputation, and it was also these events and demonstrations that in three days’ time, would make Kent State University a school known around the world.

A closer view of protestors, including speakers on the Victory Bell adressing the crowd on May 1st, 1970.

A large group photo of the students attenting the demonstrating at the student commons on May 1st, 1970.


April 28th, 1970: 8 Days Before May 4th

Posted by [email protected] on April 8, 2015 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

In the April 28th issue of the Daily Kent Stater, an article was published about a silent protest, which happened the previous day, organized and held by Black United Students (BUS). The protest started from the old Ward House and ended at the Administration Building . The BUS organization in addition to Students for Democratic Society (SDS) was one of the most politically active groups on campus in the late 60s and early 70s. 

BUS organizes a march in response to unfair treatments of Black students on campus in November, 1968.

With the tensions surrounding the Vietnam War across the country, Kent State was a hotbed of political activity and protest during the months of April and May, 1970. BUS’s march to the Administration building and their demands to provide a cultural center and enroll five-thousand Black students by the fall semester only added to high tensions around campus.


Kent State Shootings and their Aftermath: Through the Media's Lens

Posted by [email protected] on March 21, 2015 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

On October 15, 1969, approximately 3,500 individuals marched through Kent State University and into downtown Kent, to support the National Moratorium on the Vietnam War. Protesters sung “Give Peace a Chance,” while holding banners and signs that read, “Stop the War Machine,” and “Bring All the Troops Home.”

But nearly seven months later, on May 4, 1970, Kent State University gained international attention when thirteen students were shot, four of them fatally, by Ohio National Guardsmen during a rally against the U.S invasion of Cambodia. This event, along with the killings at Mississippi’s Jackson State just days later, sent shockwaves around the world and would have long-term effects on American culture, the student protest movement, and other social justice movements in the following years. Legal battles related to the shootings would ensue as well as protests about the meaning and physical management of the site where these young students were wounded and killed by representatives of their own government.

In honor of the 45th commemoration of the Kent State Shootings, the Department of Special Collections and Archives’ feature exhibit examines the media’s coverage and interpretation of the anti-war movement beginning with the National Moratorium on the Vietnam War in the fall of 1969, to the Kent State shootings, the Scranton Commission, through the controversy surrounding the building of the gym annex in 1977.

So, feel free to visit the Department of Special Collections and Archives on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1-5 p.m and Wednesday from 1-8 p.m. Or, take time to go through the May 4th collection to learn more about this transformative period in American history, with historical documents that include eyewitness accounts, photographs, newspaper clippings, artifacts, memorabilia, and so much more.

We Shall Never Forget!

Special Note: We will be commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the Kent State Shootings all through April and May with posts highlighting the university’s anti-war activity in the months leading up to May 4 and ending with the Gym Annex controversy.