A blog from the desk of the University Archivist at Kent State University


 Kent State University Archives


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

Posted by [email protected] on March 21, 2015 at 11:35 AM

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take time to go through the May 4th collection to learn more about this transformative period in American history, with historical documents that include eyewitness accounts, photographs, newspaper clippings, artifacts, memorabilia, and so much more.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.

Categories: Events, Exhibits

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