May 4th Visitor Center In Progress

Aubrey Haskins

WATCH a video about the center and its significance.

It’s been almost forty years since May 4, 1970, and Kent State is finally in the process of making a May 4th Visitor Center.

For two people in particular this center is a dream come true.

Tom Hensley was in his first year of teaching at Kent State when May 4th happened.

“I began the class by reading to the students a memo from the University Administration indicating that the rally had be declared unacceptable and that students should not attend it. “

Hensley advised his students not to go to the rally, but neither Hensley nor the students listened to the rule.

Hensley decided not to stay on campus that day, he felt like there was going to be trouble.

Hensley was right.

“The program I was listening too was interrupted saying that a guards man had been shot on campus.”

The program was wrong, it was really students.

Laura Davis was in her first year at Kent when May 4th happened.

She assumed that the guards would march and go back to where they came from, and that was not the case.

“I saw the lines of guardsman walking to the commons and I thought what I thought was going to happen was exactly happening, but this line of people all turned in union, lifted up their guns in unison, and began to fire.”

On that day four students were killed and nine were wounded.

The visitor center is going to be an educational and informational center, and will be located in Taylor Hall.

The center will also be adjacent to the memorial.

Davis said that having the visitor center at the historical site makes a lot of sense.

“A lot of people want to walk the site just as they do at Gettysburg or any other battlefield.”

The design for the center should be completed by the fall.