Kent State May 4 50th commemoration event weekend canceled


Members of the Ohio National Guard walk through a cloud of tear gas toward students and protesters near Taylor Hall at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. Courtesy of Kent State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives.

The 50th commemoration weekend for May 4 was canceled Monday in accordance with the order of Amy Acton M.D., director of the Ohio Department of Health, to stay home. 

All events from May 1 to May 4, 2020 have been canceled, leading to new solutions for the commemoration.

A virtual May 4 commemoration program is under development and details will be announced at a later date. 

“This online program will honor and remember Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder who were killed and nine other Kent State students who were wounded on May 4, 1970, when the Ohio National Guard fired on students during an anti-war protest,” according to the email sent out to students, staff and faculty.  

Kent State administrators, students and faculty, as well as May 4 survivors and family members worked together to plan a commemoration for the first time in 50 years. 

The university urges the public to follow travel restrictions and other measures adopted to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during this crucial time. Therefore, for the safety of all, and to comply with restrictions on public gatherings indoors and outdoors, the university asks visitors to reschedule their plans, visiting the May 4 National Historic Landmark site only after the national public health emergency has passed and the university has resumed on-campus operations.

Refunds for the May 4 Commemoration Benefit Concert featuring Joe Walsh and David Crosby, as well as the luncheon with historian Eric Foner, were processed. 

For up-to-date information regarding the virtual commemoration, visit

Contact Sara Crawford at [email protected] and Maria McGinnis at [email protected].