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Kent State Shootings Remembrance in the United States

Each year on May 4, students, activists, and survivors gather at Kent State University in Ohio to mark the anniversary of the Kent State massacre in 1970.

The students taking part in the demonstrations on May 4, 1970, protested against the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
The students taking part in the demonstrations on May 4, 1970, protested against the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
©bigstockphoto.com/igor stevanovic

What Do People Do?

The May 4 Task Force (M4TF), a student organization at Kent State University, organizes a number of commemorative events. These usually include discussions, speeches, concerts, and a candlelight march around campus. The activities are open to the general public.

Events are also held at the May 4 Visitors Center, which was opened in 2013.

Public Life

Kent State Shootings Remembrance Day is a local observance at Kent State University only. It is not an official holiday.

Background

On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard shot and killed 4 students peacefully protesting against the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War. 9 students were wounded during the event. The perpetrators were never brought to justice.

John Paul Filo's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of the incident is considered one of the historically most significant images of the era. It shows Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the body of one of the victims, Jeffrey Miller.

The incident had a great impact on the political atmosphere both in the U.S. and internationally, radicalizing the opposition to the military engagement in the Vietnam conflict. Following the event, about 8 million students took part in a national hunger strike, closing down hundreds of universities and schools across the United States.

The protests were triggered by a speech by U.S. President Nixon on April 30, 1970, in which he announced the extension of the war efforts to Cambodia.

Kent State Shootings Remembrance Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
TueMay 42010Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
WedMay 42011Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
FriMay 42012Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
SatMay 42013Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
SunMay 42014Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
MonMay 42015Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
WedMay 42016Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
ThuMay 42017Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
FriMay 42018Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
SatMay 42019Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio
MonMay 42020Kent State Shootings RemembranceLocal observanceOhio

Quick Facts

Kent State Shootings Remembrance Day is a local observance in Kent, Ohio.

Kent State Shootings Remembrance 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018 (local in Ohio)

Kent State Shootings Remembrance 2019

Saturday, May 4, 2019 (local in Ohio)

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Kent State Shootings RemembranceEnglish
Recuerdo del Masacre de Kent StateSpanish
הזיכרון מדינת ירי קנטHebrew
كينت ستيت إطلاق النار ذكرىArabic
켄트 주 총격 사건의 기억Korean
Kent State-massakren minnedagNorwegian
Gedenken an das Kent State MassakerGerman

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in May 2018 in the United States

Fun Holidays on May 4, 2018

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