50 years later: Kent State marks May 4 massacre with online commemoration


KENT, Ohio (WJW) – Fifty years ago Monday, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed Kent State students during a war protest, killing four of them and wounding nine others.

The protest was in opposition to the U.S. bombing of neutral Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

To mark the anniversary of what is sometimes called the May 4 massacre, Kent State University held several virtual events and ceremonies that began over the weekend and will conclude Monday. 

At noon Monday,  the university’s website will air a special tribute video. It features the Kent State Chorale performing a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, messages from the wounded students, and a never-before-seen performance from David Crosby and the Sky Trails Band.

The messages and programs include actress Tina Fey and her husband, Kent State alumnus Jeff Richmond, voicing the play “May 4th Voices.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kent State had to cancel the weekend’s planned events, including an appearance from actress and activist Jane Fonda.

This is the first time the annual candlelight march and vigil will be done strictly through social media. To participate, post a picture of a lit candle with the hashtag #KentStateMay4.

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