May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970
On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing four students and wounding nine on the campus of Kent State University. The impact of the event reverberated nationwide, triggering a dramatic increase in the ongoing student strike against US involvement in Vietnam and eventually shifting public opinion against the war.
This week marks the 53rd anniversary of the shootings. In 2020, we spoke with poet and playwright David Hassler about, “May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970,” a play based on the university’s oral history archive, and Mindy Farmer, Director of the May 4 Visitor’s Center on the Kent State campus.
Listeners can watch a recorded student production of Hassler’s play at youtube.com/watch?v=Q-gOyP9TAmo. A one-hour radio special of the play is available on Public Radio Exchange and at may4voices.org.
And, later this year, join us for The Ohio Country, a forthcoming series from WYSO Public Radio and funded by Ohio Humanities. Native men and women from different tribes and their allies—plus teachers, artists, scholars, parents, landowners, foresters, young people, and historians, too—will tell their stories about the about the lands above the Ohio River, known as the Ohio Country. You can listen in this feed, at WYSO.org, ohiohumanities.org, and in all those other places where you get podcasts.