Dr. Gregory Wilson is Professor of History at the University of Akron where he teaches courses in United States, Ohio, environmental, and public history. His published work includes Above the Shots: An Oral History of the Kent State Shootings (with Craig Simpson), Ohio: A History of the Buckeye State (with Kevin F. Kern), and Communities Left Behind: The Area Redevelopment Administration, 1945 – 1965.
The Kent State Shootings: Fifty Years On
Fifty years ago, May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard killed four students and wounded nine when they fired their weapons during a confrontation over the Vietnam War at Kent State University. Lasting all of thirteen seconds, the shootings have reverberated both in the personal memories of those who were there and the larger historical memory. This talk examines the contours of the battle over the meaning and memory of the shootings, a seminal event of the 1960s. The event illuminates not only the specific tensions and issues of the era, but also broader questions about democracy, authority, and violence.
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