Kent State and May 4th
A Social Science Perspective Third Edition, Revised and ExpandedHistory, Regional Interest, Social Science
A sociological study of the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State University and their aftermath
“On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of protestors at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others. This tragic act and its aftermath generated national and international social, legal, and political controversy.”—from the Preface
Beginning with a detailed description of the May 4 shootings and the events that preceded them, Kent State and May 4th is a revised, updated, and expanded volume of essays that seeks to answer frequently raised questions while correcting historical inaccuracies. The third edition includes a new essay that analyzes a group of television documentaries about May 4 and an overview of the legal aftermath of the shootings, including governmental investigations to determine responsibility and how students were affected by these events. The book also explores the gymnasium annex controversy of 1977, in which Kent State University proposed the building of a new recreational facility on portions of land where students and Guardsmen confronted each other. Finally, the editors examine how the university and community have memorialized May 4 over the past forty years.
Kent State and May 4th provides valuable insights into events that have been woven into our nation’s collective memory. It will appeal to political scientists, sociologists, and American studies and Vietnam War– era historians.
Thomas R. Hensley is professor emeritus of political science at Kent State University. He chaired the university’s first Symposium on Democracy, an academic conference created in commemoration of May 4, 1970, and edited the inaugural volume of the Symposium on democracy series, The Boundaries of Freedom of Expression and Order in American Democracy (The Kent State University Press, 2001).
Jerry M. Lewis is professor emeritus of sociology at Kent State University. As a Kent State faculty member in 1970, he witnessed the May 4 shootings while serving as a faculty marshall. Since then, Lewis has been involved in researching, memorializing, and lecturing about the tragedy, and recently, along with Hensley, he served on the May 4 Visitors Center Committee.