The 28th annual May 4 Commemoration on the Kent State University was
characterized by rainy weather, impassioned speeches and controversy over the spots in the
Prentice parking lot where Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William
Schroeder were shot and killed during an anti-Vietnam war protest on May 4, 1970.
Controversy erupted after the completion of the Candlelight March on the evening of May 3.
Over two hundred people had just completed a march around the Kent State campus carrying
lit candles in the pouring rain including KSU President Carol Cartwright. She was
approached by members of the May 4 Task Force whoattempted to present her with letters
from the parents of the slain students requesting that the spots where their students were
slain no longer be used to park cars.
Four individuals, each carrying a candle representing one of the four students killed at
Kent State on May 4, 1970, lead a Candlelight march around the Campus. President
Cartwright refused to accept the letters and directed the students to contact her at
another time. After a heated discussion which failed to change her mind she left the
vigil. This somewhat mild conftrontation set the tone for even more dramatic activities
the next day.
The annual May 4, 1970 Commemoration Program is sponsored and organized each year by the
May 4 Task Force. The M4TF was founded in 1975 by Kent State students when the University
decided to forgo its sponsorship of the annual commemorations. Each year the M4TF chooses
a theme and invites speakers to participate in the program and relate their experiences to
the theme. 1998's theme was the "Unification of the Generations."The 28th
Commemoration consisted of an Arts Tribute on May 2nd, a showing of the film "Born on
the Fourth of July" on May 3rd and the main program at noon on May 4 on the
University Commons. The M4TF also coordinates the Candlelight March and Vigil on May 3rd
and 4th. The Arts Tribute consisted of poetry readings, music and book reading. This year,
Dean Kahler, wounded and paralyzed on May 4, 1970, gave a presentation. He is currently a
History and Civics teacher in Southern Ohio. He related his experiences as a high
school teacher in motivating his students to be more active and aware of current events
and responding to them. The movie, "Born on the Fourth of July", shown on May 3,
is a biographical account of the life of Ron Kovic, who was wounded and paralyzed while in
the army during the Vietnam War. Ron has been to Kent State before and was this years
featured speaker on May 4.