KENT, Ohio - Kent State University will officially open it's May 4 Visitors Center on Saturday, Oct. 20. An open house will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Visitors to the open house will receive a special May 4 commemorative gift, while supplies last.
The center's exhibits tell the story of the decade leading up to May 4, 1970, the events on campus of that day, the aftermath and the historical impact of the clash between the Ohio National Guard and students protesting the Vietnam war. Four students were killed and nine others were injured when the Guard opened fire on the students. The center will have artifacts on display as well as images from that day and multimedia presentations. Visitors can speak their thoughts about the center which will then appear on a scrolling video screen in the center.
Center Director Laura Davis said people would come to visit the site of the May 4 shootings but wanted more information.
"People would come to the Kent State Campus and they didn't know where to go. They knew something had happened here but there was no text, there was not explanation that described what happened here."
In 2010, the site of the protests and shootings on campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The cost for the design and construction of the center was $1.1 million. Funding included contributions from the public, veterans groups, a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities and $667,000 from all 16 eans from every Kent State Campus and College.