Professor Rebecca Klatch is serving as an adviser and consultant on the May 4 Kent State Historical Museum being built in Kent, Ohio, to commemorate the student protests in 1970 which left four students dead by the National Guard.
Kent State gained international attention on May 4, 1970, when an Ohio Army National Guard unit fired at students during an anti-war protest on campus, killing four and wounding nine. The Guard had been called into Kent after several protests in and around campus had become violent, including a riot in downtown Kent and the burning of the ROTC building. The main cause of the protests was the United States’ invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The shootings caused an immediate closure of the campus with students and faculty given just 60 minutes to pack belongings. Around the country, many college campuses canceled classes or closed for fear of similar violent protests. In Kent, schools were closed and the National Guard restricted entry into the city limits, patrolling the area until May 8. With the campus closed, faculty members came up with a variety of solutions — including holding classes in their homes, at public buildings and places, via telephone, or through the mail — to allow their students to complete the term, which was only a few weeks away at the time