Special Collections and Archives

Narratives-Commentaries Related to the Kent State Shootings

Special Collections and Archives

Narratives-Commentaries Related to the Kent State Shootings

Important Notice: Due to a grant-sponsored project to digitize materials from the May 4 Collection, in-person use of the May 4 Collection is available by appointment only. Please help us serve you better by contacting us in advance to schedule an appointment for access to this collection.

Written Narratives and Commentaries Related to the Kent State Shootings

May 4 Collection - Box 101

Finding Aid

Prepared by Nancy Birk, March 1, 1995; Updated September 2015; February 2017; May 2018

Inclusive Dates: 1970-2015
Extent: 1 document case, .33 cubic foot
Physical Location: 12th floor

Scope and Content: This collection contains personal accounts of and commentaries related to the Kent State shootings and their aftermath, submitted in writing by various people.

Other Format Available: In some cases, the authors of these accounts and commentaries have given Special Collections and Archives permission to post their narratives online. Linked names below take you to the content of these narratives.

Related Materials: The May 4 collection includes a large number of oral histories. Please view the Kent State Shootings: Oral Histories site for access to these recorded oral histories.

Restrictions on Access: Some information included in this collection is restricted due to the presence of information protected by privacy laws. This information has been redacted where present on documents in the collection. Un-redacted originals, in all cases, have been retained by Special Collections and Archives.

May 4 Collection - Box 101

NameSubmission TypeNotes
Lorrie J. Accettolapersonal narrativeA Kent State University student in 1970 recounts his eye-witness experience from May 4, 1970. Submitted via email, November 13, 1999.
AnonymouscommentaryA Kent State University student in 1970 comments on what it is like to be asked to tell the story of what happened here. Submitted via email, April 30, 2000.
Kevin Baldwinpersonal narrative and commentaryKSU alumnus and Vietnam Veteran. 1995 [in the form of a letter; also included is a letter written by KSU President Carol Cartwright in response to Baldwin.]
Paul Beckwithpersonal narrativeA ninth grade student at Davey Junior High in Kent, Ohio describes what it was like for him on May 4, 1970. File also includes photographs from Beckwith of the students in his school and their May 4 project. Submitted via email, September 30, 1999
"Von and Peg" Belknappersonal narrativeCity of Kent residents. Christmas 1970, narrative in the form of a Christmas letter sent to friends and relatives.
Nancy Yockey Bonarpersonal narrative and commentaryA Kent State University alumna (class of 1958) reflects on the university's perspective over the years during the annual commemorations through her public relations viewpoint. Submitted via email, April 18, 2000.
James Burkhartpersonal narrativeInvolved in the Music and Speech sit-in during 1969, and arrested for his involvement, Burkhart describes his experiences at his trial. He was also present near Taylor Hall on the day of the May 4 shootings and recounts seeing the body of a student who had been killed [Jeffrey Miller?] in the Prentice Hall parking lot. Submitted via email, 1998
Paul Cameronpersonal narrativeA Vietnam veteran who was in Vietnam in 1970 tells about the reactions around him to the shootings at Kent. Submitted via email, November 2, 2000
Richard Carlislepersonal narrativeA Kent State University student in 1970 was en route to report to the U.S. Army in Ft. Lewis, Wa. Submitted via email, May 4, 2000
Denise M. D'Aurorapersonal narrativeA Kent State University student in 1970 shares her memories of being on campus May 1-4, 1970. Submitted via email, January 24, 2000
George Drakepersonal narrativeThe Academic Dean and Professor of History at Colorado College in 1970 describes demonstrations at his university following the shootings at KSU. He also relates what happened at Grinnell College, where he was President at the time of this recording. Submitted via email, April 19, 2000
Glenda R. ElliottcommentaryA Doctoral Student at Kent State University in 1970 who participated in "Reconciliation Groups" in the Kent community in the summer of 1970 talks about the effect that May 4 had on her as an educator, a counselor and as a human being. Submitted via email, May 4, 2000
Carolyn Mallon Fairpersonal narrative and commentaryA KSU alumna, who was working as an employee at Lake-Olson Dining Hall where National Guardsmem were fed following the shootings talks about her perceptions of what happened on the campus. Submitted via email, May 3, 2000
Donna Marie FerraricommentaryA SUNY-Oneonta Student in 1970 describes the reaction at her school to the Kent State killings and how it impacted upon her view of the world. Submitted via email, May 2, 2000
Kenneth Foscuepersonal narrativeA freshman at East Carolina University in N.C. in May of 1970 talks about the lifelong effects that what happened on May 4, 1970 have had on him. Submitted via email, September 3, 2000
Darcy Bortner Gederspersonal narrativeA Kent State University Freshman in 1970 describes what it was like to be on the Commons and teargassed on May 4, 1970 and recalls hearing the sounds of the Guard firing on the students. Submitted via email, February 21, 2000
Gregory Gibsonpersonal narrativeGibson, a 1969 graduate, was a Kent State student during the time leading up to the 1970 shootings. He shares his memories and thoughts about the major events that occurred on campus in the years before May 4, 1970, including SDS activities, the BUS walkout, and the occupation of the Music & Speech Building. He also provides his personal commentary and viewpoint on the atmosphere at Kent State during this period.
Dave Greenpersonal narrative and commentaryA senior in high school when Kent State shootings occurred. Submitted by email, May 12, 2003.
Barbara Grosspersonal narrativeA Kent State University student in 1970 who was student teaching and off campus on May 4, describes coming back to campus. Submitted via email, April 26, 2000.
Sandra Perlman HalemcommentaryA Kent resident and local playwright reflects on the tragedy and its meaning. Written May 4, 1970?
Vearl Mathis Harringtonpersonal narrative and commentaryA Kent State University student in 1970 recounts what it was like for her during May 1-4, 1970 and reflects on what she has learned. Submitted via email, April 22, 2000.
Jay A. Hatcherpersonal narrativeA University of New Mexico Student in 1970 tells about what happened there after May 4, 1970 and how it impacted upon his life. Submitted via email, December 1, 1999.
Suzanne Irvinpersonal narrativeA student at Kent State University in 1970, she recounts attending her morning classes on May 4, and then coming out onto the Taylor Hall area before the shootings occurred. She provides an eye-witness account of the events after 11:50 a.m., and describes the actions of Glenn Frank and Jerry Lewis, following the shootings. She also discusses her exit from campus and returning home. Submitted via email, February 1, 1996.
Robert Knowlespersonal narrativeKSU alumnus, Class of 1970. He briefly recounts what happened at the scene of the shootings on May 4, both before and after the shootings took place. Submitted via email, February 17, 2003.
Sally LaytoncommentaryA Kent State University student in 1970 still has questions about what happened on May 4. Submitted via email, May 16, 2002
Jim P. Longpersonal narrativeAt Louisiana State University in New Orleans in 1970, recounts what it was like hearing about what happened at Kent and how if affected him. Submitted via email, February 4, 2000.
Dale McClearycommentaryA Vietnam veteran, McCleary comments on how he has been treated as a veteran and his feelings about the shootings at Kent State, May 23, 1997.
Dale McClearypersonal narrative and commentaryA Vietnam veteran comments of where he was when he heard about the shootings at Kent State and the meaning he has derived from it. Submitted via email, May 3, 2000.
Donald C. Millerpersonal narrativeA Kent State University student in 1970 relates his experiences on May 2-4, 1970. He describes his difficult return to his dorm immediately after the shootings and the high level of fear on campus at that time. Submitted via email, April 24, 2003.
Michael MorgancommentaryA veteran reflects on the meaning of the shootings. Submitted via email, October 9, 2000.
Daniel A. Nellpersonal narrativeDescribes the experience of returning to the KSU campus in 1970 to pick up his sister who was a student. Submitted via email, April 23, 2000.
PennycommentaryA 10-year-old at the time comments on her feelings today. Submitted via email, October 28, 2000.
Beth PetrequincommentaryA Kent State University student in 1970 talks about the "fear" felt by many on campus and in the community. Submitted via email, May 1, 2000.
Alex PrimmcommentaryA founding member of Veterans for Peace comments on the deaths at Kent State. Submitted via email, April 30, 2000.
Larry Rainespersonal narrativeA student at Kent State University in 1970, Raines was friends with Dean Kahler, one of the students injured on May 4, 1970. Raines provides an eyewitness account of the events before, during, and after the shootings, and describes what it was like to realize that the Ohio National Guard was using live ammunition. He also knew Tom Grace and Sandra Scheuer, both of whom were shot. Submitted via email, March 24, 1997.
H. F. Rauppersonal narrativeKSU faculty member in geography in 1970. "Rough notes of a Faculty Senate meeting considering the May 4, 1970 shootings on the campus." [Appear to be notes written by Professor Raup of what transpired at a special Faculty Senate meeting held shortly after May 4, 1970. Raup wrote the notes in January of 1982. Raup includes notes about resolutions under consideration at this meeting including a resolution condemning the shootings.]
John D. Rezabekpersonal narrativeA Kent State University alumnus (class of 1964), who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, describes his feelings when he arrived stateside on May 5, 1970 and read in the newspaper what had happened at his alma mater. Submitted via fax, May 31, 2000, in response to an article about the oral history project in the KSU Alumni Magazine.
Cynthia Watkins RichardsoncommentaryA University of Massachusetts student in 1970 describes the imprint that the Kent tragedy had on her life. Submitted via email, April 26, 2000.
Jeff Rohanpersonal narrative and commentary"An Open Letter to the Students and Faculty of Kent State University -- Past and Present." A fourteen-year-old at the time of the shootings, Rohan describes his feelings about visiting the Kent State University campus and the May 4 Memorial in 1998. Submitted by mail, April 7, 1998.
Eve S. Rosahnpersonal narrativeA member of the December 4th Movement (D4M), in New York City, describes the response of a judge to the shootings at KSU in response to the arrest of Columbia University students. Submitted via email, April 25, 2000.
Ken Schaubpersonal narrative and commentaryA Kent State University student in 1970 describes his experiences on May 4, 1970, when he arrived at the scene of the shootings afterwards and then had a tape created from eyewitnesses that was later broadcast. After graduating from KSU in 1971 he served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force and he reflects upon the behavior of the National Guard from the perspective of a veteran. Submitted via email, May 16, 2000.
John W. Simonspersonal narrativeThe chaplain of the National Guard at Kent State gives his account of what happened from his perspective. Remarks presented at program sponsored by United Christian Ministries, undated.
John W. Simonscommentary (sermon)Sermon given by National Guard chaplain John W. Simons at St. Philip's on May 10, 1970.
Patrick G. Smithpersonal narrativeA Kent State University student in 1970 who worked at McDonalds describes his experiences in May of 1970. Submitted via email, April 22, 2000.
J. Ross Stevensonpersonal narrative and commentaryKSU faculty member in 1970. "Memories and Thoughts Concerning May 4, 1970." Includes a two-page memo written by Stevenson to Dr. Louis K. Harris, Provost, on June 16, 1970 regarding events of May 1970 and security concerns.
Caren Trantaspersonal narrativeA Penn State University Student who was living in Spain in 1970 describes what it was like for her to hear about the Kent State shootings. Submitted via email, April 30, 2000.
Robert Treichlerpersonal narrativeA Kent State University Professor of Psychology relates how faculty in the psychology department taught classes after the university was closed in what was called "the department in exile". He also discusses the problems in getting back on campus to care for the 1000 rats and 20 monkeys housed in Kent Hall. Submitted via mail, May, 2000.
Ron Vedermanpersonal narrativeA Kent State University student in 1970 relates his experiences in witnessing the shootings. Submitted via email, April 30, 2000.
Leslie Wassonpersonal narrativeA junior high student in 1970 in a close community to Kent describes what it was like for her and her family. Submitted via email, May 5, 2000.
Elaine Oswald Witwerpersonal narrativeKSU alumnus, Class of 1972. Discusses briefly rumors about Nixon wanting a female student to be shot at Kent State and the FBI investigations into the events of May 4, 1970. Submitted via email, March 9, 2003.
Linda Janoskopersonal narrativeAn Art major at Kent State, Linda recounts her experiences on May 4, 1970. Submitted via letter to Pamela Anderson, May 20, 1995.
Dan Hollonpersonal narrativeDan writes about his sister Regina and her roll on the May 4 Task Force before she was killed in a car accident in 1986. He includes a poem by her and a statement on behalf of the Central American Solidarity in Action Committee. 
William W. ScrantoncommentaryRemarks made by William Scranton at the opening of hearings in Kent, August 19, 1970.
Dr. Raghbir S. BasicommentaryDirector of the Center for Peaceful Change, Dr. Basi gave these remarks at a May 4 talk in 1972.
Glenn A. OldscommentaryPresident Glenn Olds gave these remarks on the meaning of the Kent State shootings at a May 4 dedication on May 3, 1974.
James R. Brandpersonal narrativeAlumnus James Brand sent these reflections on the 20th anniversary of May 4th. He recounts his memories of the shootings as a high school student in Canton and his later work for the May 4 Task Force at Kent. 
Mary L. Olimpiopersonal narrativeMary submitted this narrative as a part of the 20th anniversary of the May 4 shootings. It recounts her experiences as a student at Kent State before, on, and after May 4, 1970.
Dolores Pinchotpersonal narrativeDolores remembers May 4, 1970 as a student teacher at Shore Jr. High School in Euclid Ohio and SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) march in 1969. 
Joel Schacknepersonal narrativeJoel gives his first hand account of what he witnessed at Kent State on May 4, 1970 and his remembrances of Sandy Scheuer, his former girlfriend.  
James L. Mackpersonal narrativeJames mailed these reflections to the May 4 Twentieth Anniversary Commission in 1990. He recounts his experiences as a senior at Gannon College and a phone call he recieved from a friend at Kent State the afternoon of May 4, 1970.
Judie Bosau-Allenpersonal narrativeA commuting freshman in 1970, Judie recalls her experience on campus as she attempted to avoid the rally on the Commons on May 4, 1970. 
Charles Dalepersonal narrativeA graduate of Kent State in 1966, Charles recalls hearing about the shootings from his graduate program at the University of Georgia. 
Alice A. Armentroutpersonal narrativeA high school senior in May of 1970, Alice was registered at Kent for the fall of 1970. She recalls her experiences on campus during the four years after the shootings. 
Thaddeus Shurapersonal narrativeThaddeus recalls seeing Jeeps rolling into campus at noon May 4, 1970 from his work on a track repair crew for the Erie-Lackawanna railroad.
Stephen Cormany personal narrativeA 19-year-old freshman in the spring of 1970, Cormany was a eyewitness to the events of May 1-4 on the Kent State campus. He saw the shootings from the hill beyond Taylor Hall and recounts his experiences. 
John F. Ohlespersonal narrativeA Kent State professor recounts his memories of May 4, 1970. Also includes correspondence with Diane Harris discussing memories of the Kent State shootings.
Homi K. DasturcommentaryAn ordained priest writes about the four dead students at Kent State, the growing conflict in Vietnam, and the Cambodian invasion.
Thomas Gracepersonal narrative and commentaryRemarks made at the 17th anniversary of the Kent State shootings in 1987.
William G. Spearman

commentary (sermon)

Sermon given at the United Presbyterian Church of Kent, Ohio on May 10th, 1970