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Grant number like: GI-50352-11

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Kent State University (Kent, OH 44242-0001)
Laura L. Davis (Project Director: January 2011 to August 2013)

America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants
Public Programs

$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2011 – 7/31/2013

Making Meaning of May 4th: The Kent State Shootings in American History

Implementation of a long-term exhibition about the 1970 shooting of Kent State University students by National Guardsmen within the context of national anti-war protest, politics, and youth culture and subsequent litigation about First Amendment rights.

This project will be implementation, Oct. 2011 to Sept. 2012, of a permanent, museum-style exhibit to create a May 4 Visitors Center at Kent State University. On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired at demonstrators, wounding 13 Kent State students, four of them fatally. Many consider May 4 one turning point in the course of the Vietnam War and the Nixon presidency. The ten-year legal battle that followed May 4 raised important Constitutional questions and set precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court. The event also led to reform in military policy. Exhibit content has been developed through extensive consultation with humanities scholars. Members of the public also have contributed ideas and reviewed materials as they have been developed. Visitors will explore the exhibit to better understand the events of that day in history, the times in which they took place, and their meaning for citizens today--including the difference that can be made by young people.