On May 4, 1970, Kent State University became the focus of an international spotlight after a student protest against the Vietnam War and the presence of the Ohio National Guard on campus ended in tragedy. Thirteen seconds of rifle fire by 28 Ohio National Guardsmen left four students dead and nine others wounded.

On May 4, 1970, Kent State University became the focus of an international spotlight after a student protest against the Vietnam War and the presence of the Ohio National Guard on campus ended in tragedy. Thirteen seconds of rifle fire by 28 Ohio National Guardsmen left four students dead and nine others wounded.

In the United States, the shootings led to protests on college campuses and the largest student strike in country's history, causing more than 450 campuses to close amid demonstrations both violent and non-violent.

In subsequent years, commemoration of the events has varied at KSU, but often include silent marches around campus and candlelight vigils. In 1990, a May 4 Memorial was dedicated on a site overlooking where the student protest took place. In 1999, the university constructed individual memorials for each of the students killed.

In 2008, KSU announced plans to construct a May 4 Visitors Center in a campus building adjacent to the May 4 Memorial; it opened four years later. Using images, artifacts and multimedia, the center's exhibits tell the story of the decade leading up to May 4, 1970; the events of that day; the aftermath and the historical impact.

The center also includes an outdoor component, a self-guided walking tour spread out over almost 18 acres. Interpretive panels at seven stops along the walk focus on key aspects and events.

Mindy Farmer, center director, will visit Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 25, to discuss the center's history as well as the tragic events of 45 years ago in a presentation, "Remembering the Kent State Tragedy."

Hillary Kline is communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.