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2010 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award Recipients

Mark Seeman, Carole Barbato, Jerry Lewis and Laura Davis for preparing exemplary documentation to nominate May 4, 1970, Kent State Shootings Site National Register of Historic Places

The May 4th shootings site covers 17.4 acres of the Kent State campus, comprising the Commons, Blanket Hill, the Prentice Hall parking lot and the Practice Field. The site is an area where the Ohio National Guard, student protesters and an active audience of observers and/or sympathizers ebbed and flowed across a central portion of the campus, beginning at approximately 11 a.m. and ending at approximately 1:30 p.m., May 4, 1970.

The nomination itself is the product of three years of intensive research, documentation, and consensus building, resulting in what may be the most definitive account yet of the May 4 events, their causes, and their consequences. The National Park Service's acceptance of the nomination is indicative of the exceptional level of research and documentation required to list a site less than 50 years of age, even more so for a site of national rather than state or local significance. In recognition of the outstanding quality of the nomination, the Park Service featured it on its National Register website.

The nomination is complex, documenting a large area and including the identification, interpretation and description of a number of contributing resources. Boundary delineation and mapping were particularly difficult and detailed, requiring careful consideration of integrity issues and the use of GIS technology to compare historical imagery with the site’s current state. The National Register nomination has fostered a broad perspective on the larger issues of constitutional rights, the anti-Vietnam War movement, and the impact of the shootings on the American people.

The four co-authors of the nomination are:
Mark Seeman, Kent State University anthropology professor who spearheaded the nomination to add the May 4 shootings site to the National Register of Historic Places.


Laura Davis, Kent State University professor of English and the faculty coordinator for May 4 initiatives. Dr. Davis, along with Doctors Seeman and Barbato, is active in developing the Kent State May 4 Visitors Center. She and Dr. Barbato co-teach the university’s May 4 course and co-chaired the 2009 Symposium on Democracy.


Carole Barbato, communication studies professor for Kent State University at East Liverpool. Working with university and community members, she co-led the creation of an audio-guided walking tour of the May 4 historic site that was dedicated during the 40th anniversary commemoration. And:


Jerry M. Lewis, professor emeritus of sociology at Kent who, as a faculty marshal in 1970, witnessed the events first hand. He has devoted his time to researching, memorializing and lecturing since the events took place.
This team’s exhaustive work in successfully producing the National Register nomination of the May 4, 1970 Kent State Shootings Site is an outstanding accomplishment and one that has directly affected the university’s commitment to preservation of the site.

2010 Awards 
Presentation Image. Click to view slides of the awards presentation.

Click here to return to the list of 2010 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.

Click here for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.


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