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Much has changed in the 50 years since the shootings including the university's own acknowledgment and acceptance of what happened on that day. At the same time, some questions and mysteries still remain.To mark the 50th anniversary, we consider the lasting impact of the shootings.

Former New Orleans Mayor Talks Patriotism in May 4 Speech

a photo of Mitch Landrieu
Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans, answers questions from the audience during 'An Evening with Mitch Landrieu,' an event held in conjunction with the Kent State May 4 Speaker Series. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019.

The former mayor of New Orleans drew parallels between the troubled times of 1970 that led to tragedy at Kent State and the troubled times right now that have led to an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Mitch Landrieu spoke to Kent State University students and faculty Tuesday night. He said the four students killed on May 4th, 1970 died in a moment of patriotism, something he considered as Congress questioned witnesses this week during the impeachment hearings.



“As I thought about the testimony of Lt. [Col. Alexander] Vindman, Ambassador [William] Taylor, and Ambassador [Marie] Yovanovitch, one of the tough issues we confront as a country is who is a traitor and who is a patriot. Those things tend to change over time depending on your historical perspective.”

Landrieu became mayor of New Orleans in 2010, five years after Hurricane Katrina. He served until 2018 and during his tenure removed four Confederate monuments from prominent places in the city. He chronicles the decision in a book titled “In the Shadow of Statues.”