Jane Fonda is among the speakers tapped to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings.
The 82-year-old actress and activist will highlight four days of events the Ohio university has planned to explore the lasting impacts of the events of May 4, 1970, which were considered pivotal in turning public sentiment against the Vietnam War.
On that day, the Ohio National Guard fired on students during an anti-war protest, killing four and injuring nine others.
Fonda, the daughter of actor Henry Fonda, was one of the most prominent figures of the anti-war movement — and one of the most divisive. When she allowed herself to be photographed atop a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun during a 1972 trip to Hanoi, many viewed it as an unforgivably traitorous act.
Fonda plans to reflect on that era, her life in social activism and the legacy of the Kent State shootings during her speech on May 3. The event is free and open to the public, but advance reserved tickets are required.
The commemoration marks the first time students, faculty, university staff and leadership, and May 4 survivors and family members have united around the idea that the date should be forever honored, planners said.
Special events running from May 1 to May 4 include educational forums, panels, speakers, a documentary film series and the annual candlelight march and silent vigil.
Each day is focused around a particular theme: May 1, the Vietnam anti-war movement; May 2, the impact of student activism; May 3, remembering the 50-year May 4 legacy; and May 4, honoring and remembering lives lost and forever changed.
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