Kent State Shootings: Oral Histories

William Wilen Oral History

Kent State Shootings: Oral Histories

William Wilen Oral History

Transcription Show Transcript
Narrator Wilen, William
Narrator's Role Professor at Kent State University beginning in fall 1970
Date of Interview 1990-05-04
Description William Wilen was a Ph.D. candidate studying at Pennsylvania State University and, in April 1970, had accepted a teaching position at Kent State University beginning in the fall. He describes how the news of the May 4, 1970, shootings on the Kent State campus affected him. He talks about his first year teaching at Kent State, 1970-1971. He discusses the challenges he faced when the student teachers he was supervising experienced negative reactions from faculty at their practice schools because they were from Kent State. He describes his observations of and participation in the first commemoration of the shootings in May, 1971. He heard the speakers Julian Bond, Dick Gregory, and Allen Ginsberg. He describes the black arm bands students were selling, May Day signs in dorm windows, the demonstrations at Rockwell Hall, and helicopters circling over campus.
Length of Interview 8:08 minutes
Places Discussed Kent (Ohio)
Time Period discussed 1970-1971
Subject(s) College teachers--Ohio--Kent--Interviews
Demonstrations--Ohio--Kent
Helicopters
Kent State Shootings, Kent, Ohio, 1970
Kent State Shootings, Kent, Ohio, 1970--Anniversaries, etc.
Teacher educators--Ohio--Kent--Interviews
Repository Special Collections and Archives
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Institution Kent State University
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Disclaimer The content of oral history interviews, written narratives and commentaries is personal and interpretive in nature, relying on memories, experiences, perceptions, and opinions of individuals. They do not represent the policy, views or official history of Kent State University and the University makes no assertions about the veracity of statements made by individuals participating in the project. Users are urged to independently corroborate and further research the factual elements of these narratives especially in works of scholarship and journalism based in whole or in part upon the narratives shared in the May 4 Collection and the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project.