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After four decades, May 4, 1970, stands as a milestone in national history and world memory:
- Demonstrations at Kent State marked the climax of a decade-long national student protest movement with roots in the civil rights movement.
- What the world came to know as "Kent State" became one of the major symbolic events of the Vietnam War - the day the war came home.
- The shootings changed public opinion about the war, from the U.S. Congress to the average American home.
- The events of that day led to reform of armament policies and tactics of the National Guard.
- The legal aftermath of May 4 set precedent in the U. S. Supreme Court.
- May 4, 1970, shows the need to communicate effectively and affirms the importance to a democratic society of protecting the First Amendment.