Kent State University will mark its place in U.S. history Friday when it unveils a plaque designating 17 acres tied to the events of May 4, 1970, as a National Historic Landmark.

The dedication is one of several events planned to mark the 48th anniversary of the day protests against the Vietnam War on campus turned deadly as the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four students and wounded nine others.

The May 4 site on Kent State’s campus was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. The site was then officially recognized as a historical landmark, one of 76 locations in Ohio, in 2016.

University President Beverly Warren, along with members of the board of trustees, May 4 Task Force and the National Park Service, will unveil the plaque during a dedication ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Honors College Plaza.

The event is free and open to the public.

To register, go to https://bit.ly/2HEBNy3.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, journalist Dan Rather will appear at Kent State’s Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center as part of the Presidential Speaker Series. The former lead anchor of the CBS Evening News will reflect on his experiences as a journalist, news anchor and multimedia producer.

The speech is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Two tickets can be requested per email address.

To request tickets, visit https://bit.ly/2Kpa3ew.

This year’s May 4 commemoration kicks off with an event hosted by the May 4 Task Force at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Kent State Student Center Kiva. Several authors, including Thomas Grace, David Hassler, Susie Erenrich and Miriam Jackson, will discuss their books about the Kent State shootings and the aftermath of the events.

At 11 that night, people will gather for the candlelight vigil. Participants will march from the Victory Bell behind Taylor Hall to the Prentice Hall parking in memory of the four students who were shot and killed.

On Friday, a commemoration organized by the May 4 Task Force will take place at noon on the Kent State Commons.

William Hine, a retired history professor at the South Carolina State University, will be the keynote speaker.

Hine will address the Orangeburg Massacre on South Carolina State’s campus and will honor the students who fell victim to the shooting.

The May 4 Visitors Center, located in Taylor Hall, also is open throughout the week.

Brandon Bounds can be reached at 330-996-3762 or bbounds@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow Bounds on Twitter @brandonbounds_.