KENT: Kent State University is holding its 45th annual commemoration of May 4, 1970. Events started Thursday.

The activities, hosted by the May 4 Task Force, commemorate the protest and shooting deaths of four students.

The events include workshops, panel discussions, musical performances, a documentary screening and a keynote presentation by Dick Gregory, an influential comedian, civil rights activist, and author.

Kent State President Beverly Warren also will speak at the commemoration Monday.

Here’s a look at some of the activities:

•?Sue Jeffers, Carlos Jones and Barry B. performs from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday at the Stone Tavern, 110 E. Main St.

•?There will be a panel discussion titled, “A Response to ‘Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties,’ a Book by Tom Grace” at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Kent Student Center Kiva.

•?The annual candlelight vigil march is at 11 p.m. Sunday. The march will begin at the Victory Bell and will continue around campus, concluding at the Prentice Hall parking lot.

•?The 45th Commemoration starts at noon Monday at the Kent State Commons and will include a keynote presentation by Gregory. Warren, Paul Chappell and Ken Hammond, professor of history at New Mexico State University (and Students for a Democratic Society leader at Kent State from 1967-70), also will speak at the commemoration.

“May 4 is an event which carries with it not only tragedy and pain but also an undeniable legacy of persistence, struggles for justice and student activism,” Ashley Manning, Kent State junior English major and president of the May 4 Task Force, said in a prepared statement.

During the commemoration weekend, the May 4 Visitors Center will be open extended hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 2 to 7 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m. Sunday, and 8 a.m. to noon and 2 to 5 p.m. Monday.

For more details and a full list of events, go to: tinyurl.com/l4qgxhq.