Prepared by Denise D. Cibulas, 4 April 1984; Revised August 2011.
1 record storage box, 1 cubic foot, 12th floor
J. Gregory Payne, Associate Professor at Emerson College (Boston, MA) has taken
a great interest in the May 4th events over the years. A few weeks following
the May 4th shootings, Payne drove from Illinois to the Kent State campus where
he was unable to stay on the campus for any length of time, due to restrictions
issued by the University. That summer he started to explore the events by contacting
those immediately involved. He completed his dissertation (Ph.D) at the University of Illinois on the Kent State incident: A Rhetorical Analysis of Selected Interpretations of the Kent State Incident.
As a result of his research, Payne has helped to produce several noteworthy
projects concerning the May 4th events. In 1973, he put together a slide show
at Illinois for connection with a communications class that he was teaching
which explored the 1970 shootings. In 1975, prior to leaving Illinois, Payne
served as chairman of the Kent State-Jackson State Memorial Forum and he has
been involved in other memorial services since that time.
In 1977, Payne worked on a reader's theater presentation of the May 4th events
with Mary Woods and Marissa O'Leary. The piece, which focuses on the events
as seen through the eyes of Mrs. Florence Schroeder, eventually became known
as Kent State: A Requiem. The piece summarized the political, legal and personal
events that have followed as a result of the May 4th shootings.
In 1980, Payne served as Historical Consultant for the Interplanetary Productions/Osmond
Communications film "Kent State" (35mm/color). The screenplay was written by
Gerald Green and Richard Kramer. The film, directed by James Goldstone, was
filmed in Gadsen, Alabama, August-September 1980. The film was presented as
a docu-drama on NBC in February 1981. Another creative effort put forth by Payne in connection with the May 4th events
is the book Mayday: Kent State, published by Kendall/Hunt (Dubuque, Iowa) in
More information on Payne's work about the Kent State shootings can be found at his May4Archive site.
Payne also has placed a collection of works at Yale University.
Scope and Content
The bulk of papers of J. Gregory Payne were transferred to the Kent State University
Archives on November 3 and 5, 1980. Additional papers, including a copy of a
speech given at the 1985 commemoration, were donated on May 20, 1985, and new materials are added on an irregular basis.
The papers of J. Gregory Payne reflect his research of the May 4th events.
The papers will be of value to the researcher of student unrest, especially
that which occurred on the Kent State campus in May 1970. Clippings serve to
help document the reactions of those involved in 1970, as well as those reactions
stirred-up ten years later in 1980 as a result of the filming of the NBC movie.
Notes made by Payne provide a careful study of the sequence of events leading
to the final confrontation between the National Guard and the students on May
4th. Although most of the collection concerns Payne's involvement in the making
of the NBC movie, information that was gathered to provide a basis for the film
will prove to be significant to the researcher who is interested in the May
4th events and the aftermath.
The items within this collection are arranged alphabetically in
folders by subject matter. The items within each folder are then
arranged by date. (The items were not received in any specific order by
J. Gregory Payne has agreed to transfer all property and literary rights to
the Kent State University Archives. No restrictions have been placed on folders
1-56. However, Payne has requested that folder 52, containing correspondence
from Peter Davies, be restricted and accessible only by means of his written
Folder -- Contents
Blueprints, scene sketches for the film "Kent State": [no date] Note: Includes
eight drawings which are oversized. (shelved in map case)
Box, spent shell casings: [no date] Note: Box unidentified by J. Gregory
Payne, but thought to have been used in the film "Kent State."
Brochure, "Campus Violence: Lessons Learned from Kent State," 
Brochure, "Kent State: A Requiem"
Brochure, "Kent State: A Wake"
Brochure, "Michael J. Colligan History Project presents J. Gregory
Payne, The Legacy of Kent State," Miami University, Hamilton,
April 7, 2005
Call sheets, for the film "Kent State": August 15, 1980-September 9, 1980
Cast list, for the film "Kent State": [no date]
Clippings, filming of "Kent State": [no date]
Clippings, "Kent State" August 19, 1980-[February 1981?]. Note: Includes
clippings on both filming and TV presentation.
Clippings, "Kent State: A Requiem": May 1979-May 1980.
Clippings, looking back on May 4th events: May 4, 1972-April 30, 1980. Note:
Includes articles by Arthur S. Krause and Craig Blazinski. Also includes the
poem "Allison" by Alex Gildzen, May 4th Task Force flyer, and copies of photographs
taken at May 4th vigil (1979).
Clippings, TV presentation of "Kent State": January 18, 1981-[February 1981?]
Clippings, Kent State Commemoration in Kent and Conference in Boston: 1995
Correspondence, from J[ames] G[oldstone] to cast of "Kent State": August
Correspondence, from J. Gregory Payne: August 10, 1980-February 3, 1982.
Note: Includes letters to Kent State University's Archives concerning placement
of his papers.
Correspondence, to Friend of the Theater, concerning "Kent State: A Requiem":
Correspondence, concerning "Kent State: A Requiem": 1978-80
Invitation, to reception celebrating commencement of photography of the
film "Kent State": August 17, 1980
Kent State-Jackson State: 25 Year Retrospective of Kent State and Jackson State, 1995
Notes, aftermath of May 4th events: [no date]
Notes, director's shot list for the film "Kent State": August 15, 1980.
Notes, filming of "Kent State": August 11, 1980
Notes, sequence of events of Sunday May 3, 1970: [no date]
Notes, sequence of events of Monday May 4, 1970: [no date]
Paper (copy), "Historical accuracy versus dramatic license in television
docu-drama: The making of 'Kent State'" by J. Gregory Payne. Note: Presented
at the Speech Communication Association, November12-15, 1981
Paper (copy), "Kent State: Not Just a Requim [sic], But Much More" by Tricia
Deghi: Spring 1980. Note: "With Insights From Robbie Stamps and Damian
Paper (copy), "Kent State: Why the Shroud of Silence?" by J. Gregory Payne".
Presented at the 1985 May 4 Commemoration, KSU: 1985. NOTE: p. 1 missing
Paper (copy), "Kent State University: May 1-4, 1970: A Study of Conflict":
[no date] Note: Author unidentified
Paper (copy), "Mediated Reality in Docudrama: The Struggle for Accuracy
in NBC's Kent State" by J. Gregory Payne. Presented at the Iowa Ethics and
Television Conference: April 1985
Paper (copy), "A Rhetorical Analysis of Selected Interpretations of the
May 1970 Kent State Incident" by J. Gregory Payne: 1977
Paper (copy), [Untitled] by J. Gregory Payne: [no date]
Papers (copy), student papers
Photograph (b/w), J. Gregory Payne [no date]
Photograph (color), art piece from Ruth Gikow's "Elegy": [no date]
Photographs (copies), filming of "Kent State": [August 1980?]
Photographs (7 color), May 4th vigil/memorial: [May 1979?]
Press book (one loose-leaf binder), press tour of NBC's 1980-81 season:
January 1981. Note: Includes information on screening of "Kent State."
Press release, announcing J. Gregory Payne as Historical Consultant to the film "Kent State": September 7,1980
Press release, "Emerson Students to Host Kent State Event, Virginia Tech Vigil," 
Press release, "Kent State: A Requiem" 1980 National Tour: [no date]
Publicity pamphlet for the film "Kent State": [no date] This item is oversized
(shelved in map case)
Publicity pamphlets, for the book "Mayday: Kent State" by J. Gregory Payne:
Recording, audiocassette: Radio program "I Want to Know," KGIL;
interview of J. Gregory Payne and John David by [Maureen O'Connor?], 
Schedule, for filming of "Kent State": July 24, 1980
Staff and crew housing list, for filming of "Kent State": August 15, 1980
Sticker, "KS Transportation": [no date] Note: Thought to be used in the
film "Kent State"[?]
Student papers, Argument and Advocacy course, 2007
Synopsis of the film "Kent State": [no date]
Note: This folder is restricted. The donor, J. Gregory Payne, has requested
that written permission be obtained from him before this material can be examined.
See Special Collections staff for assistance.
Vita of J. Gregory Payne, 1980
Videotape (VHS): "Kent State: Mary Vecchio and John Filo" [Boston
news clip of Vecchio at Emerson; Kahler also; 3 minute news package on "Emerson
Remembers Kent State"], [no date]
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