Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose "My Campus" tab.

Search by campus:

Special Collections and Archives

Ralph Solonitz papers and artifacts

Ralph Solonitz papers and artifacts, 1970-1990

May 4 Collection -- Box 73

Finding Aid

Prepared by Kate Amer, May 5, 1991; Updated November 2012
1 slim document box, .16 cubic feet, 12th floor

Biographical Note: Ralph Solonitz was a student at Kent State University from 1968 to 1970. He was present at the shootings on 4 May 1970 and took color photographs of the events he witnessed. He was graduated from KSU in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. After leaving Kent, he opened his own advertising agency in 1975 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.


Scope and Content: The collection consists predominantly of color photographs taken by Solonitz in May, 1970 of the events surrounding the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State. Also included in the collection is his personal record of the accounts of the May 4 Memorial and reunion for the class of 1970. Solonitz also designed the reunion button that was distributed to all alumni who attended the reunion. The button design has also been incorporated into a poster which was displayed at the memorial dedication service. Two business cards are also included in this collection.

This collection will be of interest to researchers exploring the impact of the May 4 shootings on individuals of the class of 1970. The personal account will also be useful for examining the impact over time on students of the 70s.


Acquisition Information: Solonitz donated his materials to the Kent State University Archives on 4 May 1990 (U90/41), the 20th Anniversary of the shootings and the time of the dedication of the May 4 Memorial.

Restrictions on Use: Solonitz has kindly donated to the Kent State University Special Collections and Archives whatever property and literary rights he possesses in this collection.

Processing Information: The photograph captions below in quotations were provided by Solonitz. Parethetical descriptions were provided by Special Collections and Archives staff.


May 4 Collection -- Box 73
Folder -- Contents

Please note: If you click on a link below, the image will open in a new window or tab. To return to this finding aid, click back on this window or tab in your browser.

  1. Report, personal: Solonitz's impressions of May 4, 1990
  2. Artifacts: three buttons, class of 1970 reunion and American Red Cross
  3. Photograph: "May 4th - After the shootings, students in a state of shock, sitting, standing, surrounded by the National Guard.
    I hear students say 'Go home, get back to your dorms, they're going to charge again!'"
  4. Photograph: "Photo just below Blanket Hill - Taylor Hall is on left out of view." [crowd of people standing in the foreground]
  5. Photograph: "Near the Victory Bell. View of VanDeusen Bldg. Wooden bldgs -- in foreground." [a large number of National Guard personnel can be seen from a distance]
  6. Photograph: "Don't know who this girl was, she stared at the pool of splattered blood for a long, long time." [young woman looking down at blood stain and spatters in Prentice parking lot]
  7. Photograph: "More of same location." [blood stain and spatters in Prentice parking lot]
  8. Photograph: "More of same." [young woman looking down at blood stain and spatters in Prentice parking lot]
  9. Photograph: "May 4th" [a closer view of blood stain and spatters, and some litter, in Prentice parking lot]
  10. Photograph: "Bullet that entered tree killed a student." [view of a bullet hole in a tree, background view includes young woman looking down at blood stain in Prentice parking lot as well as vehicles parked there]
  11. Photograph: "Entered and exited tree." [man stands pointing to location on tree where bullet entered and exited]
  12. Photograph: "Photo taken from College Towers. Possibly Sunday May 3rd, evening. Helicopter light trails."
  13. Photograph: "Photo taken from College Towers. Possibly Sunday May 3rd, evening. Helicopter light trails."
  14. Photograph: "Photo taken from College Towers. Possibly Sunday May 3rd, evening. Helicopter light trails."
  15. Photograph: "View from 825 1/2 S. Water Street, May 1st 1970. Test shot on this roll, upstairs of home."
  16. Photograph: "My buddy Lewis Lapine came to visit campus Sunday May 3rd. He was a student at O.S.U. 60's influenced wagon."
  17. Photograph: "Nat'l Guard on Sunday. (neg has damage) Students and guard exchange greeting and curious looks." [corner of Lincoln and Main in front of Prentice Gate, includes National Guard personnel and tank]
  18. Photograph: "May 3rd. This captures the situation... The entrance to campus -- an occupied University." [lone National Guard personnel member standing beside the Prentice Gate]
  19. Photograph: "Examining the Don Drumm sculpture" [military and lay personnel examine the bullet hole in the Solar Totem #1 sculpture]
  20. Photograph: "Nat'l Guard examing the Don Drumm sculpture." [military personnel examine the bullet hole in the Solar Totem #1 sculpture]
  21. Photograph: "Bullet went into one side and out the other. Same '59 VW" as in next photograph. [vehicle damaged by bullets]
  22. Photograph: "Bullet riddled 59 VW. Bumber sticker says 'Vietnam Love it, or Leave it' 1/4 to 1/2 mile from Taylor Hall" [vehicle damaged by bullets]
  23. Photograph: "Student killed here?" [view of parking lot, possible blood stains, near a green convertible car]
 
-->