Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Havira

Second Advisor

Dr. John Martell


Two main categories of historical resources exist: primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are actual relics of the past,while secondary sources are interpretations of primary sources. At times, however, primary and secondary sources may yield conflicting information and interpretations. This clearly raises the complexities of conducting historical research.

This study will clearly indicate specific inconsistencies between a traditional third person secondary-source interpretation, and a first person oral history primary source interpretation of the Kent State shooting. The first section of the study will illustrate the secondary source interpretation, taken from well-known secondary source resources as illustrated in the bibliography. This section will provide a general overview of the events that had occurred and provide the reader with a background of the events as seen through secondary source interpretations. The second section of the study will illustrate a first person recollection of the event, based upon the information derived from an intensive interview process of an individual who was present during the event. This section is formatted to allow the reader to reflect upon the information presented in section one, and compare the content presented in both sections. The third section of the will illustrate inconsistencies between the two interpretations, and draw conclusions about how the historian can use both of the resources. Furthermore, it will analyze the differences, speculate about why the differences exist, and illustrate how the differences can be used as a research and teaching tool. (The transcript of the oral history interview is located in Appendix 1.)

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only