This year, the landmark Tinker v. Des Moines decision turns fifty and civil rights trailblazers Mary Beth and John Tinker will be returning to Iowa to celebrate!
With the help of the ACLU of Iowa, 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker, 15-year-old John Tinker, and 15- year-old Christopher Eckhardt secured the rights of students across the country after they were suspended from school for wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War.
On February 24, 1969, the Court ruled 7-2 in favor of the students in the landmark Tinker v. Des Moines case, stating that the First Amendment applied to public school students and that students don’t "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."
The Tinkers will arrive in Des Moines on Sunday, February 17, and will speak in a number of public schools and college classes over the following ten days.
Here are some highlights:
• Friday, February 22
• 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
• State Historical Society of Iowa
• Saturday, February 23
• 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
• Raygun (Des Moines Store)
• Monday, February 25
• 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
• ISU Memorial Union, Iowa State University, Ames
• Tuesday, February 26
• 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
• Senate Chamber, Old Capitol, Iowa City
• Wednesday, February 27
• 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
• Drake Law School, Cowles Library Reading Room

Click here for a complete listing of events.

Stay informed

ACLU of Iowa is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National