IPTV to Provide Live Coverage of The 50th Anniversary of the Tinker v. Des Moines Schools Decision

Iowa Public Television will provide live streaming coverage of a presentation and discussion with Mary Beth and John Tinker, moderated by Radio Iowa’s Kay Henderson. The Tinkers will reflect on the stance they took that resulted in the 1969 U.S. Supreme Court decision that helped define First Amendment student free speech. The live stream will begin on Friday, February 22 at 12:30 p.m. and is part of the State Historical Society of Iowa’s day-long event, A Celebration of Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court Decision.

Mary Beth Tinker was a 13-year-old junior high school student in December 1965 when she, her brother John, then 15, and a group of Iowa students wore black armbands to school to protest the war in Vietnam. That decision led the students and their families to embark on a four-year court battle that culminated in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision: Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District.

“When a small group of us wore black armbands to school, we had no idea that history would be made,” said Mary Beth Tinker. “We are honored to celebrate the voices and rights of students, and the Iowa upbringing that led us to speak up for peace.”

Students and teachers are encouraged to submit questions on Twitter using the hashtag #tinkerversary, or through an online form at Iptv.org/Tinker. Educators may RSVP for the live stream event to receive a reminder as the date nears.

Visit Iptv.org/Tinker for additional information and to watch the program. The live stream will also be available on YouTube and Facebook. Access to this live stream is free and open to the public.

The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Visit iowaculture.gov for more information.


The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa, the state office of media production, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the State Historic Preservation Office – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations. iowaculture.gov.