Vietnam: Search for the Truth
As the Vietnam War dragged on through the 1960s, the country became divided over US involvement. Many Americans took to the streets to voice their concerns either in opposition to or support of the war.
However, in 1965, a group of junior and senior high school students in Iowa, including siblings Mary Beth and John Tinker, and Christopher Eckhardt, decided they wanted to wear black armbands to school in honor of those who had died in the war. They were told they could not do so, because some school administrators felt their actions were a protest against the war. The district’s decision to ban students from wearing black armbands at school was contested by the students in court, which eventually led to a historic Supreme Court ruling in 1969 that protected, to a substantial degree, a student’s right to free speech in public schools.
"D.M. Schools Ban Wearing of Viet Truce Armbands." The Des Moines Register. Dec. 15, 1965. National Archives
Annotate this Image
Directions: Read the Des Moines Register article, utilizing the magnifier to help you. Then use the annotation tool to take notes on the following questions:
- What do you notice about the headline?
- Why do you think the principal decided not to comment to the press?
- What was the district’s reason for forbidding students to wear armbands?
- Do you see any evidence of the journalist taking sides?
Download the notes to share with your class.
Source: "D.M. Schools Ban Wearing of Viet Truce Armbands." The Des Moines Register. Dec. 15, 1965. National Archives
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