In mid-December of 1965, students across the country were eagerly looking forward to the upcoming holidays and their school vacations. In Des Moines, Iowa, several students were also anticipating another upcom ing activity. On December 16, 1965, Mary Beth Tinker, a 13-year old stu dent at Harding Junior High School and Christopher Eckhardt, a 15-year old sophomore at Roosevelt High, were among those who wore black arm bands in support of a Christmas truce in the Vietnam War. They were sent home and ultimately suspended from school. The next day, Mary Beth’s 15-year old brother, John, wore a black armband to Morth High School. He, too, was suspended.