Groundbreaking Civil Rights story happened in Ottawa, Kansas

Franklin County Historical Society News Release

Contact: Deb Barker, Director, (785) 242-1232

The Public Schools as “The Great World in Miniature”: Ottawa’s Groundbreaking Civil Rights Story 

When Cheryl Brown-Henderson spoke at the 2004 ribbon-cutting for the Brown v. School Board National Historic Site in Topeka, President George W. Bush and thousands of others heard the name of Ottawan Leslie Tinnon and his father’s efforts to have him at-tend school in desegregated facilities. Brown-Henderson mentioned the Tinnon case several times as the very beginning of the civil rights struggle in Kansas.

Historians acknowledge that the Tinnon case was the first one in which the new Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitu-tion was used to enforce desegregation.

Franklin County Historical Society director Deborah Barker will tell the story of Isaac Tinnon and the local school desegregation case on Saturday, February 16 at 10 a.m. in the City Commission Chamber in Ot-tawa’s City Hall, 101 S. Hickory, in commemoration of Black History Month. The talk is free and open to the public.

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