Gay History Month – October 21st: Eleanor Roosevelt, Dan White Fades To Black, and the NYPD Busts A Ball

Dan White and Harvey Milk

Did you know on October 21st:

1797:  Reinder Pieters van Workum of Frisia Netherlands was convicted of seduction to sodomy and sentenced to flogging, ten years in prison, and banishment for life.

1893: Alice Mitchell and Freda Ward make the cover of “The Mascot,” a New Orleans periodical. It read, “Good God! The Crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah Discounted.” The editors referred to it as a “story of the love of two women-licentious, horrible love.”

1939: The New York Police Department raids a masked drag ball and arrested 99 men in attendance,charging them with masquerading as females.

1964: The original “My Fair Lady” film production premiered. Althogh not specifically LGBT history it is Musical Theatre and Richard Chamberlin, who appeared in the revival productions of “My Fair Lady,” was a big ole closeted homo.

1979: Letters between Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok were made available. Many of the letters are of a romantic nature.

1985: Dan White, the man who murdered both Harvey Milk and San Francisco mayor George Moscone, commits suicide.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay individual to be elected to office in California. White a fellow San Francisco supervisor assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, on Monday, November 27, 1978, at City Hall. In a controversial verdict that led to the coining of the legal slang “Twinkie defense,” White was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder. White served five years of a seven-year prison sentence. Less than two years after his release, he returned to San Francisco, methodically taped a garden hose to the tailpipe of his car , stuck the other end through a car window, turned on the ignition and died.

Dan White did not kill himself out of guilt.  He did it because his killing Harvey Milk “was going to follow him for the rest of his whole life.”

 Many refer to Dan White even today as ” the most hated man in San Francisco’s history.”  And rightfully so.

Please take a few minutes and watch the video below: Dan White News Footage Of Arrest, Trial & The White Night Riots.

1992: The University of Iowa in Iowa City’s school board approved a policy to extend spousal insurance benefits to same sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples. In 1993, Yale University announced that it would extend spousal health benefits to the domestic partners of its gay and lesbian faculty members, administrators, and managers.

1992: Madonna’s controversial book Sex goes on sale.

1993: Openly gay author James Leo Herlihy died in Los Angeles at age 66. Herlihy wrote “Midnight Cowboy” and “Season of the Witch.”

1993: Yale University announced that it would begin extending health benefits to the domestic partners of same-sex couples. Universities preceding Yale to make this decision included Stanford, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago.

1986: U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop calls for the use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission.

1998: US Surgeon General David Satcher released a report with recommendations for suicide prevention. The report recognized that gay and lesbian youth are a high risk group and recommended target prevention efforts.
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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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