Social History for Every Classroom

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Social History for Every Classroom

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Christine Jorgensen, born George W. Jorgensen Jr., was an army clerical worker during World War II. After the war, she underwent sex reassignment surgery in Denmark. Jorgensen became well-known for this experience, and numerous media outlets…

In 1917, the U.S. military implemented the Articles of War, which detailed the rules and regulations of the military. Article 93 associated homosexuality with serious crimes such as manslaughter and burglary. The military’s decision to bar LGBTQ+…

During the Revolutionary War, Alexander Hamilton was a lieutenant colonel and George Washington's Aide-de-camp. He served with fellow soldier John Laurens directly alongside Washington. In 1779, two years into the war, Hamilton and Laurens parted…

This essay outlines broad trends in LGBTQ+ American history and traces the evolution of LGBTQ+ people’s involvement in and relationship with the United States military.

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Bayard Rustin was a gay civil rights activist who was particularly passionate about racial equality. He helped to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which Martin Luther King Jr. was a president, and which influenced the civil…

Albert Cashier, born Jennie Irene Hodgers, enlisted in the Union Army in 1862. Historians have found evidence that hundreds of soldiers, including Cashier, were born female and enlisted as men during the Civil War. Unlike many women who cross-dressed…

During the Revolutionary War, Deborah Samson and an unknown number of women dressed as men in order to fight. Using the alias “Robert Shurtleff,” Sampson served with the 4th Massachusetts Regiment for two years before being injured and honorably…

Anti-war sentiment rose across the country in the midst of the Vietnam War for a variety of reasons, including pacifism, anti-imperialism, solidarity with the Vietnamese, and even a desire by some young people not to be drafted. Many anti-war…

In 1994, the military adopted a new policy regarding LGBTQ+ service members: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. In the past, military regulations stated that homosexuality or other LGBTQ+ identites necessitated an immediate discharge from military service. Don’t…

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The following list of terms and language may be helpful for students (and educators!) when reviewing and analyzing documents in the "Military History and the LGBTQ+ Community" Collection

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