Today marks the 150th anniversary of the term ‘homosexual.' Please share this article and join me in affirming the legacy of the activist who coined it - Karl Maria Kertbeny.
Each section establishes a thematic bent for discussion. Some (but not all) of these topics emphasize historical context, comparing and contrasting contemporary facts with the past: “Today, about one-third of doctors are women. Over 150 years ago this was not the case.” (“Eliza Grier and Matilda Evans”). Video narration over primary source images and text clarifies the points being discussed (e.g., short definitions of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Amendments in “Early African-American Woman Physicians”). While use of both text and video benefit different types of learners, their intermittent informational overlaps are repetitive, but still effective in reinforcing recurrent points. For example, both the text and video in “Women’s Hospitals in World War I France” state that “Women physicians were not permitted by the Allied countries” — stressing the prejudices women faced. Little elaboration is offered, however, leaving the audience with unanswered questions: What were the reasons behind these rules? Why weren’t exceptions made for wartime? One might argue that physical exhibits, with the benefit of docents and tour guides, allow for more user interaction and explanation. Conversely, online exhibits encourage online follow-up research, and might even include direct access to good primary and secondary source materials (i.e., portals).
Each section also includes questions for reflection that outline the information (making it digestible and useful for educators and students), while social media tools encourage viewers to actively engage with the resources (especially younger audiences). The exhibit successfully illustrates contextual relationships; the timeline places each topic in its temporal setting, while maps provide geographic setting for the sites discussed in each story. “Essential Evidence” acts as a catalog of historical documents relevant to the discussion, providing background for each item and a discussion of its significance within a larger thematic scheme. This analysis is accompanied by high quality scans of sources, their transcriptions, and audio recordings that resolve issues of accessibility. Additionally, document details hyperlink out to specific, cited sources; the transparency of the evidence lends credibility to the historical perspectives offered.
“Related Primary Sources” furnish additional points of interest that, while relevant to the overall topic, aren’t necessary to its understanding. However, the selection of what is most pertinent to each topic seems variable. For example, an article from The Medical Woman’s Journal describing refugee conditions is used as “Essential Evidence” in “WWI France,” yet another article from the Journal describing both race and gender discrimination in school and the workplace is a “Related Primary Source” in “Grier and Evans.” Additionally, the scans of both these journals are bulky, containing the entirety of the publications, potentially making it difficult to scroll through and find the articles being discussed. Luckily, there are bookmarks within the scans that block off specific segments that the curators likely found most significant.
Questions for a panel of public history professionals:
This August marks the 150th anniversary of the world's first known queer protest. In commemoration of this historic event and the activist behind it, I ask that you please read and share this article. Karl Heinrich Ulrichs died in relative obscurity at the age of 69. It is my sincerest wish to honor his legacy, and I hope you will join me in telling his story.
Click the link or image above to read more!
"We published your declarations among those whom we represented and as a result,
there was a substantial addition to the strength of your following from the Liberals of Massachusetts [...]
These people all over the state are now looking to you [...] at this critical moment in the nation's life."
This open letter to Senator David Ignatius Walsh of Massachusetts was addressed to him six months into his term in office – September 12, 1919. It was signed by two prominenet figures:
Demarest Lloyd – son of Henry Demarest Lloyd (the famous muckraker and progressive activist) and a prominent journalist. Lloyd was on the executive committee of the short-lived National Party, a non-partisan organization founded by pro-war defectors from the Socialist Party. Other members of the Party included Upton Sinclair and John Spargo.
Chester R. Lawrence – Progressive candidate for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 12th District, 1914; Prohibition candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, 1916, 1917.
Senator Walsh, the son of Irish Catholic immigrants, is documented as being a strong supporter of Irish independence (see below) and argued that the Treaty of Peace favored the British (as many Irish Catholic and German Americans maintained at the time). Given his staunch isolationist/anti-interventionist sentiments, this letter brings up questions of why Senator Walsh would tease an alliance with a pro-war socialist group whose platform values, besides prohibition, he claimed to support.
"Walsh Pleads for Reservation." Boston Daily Globe, October 10, 1919, 1. Proquest Historical Newspapers (503836526).
"'Walsh Assails, Nelson Defends League in Senate." New York Times, October 10, 1919, 1. Proquest Historical Newspapers (100470188).
"'Walsh Asks For Test." New York Times, January 19, 1920, 8. Proquest Historical Newspapers (98246580).
"'Calls Treaty Outrage." The Sun, May 3, 1920, 22. Proquest Historical Newspapers (538010471).
"Walsh Sees Cox; Urges Home Issues." New York Times, July 30, 1920, 2. Proquest Historical Newspapers (98138305).
Lloyd and Lawrence write that Senator Walsh promised that he would "support President [Woodrow] Wilson in the battle which after the cessation of hostilities would inevitably ensue between him and his opponents in the Senate over the determination of the character of the peace." We now know that Article X of the League of Nations' Covenant called for assistance of member nations under external aggression; all the Allied nations signed except the United States because President Wilson was facing strong objection from other U.S. politicians.
How did HWLD feel about all of this and how might he have been involved as a socialist pacifist?
Box 1 [Reel 71.1] Folder 1, Page 150: Open letter to Senator Walsh of Massachusetts regarding action on Peace Treaty
in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana Papers (DG 011), Swarthmore College Peace Collection.