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Gay Time Capsule: Before the 20th Century




Oct 30, 130 AD - Antinous, Roman emperor Hadrian's 19-year-old consort, drowns in the Nile River.  Hadrian later had him deified and named an Egyptian city after him.

Sept 8, 1292 - John de Wettre is put to death for committing sodomy in the Belgian city of Ghent, the earliest known case in Western Europe of someone being executed for this act.

Sept 21, 1327 - Henry II is murdered in his prison cell supposedly after having a red hot iron thrust up his rectum (in reaction to his homosexuality).

Sept 8, 1504 - Michelangelo unveils his staute "David" in Florence.




July 23, 1599 - Italian artist Caravaggio receives his first public commission.

Aug 29, 1867 – Karl Heinrich Ulrich is the first self-proclaimed homosexual to speak out publicly for homosexual rights when he pleads in front of the Congress of German jurists in Munich for a resolution repealing anti-homosexual laws.

Oct 3, 1872 - Bloomingdale's department store opens in Manhattan.

Jan 3,1882 - 27-year-old Oscar Wilde arrives in the U.S. for a one-year lecture tour.

Feb 13, 1886 - Painter Thomas Eakins resigns from the Philadelphia Academy of Art after using male nudes in a coed art class.




Dec 17, 1892 - Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker premieres in the Russian city of St. Petersburg less than a year before his death.

Feb 11, 1895 - The neighborhood of Georgetown becomes part of Washington, D.C.

May 25, 1895 - English playwright Oscar Wilde is convicted of morals charges.


(To read about LGBT history from other years, double click here.) 


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