Harvard secret court of 1920

This is the second part of the secret court of 1920, a tribunal designed to investigate alleged homosexual activity at harvard college. While doing research on a another story last summer, amit paley, a reporter for harvard universitys crimson newspaper, stumbled upon a file marked secret court files, 1920, in the universitys archives. What began in 1920 as an inquiry into a students suicide ended in harvard universitys convening a secret tribunal that labeled 14 men guilty of homosexuality and forcing the students among. On may, 1920 cyril wilcox, a harvard undergraduate, committed suicide after telling his older brother, george, that he had been having an. Gay served as assistant dean of harvard college from 1919 to 1923. They were expelled or had their association with the university sever. I think the harry dreyfus entry should be merged into the secret court of 1920. In 2002, a researcher for the harvard crimson came across a. Harvards secret court of 1920 by joe may 27, 1920 is the day when the dean of harvard college convened a secret court in 1920 to question students about the suicide of sophomore cyril wilcox. Feb 28, 2012 harvard group seeks degrees for expelled gays. In 2002, a researcher for the harvard crimson came across a restricted archive labeled secret court files, 1920. Cummings, the son of an irish immigrant schoolteacher from fall river, massachusetts, was a gay student at the harvard dental school who ended his life on june 11, 1920, just days short of receiving his degree, after being interrogated and informed that he would be expelled by the secret court that purged gay men from harvard in.

Based on the reallife story of harvard s secret court of 1920, unnatural acts will play at csc 6 east th street to july 10. Prolific biographer william wrights newlypublished book, harvard s secret court. Notes of trial testimony, scrawled on scrap paper left over from world war i. In 1920, harvard president abbott lawrence lowell formed a secret court to hunt down homosexuals. Jun 23, 2011 the work was conceived and directed by tony speciale and created by members of the plastic theatre. His room, perkins 28, appears to have been a center of gay life at harvard in 1920. In may of 1920,cyril wilcox, a freshman suspended from harvard. The secret court of 1920 was a secret tribunal convened in 1920 at harvard university to rid the university of homosexuals. The glaad media awards honor outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that inspire change. A petition to current harvard president drew gilpin faust which has 2,600 signatures, says. Investigators for the secret court of 1920 k12 academics. Investigators for the secret court of 1920 edward r.

In may of 1920, cyril wilcox, a freshman suspended from harvard, was found sprawled dead on his bed, his room filled with gasa suicide. Texas, the historic supreme court case that struck down antisodomy laws. Jun 19, 2011 the crimson letter in 1920, a harvard secret court rooted out gay activity on campus. From the 1940s through the early 70s, incoming freshman at harvard, yale, vassar, wellesley, and several other top schools were photographed nude in the name of sciencebogus science, as it turned out. Harvards secret court of 1920 by joe may 27, 1920 is the day when the dean of harvard college convened a secret court in 1920 to question students. The mystery he uncovered involved a tragic scandal in which harvard university secretly put a dozen students on trial for homosexuality and then systematically and persistently tried to. The glaad media awards serve as a benchmark for the media industry and complement glaads work to bring lgbt images and stories to americans. During two weeks in may and june 1920, the court, headed by acting dean chester noyes greenough, conducted more than thirty interviews behind closed doors and took action against eight students, a recent graduate, and an assistant professor. After consulting with harvard president abbot lowell, greenough formed a special fiveman tribunal on this date in history which became knownas the secret court. The mystery he uncovered involved a tragic scandal in which harvard university secretly put a dozen students on trial for homosexuality and then systematically and persistently tried to ruin their lives. In 1920, harvard university convened a secret court to interview, charge and discipline students suspected of being homosexual.

Dec 16, 2014 in 1920, harvard university convened a secret court to interview, charge and discipline students suspected of being homosexual. Harvards 1920 antigay tribunal is put on trial offbroadway. Based on the reallife story of harvard s secret court of 1920. Headed by then president abbott lawrence lowell, the tribunal included acting dean chester n. One of these purges was a secret court set up at harvard to identify and expel gay students. By sheer accident, he stumbled upon a box of 1920 material marked secret court, opened it and began to read now, nine years later, tony speciale and the members of the plastic.

The court, but lowell in particular, treated the circumstances as if they were some contagious evil. What began in 1920 as an inquiry into a students suicide ended in harvard universitys convening a secret tribunal that labeled 14 men guilty. Unnatural acts is an original play inspired by the true events of harvard s secret court of 1920. Based on the reallife story of harvard s secret court of 1920, unnatural acts plays at csc. Oct 31, 2006 in 2002, a researcher for the harvard crimson came across a restricted archive labeled secret court files, 1920. Cyril wilcox, a harvard undergrad, committed suicide in fall river in may 1920. Greenough, skirting the usual channels for investigating allegations of student wrongdoing, convened a secret fivemember boardreferred to in the colleges own records as the court to gather evidence concerning homosexual activities at harvard. The savage 1920 purge of suspected homosexuals from harvard university. During his frequent parties, harvard students and alumni joined boston men for raucous parties that would last long into the night. This book is a rich, deeply moving indictment of the human toll of intolerance and a celebration of the ability of a few to triumph over such oppression. Unnatural acts, about harvards expulsion of gays, to. Please abolish the antigay secret court of 1920 and grant posthumous honorary degrees to the seven student victims their day in the yard harvard shared a post. Cyril wilcox, a harvard undergrad, committed suicide in fall river in may. Most recently, tony served three seasons as artistic director of abingdon theatre company, a 26year old offbroadway theatre company.

In may of 1920,cyril wilcox, a freshman suspended from harvard, was found. In part 1, we discussed harvards longhidden 1920 secret court filesuncovered by an intrepid student journalist in the early 2000srevealing that harvard systematically interrogated students about alleged homosexual activity, asking them to make confessions and name associates. Thirtyseven men testified before the court, including a tutor, an. Lawrence lowell and acting dean of the college chester n.

Michael van devere is a film director and producer through his independent film company fabular films. The discovery led paley to 500 pages of documents that described an underground court that convened to investigate and expel gay students. Harvards secret court of 1920 the closet professor. May 12, 2011 the work was conceived and directed by tony speciale and created by members of the plastic theatre. In harvard papers, a dark corner of the colleges past the new. There is an entry for harry dreyfus, but i think harry dreyfus is not notable except for his role in the secret court of 1920. Jun 12, 20 secret court decisions are usually final and are not subject to appeal. Jan 06, 2006 while doing research on a another story last summer, amit paley, a reporter for harvard universitys crimson newspaper, stumbled upon a file marked secret court files, 1920, in the universitys. While unnatural acts is a docudrama, based on real events of 1920, it often has the aroma of a ripe, lurid melodrama of a slightly later vintage. In 1920, harvard president abbott lawrence lowell formed a secret court to hunt down and expel homosexuals. The secret court of 1920 was an ad hoc disciplinary tribunal of five administrators at harvard university formed to investigate charges of homosexual activity. As you may know, fire has been a vocal opponent of harvards proposed blacklist for student members of independent, singlegender organizations including sororities, fraternities, and final clubs.

The resulting witch hunt and the lives it cost remains one of the most shameful episodes in the history of americas premiere university. The harvard secret court victims of 1920 deserve their day in the yard. May 27, 1920 is the day when the dean of harvard college convened a secret court in 1920 to question students about the suicide of sophomore cyril wilcox. In 1920, a harvard secret court rooted out gay activity on campus. The names of judges who preside over secret courts may or may not be known. Surely the secret court was not so naive as to believe homosexuality was a rare isotope. A shameful episode in harvard history the boston globe. The savage 1920 purge of campus homosexuals by william wright st. With period locations, costumes, and themes, the filmmaker has been praised for visually handsome, literary, and poetical films.

On the afternoon of may 28, ernest roberts prepared to face the court. Based on the reallife story of harvard s secret court of 1920, unnatural acts will play at. Donald clark eugene cummings kenneth day stanley gilkey joseph lumbard ernest weeks roberts edward say. A harvard secret court expelled gays in 1920s abc news. Jun 24, 2011 while unnatural acts is a docudrama, based on real events of 1920, it often has the aroma of a ripe, lurid melodrama of a slightly later vintage. The secret court of 1920 was an ad hoc disciplinary tribunal of five administrators at harvard university formed to investigate charges of homosexual activity among the student population. Harvard s secret court of 1920 closed july 31, 2011 offbroadway buy tickets and see show information. I write to ask that you officially abolish the harvard secret court of 1920.

Secret tribunals punishing students and faculty for being homosexuals, or for merely associating with homosexuals, are morally repugnant, and the legacy of the secret court remains a dark stain on the universitys history. Donald clark eugene cummings kenneth day stanley gilkey joseph lumbard ernest weeks roberts edward say keith smerage nathaniel wollf. After pressure from newspaper staff, the university finally released five hundred documents related to the court s work, and the crimson published its findings in november of that year. Secret court of 1920 lgbt info fandom powered by wikia. Harvard university is a private ivy league research university in cambridge, massachusetts, with about 6,800 undergraduate students and about 14,000 postgraduate students established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman john harvard, harvard is the united states oldest institution of higher learning. The savage 1920 purge of campus homosexuals digs deep into the shameful events of the early 20th century at one of the united states leading universities. In may of 1920, cyril wilcox, a freshman suspended from harvard, was found. The 82yearold files have never before been made public.

In harvard papers, a dark corner of the colleges past the. Although the secret court files of 1920 fall outside of the 80year restriction, because of the sensitive nature of the materials the archives staff referred fms requests to dean of the college. Please abolish the antigay secret court of 1920 and grant posthumous honorary degrees to the seven student victims. A map of a harvard residence hall, the rooms of student suspects labeled with their names. That harvard denied the existence of the secret court to the press in the 1920s, and fought the release of related records in 2002, is easy to understand. Thirtyseven men testified before the court, including a tutor, an assistant professor, harvard students, and several boston men. On thursday, may 27, 1920, according to the sparse dates marked in the secret records, day became the first witness to appear before the court. The fact that his father owned a hotel that was destroyed in a locally famous fire doesnt count for much. A chatty letter decorated with smiley faces and written in red pen, now faded to pink.

Tony speciale conceivercoauthor conceived, coauthored and directed the world premiere of unnatural acts. Powerful play on 1920 harvard secret court uncovers sex. Harvard secret court expelled gay students in 1920 the. A shameful episode that harvard managed to bury for nearly eighty years. The court launched a wideranging witch hunt, with greenough summoning each witness onebyone with a brief note. The bulk of the material comes from a series in the university archives catalogued as secret court files, 1920. The work was conceived and directed by tony speciale and created by members of the plastic theatre. In 2002, a researcher from harvard s daily newspaper, the crimson, came across a box of files labeled secret court in the universitys archives. In 2002, a harvard underclassman journalist, amit paley, was rummaging through packages of documents in the universitys archive. In the winter and spring of 1920, harvard universitys perkins hallthen the largest dormitory on campus, boasting spacious rooms, brick corridors, and iron staircaseswas home to some of the brightest, most promising young men in america.

Harvards 1920 antigay tribunal is put on trial off. Harvard s secret court of 1920 cscdrama desk award nomination, glaad media award nomination. He was born in london to american parents and served in world war i as a second lieutenant of artillery. But after the war ended in 1918, a shift in public attitudes about homosexual people brought an end to the tolerance and started a series of purges and police actions that lasted through 1920. Harvard told him that he would have to do well on his april exams, and when he didnt take them, the school told him.

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