Artifact Walls - Frank Kameny

Kameny protest sign: "First Class Citizenship for Homosexuals"

Frank Kameny, who died on Oct. 11, was one of those Americans of whom few may have heard but who devoted his life to furthering civil rights, most especially for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people. He instigated or participated in many of the important gay rights actions of the 20th century.

This display shows a selection of the protest posters that Kameny and the Kameny Papers Project donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2006. Three of the most resonant picket signs are now on display in Flag Hall, just off the entrance from the National Mall and near the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the national anthem, and the civil rights-era Woolworth Lunch counter. Another poster is currently on view in The American Presidency exhibition among a number of protest signs. The Kameny collection is part of the Museum’s long-standing commitment to preserve the history of American democracy and the struggles for individual and civil rights in the United States.