Today in LGBT History – January 24

Never underestimate the power you have when you make your voice heard – you are the driving force behind the resistance.   — Kirsten Gillibrand

Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – January 24

41, Rome – Roman Emperor Caligula (31 August AD 12 – 24 January AD 41) is assassinated at the Palatine Games by his own officers after a reign of only four years. He was noted for his madness and cruelty including arbitrary murder and arbitrary sex encounters with men, women, and animals, including forcing his officers into regular sex bouts.

76, Spain – Roman Emperor Hadrian (24 January 76 – 10 July 138) is born near Seville Spain. Hadrian built the famous wall on the Northern fringe of the empire, in Britain, and put down the last serious uprising by the Jews. When his lover Antonius (27 November, c. 111 – before 30 October 130). mysteriously drowned in the Nile Hadrian went into a deep despair then put all of his wealth into building memorials to his lover, even building a city in his name. It said that the beautiful Antonius committed suicide before old age destroyed his looks. He was 21. 

1712, Germany –  Frederick the Great (24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786) is born in Berlin. He was King of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, the longest reign of any Hohenzollern king. Before he became king, Frederick fled with his lover Hans von Katte Hans von Katte (28 February 1704 – 6 November 1730) but the pair was captured and Frederick was forced to watch von Katte’s execution. On his father’s death, when Frederick became emperor, he went to the palace of Sans-Soucci at Potsdam and came into his own. He excluded women and surrounded himself with young men.

1965 – Winston Churchill (1874-1965) died. He had been Britain’s wartime prime minister whose courageous leadership and defiant rhetoric had fortified the English during their long struggle against Hitler’s Germany. “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” he stated upon becoming prime minister at the beginning of the war. He called Hitler’s Reich a “monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime.” Following the war, he coined the term “Iron Curtain” to describe the barrier between areas in Eastern Europe under Soviet control and the free West. In his biography of W. Somerset Maugham (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965), Ted Morgan writes that Maugham once asked Churchill if it were true as Churchill’s mother had claimed, that the statesman had affairs with men in his youth. “Not true!” Churchill replied. “But, I once went to bed with a man to see what it was like.” That man was British musical-comedy star Ivor Novello (15 January 1893 – 6 March 1951)”And, what was it like?” Maugham asked. “Musical,” Churchill replied.

1975 – The first international Lesbian Conference is held in Montreal. It was attended by more than 200 delegates from Canada and the US. 

1975 – Norman Lear’s TV adaptation of Lanford Wilson’s Hot l Baltimore premieres on ABC. Though it features a diverse cast of characters, including two gay men and a latent lesbian, it lasts only five months;

1983 – Noted gay director George Cukor (July 7, 1899 – January 24, 1983) dies at age 83 in Los Angeles. He was an American film director. He mainly concentrated on comedies and literary adaptations. His career flourished at RKO when David O. Selznick, the studio’s Head of Production, assigned Cukor to direct several of RKO’s major films, including What Price Hollywood? (1932), A Bill of Divorcement (1932), Our Betters (1933), and Little Women (1933). When Selznick moved to MGM in 1933, Cukor followed and directed Dinner at Eight (1933) and David Copperfield (1935) for Selznick and Romeo and Juliet (1936) and Camille (1936) for Irving Thalberg. In the late 1950s, Cukor became involved with a considerably younger man named George Towers. By the mid-1930s, Cukor was not only established as a prominent director but, socially, as an unofficial head of Hollywood’s gay subculture. 

1996, Singapore – Singapore grants gender recognition to post-operative transsexuals.

2012 – Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, released a video on YouTube commemorating GSA Day and endorsing GSA clubs in schools. Gay–straight alliances (GSA) are school/student-led or community based organizations, found primarily in North American high schoolscolleges and universities, that are intended to provide a safe, supportive environment for lesbiangaybisexualtransgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth (or those who are perceived as such) and their straight allies.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at Thanks!)

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