DC History Topics

February 13th, 2014  Tagged , , , , ,

The topic that I am the most interested in researching is the history of the LGBT rights movement in DC. The movement didn’t truly begin until the late 1960s, and I know about a handful of things that occurred, such as a march on Washington to show support for Stonewall in NYC, and various other protests of the same nature. But I know that far more has occurred between the time that the movement went public, and now. I would like to know where the movement first began. I don’t even know what sparked the first event that brought LGBT issues into the public eye of DC. I think that this is a very important topic to me specifically, because I am an LGBT person working for the Human Rights Campaign and continuing the movement that others began. I should know all of the ins and outs of LGBT history, especially in DC because that’s where a vast chunk of it has taken place. I think that LGBT history is an important topic for everybody regardless of sexual orientation, because one day LGBT history will be very similar to the history of Civil Rights for African American. To begin learning more about this topic, I plan to utilize some of the databases that we learned about in class with our guest speaker. In my first search through the archives we discussed, I found an audio program composed of sound clips from the first national march on Washington for LGBT rights in 1987. I strongly plan to continue this research, and there is so much to learn. LGBT history is one of the few facets of LGBT issues that I have yet to fully become knowledgeable about.


I am also interested in the history of the Peace Corps, as it is a great organization that does under appreciated work. I plan to volunteer in the Peace Corps in between undergraduate and grad school, so I feel like understanding the history will help me get a better understanding for all that the organization does in general. The headquarters are in DC, and all of the legislation around it has been done through DC. Even if I don’t end up using it for a final research project, I think it’s important for everyone to know about all of the great work that these volunteers do and have done. I search for the history of the peace corps in the Library of Congress, and I found so many different links from that one search alone. I found the Peace Corps digital library, where volunteers can share their stories and photos and such. The photo below is of a volunteer dancing with children in Lesotho! peace corps


A third potential topic of interest is the history surrounding the historic neighborhood of Dupont Circle. I work in Dupont Circle, and it is one of my favorite places in DC. I am very well aware that this is a historic area, due to all of the monuments, the architecture, and hearing it talked about by others. But I, and probably many of my peers, do not actually know WHY this area is so historic. I would very much like to learn more, as it is an important part of my city, and of my nation’s capital. I have very very limited knowledge about the history of Dupont Circle, so I would probably begin with very basic searches, like in the Mason online library, and in the library of congress. I did a quick basic search, and I have already learned that it is historic largely due to the architecture, and for it’s unique layout of benches, grassy areas, and small parks among the busy streets of the city. It is also an important place for LGBT history, so this topic is related to my main topic idea.

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