Dunham, Eliot, and the Kids

Ethel Dunham and Martha Eliot were both born in the late 1800s and met in college. From that moment forward, their individual careers and mutual relationship were tightly entwined.

After medical school at John Hopkins, they both attained major positions at Yale and Harvard. They also worked in social service for the U.S. Children's Bureau, as leaders in administration and policy.

Later, their scientific research made great strides in child health. For one, Ethel established standards of care for both full-term and premature newborns. And Martha improved the prevention and early diagnosis of rickets.

Over the years, Ethel and Martha coordinated career choices for the sake of their domestic life together. Agonized by brief periods apart, they remained a devoted couple for nearly sixty years until 1969 – when death did them part.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Dustin Richardson.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Nancy Tucker Says, 'Read All About It!'

Nancy Tucker's involvement in the Mattachine Society of Washington D.C. in 1967 galvanized her as a gay activist. After Society members nominated her as the co-editor of "The Gay Blade," she got right to work building the one-page monthly newsletter into what years later became the "Washington Blade," a leading GLBT newspaper in the country.

She said her goal was to engender a sense of community. "I felt it was very important for gays to become acquainted with one another," she said. "Publicity encourages self-confidence, it creates self-respect."

From 1967 to 1969, the depth of her leadership was undeniable, marching with picket signs in the gay and lesbian civil rights demonstrations in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Chris Dalbom.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Alan Turing - Computer Genius

Alan Turing was born in London on June 23, 1912.  He studied mathematics at King's College and wrote an important article called "On Computable Numbers," which provided the foundation for today's digital computers. A year later, he came to the U. S. and earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at Princeton.

Upon returning to England, he worked at the British Code and Cypher School and helped invent the machine that deciphered the Nazi War Code. This accomplishment directly contributed to the victory over Germany in World War II.

Turing never felt his sexuality was something to hide. Yet in 1952 he was convicted for the crime of homosexuality and lost his security clearance. He was forced to undergo chemical castration in an attempt to cure his homosexual urges.

Two years later, he took his own life, rejected by the very country he helped save during the war.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Jay White.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Pulitzer Prize Winner Samuel Barber Strikes a Chord

Samuel Barber will long be remembered for his enduring contribution to cultural life.

He was born in Pennsylvania in 1910 to a musical family, and began composing at age seven. At fourteen, he entered the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied voice, piano and composition. While there, he met the young Italian composer, Carlos Menotti, with whom he formed a lifelong personal and professional relationship. They traveled throughout Europe together in the 1930s.

In 1958, Barber received his first Pulitzer Prize for his opera, "Vanessa," in which Menotti wrote the libretto. In 1962, Barber's "Piano Concerto" garnered him his second Pulitzer Prize. He will long be remembered for his intensely lyrical "Adagio for Strings," which has become one of the most recognizable classical compositions in history.

"The Rainbow Minute" is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and recorded in the studios at WRIR in Richmond, Virginia and read by volunteers like me, Dustin Richardson.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Dustin Richardson.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Mary Dewson Shows Her Stripes

Mary Dewson was born in Massachusetts in 1874 and graduated from Wellesley in 1897.  Her organizational skills landed her in the minimum wage movement. Under her leadership, the first minimum wage law in the country was passed in Massachusetts.

On hiatus, she met lifelong partner Polly Porter and moved to a Massachusetts dairy farm. During World War I, they both assisted war refugees in France for the Red Cross.

A friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, Dewson worked in FDR's 1932 presidential campaign. After helping clinch that victory, she was appointed head of the Democratic National Committee's Women's Division, securing more government jobs for female Party workers than had any previous administration.

Dewson's savvy so impressed FDR, that he nicknamed her "The Little General.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Diana Westbrook.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Annie Alexander, Fabulous Fossil Finder

Annie Alexander was born in 1867, living in Hawaii until she was fifteen.

In 1901, a lecture about bones changed her life. The speaker was a professor of Paleontology at the University of California. Annie was so fascinated by the evidence of extinct mammals and reptiles, she offered to finance his upcoming summer expedition if she could participate.

Over the next few years, she was equally involved with expeditions throughout the Western US. A 1905 expedition in Nevada yielded many of the best specimens of ichthyosaur in existence.

Annie generously supported research and collections, even funding the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California.

She shared her love of the outdoors with Louise Kellogg for forty-two years, raising cattle and growing asparagus on their farm in California.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Ed Chapman.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Benjamin Britten, Prominent British Composer

Born in England in 1913, Benjamin Britten began playing the piano at age five and was composing at fourteen. He attended the Royal College of Music, but far more significant to him were his evenings in London's concert halls.

The performance of his 1933 work, "A Boy Was Born," was a twist of fate. He met tenor Peter Pears, one of the BBC Singers set to perform the piece. Their mutual attraction cemented a forty-year personal and professional relationship.

Many of Britten's greatest works were inspired by Pears, or to showcase Pears' voice – such as the opera "Peter Grimes."

Other works include "A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," "Spring Symphony, and "War Requiem."

Britten was unable to attend the premiere of his last opera "Death in Venice" due to failing health. In 1976, he died peacefully in Peter Pears's arms.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Tom Miller.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Walt Whitman, Father of Modern American Literature

Walt Whitman was born in 1819 in Long Island.  Receiving only five years of schooling, he apprenticed himself as a printer.

He recorded observations in notebooks, which evolved into the poems published in 1855, "Leaves of Grass." Because they lacked meter and rhyme, and because a number spoke of homosexual desire, the poems were considered scandalous.

While in Washington, Whitman met Peter Doyle, who said, "we were awful close together." Their relationship would last for the rest of Whitman's life.

Although Whitman remained closeted, he gave voice to same-sex desire, and inspired many in the modern gay rights movement.

Whitman's persona was best described by a fellow poet in 1882. Oscar Wilde said, "He is the grandest man I have ever seen, the simplest, most natural, and strongest character I have ever met in my life."

This Rainbow Minute was read by Mike Hinerman.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Audre Lorde – Poet, Activist and Educator

Audre Lorde was born in 1934 in Harlem. As a child, she became immersed in poetry, at times speaking in poetry.

As a black lesbian, her poetry often expressed longing for justice in a world dominated by white, heterosexual males. In 1968, her first book, The First Cities, was published.

During a six-week writer-in-residence position at Tougaloo College, she met Frances Clayton, her longtime partner.

In 1971,  Ms. Magazine published a lesbian love poem by Audre Lorde. After two more decades of prolific writing, she was given the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit, and was appointed Poet Laureate of New York State.

She often said, "I am a black, lesbian feminist," and at other times said, "I cannot be categorized." Her life and legacy proved both statements true.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Reverend Robin Gorsline.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Wanda Landowska Brings Back the Harpsichord

Wanda Landowska was born in Poland in 1879.  She took to the piano at age four and, once grown, studied at the Warsaw Conservatory. She also took music composition in Berlin, and taught piano and harpsichord.

Interested in musicology, she visited a European museum with keyboard instrument collections – and began acquiring old instruments herself.

Manuel de Falla composed new works for her to perform, which marked the return of the harpsichord to the modern orchestra.

Beginning in 1927, her home in France was a center for the study and performance of old music.

During Germany's invasion, her home was looted, and many instruments and manuscripts were stolen. Practically penniless, she fled to the U. S. with her assistant and life companion, Denise Restout, and re-established herself as a performer and teacher.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Jon Klein.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Obama's Words

When President Obama spoke at the grand opening of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture on September 24, 2016, he quoted three gay icons.

The president kicked off his comments with the words of a famous writer. "James Baldwin once wrote," Obama said, "'For while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.'"

Later, stressing the importance of African-American inclusion in society, Obama referenced the last line of a poem by Langston Hughes: "I too, am America."

African-Americans have shaped every aspect of our culture, Obama pointed out, reciting one of Walt Whitman's lines, "We are large, containing multitudes." This was taken from Whitman's poem, "Song of Myself."

This Rainbow Minute was read by Robyn Bentley.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Sammy Fromm, Infamous Psychology Student

In the 1940s, a gay student named Sammy Fromm took a psychology class at UCLA, taught by Dr. Evelyn Hooker. Along the way, the two became friends. While in San Francisco over Thanksgiving, they shared a night on the town with Sammy's gay friends.

Later that night, Sammy took Evelyn aside, saying, "We have let you see us as we are, and now it is your scientific duty to make a study of people like us. We're homosexuals, but we don't need psychiatrists. We're not insane. We're not any of those things they say we are."

Also encouraged by her colleagues, Evelyn began her landmark study. She turned the scientific community on its head, finding that gay men are psychologically indistinguishable from straight men.

Through his good friend Evelyn, Sammy Fromm had at last revealed the truth to the whole world.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Dustin Richardson.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.