Color image of a pinback button used to promote the candidacy of Senator Allan Spear, ca. late 1970s to early 1980s.

Allan Spear campaign button

Pinback button used to promote the candidacy of Senator Allan Spear, ca. late 1970s to early 1980s.

Black and white photograph of Governor Al Quie, legislators (including Allan Spear, third from left), and constituents with disabilities, ca. 1980.

Governor Al Quie, legislators, and constituents with disabilities

Governor Al Quie, legislators (including Allan Spear, third from left), and constituents with disabilities, ca. 1980.

Black and white photograph of legislators (including Allan Spear, far right) tour the Minnesota Zoological Garden, 1980.

Legislators (including Allan Spear, far right) tour the Minnesota Zoological Garden

Legislators (including Allan Spear, far right) tour the Minnesota Zoological Garden, 1980.

Black and white photograph of Allan Spear at a Judiciary Committee hearing, 1987–1990.

Allan Spear at a Judiciary Committee hearing

Allan Spear at a Judiciary Committee hearing, 1987–1990.

Black and white photograph of Ron Dicklich, William Luther, Allan Spear, Roger Moe, and Duane Benson reading a bill on the floor of the Minnesota Senate, 1988.

Ron Dicklich, William Luther, Allan Spear, Roger Moe, and Duane Benson

Ron Dicklich, William Luther, Allan Spear, Roger Moe, and Duane Benson read a bill on the floor of the Minnesota Senate, 1988.

Black and white photograph of Allan Spear, 1997. Photographed by Minnesota Senate photographer.

Allan Spear

Allan Spear, 1997. Photographed by a Minnesota Senate photographer.

Spear, Allan Henry (1937–2008)

Allan Henry Spear was the first openly gay man in the United States to serve as a state legislator. In 1993, he won a twenty-year fight to include the LGBT community in Minnesota's Human Rights Act. He served as president of the Minnesota Senate for nearly a decade, taught history at the University of Minnesota for thirty-five years, and was a lifelong lover of travel, food, music, and literature.

Black and white photograph of Governor Orville Freeman inspecting his troops at Camp Ripley, 1955.

Governor Orville Freeman inspecting troops at Camp Ripley

As Commander-in-Chief of the Minnesota National Guard, Governor Orville Freeman inspects his troops during a review and parade, July 1955. In the 1950s and 1960s, such parades were open to the public and typically held on Sunday afternoon of the middle weekend of a two-week annual training period.

Black and white photograph of Joseph Israel Lobdell, also called Lucy Ann and La-Roi Lobell, ca. 1854.

Joseph Israel Lobdell

Joseph Israel Lobdell, also called Lucy Ann and La-Roi Lobell, ca. 1854.

The Trial of Joseph Israel / Lucy Ann Lobdell, 1858

Joseph Israel Lobdell, also known as La-Roi and Lucy Ann Lobdell, spent two years in Minnesota in the late 1850s. In 1858, a Meeker County attorney charged him with "impersonating a man," claiming that such an action was a crime. The judge trying the case disagreed, ruling that Lobdell (who had been assigned a female sex at birth) had committed no offense by dressing in men’s clothes.

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