Letter of membership recruitment for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), addressed to Charles Shively, with handwritten notes on the back regarding Gordon Copeland's appeal for upgrade to honorable discharge.

THP-0074-1-4-19 w notes on back, not uploaded.tif

Title

Letter of membership recruitment for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), addressed to Charles Shively, with handwritten notes on the back regarding Gordon Copeland's appeal for upgrade to honorable discharge.

Date

likely around 1979

Description

This letter is addressed to Charles Shively, and signed by the executive director of the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. The letter states that John Mitzel has recommended Charles for membership, and describes the achievements and value of the ACLU. (John Mitzel was one of Charles' close friends, and a contributor to the Gay Community News and a founding member of Fag Rag, both publications to which Charles was also closely connected. John was also the owner of the gay bookstore in Boston, Calamus.) On the back of the letter are handwritten notes regarding Gordon Copeland's discharge from the Air Force (Gordon was Charles' partner, discharged less than honorably from the Air Force in 1953 due to alleged homosexuality, which Gordon seems to have appealed in 1979, during the 4 year period of amnesty from 1976-1980 when all such discharges were subject to appeal at the order of Congress). The handwritten notes include the date of Gordon's discharge (1953), phone numbers for legal help, and "no force or coercion" (a requirement for appeal of discharges based solely on homosexuality).

These upgrades were important to veterans in part because they allowed veterans to access health and other benefits.

Creator

Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union

Citation

Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union, “Letter of membership recruitment for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), addressed to Charles Shively, with handwritten notes on the back regarding Gordon Copeland's appeal for upgrade to honorable discharge. ,” Documented | Digital Collections of The History Project, accessed January 20, 2018, https://historyproject.omeka.net/items/show/346.

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