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50 years in 50 weeks: 1996, Hormel center opens

by BAR staff

Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive  

The Bay Area Reporter's April 4, 1996 issue celebrated the paper's 25th anniversary and the opening of the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the new San Francisco Public Library's main branch. Hormel, the heir to Hormel Foods, donated $500,000 of the $1 million needed for the center bearing his name, which was an LGBTQ think tank. (It was renamed the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center in 2016.) Hormel would go on to become the nation's first out ambassador when then-President Bill Clinton used a recess appointment to name him his top diplomat to Luxembourg in 1999. Today, the Hormel center is the library's gateway to its collections on LGBTQ history and culture. Hormel himself died in San Francisco August 13. He was 88. To view the issue, click here.

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