LGBT History Project: LGBT-041 Sam Edmiston Collection

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Sam Edmiston was born on July 17, 1945 in Middleburg, PA. In the April of 1963, Edmiston enrolled in the US Navy, and three weeks after his graduation, went to the Keel United States Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois for recruitment training. While in the US Navy, Edmiston was a dispersing clerk until he was dishonorably discharged for being gay in 1966. Edmiston fought to change the discharge, and his papers were later changed to a “general discharge under general conditions.”

After coming home from the Navy, Edmiston worked various jobs until he retired from working for seven years for personal health reasons. After the seven years, Edmiston found a job with the Social Security Administration through Administrative Careers of America. He went on to work for the Social Security Administration for the next 10 years until he finally retired permanently.

Throughout and after college Edmiston was active in the pursuit of gay rights. He started the Susquehanna Valley Gays United in 1976 with friend Sam Deetz, was the secretary for the PA Rural Gay Caucus, contributed to the Lancaster Gay Era Newspaper, and was part of Dignity/Central PA.

Gift of Sam Edmiston
LGBT-041 Sam Edmiston Collection
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections