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Friday, July 13, 2012

Archiving the History of an Epidemic: Archives Center Exhibition Opens

"An Early Frost" (1985) was the first nationally broadcast television film to have a story line about AIDS.  In the film, Michael Pierson (Aidan Quinn) is a young gay man with AIDS. Forced to be open about his homosexuality and the disease, he must also face the inevitability of his death. At a time when AIDS was seen as a certain death sentence, "An Early Frost" presented the tragedy of the epidemic to a wide audience. Media writer Kenneth R. Clark noted, “NBC...is the first to explore AIDS with a full-length movie, and a lot of people are nervous about it.”
An Early Frost, Chicago Tribune, TV Week, 1985
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Collection
Twenty-seven years later, The XIX International AIDS Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. for the first time, beginning July 22 through July 27. The Archives Center, National Museum of American History, will display “ARCHIVING THE HISTORY OF AN EPIDEMIC: HIV AND AIDS, 1985-2009,” from July 13 through Labor Day to mark this occasion.

Franklin Robinson, Jr., Archives Specialist



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