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Natrona County High School and Matthew Shepard

Casper Rail Trail

Gender, Sexuality & Queerness Politics, Policy & Justice

Natrona County High School, whose alumni include Dick Cheney and Mathew Shepherd, in Casper, Wyoming.

Natrona County High School was built starting in 1924 and completed in 1941 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. [1] Since its creation, this school has educated many national and international public figures, including former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne Cheney, civil rights leader Rev. James Reeb, Sanctuary Movement leader James A. Corbett, and the first openly gay elected official in Wyoming, Guy Padgett. Many of these famous alumni dedicated their professional lives to public office, activism and advocacy.

In 1998, the murder of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard—a Natrona County High School graduate and student at the University of Wyoming—induced a decades-long advocacy effort for what became a landmark piece of federal hate-crime legislation, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, establishing protection for the LGBTQIA community. [2]

 

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  • [1] Department of Interior, National Park Service, “Wyoming SP Natrona County High School (73730528) [Electronic Record],”National Archives Catalog, National Archives and Records Administration, 1993, Records of the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, https://catalog.archives.gov/id/73730528
  • [2] U.S. House of Representatives, “H.R.1592 - Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007,” Congress.gov, introduced on March 20, 2007, https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/house-bill/1592.
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