The Greensboro Purge

A fascinating reconstruction of a moment in the history of Greensboro, North Carolina, when one of the bigger "gay scares" of the 1950s resulted in 32 men being indicted and jailed. Money quote:

Unlike sweeps of subsequent decades, involving raids on public parks and gay bars, Greensboro's 1957 trials focused on private acts behind closed doors.

The purpose, in the words of the police chief, was to "remove these individuals from society who would prey upon our youth," and to protect the town from what a presiding judge called "a menace."

Some 32 trials in the winter and spring of 1957 would end in guilty verdicts, 24 of them resulting in prison terms of five to 20 years, with some defendants assigned to highway chain gangs.

It's a brutal story.