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Smithsonian museum to receive Matthew Shepard collection

This 1995 photo provided by the Matthew Shepard Foundation shows Matthew Shepard. The murder of Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, was a watershed moment for gay rights and LGBTQ acceptance in the U.S., so much so that 20 years later the crime remains seared into the national consciousness. (Zeina Barkawi/The Matthew Shepard Foundation via AP)

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A collection of Matthew Shepard’s papers and personal objects will be donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

A news release from the Smithsonian says the museum will accept the donation from Shepard’s parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, in Washington on Oct. 25.

KTWO-AM in Casper reports that the family is donating personal papers highlighting Matthew’s school life from elementary school through college as well as theater scripts, photographs, correspondence and notebooks. There are also items such as a child-sized Superman cape, sandals and purple ribbon award.

The 21-year-old Shepard died after being savagely beaten and left tied to a rail fence in October 1998 in Laramie. His murder sparked national outrage and turned his death into a symbol of violence against gay people.

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Information from: KTWO-AM, http://www.k2radio.com/

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