2020 National History Day: Breaking Barriers in History | Presbyterian Historical Society

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2020 National History Day: Breaking Barriers in History

Topics and Resources for NHD 2020:

David Sindt—Founder of Presbyterians for Gay/Lesbian Concerns and a key figure in the fight for full membership and ordination rights for LGBTQIA+ individuals in the Presbyterian Church.

Names Project quilt panel made for David Sindt by Barry Smith, Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, Chicago, 1988 [image no. ds6538]



Shall Women Preach?—Explore the stories of Presbyterian women who have broken barriers within the church to claim their place among those ordained to the ministry. 

First Woman Minister, Margaret Ellen Towner, 1956 [Image no. ds5658]


  • Newspaper clipping on Pearl, "First Woman Minister [Margaret Towner]"
  • Living History video interview of Susan Andrews
  • Journal of Presbyterian History Fall/Winter 2005 special issue on women's ordination (Printed journal available at PHS; digital version available through JSTOR)
  • Patricia Lloyd-Sidle, Celebrating Our Call: Ordination Stories of Presbyterian Women (Book at PHS, WESTPR 2006-9)
  • Karen V. Brown and Phyllis M. Fendon, compilers, African American Presbyterian Clergywomen: The First Twenty-Five Years (Book at PHS, BX 8946 .A35 A34 2001)
  • Louisa M. Woosley, Shall Woman Preach? (Book at PHS, BV 676 .W66 1891; ebook at Internet Archive)
  • Guide to the Rachel Henderlite Papers (RG 504) (collection at PHS) 


Maggie Kuhn—American activist for social and economic justice, global peace, integration, urban renewal, and mental health awareness. In 1970, at the age of 65, she founded the Gray Panthers, an organization advocating for the rights of senior citizens.

Maggie Kuhn pins Mayor Rizzo, 1975 [Image no. ds2798]



J. Oscar McCloud—noted Presbyterian minister, and civil rights worker, Rev. McCloud held significant leadership roles within the church, including being one of the first African American men and youngest churchmen to head a major unit of the denomination.

Pastors of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Presbyteries, UPCUSA, early 1960s. J. Oscar McCloud, second from left [image no. ds3308]