December 1 - 1952 - The New York Daily News Reports Christine Jorgensen's Sex Reassignment Surgery
With the banner headline, "Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty," The New York Daily News announced that Christine Jorgensen was the very first person to ever undergo sex reassignment surgery. That wasn't actually true, but it was correct as far as anyone at the time knew, and the basic fact that George William Jorgensen, Jr. had become a woman after surgery in Denmark shortly after being discharged from the US Army was quite remarkable. Christine Jorgensen was the first publicly known person to switch sexes, and one of the first to use hormone therapy under the direction of the Danish Doctor Christian Hamburger. Jorgensen's story was so remarkable that even the expected prejudices weren't quite as prevalent, because reporters and the public were so fascinated with her story that they turned her into a celebrity. For decades, Jorgensen was the only well known transgender figure in American culture, and she made a living from being Christine Jorgensen on talk shows and in a cabaret show. All of that began as soon as The New York Daily News published their story on Jorgensen's sex reassignment surgery.