JEAN-NICKOLAUS TRETTER, was born on this date; Tretter is a gay activist and archivist who founded the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Studies housed at the University of Minnesota.
Tretter was the 16-year host and producer of Night Rivers, a program on KFAI described as “the only regularly broadcast gay and lesbian classical music show in America.” He grew up in Little Falls, Minnesota. By 1972, Tretter came out as a gay man and left the Navy, where he had served during Vietnam as a linguist. Tretter returned to the Twin Cities and co-organized the first Twin Cities commemoration of the Stonewall Riots in June 1972.
Around that same time, Tretter began to collect gay and lesbian materials. He went on to study social and cultural anthropology at the University of Minnesota in 1973, but dropped out in 1976 and began working as a counselor at a residence for youths with multiple disabilities. Meanwhile, he continued to collect GLBT materials, advocate for GLBT causes and conduct research on GLBT history. In 2000, the Tretter Collection was donated to the University of Minnesota. The Jean–Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies houses over 30,000 items in a wide variety of media.