MATTHEW SHEPARD was born on this date (d. 1998).  Shepard was a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming, in October 1998. He was attacked on the night of October 6–7, and died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12 from severe head injuries. 

During the trial, witnesses and his killers stated that Shepard was targeted because he was Gay. Shepard’s murder brought national and international attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.