ELWYN B. ROBINSON DEPARTMENT OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
CHESTER FRITZ LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA
GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA 58202
SIZE: .25 linear feet
ACQUISITION: The Thom Higgins Papers were deposited in the Orin G. Libby Manuscript Collection by Thom Higgins, St. Paul, Minnesota, on August 25, 1994 (Acc.#94-1965).
ACCESS: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Department of Special Collections.
Thom L. Higgins was born on June 17, 1950, in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. He was the son of Leo and Kay Higgins. He attended high school at Assumption Abbey in Richardton, North Dakota. After attending the University of North Dakota in 1967 on a special summer program for gifted high school juniors, he decided to enroll at the University. At UND, he was the Arts and Entertainment editor of the Dakota Student, as well as a writer for In Which, a publication of the Honors Program. He was also a member of the Young Democratic Club of North Dakota, the Interdorm Council, and acted in the play MacBird. He was also involved in the production of an underground newspaper entitled the Snow Job. This publication resulted in his suspension from UND in March 1968. Following this, Higgins did not return to UND.
He instead moved to Twin Cities, where he became a gay activist. He became one of the four Archons (ministers) in the Church of the Chosen People, which advocated homosexuality as a "healthy and fulfilling personal option." He was also known for throwing a pie in the face of anti-gay activist Anita Bryant on October 14, 1977, in Des Moines, Iowa. He worked in various professions during his life, including nursing and advertising. He was a voracious reader, who also enjoyed collecting art and listening to music.
Thom Higgins died on November 10, 1994, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Thom Higgins Papers date from 1967-1977. Included are materials related to the controversial underground newspaper, the Snow Job, UND student senate minutes, and university symphony and concert announcements. Also included are copies of an honors program newsletter publication entitled In Which, and several newspaper clippings. The newspaper clippings document the Vietnam War, protests at the University of North Dakota, and Thom Higgins' suspension.
One portrait of Thom Higgins has been separated and placed in the Orin G. Libby Photograph Collection
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