December 1, 1952 - The New York Daily News had a blazing hot front-page story on this day. An American GI had flown to Copenhagen and returned as a "blonde bombshell" of a woman. Her name was Christine Jorgensen and she was one of the highest profile cases of sex reassignment surgery.
People had been having sex change operations since at least the 1920s, but what made Jorgensen's case stand out was the use of hormone therapy in combination with the surgical procedures.
The publicity also spiked thanks to Jorgensen's openness about her decision to change genders. Over the next thirty years Jorgensen occasionally went on speaking tours where she raised awareness about her case and the plight of others with similar challenges.
Jorgensen also had a successful career as an actress and nightclub performer. One of her most famous appearances was on The Dick Cavett Show. When Cavett asked her about her love life Jorgensen walked off the set.
Here's a clip of Jorgensen accepting a "Woman of the Year" award: