Gay Chronicles






















Gay Chronicles


Compiled by

Len Evans



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San Quentin - Prison doctor refers to diseases caused by the "libidinous indiscretions" of prisoners.


San Quentin - A "Jocker's Ball" is held Sunday mornings. Includes dancing.


San Quentin - Homosexual prisoners are segregated.


LA - Athletic Model Guild begins selling physique photography.


LA - Lisa Ben publishes Vice Versa, the first lesbian publication is reproduced in small numbers on a typewriter with carbon paper.


The Sex Criminal by Dr. J Paul de River, head of the LAPD Sex Offense Bureau. The main thrust of the book is that there no such thing as a harmless sex offender.

Two vigilante groups formed to prowl "pervert" hangouts....(where?)

SF - The Alcoholic Beverage Control board attempts to close the Black Cat bar on the grounds that the management "kept and permitted his licensed premises to be used as a disorderly house", and that "persons of known homosexual tendencies patronized said premises and used such premises as a meeting place." (see Stoumen v Reilly below)


LA - Use of child decoys in homosexual entrapment is discontinued by Chief of Police Parker.

Jul - Mattachine Society is formed in Los Angeles, marking the beginning of the homophile movement.

Physique Pictorial begins publication in Los Angeles. The first of the gay beefcake magazines.


Stoumen v Reilly - State Supreme Court rules that patronage by homosexuals was not

sufficient reason to revoke a bars license, and pointed out that the ABC should not act arbitrarily in determining what is contrary to public welfare or morals.


San Diego - Cinnabar (bar) described in USA Confidential as having "prancing misfit" waiters "in peekaboo blouses" who "make love with sailors." "For those in a hurry jobs are performed in the men's rooms and telephone booths."

March - LA - Citizens Committee to Outlaw Entrapment is formed. Dale Jennings & Mattachine win "lewd vagrancy" charge.....

LA - USA:Confidential expose of LA gay scene.


SF - Mattachine Society organized.

SF - Examiner expose - Grand Jury investigation.


LA - LAPD Deputy Chief of Detectives Thad F Brown acknowledges special homosexual squad - policy of harassment. "We keep a constant check on bars and restaurants where they hang out. We try to get the licenses of the places catering to them. Brown claimed about 150 homosexuals are "caught in the act" each month.

SF - Examiner week long expose of the "sex-deviate” problem (early in year).

Oct - LA - October issue of One magazine seized by the Post Office as obscene.....


State legislature passes Section 24200(e) of the Business and Professional Code. in an attempt to skirt the 1951 state Supreme Court decision in Stoumen v Reilly. The code addition provided that a license may be suspended or revoked if the premises "are a resort for illegal possessors or users of narcotics, prostitutes, pimps, panderers, or sexual


Santa Monica - Get tough "reform" slate wins City Council majority. Bars raided - Police chief resigns, calling their anti-"pervert" ordinance unconstitutional and unenforceable.

San Jose - 10 arrested in raid of Midway Cafe.

SF - Bunny Breckenridge is arrested for a wearing woman's hairdo and flamboyant clothes.

SF - Daughters of Bilitis organized.

SF - Federal trials of three physique photographers. One of whom is Richard Roscoe, whose photos were anything but obscene. The fact that they were undraped males was all that was needed for conviction.


Oakland - Pearl's (bar) raided by police.

SF - Bar raids and harassment. Liquor licenses suspended for Ethel's, Crossroads, Paper Doll, Copper Lantern. The license for Miss Smith's Tea Room is revoked.- The Black Cat is raided by the ABC.

SF - Ladder published by Daughters of Bilitis.

Sharp Park - raid on Hazel's Inn. Over two hundred people are present. 87 are arrested, some are defended by the ACLU.

Stanford Univ. - Arrests for sex in bathrooms.


SF - Drive against Tenderloin bars.

SF - Howl confiscated as obscene, Ferlenghetti arrested in raid on City Lights bookstore......

May - SF - ACLU critical of police departments use of the vagrancy laws to harass homosexuals.


US Supreme Court overturns California's 2 1/2 year old sex registration law. There had been 4,750 convictions each year the law had been in effect, only 719 persons had met change of address registration requirements; there had been no prosecution for violation of the law.

Mar 1 - SF - Jose Seria, the city's most famous, and politically active female impersonator teams up with pianist Hazel McGinnis, premiers at the Black Cat with a parody Madame Butterfly.


Stanford - T-rooms busted.

Oct SF - Wolden/Christopher campaign for mayor. Wolden calls the city "the national headquarter of the organized sex perverts in the United States", and blamed it on the lenient attitude of mayor Christopher. It became a major issue in the campaign. Christopher won the election.......

Vallerga v Munro - The California First District Court of Appeals ruled that Section 24200(e) of the Business & Professional Code must be viewed in terms of the Stoumen case decision that the mere presence of homosexuals was insufficient grounds to act against a bar. It found that nine months of almost daily surveillance had established the presence of homosexuals, but not of any immoral conduct likely to come to the attention of the management. In two other cases Kershaw, and Nickola there was ample evidence of "improper" conduct, and of the licensees knowledge of that conduct. The ABC was upheld in these cases.

SF - Sidney Feinberg, North Coast Division administrator of the ABC, announced that dozens of undercover agents were at work gathering evidence to root out homosexual bars (estimated by Feinberg at 25 to 30 of the divisions 1340 saloons). In lieu of recent court decisions, the agents are looking for instances of misconduct. Actions have been brought against 14 suspected gay bars since 1954.


SF - Continuing bar raids. The Criterion and Handlebar are raided in January, The Silver Dollar in May, the Ensign in July, and the 57 Club.

SF - First National convention of DOB

SF - Gayola trial = Jack's Waterfront, along with other bars file suit against certain police officers for demanding payoffs. The "Gayola" trial ended in the acquittal of the officers.

SF - Ist leather bar opens. The short lived "Why Not" is soon succeeded by the better known Tool Box.

LA - Kodak confiscates AMG film, turns it over to the LAPD vice squad for review.



SF - Famous female impersonator Jose Seria runs for the Board of Supervisors. The League for Civil Education is formed in conjunction with the campaign. He garners 6,000.

SF - Charges are filed against the Jumping Frog and the Hideaway for being hangouts for homosexuals.

Aug - SF - Tay-Bush (bar) raid - largest gay bar raid in SF history. 89 men and 14 women are arrested. One municipal judge called the city a "Parisian pansy's paradise" and threatened stiff penalties for any homosexuals brought before him.


July - SF - Tavern Guild formally organized for self-protection by the city's gay bars.


Revision of Penal Code including sex laws authorized by legislature.

Oct 31 - SF - Final Black Cat appeal denied by the State Supreme Court, closes Halloween to great public outpouring and fanfare.

SF - Tavern Guild organizes a telephone alert system to warn of pending raids or other problems.

SF - The Jumping Frog bar sponsors the 1st Beaux Arts Ball, the event soon becomes an annual fundraiser and social event of the Tavern Guild.


LA - American Civil Liberties Union decides to challenge the Sodomy law.

SF - Political candidates address a homophile movement.

SF - Gordon's bar license revoked for being a homosexual hangout.

SF - Life magazine article on homosexuality features a photo of the Tool Box.

Sep - SF - Sir organized.


Dec - San Francisco. Council on Religion and the Homosexual formed.



Jan 1 - SF - California Hall Arrests New Years eve.

Santa Ana - Teams of plainclothes police sweep parks and other cruising areas in an effort to squelch a reported increase in homosexual activity. 40 arrests are made.

LA - Four men indicted by Grand Jury for libeling Senator Thomas Kutchel by falsely accusing him of having been arrested for a homosexual act in l949. Kutchel was cleared of these accusations.

Santa Cruz - 5 photos of male genitalia were confiscated from the art gallery of the Hip Pocket Book Store, and the owners charged with exhibiting obscene photos and outraging public decency. After hearing testimony, including that of a number of art experts, the charges were dismissed by the Municipal Court judge.

Berkeley - Dean of Students refuses to allow showing of Genet's Un Chant d'Amour. In separate action the Berkeley police confiscate a print of the film.

California Attorney General report on Hell's Angels reports that homosexuals are attracted to the group and implies rampant homosexuality among the motorcycle club's membership.

LaHabre - Police crackdown - 12 men arrested on disorderly conduct charges in vicinity of El Centro park.

Laguna Beach - The ABC holds hearings to suspend or revoke the licenses of Dante's and the Barefoot, on the grounds that the two bars are at the "center of homosexual activity in the city." The City Manager, James Wheaton, said he hoped to prove there is substantial evidence of "immoral activity generating from these two bars, enough to warrant revocation of their licenses."

Assembly passes bill declaring same-sex sex for money prostitution. There was an apparent legal confusion.

SF - District Attorney proposes restricting sales of physique magazines to specific geographic areas of the city.

SF - Rev. Cromey fired. Called by the Examiner, "The priest who won't shut up", Cromey was fired for not tempering his outspoken championing of the homosexual cause. The Diocese had reputedly lost tens of thousands in contributions because of Cromey's prominence. The firing was protested by over thirty pickets outside Grace Cathedral.

SF - Three Sexual Freedom League activists are arrested for swimming nude in Aquatic Park.

Berkeley - Campus Sexual Freedom Forum denied a bank account by all Berkeley banks.


San Jose - City Council protests high school sex education as way to introduce youngsters to "drugs, homosexuality, and masturbation."

Philip J Hanley deputy director of the ABC leads public campaign against gay bars.

KRON-TV wins the State Fair Broadcast Media, Gold Medal for its program "Homosexuals".

LA - Pride newsletter, forerunner of the Advocate begins publication.

San Jose - Seven county jail inmates given extended sentences after forcing two teen inmates to engage in sexual acts.

Martinez - City officials defend polygraph tests for perspective police and firemen in order to screen out homosexuals.

Proposition 16 - Stamp Out Smut initiative.

Santa Monica - City Council orders the removal of a two-way mirror in the Main libraries men's room.

Aug - Sacramento - State Fair board revokes booth contract with the Council on Religion & the Homosexual stating the exhibit was too controversial. Gov Pat Brown refused to intervene, while the Sacramento Superior Court judge ruling on a writ of mandate filed by the CRH and other homophile groups felt that discussions of homosexuality were more appropriate to "professional journals, the churches and in the legislature." Members of the CRH, SIR, and the Tavern Guild of San Francisco, and Sacramento's Association for Responsible Citizenship passed out literature at the Fair's gates.

Sep - Glenn County - Promoting his campaign against homosexuals, Phillip J Hanley, the ABC's deputy director explains to the Glenn County Chamber of Commerce how he "has to send in young undercover agents who are fondled, caressed, propositioned, and often all but compromised." "What we need is to vote out the Democrats and give the state good Republican morality" suggested Congressional candidate Tom McHatton, another speaker at the event.

Dec - District Court of Appeals rules the film Un Chant d'Amour by Jean Genet obscene. The film is a 30 minute silent portrayal of guards alternately spying on and beating four prisoners engaged in various homosexual acts.


Governor Reagan fires two aids for homosexual activity.

Episcopal Diocese of Calif urges the abolition of laws regulating private sexual behavior.

In announcing expansion of the 10 year old prisoner work furlough program, the Department of Corrections stated the program will continue to exclude homosexuals.

LA - About 20 homophile leaders meet with Capt. Charles Crumley of the LAPD Vice Squad.

Jan - LA - The Tavern Guild of Southern California, an association of gay bar owners, reported "nightly raids" on gay bars beginning at midnight New Years Eve. The Guild has charged police brutality in some cases.

Jun - LA - Plainclothes police arrest two members of Pride when they are refused admittance to a dance sponsored by the organization.

Jul - Committee of Law Faculty members from UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford, USC call for sex law revision. Work on revision of the Penal Code was authorized by the 1963 legislature.

Aug - Los Angeles - Ten patrons arrested in bar raids in Silver Lake area.

Aug - SF - Tenderloin round up of prostitutes - 23 females and 14 males dressed as women are arrested.


SF - SIR denied Yellow Page listing.

Jun - Responding to a poll conducted during the primary elections, Governor Reagan responsed that he opposes homosexual law reform. Republican Senate candidate Max Raferty said the only reform he would support are more severe penalties.

Jun - SF - Delegates to the opening the American Medical Associations convention were warned of what parts of the city to stay out of to avoid the city's "brigades of homosexuals". One nearby newsstand owner complained that cruising guide sales were off 50%, and felt that "the AMA, a nonprofit organization, should be enjoined from making such pronouncements in restraint of trade.

Jul - San Mateo - City Council considers ordinance prohibiting employment of entertainers or others whose activities encourages the congregation of homosexuals.

Oct - San Diego - Crackdown - Balboa Park - 131 men are arrested by a single officer who said he repeatedly witnessed "lewd & lascivious" conduct.

Nov - Assemblyman Willie Brown introduces AB-743, Consensual Sex revision of the Penal Code, co-sponsored by Assemblyman John Burton.


Morrison v State Board of Education. The state Supreme Court holds homosexuality per se is not sufficient to dismiss a teacher, although the implications of homosexuality may be considered in determining a teachers fitness. (1969 or '70?)

Berkeley - Police shoot and kill an un-armed gay man in Aquatic Park who was being arrested for lewd conduct. SIR demands an investigation.

LA- One partner of the Club baths shots the other after a business disagreement, police investigate.

SF - Public Utilities Commission denies Yellow Page listing for four gay groups.

Wilmington - Police arrest two patrons at a local dance bar for lewd conduct. At closing time about 25 patrons buy flowers and hold a "petal-power vigil" till morning when the two men are released on bail.

Nov LA - Times refuses gay organizational ad. Picketed.

LA - Police arrest 11 people in two separate raids on the Gear Box bar, and 9 people are arrested at the Club Baths.

Nov - LA - Demonstration of approx. 200 for law reform, sponsored by the Committee for Homosexual Law Reform.


SF - Phone Company reveals anti-gay employment policy.

Brown Bill 1st introduced. see Nov '68

LA - LAPD raids - bars & baths.

LA - Barney's Beanery removes "Fagots Stay Out" sign.