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Timeline of History: 1960 and before

Significant Events in the history of the Los Angeles–based
movement for homosexual rights


Nov. 15 [Sa]: Date of Jim Kepner’s second letter of resignation from ONE Incorporated and from the editorial board of ONE Magazine.

Nov. 1 [Tu]: Jim Kepner’s letter explaining his resignation to the Members of ONE, Inc.

Feb. 2: [Mo]: Board of Directors Meeting. Jim Kepner is elected Chairman, Don Slater Vice Chaiman, and William Lambert Secretary-Treasurer.

Jan. 29–31: ONE’s 6th annual Midwinter Institute. Theme: The Homosexual in the Community.

1959

Late December: Jim Schneider contacts Don Slater at ONE’s offices and becomes an active volunteer for the organization.

Sept. 4–7: 6th annual Mattachine Convention in Denver. Billy Glover attends and decides to work for the movement.

Jan. 29–31: 5th annual Midwinter Institute. Theme: Mental Health and Homosexuality.

1958

Barbara Gittings founds a Daughters of Bilitis chapter in New York.

June 6th [Fr]: ONE Institute Quarterly for Homophile Studies first published, by W. Dorr Legg, Merritt M. Thompson, and Jim Kepner.

Jan. 31–Feb. 2: 4th annual Midwinter Institute. Theme: Homosexuality: A Way of Life.

Jan. 31 [Fr]: Annual Business Meeting. Don Slater elected a Director to fill the unexpired two-year term of Ann Carll Reid.

Jan. 13 [Mo]: The United States Supreme Court rules that the October 1954 issue of ONE Magazine was not obscene and should be protected as an excercise of free speech. The court battle between ONE Inc. and Los Angeles Postmaster Otto Oleson is over.

1957

The Wolfenden Report is published, recommending that homosexuality be decriminalized in England.

Harry Benjamin coins the word “transsexual.”

A Navy committee investigating homosexuals in the military publishes The Crittenden Report, stating that there was no legitimate basis for excluding homosexuals from the armed forces.

Federal government astronomer Frank Kameny is fired for being a homosexual.

UCLA Psychologist Evelyn Hooker publishes a study prociaming that homosexual men are just as well adjusted as heterosexual men.

Oct. 17 [Th]: Irma “Corky” Wolf resigns as Editor of ONE due to health issues and continued conficts with Dorr Legg [William Lambert].

Summer: “The Homosexual Viewpoint” first printed on the cover of ONE Magazine.

June 24 [Mon]: Supreme Court rules in Roth vs. United States that “obscinity” is not protected by the First Ammendment and that “The standard for judging obscinity...is whether, to the aveage person...the dominant theme of the material, taken as a whole, appeals to purient interests.”

June 13 [Th]: Eric Julber files a nine-page petiton with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of ONE, Incorporated.

March: California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Barnes, Hamley, and Ross uphold Judge Clarke’s ruling from a year prior that the October 1954 issue of ONE was obsence and thus unmailable. Julber decides to appeal.

Jan. 25–27: Third annual Midwinter Institute. Theme: The Homosexual Answers His Critics. Harry Hay presents a paper titled “The Homophile in Search of an Historical Context and Cultural Continuity.”

Dale Jennings, as Jeff Winters, again appears in ONE Magazine, as author of the short story “The Little Guy.”

1956

ONE Inc. begins its ONE Institute of Homophile Studies program. Lead by Jim Kepner, Merritt Thompson, and W. Dorr Legg, this is the first educational institution in the United States dedicated to the study of homosexuality.

ONE Confidential (ONE Confi) launched and distributed to the Friends of ONE, in response to the onslaught of mail and increased public attention.

ONE, Incorporated’s Publications Division publishes Homosexuals Today: A Handbook of Organizations & Publications, with William Lambert [Marvin Cutler], as Editor.

Jim Kepner contributes over 400 books to ONE Incorporated’s library, more than doubling the size of the collection. Don Slater becomes ONE’s first librarian.

March 1 [Th]: Chuck Rowland resigns from ONE’s Social Services Division.

Irma “Corky” Wolf, as “Ann Carll Reid,” is promoted to Editor of ONE Magazine.

U.S. District Judge Thurmond Clarke rules that the October 1954 issue of ONE Magazine had contained “filthy and obscene material obviously calculated to stimulate the lust of the homosexual reader” and was thus unmailable. ONE’s attorney Eric Julber appeals.

Jan. 27–29: Second annual Midwinter Institute. Harry Hay is a featured speaker.

1955

Feb. 27 [Su]: Date of Jim Kepner’s (first) Letter of Resignation from ONE, Incorporated.

January: ONE’s Education Division (ONE Institute for Homophile Studies) sponsors its first public meeting, a Midwinter Institute.

1954

October: Los Angeles Postmaster Otto K. Oleson refuses to deliver the October issue of ONE Magazine, calling the content “obscene.” Attorney Eric Julber agrees to help ONE engage Oleson in a lawsuit.

July: Irma “Corky” Wolf, as “Ann Carll Reid” becomes Managing Editor of ONE Magazine.

May: Jim Kepner, as “Lyn Pedersen,” becomes a member of the Editorial Staff for ONE Magazine, replacing Ben Tabor.

March 31 [We]: Don Slater becomes interim director of ONE, Inc. Jim Kepner, as “Lyn Pedersen,” publishes his first article in ONE Magazine, “The Importance of Being Different.”

Feb.: Dale Jennings resigns as editor of ONE. “Ann Carll Reid” is recruited to the editorial board.

January 22 [Fr]: Annual Business Meeting. Board of Directors of ONE, Incorporated elect William Lambert as Chairman, Irma Wolf as vice-Chairman, and Dale Jennings as Secretary-Treasurer, each to serve a three-year term.

1953

Evelyn Hooker contacts the Mattachine Society in search of subjects for her study of differences between male homosexuals and heterosexuals, through UCLA.

By year’s end, Mattachine-like discussion groups are being held throughout Los Angeles and in Long Beach, Laguna Beach, Fresno, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Chicago.

Nov. 14 [Sa]: Dale Jennings addresses the Mattachine Society Banquet for having received the 1953 Achievement Award, for his work on ONE Magazine.

Nov. 1 [Su]: First Official Board Meeting for ONE, Incorporated. (Martin Block is elected Chair, Tony Reyes Vice Chair, and Dale Jennings, Secretary-Treasurer.)

The cover of the November issues of ONE Magazine reads “The Homosexual Magazine” for the first time.

October 16 [Fr]: BY-LAWS for ONE, Incorporated filed with the Secretary of State in Sacramento, California.

Sept: ONE Magazine is first distributed in New York City.

August: An issue of ONE Magazine dealing with homosexual marriage is confiscated by the Los Angeles Postmaster. Attorney Eric Julber later secures the release of the magazine.

June: Martin Block resigns as editor of ONE Magazine; Dale Jennings takes over.

May 27 [We]: ONE Incorporated’s Charter Granted by the State of California.

April: Mattachine Society conference to create a new constitution.

Spring: Irma “Corky” Wolf, known in print as “Ann Carl Reid,” begins working for ONE Inc.

February 7 [Sa]: ONE Incorporated’s Articles of Incorporation filed with the Secretary of State in Sacramento, CA, signed by Martin Block, Dale Jennings, and Antonio Sanchez, the First Directors of ONE, Inc.

January: Premier Issue of ONE Magazine, edited by Martin Block, Dale Jennings, and Don Slater, with William Lambert as Business Manager and Donald Webster Cory as Contributing Editor.

Jim Kepner attends his first Mattachine meeting by invitation of his friend Betty Perdue.

1952

Nov. 29 [Sa]: Meeting of Incorporation held in Martin Block’s Studio Bookshop. Motion adopted that a board of three directors act as officers of the corporation, in accordance with California law. Martin Block is elected to be ONE’s first Chairman. Don Slater is elected Vice Chairman, and Dale Jennings becomes the Secretary/Treasurer.

Nov. 15 [Sa]: ONE, Incorporated’s Articles of Incorporation signed in the law office of Eric Julber by “Tony Sanchez,” Martin Block, and Dale Jennings.

Nov. 5 [We]: Fourth discussion meeting in the formation of a homosexual magazine. Dale Jennings, Martin Block, Chuck Rowland, Baily Whitaker, Bill Lambert, Don Slater, “Phil J.” and “Cliff” discuss and eliminate over 20 possible names. The BRIDGE and WEDGE are retained as possible choices.

Oct. 29 [We]: Third meeting to discuss the publication of a newsletter or magazine pertaining to homosexuality, at the home of attorney Fred Snider. Martin Block, Don Slater, Dale Jennings, “Guy Rousseau,” and Bill Lambert present.

Oct. 22 [We]: Second meeting to discuss the publication of a periodical devoted to homosexual issues. Dale Jennings, Chuck Rowland, “John B.,” Martin Block, Don Slater, and Bill Lambert attend.

Oct. 15 [We]: Mattachine Discussion Group held in home of Bill Lambert. Idea proposed to publish a magazine or newsletter pertaining to homosexuality. Dale Jennings, “John B.” (later identified as Johnny Button), Chuck Rowland (as “David L. Freeman”), Bill Lambert (later known as Dorr Legg), and Martin Block were in attendance.

Future ONE director Fred Frisbie recruited to join Mattachine.

ONE Inc. would continually celebrate its anniversary on Oct. 15 to commemorate this meeting.

June 23: The trial of Dale Jennings begins and lasts for 10 days.

Spring: Dale Jennings arrested in his home for lude conduct. Harry Hay and other Mattachine members creat the Citizens Committee to Outlaw Entrapment to raise funds for Jennings’s legal defence and to publicized the case.

1951

July 20: Missions and Purposes of the Mattachine Society are ratified.

June: Bill Lambert, Merton Bird, and others found Knights of the Clocks, an organization of interracial homosexuals.

April: Lovers Konrad Stevens and James Gruber (christened collectively as “Stim” by Dale Jennings) join Harry Hay’s “Society of Fools.” The organization decides to call itself “Mattachine.” First Missions and Purposes of the Mattachine Society are written.

Jim Kepner moves to 2141 Baxter Street in Echo Park, where he is to reside for the next 21 years.

Donald Webster Cory’s The Homosexual in America—A Subjective Approach is published by Greenberg.

Fritz Peters’s novel Finistère is published by Farrar, Straus & Company.


1950

Physique Pictorial magazine is first published, by Bob Mizer.

(Future) activist Betty Berzon moves to Los Angeles.

James Barr’s Quatrefoil published by Greenberg.

President Eisenhower signs Executive Order 10450, citing “sexual perversions” as reasons for preventing homosexuals from being employed by the federal government.

Dec: A senate subcommittee issues a report stating that homosexuals working within the Federal government could be considered a threat to national security.

Dec. 11: First organized discussion group of Hay’s secret society.

Nov 11: Harry Hay, Rudy Gernreich, Chuck Rowland, Dale Jennings, and Bob Hull meet at Hay’s home in Silver Lake to discuss his Preliminary Concepts for unifying homosexuals into social action. The group meet again two days later, on the 13th.

1949

Publication of The Divided Path, by Nial Kent.

1948

Alfred Kinsey et al.’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male is published, asserting that one-third of American males had experienced some form of homosexual experience in their lifetime and that four to eight per-cent were exclusively homosexual.

August: Harry Hay attends a beer bust at the University of Southern California, where the idea is sprung to start an organization called “Bachelors for Wallace.” Upon returning home that night, he began his first draft of a prospectus to form an organization dedicated to the welfare of homosexuals.

Feb.: Final (ninth) issue of Vice Versa distributed.

1947

June: “Lisa Ben” (an anagram for Lesbian), publishes Vice Versa: America’s Gayest Magazine, the first regularly published newsletter in the United States dedicated to homosexual issues. The newsletter was typewritten at her employers, RKO Studios in Los Angeles. Eyde distributed the 16 copies to friends such as Jim Kepner.

1943

Wally Jordan of Rhinelander, Wisconsin , claimed to have revived a national organization called Sons of Hamidy. Jordan told his constituent pen-pals that Jim Kepner was secretary for the organization before Kepner had even become an official member.

Aug. 4 [We]: Joseph Hansen marries Jane Bancroft.

1940

July 27: Troy Perry born in Florida


1934

The Final Shadow published, the first widely circulated novel to portray homosexuality in a positive light.

Henry Gerber et al. publishes a mimeographed newsletter titled The Chanticleer.

Dec. 10 [Mo]: “Antonio Sanchez” born in Dallas, TX.

1932

April 4 [Mo]: Jim Schneider born on a family farm in northeastern Nebraska.

1930

Harry Hay “comes out” to his classmates at Stanford University.

Fall: Magnus Hirschfeld visits the United States and lectures to medical associations.


1928

Radcliffe Halls’ The Well of Loneliness censored in England but cleared by the U.S. Courts for publication and distribution.

Jan. 18: Betty Berzon born in St. Louis, Missouri.

1927

The World League for Sexual Reform established by Magnus Hirschfeld. Harry Benjamine and William Robinson represent the U.S. as directors.

1925

April 30: Stella Rush born. Rush was to later write for ONE Magazine under the pseudonym “Sten Russell.”

1924

Dec. 10 [We]: Henry Gerber’s Society for Human Rights granted a charter from the State of Illinois.

1923

July 19 [Th]: Joseph Hansen born in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

August 21 [Tu]: Don Slater born in Pasadena, CA

Sept.: Infant James Lynn Kepner, Jr. found wrapped in newspaper under an oleander bush in Galveston, Texas.


1919

Nov. 19: Morris Kight born in Comanche County, Texas

1917

Oct. 21 [Su]: William Dale Jennings born in Amarillo, Texas. His family soon moves to Denver.

1912

April 7 [Su]: Harry Hay born in Sussex, England.


1908

Edward Prime Stevenson publishes The Intersexes: A History of Similsexualism as Problem in Social Life.

1904

Dec. 15 [Th]: William Lambert Dorr Legg born in Ann Arbor, MI

1887

Scientific Humanitarian Committee established in Berlin, Germany, inspired by the writings and lectures of Karl Ulrichs.


This chronology was created by C. Todd White from information gathered while researching his doctoral dissertation, Out of Many... A Social History of the Homosexual Rights Movement. Dr. G. Alexander Moore was director of White’s dissertation committee, in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California.

Posted by C. Todd White • This page was last updated on 1/5/08


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