History - B.C. to 1969
(The Pre Stonewall Years)
of Events in Gay & Lesbian History
(Caption Reads: "It's
Select A Period
Circa 3000 B.C.
The first recorded evidence of
homosexuality is found in Mesopotamia where artifacts depict men having sex with other
A New Hampshire Man is fined for
"Putting On Women's Apparel".
May 27, 1895
Oscar Wilde is
convicted of having sexual relations with male prostitutes and sentenced to 2 years hard
He died on November 30, 1900 at age
Brothers Ira &
George Gershwin take over management of New York Cities Gay Lafayette Baths. Ira was
May 16, 1919
Wladziu Valentino Liberace is born
in West Allis, Wisconsin. He passed away on February 4, 1987 at age 67 in Palm
Judy Garland is born as Francis
Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
March 23, 1923
Police arrest the theatre owner,
producer and and 12 actors at the Apollo Theatre in New York. They are charged with
presenting an obscene, indecent, immoral, and impure theatrical production. All plead
not guilty, pay bail and return to the theatre to give a matinee performance of "The
God Vengeance". They would later be found guilty and given suspended sentences.
Elizabeth Taylor is born in London,
England. She will later be quoted as saying that Hollywood would not exist if it were not
for gay men!
Homosexual prisoners in NAZI war
camps were marked with a colored cloth triangle to denote their offence or origin.
The usual triangle was about five centimeters across, but for homosexuals the
triangle was larger so that it could be recognized from a distance. The triangles
were placed point down and stitched onto the left breast pocket of the jacket and coat and
the outside right trouser leg.
March 25, 1947
Elton John is born in Middlesex,
Hoover, FBI Chief, leads our nation into the McCarthy era. Hoover,
suspected to be a homosexual himself, targets homosexuals associated with
Mattachine Society is founded in Los Angeles by Harry
Hay. The society would be the first major gay organization in the United States.
October 15, 1951
"I Love Lucy" with
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz premieres on CBS Television.
Select A Period
The American Psychiatric
Association adds homosexuality to its list of mental disorders.
President Eisenhower bans
employment of Gays & Lesbians.
Mattachine Society begins producing "ONE
Magazine", a monthly periodical. This continued for 15 years until publication
ceased in 1968.
June 6, 1954
No doubt as a result
of President Eisenhower's ban in 1953, HARVEY FIERSTEIN is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Just 27 years later on October 16, 1981, his play "Torch Song Trilogy" will open
on Broadway in New York City.
The Homosexual Law Reform Society (HLRS) held its first
public meeting at Caxton Hall in Central London. Over 1000 people attended.
Jack Campbell opens a clean,
licensed health club geared towards gay men in Cleveland, Ohio. He would open several
more clubs in years to follow. Most featured palm-filled atriums and gurgling
In September, The first issue of
"The Advocate" sells out all 300 12-page copies.
England & Wales decriminalize
private consensual sex between men over 21. The provisions do not extend to Scotland
or Northern Ireland where all gay male sex continues to be illegal.
Reverend Troy Perry starts the
Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in Los Angeles with a group of about 12 people.
In Houston Texas, several lesbians
are arrested on charges of cross-dressing because they were wearing fly-front pants.
June 28, 1969
At the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street around 3am, the
Stonewall Riots begin in New York City's Greenwich Village. The event is not
reported in TIME & Newsweek until October of 1969.
Click here to read the news article that appeared in the July 6, 1969
"New York Daily News".
Emmett Jewell opens The Town
House on University Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was one of the first gay
bars in the Twin Cities and still operates today. The structure was originally built
in 1939 as the Tip Top Cafe.
The Gay Activists Alliance (GAA)
is founded. It would soon become the largest most visible gay
organization in New York City.
time we did something to assert ourselves. After all, we do comprise 10% of
Allen Ginsberg inspecting the damage after the Stonewall Riots, 1969
Continue to the "Post Stonewall Era", 1970 to
Nationwide PRIDE Web Sites
Atlanta Georgia Pride
Boulder Colorado Pride
New Jersey Pride
York City Pride
San Francisco Pride
St. Louis Missouri Pride
Own The Riveting
Documentary That Examines the Gay & Lesbian Rights Movement from the 1920's to 1969...click here for purchase information.
Information compiled from a personal collection of books, newspaper
clippings, magazine articles (including "The Advocate" and "Out") and various
online resources including the
web site. Additional information provided by friends and local members of the Twin
Cities GLBT Community. Every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of
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