1951 - 1990

Criminal Justice: 1951

On Christmas day, Los Angeles police officers beat young Mexican American men held at the Central Station. The department fires two of the officers and reprimands 36 others involved in the “Bloody Christmas” incident.

LGBT Rights: 1951

A small group of Los Angeles gay men form the Mattachine Society based on the belief that gay people are not criminal or mentally ill but are an oppressed minority. Mattachine groups develop throughout Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other parts of the country.

See an excerpt of a documentary about Harry Hay, one of Mattachine’s founders:

The California Supreme Court rules in Stoumen v. Reily that a bar owner could not lose a liquor license solely because the bar’s patrons were gay.

Knights of the Clock formed in Los Angeles to support interracial gay and lesbian couples.

Immigrants' Rights: 1952

California Supreme Court rules in Sei Fuji v. California that the state’s “Alien Land Law” violates both the state and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection.

Dissent: 1952

Frank WilkinsonFrank WilkinsonLos Angeles Housing Authority administrator Frank Wilkinson refuses to testify about his political beliefs before the California Senate’s Committee on Un-American Activities. The Housing Authority fires him.

Legislature approves the Luckel Act, named for San Diego Assembly Member Frank Luckel, requiring all state employees to respond to government entities investigating their political beliefs.

By a two-to-one margin, California voters pass Proposition 5, which permits the legislature to subject state employees to loyalty check programs, and Proposition 6, which enshrines the Levering Act loyalty oath requirement into the state constitution.

California Supreme Court upholds the Levering Act in Pockman v. Leonard.

LGBT Rights: 1952

Transgender activist Virginia Prince publishes Transvestia: The Journal of the American Society of Equality in Dress.

In a Los Angeles jury trial, Dale Jennings fights against police entrapment. He acknowledges that he is gay but denies soliciting an undercover police officer. The jury deadlocks, and Jennings is freed.

Censorship: 1953

Refregier Sandlot Riots muralRefregier Sandlot Riots muralA congressional hearing, supported by Vice-President Richard Nixon, is held to determine whether the Refregier murals should be removed from Rincon Annex because of their “unpatriotic” content.

Dissent: 1953

Governor Earl Warren signs into law a bill requiring loyalty oaths for all persons or organizations claiming exemptions from property taxes.

Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron loses a brutal re-election campaign after Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker publicly declares Frank Wilkinson a subversive whom Bowron supported.

Legislature passes the Dilworth Act, named for State Senator Nelson Dilworth, requiring public school employees to take a loyalty oath and denying them any ground for refusing to answer questions from school boards or legislative committees concerning their membership in the Communist Party or other political organizations.

LGBT Rights: 1953

President Dwight Eisenhower issues an executive order designating homosexuality as a basis for denial of federal employment and for the firing of federal employees under a prior program targeting “subversives.”

First issue of ONE is published in Los Angeles by members of the Mattachine Society and others. The magazine eventually reaches a national circulation of 5,000.

World War II Incarceration: 1954

U.S. government allows Latin Americans who were forced from their home countries for incarceration in the U.S. to become American citizens.

Censorship, LGBT Rights: 1954

Cover of the October 1954 issue of ONECover of the October 1954 issue of ONEFBI agents interrogate the staff of the gay magazine ONE; Los Angeles Postmaster confiscates the October 1954 issue of ONE, alleging that it is "obscene." ONE sues the postmaster, and the case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court in 1958.

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