The Daily Agenda for Saturday, December 15

Jim Burroway

December 15th, 2012


December 15th, 2012

In the second paragraph about Dorr Legg it says
“Legg moved back to Ann Arbor where he met Marvin Edwards, and the two became lovers. But with Bird being African-American, the sight of the two of them together sometimes raised the eyebrows of local police whenever they were out together.”
But Bird isn’t introduced until the next paragraph.

Jim Burroway

December 15th, 2012

Sorry about the confusion. I was working from Bullough’s book first, which suggested that Legg met Bird in Michigan, but Stone’s article in GLRW had more detailed corrected info. When I went back to correct this draft, I missed Bird’s name in the earlier paragraph.

Thomas Kraemer

December 15th, 2012

The gay history sources you cited, Martha E. Stone’s magazine article and Wayne R. Dynes’ chapter in Vern L. Bullough’s “Before Stonewall” book, disagree if W. Dorr Legg was a professor at Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Oregon, or if he was at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. I now have definitive proof that W. Dorr Legg was a professor at Oregon State University who lived in Corvallis, thanks to an Oregon Public Records Law that required W. Dorr Legg’s personnel file to become a public file based on the large number of years that have passed. I also found a possible source of the error thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request for the public release of the FBI investigation file on W. Dorr Legg. At first I thought the confusion was due to out-of-state historians who often confuse OSU and U of O, which are only 40 miles apart, but I now think the source of the error is likely due to the fact that the FBI file erroneously refers to Eugene when the context of the FBI memo is clearly referring to Corvallis, Oregon. The FBI investigation file documented home street addresses and houses that Legg lived in, which I verified are all physically located in Corvallis and not Eugene. Thanks to the State public records law, the Oregon State University Archives was also able to provide me a copy of W. Dorr Legg’s personnel file that includes a signed letter from him with the address of Oregon State College, which was the name of Oregon State University at the time Legg resigned to do religious missionary work during World War II at Camp Adair, a military base located in Corvallis. I wrote a few blog posts on my findings and included photographs of his resignation letter. I also added a comment of correction to the site page about OSU and Legg. See the following links:

Thomas Kraemer, “Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004,” posted April 30, 2010 is available on the Web site that was originally produced by The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS), located at the City University of New York Graduate Center and now hosted at the University of Chicago.

Thomas Kraemer, “FBI files on gay OSU professor 1956,” posted July 7, 2010

Thomas Kraemer, “W. Dorr Legg OSU archives records 1935-1942,” posted Jul 31, 2010

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