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The Daily Agenda for Saturday, April 12

Jim Burroway

April 12th, 2014

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Events This Weekend: Women’s Fest 2014, Camp Rehoboth, DE; Virgin London Marathon, London UK; Miami Beach Pride, Miami Beach, FL.

TODAY’S AGENDA is brought to you by:

From Club Scene, December 1983, page 55.

 
Before Houston’s Brazos River Bottom closed in March of last year, it had been the longest running gay bar still in its original location, racking up thirty-five years of line-dancing and all around cowboy fun. But the fun had come to an end, the owners said, because the 1887 building in the rapidly redeveloping Midtown area had just about had it, and renovations to bring it up to snuff would be too expensive. BRB was host of the annual four-day LUEY weekend, organized by the Houston Council of Clubs. The first LUEY weekend was put on in 1971 by the Texas Riders gay motorcycle club to “keep the party going” for people returning from Mardi Gras.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Texas Police Arrest 64 Homosexuals: 1953. The Associated Press reported the following raid of a private home in Waco, Texas:

Sixty-four men were arrested in a Waco residence early today in what a detective called a raid on a “statewide convention of homosexuals.”

Fifteen detectives and police, a Texas Ranger and Asst Dist. Atty. Burney Walker made the raid on a small two-room house in South Waco.

“It was a state-wide convention of homosexuals,” said Det. Capt. Wiley Stem.

Most of the men were young. The majority were from Dallas. Others gave their addresses as Austin, Ft. Worth, Houston, Ft. Hood, and James Connally Air Force Base near Waco.

It’s what’s not reported that is so noticeable. Nobody in the short report mentioned what laws were violated or what charges were made. There’s nothing to indicate that anyone was actually doing anything to break the law. It was the mere existence of gay people and their gathering at one location that occupied the attention of fifteen detectives and police officers that day. As for it being a “state-wide convention,” I can’t find any record of an organization at that time which would have organized such a meeting. But this was 1953, after all, a time in which conspiracy theories ran rampant , when those fanning the twinned Red and Lavender Scares imagined secret and dangerous cabals in every nook, cranny, and two-room shotgun shack throughout America.

Postscript: One month later on May 11, Waco would be devastated by one of thirty-three confirmed tornados that broke out across the great plans over a three day period. Waco was hit by the deadliest of them all: Of the 144 deaths from all of the storms, 114 died in Waco alone.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY:
Amy Ray: 1964. One-half of the folk duo Indigo Girls, Ray met the other Girl, Emily Sailers (see Jul 22), when they attended the same elementary school together in Decatur, Georgia. They began hanging out together while in high school, where they began performing together and recorded their first demo in 1981. They went their separate ways for college, but they met up again a few years later when they both transferred to Emory University. By 1985, they were performing together again as Indigo Girls. They secured a contract with Epic Records in 1988, and in 1990 won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. (They were also nominated for Best New Artist, but they lost out to Milli Vanilli, who later saw the award revoked when it was revealed that they didn’t actually sing on their debut album and lip-synced their way through concerts.) Ray has also been busy with solo work and running an independent record label, Daemon Records, and she’s an activist for multiple causes, including gay rights, women’s rights, indigenous rights, gun control, environmental protection, and abolishing the death penalty. The Indigo Girls released their latest original album, Beauty Queen Sister, in 2011 and The Essential Indigo Girls in 2013.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

Comments

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FYoung
April 12th, 2014 | LINK

“Of the 144 deaths from all of the storms, 114 died in Waco alone.”

No doubt God’s punishment for homophobia. Anybody can see that. Stands to reason.

Stephen
April 12th, 2014 | LINK

Extraordinary story about Waco. Remind me never to go there.

FYoung
April 12th, 2014 | LINK

“I can’t find any record of an organization at that time which would have organized such a meeting.”

Yes, it’s a shame that there are so many gaps in our history. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a very active social scene there, but its history may be about to disappear forever. We should encourage elders to document their lives and post it online, and send documentation and artifacts to the various archives.

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