History of ONE, Incorporated

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The following history of ONE, Incorporated was created by C. Todd White as a part of his doctoral dissertation for the University of Southern California’s Department of Anthropology. A version of this timeline was first published in 2004 as part of the website for the [Homosexual Information Center].

This timeline links to several primary documents, such as court records, corporate minutes, letters of resignation, and correspondence between several of the pioneers of the early movement for homosexual rights in the United States. It ends in 1967 after the division of ONE was finalized after a two-year court battle. Other timelines will detail the later histories of the two factions: W. Dorr Legg’s ONE, Incorprated, and Don Slater's Tangent Group, which survives today as the Homosexual Information Center.

White’s book Pre-Gay L.A.: A Social History for the Movement for Homosexual Rights, published by the University of Illinois Press in May of 2009, discusses many of the documents linked to this page.

Text by C. Todd White. Copyright (©) by C. Todd White, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Significant Events in the History of ONE, Incorporated

  • 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 employer’s, RKO Studios in Los Angeles. Ben distributed 16 copies to friends such as Jim Kepner.
  • Alfred Kinsey et al.’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male is published, asserting that one in three American males had experienced some form of homosexual encounter in their lifetime and that between four and eight per-cent were exclusively homosexual.
  • February: final (ninth) issue of Vice Versa distributed.
  • August: Harry Hay attends a beer bust near the University of Southern California campus, where the idea is sprung to start a political organization called “Bachelors for Wallace.” Upon returning home that night, Hay began his first draft of a prospectus to form an organization dedicated to the welfare of homosexuals.
  • 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.
  • 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 Nov. 13th.
  • 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, which would later become known as Mattachine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • June: Dorr Legg (known as Bill Lambert), Merton Bird, and others found Knights of the Clocks, an organization of interracial homosexuals.
  • July 20: Missions and Purposes of the Mattachine Society are ratified.
  • Spring: Dale Jennings is arrested in his home for lewd 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.
  • June 23: The trial of Dale Jennings begins and lasts for 10 days.
  • Oct. 15 [We]: Mattachine Discussion Group held in the Home of Bill Lambert. Idea proposed to publish a magazine or newsletter pertaining to homosexuality.
    • ONE Inc. would continually celebrate its anniversary on Oct. 15 to commemorate this meeting.
    • Future ONE director Fred Frisbie recruited to join Mattachine.
  • Oct. 22 [We]: Second meeting to discuss the publication of a periodical devoted to homosexual issues.
  • Oct. 29 [We]: Third meeting to discuss the publication of a newsletter or magazine pertaining to homosexuality, at the home of attorney Fred Snider.
  • Nov. 5 [We]: Fourth discussion meeting in the formation of a homosexual magazine. Attendees discuss and eliminate over 20 possible names. The BRIDGE and WEDGE are retained as possible choices.
  • Nov. 15 [Sa]: ONE, Incorporated’s Articles of Incorporation signed in the law office of Eric Julber.
  • 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 Secretary/Treasurer.
  • 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.
  • Feb.: Dale Jennings resigns as editor of ONE. Irma Wolf is recruited to the editorial board.
  • 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.”
  • May: Jim Kepner, as “Lyn Pedersen,” becomes a member of the Editorial Staff for ONE Magazine, replacing Ben Tabor.
  • July: Irma “Corky” Wolf, as “Ann Carll Reid,” becomes Managing Editor of ONE Magazine.
  • 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.
  • January: ONE’s Education Division, called ONE Institute for Homophile Studies, sponsors its first public meeting, a Midwinter Institute.
  • Feb. 27 [Su]: Date of Jim Kepner’s (first) Letter of Resignation from ONE, Incorporated.
  • 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 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.
  • Jan. 27–29: Second annual Midwinter Institute. Harry Hay is a featured speaker.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • June 13 [Th]: Eric Julber files a nine-page petiton with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of ONE, Incorporated.
  • 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.”
  • Summer: “The Homosexual Viewpoint” first printed on the cover of ONE Magazine.
  • Oct. 17 [Th]: Irma “Corky” Wolf resigns as Editor of ONE due to health issues and continued conficts with Dorr Legg [William Lambert].

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

  • 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.
  • Jan. 31 [Fr]: Annual Business Meeting. Don Slater elected a Director to fill the unexpired two-year term of Ann Carll Reid.
  • Jan. 31–Feb. 2: 4th annual Midwinter Institute. Theme: Homosexuality: A Way of Life.
  • June 6th [Fr]: ONE Institute Quarterly for Homophile Studies first published, by W. Dorr Legg, Merritt M. Thompson, and Jim Kepner.
  • Jan. 29–31: 5th annual Midwinter Institute. Theme: Mental Health and Homosexuality.
  • Sept. 4–7: 6th annual Mattachine Convention in Denver. Theme: New Frontiers in Acceptance of the Homophile. Jim Kepner is a featured speaker. Billy Glover attends and decides to work for the movement.
  • Late December: Jim Schneider contacts Don Slater at ONE’s offices in downtown Los Angeles and becomes an active volunteer for the organization.
  • Jan. 29–31: ONE’s 6th annual Midwinter Institute. Theme: The Homosexual in the Community.
  • Feb. 2: [Mo]: Board of Directors Meeting. Jim Kepner is elected Chairman, Don Slater Vice Chaiman, and William Lambert Secretary-Treasurer.
  • Nov. 1 [Tu]: Jim Kepner’s letter explaining his resignation to the Members of ONE, Inc.
  • Nov. 15 [Sa]: Date of Jim Kepner’s second letter of resignation from ONE, Incorporated, and from the editorial board of ONE Magazine.
  • Wayne Placek introduces Joseph Hansen to Don Slater, to see if Slater would publish one of Hansen’s poems or short stories.
  • San Francisco drag artist José Sarria becomes the first openly gay person to run for political office in the nation.
  • Jan. 28–29: 7th Annual Midwinter Institute and “Bill of Rights” fiasco.
  • Jan. 27 [Fr]: Fred Frisbie (known as “George Mortenson”) becomes a director of ONE, Incorporated, replacing Jim Kepner, who had resigned the prior November.
  • Jan. 28 [Sa]: Frank Kameny writes to ONE, Inc. advising them of the Writ of Certiorari he had filed with the Supreme Court the day before.
  • July 12 [We]: Stella Rush, known as “Sten Russell” resigns from ONE Magazine’s editorial board in a phone conversation with Don Slater.
  • July 23 [Su]: Date of Stella Rush’s Letter of Resignation from ONE’s board and as Associate Editor of ONE Magazine.
  • Dec. 11: Psychologist and long-time friend of ONE Blanche M. Baker dies.
  • Joseph Hansen joins ONE’s Editorial Board.
  • Jan. 26 [Fr]: 10th Annual Business Meeting for ONE, Incorporated. Fred Frisbie (known as “George Mortenson”) becomes ONE’s Chairman. Don Slater is elected Vice-chair and W. Dorr Legg becomes Secretary/Treasurer. Actor Morgan Farley is elected to membership.
  • Jan. 26–28: 8th Annual Midwinter Institute. Harry Hay is an honored speaker.
  • March: Joseph Hansen debutes in ONE Magazine.
  • May 1: ONE Inc. moves to Venice Blvd. after being evicted from its Hill Street office due to earthquake retrofitting. Morgan Farley helps to secure the new office for ONE Inc.
  • June: Mattachine founder Bob Hull commits suicide.
  • September 7: Fall semester begins at ONE Institute for Homophile Studies, with courses taught by Don Slater, Morgan Farley, and W. Dorr Legg.
  • Dec. 2: Morgan Farley resigns from corporate membership.
  • John Rechy’s novel City of Night published by Grove Press.
  • The Society for Individual Rights [SIR] founded in San Francisco to help organize the gay commuinty.
  • In Britain, a group of Quakers publish a pamphlet titled Toward a Quaker View of Sex that argued that society “should no more deplore homosexuality than lefthandedness.”
  • Jan. 25–27 [Fr–Su]: 9th Annual Midwinter Institute
  • Jan. 25 [Fr]: ONE Inc.’s Annual Meeting. Monwell Boyfrank becomes a director.
  • Feb. 1 [Fr]: ONE’s election of officers. Joseph Aaron is elected Chairman. W. Dorr Legg is elected Vice-chairman, and Monwell Boyfrank becomes Secretary/Treasurer.
  • Feb. 11 [Mo]: Spring semester begins at ONE Institute for Homophile Studies.
  • May: Harry Hay moves in with Jim Kepner in Echo Park. (They had started dating earlier in the year.
  • May 31 [Fr]: Joseph Arron resigns as Chair of ONE Incorporated’s Promotions Committee. Jim Schneider is installed in his place.
  • July 28 [Su]: Joan Corbin, known as “Eve Elloree,” is dropped from corporate membership due to poor attendance.)
  • Sept: Harry Hay meets John Burnside and the two begin living together two months later. Hay and Burnside remain lovers until Hay’s death on Oct. 24, 2002.
  • Nov. 12 [Tu]: Corporate meeting. ONE, Inc. becomes divided over who should be elected into membership at the next annual meeting in January. Slater, Sanchez, and Steinert favor electing Billy Glover to corporate membership; Lambert, Aaron, and Boyfrank reject Glover in favor of others. It is decided to submit the names of Harry Hay, John Burnside, and Billy Glover as candidates.
  • Nov. 22 [Fr]: President John F. Kennedy assasinated in Dallas. Billy Glover meets Melvin Cain later that afternoon, and they become lovers and friends.
  • Joseph Hansen, as “James Colton,” publishes his first novel, Lost on Twilight Road.
  • Jan. 15th: Monwell Boyfrank submits a formal letter of resignation, due to health reasons, at a board meeting chaired by Bill Lambert. Jim Schneider elected to Board of Directors of ONE, Inc.
  • Jan. 25th and 26th: ONE Inc.’s Annual Business Meeting, chaired by Joe Weaver (a.k.a. Joseph Aaron). Manuel Boyfrank was Secretary. Other members present: Antonio Sanchez, Rudolf Steinert (“Stuart”), Bill Lambert, and Don Slater. Harry Hay and John Burnside are elected to serve as Directors then resign shortly after due to a conflict over whether or not to elect Billy Glover as a director.
    • Don Slater’s account of the 1964, 1965 Elections at ONE, Incorporated.
  • June 26: ONE Inc. is featured in a Life magazine article titled “Homosexuality in America.”
  • June 28: Erickson Educational Foundation founded by Reed Erickson in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • July 4: Louisiana millionaire Reed Erickson contacts ONE Inc. to offer financial assistance to the organization.
  • August 15th: Monwell Boyfrank’s letter to Don Slater stating that no compromise was possible and that ONE Inc. was in deadlock.
  • Rudi Steinert’s letter to Chairman Joe Aaron requesting a Corporate Meeting, dated Sept. 9, 1964 (siged “R. H. Stuart”).
  • Sept. 21: ISHR granted exemption from franchise tax by the State of California Franchise Tax Board, as a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to scientific research and education.
  • Joseph Hansen, as James Colton, publishes his second novel, Strange Marriage.
  • Jan. 29th and 30th: ONE Inc.’s Annual Business Meeting. Meeting adjourned on the 29th with no business conducted and resumed on Sat., without quorum Second meeting adjourned with no time or place set for a follow up meeting.
  • Feb. 5: W. Dorr Legg convenes a meeting as a continuation of the adjourned Corporate Meeting, despite Don Slater’s protest that it was instead a “special meeting,” citing Roberts Rules of Order and the California Civil Code. Slater again protested the 1964 “election” of Winn and Bonham. Legg announced that Rudi Steinert, who was away conducting ONE's business in Europe, would not be allowed to vote by proxy, even though substantial changes in the bylaws were being prepared. Legg further announced that they were going to elect additional members and that Slater would be dismissed as a member of the corporation. Slater withdraws in protest.
  • March 2 [Tu]: Corporate meeting. Antonio Sanchez attends to address new members, but the chair, W. Dorr Legg, does not allow him the floor.
  • March 7 [Sun]: Attorney Stuart Simke presents a lecture on "The California Sex Laws: Prospects for Reform" as part of the 1964–1965 ONE Institute Series
  • April 12 [Mo]: W. Dorr Legg storms into an editors’ meeting and forces the resignation of the editors of ONE Magazine, telling them they had no right to discuss or attempt to influence corporate policy.
  • April 14 [We]: Ross Ingersoll, known as “Marcel Martin,” resigns as Associate Editor of ONE Magazine. Ingersoll had served as an editor since the resignation of Jim Kepner in November of 1960.
  • April 15 [Th]: Don Slater signs a lease for office space on Cahuenga Blvd. in Universal City.
  • April 18 [Su]: Don Slater, Antonio Sanchez, and Billy Glover move ONE’s library and office from Venice to Cahuenga Blvd. “for the protection of the property of the corporation.” They soon begin calling themselves The Tangent Group, after a regular news column in ONE Magazine usually written by Jim Kepner, and maintain that they are indeed “the majority of legally elected board members of ONE.” Kepner and others dub the event “The Heist,” but Slater describe the event as more of a mutiny.
  • April 20 [Tu]: Jim Schneider’s letter to Don Slater expressing concern over the recent split of ONE, Incorporated.
  • April 21 [We]: Jim Schneider sends a letter to ONE Inc. members calling for an informal meeting in his home and demanding the resignation or reconciliation of W. Dorr Legg and Don Slater.
  • April 23 [Fr]: Joe Aaron resigns from ONE, Inc. due to “the present corporate dillema.”
  • April 23 (or 25): Legg’s faction votes in a special meeting to remove Don Slater from membership in ONE, Inc.
  • May 11 [Tu]: Don Slater sends a Letter to “Former Friends and Subscribers” of ONE Magazine, announcing ONE Inc.’s move from Venice to Cahuenga Blvd., in Hollywood and asking for help and “moral support.”
  • May 12 [We]: Jim Schneider sends a letter to Don Slater.
  • May 16 [Su]: Rudi Steinert and Antonio Sanchez are removed from membership in ONE, Inc. by W. Dorr Legg's faction.
  • May 18 [Tu]: Manuel Boyfrank’s letter to Jim Schneider advising him that ONE's board of directors had removed him from membership in the corporation.
  • June 5 [Sa]: The Institute for the Study of Human Resources [ISHR] is incorporated and granted tax exempt status under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • July 27 [Tu]: First public meeting of Mattachine Midwest
  • Sept. 16th [Th]: Don Slater’s deposition taken in the law offices of Hillel Chodos, in Beverly Hills.
  • Jan. 26 [We]: W. Dorr Legg answers Don Slater’s interrogatories in the law offices of Hillel Chodos, in Beverly Hills.
  • Feb. 19–20: Don Slater attends the National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations held in Kansas City, Missouri. It was here decided to launch a national campaign to protest the exclusion of homosexuals by the U.S. Military. Forty leaders attend from fourteen different homophile organizations. The organizations unite to form NACHO, the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations.
  • March 18 [Fr]: Committee to Fight Exclusion of Homosexuals from the Armed Forces issues a statement and a press release.
  • May 21 [Sa]: Los Angeles Motorcade in protest of the exclusion of homosexuals from the U. S. Armed Forces.
  • Nov. 3 [Th]: Odorizzi v. Bloomfield School District resolved. (This case was sponsored by the HIC.)
  • Jan. 1 [Su]: Los Angeles Police raid the Black Cat Bar within minutes after midnight New Year's eve. Six male patrons are charged with kissing, and sixteen people are arrested. Several bar-goers are injured, leading to future protests and a legal case.
  • Feb. 11 [Sa]: Rally outside of the Black Cat Bar in Los Angeles. (Jim Kepner helped to organize.)
  • April 25 [Tu]: Agreement of Settlement between the parties to the action of ONE, Incorporated vs. Slater, et al.
  • April 27 [Th]: Dismissal entered for case number 864 824 without prejudice, as to all defendants and cross-defendants, and as to all causes of action in the complaint and in the cross-complaint. The court battle between ONE, Incorporated and Don Slater, et al., is officially over, the organization permanently divided.

Text by C. Todd White. Copyright (©) by C. Todd White, 2008. All rights reserved.
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