Mattachine Midwest

Mattachine Midwest was founded in 1965. This was the third rendition of a Mattachine-type organization in Chicago. The two previous organizations (1954-1957 and 1959-1962) were named Chicago Mattachine

In the early morning hours of April 25, 1964, police raided the Fun Lounge, a bar for homosexuals, and arrested 103 men and 6 women. This raid developed an interest in another attempt for a Mattachine-type organization in Chicago. Bob Basker, Jim Bradford and Bill Kelly got in touch with people at Matachine Society of New York, who put them in contact with people who had been involved in the previous Chicago chapters. These people included Ira Jones, Pearl Hart, Valerie Taylor, and Roland Lancaster. The three official founders of Mattachine Midwest were Bob Basker, Pearl Hart, and Ira Jones.

Documents scanned from the Kelley/Ooi Collection from Mattachine Midwest are the constitution, bylaws, first Meeting Minutes, the introductory address from the first open meeting, membership application, and the first two newsletters: vol1 no1 and vol1 no2.


North American Conference of Homophile Organizations

Patterned after conferences held by East Coast Homophile Organizations (ECHO), North American Conference of Homophile Organizations (NACHO) had its first national conference in 1966, held in Kansas City due to its central location. The 1968 conference was held in Chicago. The last conference was held in 1970 in San Francisco was viewed as the end of the homophile movement.

The 1968 NACHO conference adopted the “Gay is Good” slogan., a Homosexual Bill of Rights, and resolved to set up a national Sex Enlightenment Week during the month of May.

The 1968 conference was scheduled to be held August 12-17 in Chicago and the 1968 Democratic National Convention was scheduled to be held August 26-29 in Chicago as well. Scanned is a letter from the Mattachine Society of Washington expressing concerns about the how the date for the 1968 NACHO conference was too close to the date of the Democratic National Convention, including the concern that there were “murmurings” about “civil disorder” at the 1968 DNC. The date was not changed. The Kelly/Ooi Collection contains minutes and documents from the ECHO and NACHO conferences. The minutes from the 1968 NACHO have been scanned.

Photos from the 1968 NACHO held in Chicago

Phil Japeria from the GSHA at Harvard University
Members of Mattachine Midwest: Tom Erwin (top left), Bill Kelly (bottom left) and Roland Keith (bottom right)





Chicago Gay Liberation

On April 18, 1970 Chicago Gay Liberation sponsored the first public city-wide gay dance, which was attended by 2,000 people. Marking the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, Chicago Gay Liberation scheduled a “Pride Week” of events running June 19-28, 1970. The pride march which was held on Saturday, June 27 was the first pride march—anywhere, marches in New York, Los Angels, and San Francisco were held on Sunday, June 28.

Scanned from the Kelley/Ooi is a press release about the first Chicago city-wide public gay dance held on April 18, 1970 and the schedule for the 1970 Gay Pride Week Schedule.