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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 6, 2009 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT

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going to use the podium are not an outsider and i guess to sit down, it is up to the cameras, and because our two guests are not from chicago as i am, i want you -- to be nice to them. [laughter] no swearing, this is live. the people out there should know the chicago has taught me the term, nearly legal, is a compliment, that parking places nearly legal. and soon what the governor did was nearly legal. [laughter] what he said live on c-span is nearly legal. my name is brian, i am a professor at northwestern
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university and author of a couple of books, and also always the bridesmaid and never the bride. i am very honored to be with two authors who are, basically the books are still warm in their hand, there are so new. and what i'm going to do is sort of get to introduce to them and i tell you a little bit about them and have them, out and read a little bit from their books just different things. and from after that i will have some opening salvos in questions and then we'll open it up to you and if you don't ask questions we will just keep talking so start thinking now. in my first panelist is karen graves who teaches, associate professor at denison university in ohio where she teaches history education, a loss of education, critical pedagogy and prairie studies, she is also the
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author of a girls' school from female scholar to domesticated in medicine and co-editor of a collection and excusable omissions, clarence carrier and the critical tradition in history of education scholarship. please welcome karen graves. [applause] >> between 1957 and 1963 the state of florida actively pursued gay and lesbian schoolteachers, subjected them to interrogation, where they're from teaching positions and revoke their professional credentials. through the auspices of a legislative committee are j. strickland and his team of investigators perfected techniques of harassment. the teachers sometimes taken directly from their classrooms based their accusers alone. , other witnesses brought before the investigation committee of the course of its nine year
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existence was with legal counsel. schoolteachers rarely if ever did so. and county superintendents offices or florida highway patrol system's teachers often confronted sources say authority. the superintendent lowell and long prison officers and representatives of the investigation committee. generally strictly followed a set pattern of questioning. one of his goals was to collect names of other suspects yet commerce is by asking for general information regarding roommates, colleagues and friends and the witness resisted strickland would simply repeat his questions. this might lead the witness to offer vague references or your san information in the hope that such would satisfy the investigator. it never did but the teacher had no way of knowing this. from there she would bring in some detail on the witnesses life experience suggested yarn in a great deal about the person. this is a critical to ensuring
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an interrogation. the point at which you remind the witness that he or she was under oath and discuss the penalty for perjury. when the system and how much evidence strickland already had, if there's any chance of keeping their jobs or whether there would be arrested. strickland often inform the witness the penalty for crimes against nature was the same as that for perjury convictions, 20 years in the state penitentiary. and points of fact, the florida sodomy statute did not include a definition of a sort of conduct that would constitute a crime and citizens arrested for crimes against nature could not predict severity of punishment imposed by the court if convicted. soon in this climate the imprisonment to get people to talk was often effective. yet some courageous men and women denied his accusations and throughout the course of the interrogation and provided very little information. others to figure cooperation was a better strategy shifted from
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denials to a new verse that -- definitions and at this point strickland would pose the most personal of his questions and getting the teaches privacy and crudest fashion. there might still be some wrangling over what counted as homosexuality but in most cases witnesses simply answer the questions. how long have had homosexual tendencies, when was the first time you engaged in homosexual acts, how often you have sex with another woman or man, what caused you to become a homosexual, what kinds of sex acts it your practice, name you're partner's. assume that some tried to defend themselves by insisting they were respectable teachers and being question regarding events that took place in the privacy of their own homes, that they were people of good character. when these arguments one i knowledge some minuses pleaded for a chance to correct their behavior and make amends for violating social norms.
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the teachers and than might move from denial to debating definitions defending their behavior to making intends to help their case but and and and the result was the same and by april 1963, the investigation committee reported that it had revoked 71 teacher certificates and has 63 cases pending. in addition the committee had in its files information on another hundred suspects. new assume all the board of education revoked teacher's credentials on bounds of moral turpitude the board did not have investigated power. if you'd only act when circumstances have been trivial instances of what the state considered moral transgressions. and the johns committee in base of inquiries regarding schoolteacher sexuality that triggered increases cert revocations remain outside its initial legislative mandate. and the investigation committee for sure the schoolteacher
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purged in his 1959 report, a public alarm begin essential as a vacation to extend committees operations. only then after the committee had already begun its investigation of gay and lesbian in florida's universities and schools that the legislature bowed to allow it to pursue this line of investigation. the johns committee had usurp the authority of the department of education regarding surveillance of schoolteachers morality. in 1959 the legislature gave the board investigative and subpoena power and the paving the way for a split and a certificate revocations that follow. immediately the department of education began to work in concert with the investigation committee three of the credentials of gay and lesbian educators. and as by the department's cooperation the johns committee assailed the entire teaching profession from being indifferent to the problem of the homosexuality. in response to the state superintendent of public instruction assure the public as school of the administration's
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in 1962 brought the second-highest number of teacher investigations on record. >> thank you, karen, i am just getting up and down, i hope that is fine with the camera crews. this is, and their wonderful teachers -- "and they were wonderful teachers: florida's purge of gay and lesbian teachers", again this cannot from university of illinois press, as is todd book which will hold in a moment, we should be appreciative of the work they're doing in this area. i decided by the way and fire asked some of these crazy questions about sexuality would cause me to be homosexual would be the pink button-down i received in 1972. [laughter] mothers be where. our second panelists is c. todd white who received his ph.d. in anthropology from the university of southern california in 2005
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and prior two that he earned his master's in anthropology from the university of nevada las vegas and in english from the university of missouri kansas city. he has talked on wide-ranging subjects including human evolution, cultural linguistics, magic and witchcraft, and world poverty and underdevelopment, as we to stenographer he is currently working with administrators and library faculty at rutgers university to redesign the library is web interface. is currently a visiting assistant professor of anthropology at james madison university in harrisonburg, virginia and is one of those that has a fabulous time dividing it between, he devised with his partner in the highland park. i divide my time between my credit little office in my tiny little apartment -- that is fabulous enough for me i suppose. todd, can you please introduce your book to "pre-gay l.a.: a social history of the movement for homosexual rights".
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hot off the presses. ouch. >> thank you. i want to research the history of the gay-rights movement and how surprised upon moving to los angeles in about 1998 to matriculate at ust surprised to find as a whole history i have not really heard much about, i was an impression everything was a stone wall and this was a very pivotal important time in a history of the things out of line that had happened in los angeles in 1950i was wondering why haven't i heard this before and why were more people talking about these amazing things is people have accomplished. so i found i had heard of harry a., but often there were written as the margins of a history and it was like a distant will things but we all know started with stonewall. well, the more i learn about this movement and more agile and that some of the key survivors the more i realized that has
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some significant victories that in some ways led up to interact directly led up to stonewall mattachine was clandestine from the communist party and i should have most of them would be considered a conservative and the republicans. [laughter] well, that was kind of an interesting tidbit. why would that be? they were a clandestine organization until 1952 when one other key members was arrested and for lewd conduct, not in a park but in his own home here and and i went to trial. it was a 10 day trial in june of 1952, where this man had to stand up in court and say yes i am a homosexual but now i did nothing wrong. and during that process is fellow mattachine saw him go through this and decided to stand up with them and it was through the trial in 1952 that
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they decided to stand up together and no longer be a clandestine secret organization but to stand up as a very out organized mattachine foundation and that was basically the beginning of what is now a day and lesbian rights in the entire u.s. and the world. every gay and lesbian organization around the world today can trace its pedigree back to those five people who matter very scared in the hills of echo park in 1950. so the passage from ibook hello rating begins on 23 and deals with the rest of bill jennings and tells from his perspective. this is the rest of dale jennings. as the story goes, jennings left his echo park, one spring evening and began and the mile-long walk toward the west lake district hoping to take a good movie. once there he decided against the first two shows and a step into a public restroom on his
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way to another theater. he did not tally, and left about 9:00 p.m.. having done nothing that the city architect didn't have in mind we need to design a place. only now a bit rough looking character whom came out of nowhere began following him jennings proceeded to the theater only to discover that he had seen that show already so he turned back for home. still followed by the burly stranger. jennings grew afraid the man intended to rob him so he walked fast, took the taurus and said goodbye and each street corner. once you arrive at his own front door, the stranger pushed past him and entered into the house. jennings describes what happens then in an article he later printed in the first edition of one magazine. quote, what followed would have been a nightmare even if we haven't turned out to be vice squad. assured now that this big character was a dog by as a prosecutor described it flitted
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wiley from a room to room, wondering and wondering how to get rid of this person sprawled out making sexual gestures and proposals. i was almost relieved when he strolled into the back bedroom because now i could call the police. and then he called twice, come in here. his voice was loud and commanding. he had taken off his jacket, he was sprawled on the bed and his shirt was on bond halfway down. he insisted that i was homosexual and he urged me to quote from a let down my hair. he had been in the navy and all of us guys play around, right? i told him repeatedly that he had the wrong guy. he got angrier each time i said it. and at last he grabbed my hand and he tried to force it down the front of his trousers. i jumped up and away. there was a badge, and he was snapping the handcuffs on with a remark -- maybe you'll talk
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better with my partner outside. the partner, jennings wrote, was noted to be found on the left the house. the vice of a separated him all the way back to the park and then ushered him into the waiting patrol car. the arresting officer sat in the back seat beside him and he and the two others in the frenzied asked a barrage of basic questions such as, how long have been this way, the officers repeatedly made jokes about police brutality, laughingly asked if they have been brutal to reach other have a use of the three instructed me to plead guilty and then they assured me everything would be all, right. jennings feared in the usual beating, probably out of the country somewhere, but eventually they all arrived at the police station. although the cops a booked jennings at 11:30 p.m., there would not allow him to make this phone call until after 3:00 a.m. the next morning. jennings call harry kaye, to ask
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for $50 bail. he later stated that the only reason jennings had called him was because he was the only one known to have a checkbook. [laughter] but he posted bail by 6:30 a.m. and he and jennings went for breakfast at the brown derby with a decided that mattachine would help contest this charge. according to jennings contesting the charges was harry hays idea, jennings wrote in an unpublished article titled the trouble with berries that while most people tall shrink from using their height. hay was closed, the only person i ever met who used it with the imperial self-confidence of the chosen. from his great height late heavy hands on my shoulders, steered intensively down to me in his best screen actors guild style, and made his grade and solemn pitch. when this happened, jennings spirits sank. he had seen him do this too many scorning people before your
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hague told jennings not to fear that he and mattachine will stand behind him to the fight, the great man pointed out that i in my miserable way would be someone chosen to appear in the advice of up to the establishment, i had nothing to lose but my chains. after all working in a family business i couldn't get fired a. be reasonably divorced it would not hurt my wife and i to continue at usc as something of a hero that the straits on campus did not come to work on me as they did the other ferries. he himself would be honored to do such a thing but, of course, he had too many familiar responsibilities. jennings said, i was to be the lucky one. after breakfast had called an emergency meeting and the mattachine clan contained in jennings' house leader that i to hear the news and discuss a strategy. however, his recollection of the rest differ somewhat. from jennings version. quotes, dale had just broken off with bob hall and was not i know
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the feeling very great. he told me that he had met someone in the can at was like park and the man had his hand on his garage the bill was an interested, he said the man insisted on calling him home and almost pushes way to the door. he asked for coffee and one tail got it he saw the man moving the window blind as a signaling someone. he got scared and bill started to say something when there was a seven pounding on the door and dale was arrested. of course, no one will ever know exactly what happened that night except, of course, for jennings and the arresting officer. jennings admitted later that the man had, indeed, been quite handsome and he knew the some of his fellow mattachine did not entirely believe his story, he wrote in the first issue of a magazine to be innocent and yet not be able to convince even you're own cohorts carries a peculiar agony. he later wrote of his cohorts they were unanimously willing to support my suppose it perjury to
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defy the statute as unjust as to 88 today. and newspapers with the long beach lawyer george shebly to take the case. under shebly said wiseman, mattachine organize citizens committee to outlaw and travel at, and non profit organizations that raise funds and promoted jennings pending trial threw leaflets and fliers. according to one of these fires reprinted in the book homosexual to name the committee primarily intended to stand against brutality and go by recent scientific research and statistics by such eminent authorities, as donald webster quarry, bottled -- dr. alfred kinsey, dr. william kroger, dr. clara thompson and others, homosexuals have become aware of themselves as a social minority. and the group culture characteristics patterns, problems and oppressions that are common to all minorities similarly prosecuted by baseless
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and it's and vulgar prejudices the committee intended to expose all eyas, the much-publicized trial began on june 23rd, 1952. jennings admitted his homosexuality in court but he adamantly denied any wrongdoing. after 10 days the jury deadlocked, 11 to one, and jennings favor. although the arresting officer had been caught in a lie, one person stymie the jury. the judge then dismissed the charges and a stun jennings left the courthouse a free man. he later said quote, walking out of the courtroom for a while as a liberation i had never anticipated. it didn't happen in our society, he went to jail for the sort of thing. and i was so numb for some time it finally began to dawn on me that we did have a victory. the newspapers did little to cover the trial so the
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mattachine distributed a flier to l.a. that proclaimed the victory, the flyers' dave jennings credit for the aggressive fight for their stance against being -- that being a homosexual and not necessarily make one prone or guilty to lewd or dissolute behavior. and the fire pointed out that this is a victory for everyone, heterosexuals as well as homosexuals, since both were potential victims of an chatman to. the committee asked for donations to continue the legal fight and asked that checks be made possible -- payable to blank and they sent in care of the mattachine foundation inc. in los angeles. the controversial case drew local and eventually national attention as mattachine this summer and fall in the trial organized membership which ballooned. mattachine my discussion groups immediately sprang up in long beach, laguna beach and fresno.
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by early 1953 groups that form as far away as san diego, san francisco, oakland, berkeley and chicago. emboldened by the triumph men and women of the mattachine brought the days of fear, silence and secrecy to an end. thank you. >> thanks, todd. again that is from "pre-gay l.a.: a social history of the movement for homosexual rights". i have a million questions, a million. i'm only going to have time for a couple of them and as you were both reading one of the things that struck me was the question of or the craziness of the senate invasion of private lives thinking about it now even in the construction of your two books of like to ask you both the same question and that is obviously you are doing research, you are wanted to talk
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to some of these people who are still around. in honduras subjects responded if they responded at all to your wanting to kind of give their lives another kind of look? karen? >> my book is based on archival research and i tended to speak with people interrogated and i was unable to do that so i tried to go at an angle using our calves from the state archives in tallahassee, florida. >> right. maybe you can since we are here with you, why florida crimes you want to answer that? >> yes in the context of this decade with a national purges going on historian john de mello and others in david johnson have written about, the primary reason that we can look to florida is that in florida like many other southern states in this time after the brown of the
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import of an education supreme court decision in '54 and '55, florida and many other states that this investigation committees and in florida and was quite clear that the investigation committee was established to harass and intimidate solarize workers primarily members of the naacp to try to grandest desegregation efforts appear bound and the naacp was a fairly strong institution by that point and could rebuff the committee to some degree here and and so we have a committee set in place for that reason. another interesting thing about florida is its political structure, particularly in the early 20th-century. people talk about north florida and south florida and the line goes from actually pretty far north of near to all county near jacksonville and slices diagonally across the state over to the gulf area. north florida was sparsely populated, holds out the terms of customs and beliefs and so
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forth, south florida was a growing area in the mid 20 a century with areas such as tampa bay area in miami dade and so you have this political battle being pitched between north and south florida. port jumpers for the senators from north florida who control the state government, they represented only 15 percent of the population but because of the way the seats were apportioned going back to post reconstruction, they could control the senate which was the seat of power, relatively weak understate in the 20th-century. most of the people who serve on this committee who initiated this committee or at the porkchoppers from north florida. one more thing to think about in this case is that it was a highly centralized government in terms of the board of education and i think it was so like any other stain at the time, the state kamen actually was a the state board of education. finally there is the issue of
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timing. at miami and tampa had some growing gay and lesbian subculture is and in this battle between north and south florida in 1954 the game and was murdered in by to straight men but nevertheless set off a crackdown against gay men and lesbians in the miami area and charlie johns, one of the major players on the committee, was acting governor at the time and was quite aware of using that as an issue to impose law and order. in tampa in 1957, the state has started a new survey actually of tuberculosis hospitals and discover that process that a number of gay men were to the tuberculosis hospital in tampa and this then led to the hillsborough county sheriff's department conducting its own investigation which turned up some speed to teachers and that in 1957 is going on about the same time that the committee is becoming frustrated with its efforts against the naacp so there are trying to tie the
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naacp to communism in the cold war context. of course, people illogically try to tie communism to homosexuality so all three of these never made any sense, but that is how the committee was looking at things. [laughter] and there is one more thing and that is florida is booming in population in the 1950's and goes from 2.7 million in 1950 to about 5 million which is creating a teacher shortage and many of the new teachers are coming from out of state so the florida education association understood that the had a small one of opportunity to get some leverage in terms of getting professional status during the teacher shortage and they were quite willing to step toward and, please, their own ranks how they often put it in to assist the committee in finding gay and lesbian teachers and purging them from the profession so it is the poster on context with all the investigation committees and so forth an interesting for
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a political structure and this teacher shortage all coming together at one point. >> thank you. todd, a similar question, first of all your subject matter, how much interviewing redoing and how much archival stuff? what was your process? >> first of all, with my consultants many in the 1950's or writing under pseudonyms and by the time i was working with them many where the '70s and '80s and unfortunately several of them died trend the course of my study, people like novelist joseph hansen and the sexologist verne below. and so i was working with some very old people who were moving in the latter days. they were thrilled with the summit took interest in the history because they were feeling largely forgotten. alice also able to help salvage their archives which are now being housed at the vernon
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collection of sex and gender at northridge and there is also the one inc. which was formed to trade one magazine in 1953. a part of my book, my research question was what inc. after many years of success splits in 1965 and it was an awful split. i wanted to know what happened, that was my primary research question, what happened in 1965 to cause this schism right down the middle. and the book is the result of that research. so i found that over the course of this history many of these people had some pretty significant falling out and didn't like each other a lot. if the had a some reason not to talk to each other or so they thought and as i was working with them i found that over the internet and the telephone it would start talking more and they had been ready for a long time to put these differences aside

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