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Finding aid to the Evander Smith--California Hall Papers, 1964-1974
GLC 46  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred citation note
  • Provenance note
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and contents note
  • Arrangement note

  • Title: Evander Smith--California Hall Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1964-1974
    Collection Identifier: GLC 46
    Creator: Smith, Evander
    Physical Description: 1 document case + 1 oversized folder (0.5 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    Abstract: The collection contains case files and related materials for the legal defense of Evander Smith, Herbert Donaldson, Elliott Leighton and Nancy May. They were arrested on January 1, 1965 as a result of police harassment at the Mardi Gras Ball sponsored by the Council on Religion and the Homosexual.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred citation note

    [Identification of item], Evander Smith--California Hall Papers (GLC 46), LGBTQIA Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Provenance note

    The Evander Smith--California Hall Papers were donated to The San Francisco Public Library by Paul Gabriel for Evander Smith in 2002.

    Biographical note

    Evander Smith was a San Francisco lawyer who along with Herbert Donaldson was retained by the Council on Religion and the Homosexual. The Council organized a Mardi Gras Ball that took place on January 1, 1965 at the California Hall. Anticipating police harassment, Smith and Donaldson were asked to attend the event in case legal advice was necessary. The police took photographs of attendees arriving and requested admission to the event on two occasions. The first was to examine whether the event was in accord with rules regarding liquor; this was standard practice and the police were admitted to ascertain that the event was in compliance. At a later time, the police asked for admittance again and were denied because they did not have tickets for the private event and could provide no reason to enter. As a result, four people were arrested: Evander Smith, Herbert Donaldson, Elliott Leighton and Nancy May.

    Scope and contents note

    Includes case files on the legal defense of Evander Smith, Herbert Donaldson, Elliott Leighton and Nancy May. The files contain information on the events that took place, legal research on the laws pertaining to those events, information on jury selection, materials concerning homosexuals and their treatment by authorities, clippings of newspaper coverage and some homosexual publications of the time. There are copies of sermons or papers enclosed in Methodist Church services in January of 1965. There are a few photographs of attendees and the police presence on January 1, 1965.

    Arrangement note

    The material is arranged chronologically.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    California Hall (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Council on Religion and the Homosexual (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Donaldson, Herb
    Smith, Evander -- Archives
    Assembly, Right of--United States.
    Drag balls--California--San Francisco
    Freedom of association--United States.
    Freedom of expression--United States.
    Gay liberation movement--California--San Francisco.
    Gay men--Legal status, laws, etc.--California.
    Gay rights--United States.
    Gays--Legal status, laws, etc.--California.
    Lesbians--Legal status, laws, etc.--California.
    Police--Complaints against--California--San Francisco.
    San Francisco (Calif.)--History--20th century
    Trials--California--San Francisco.