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Guide to the Donald Stewart Lucas Papers, 1941-1998
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Collection Overview
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This collection documents the professional life of Donald (Don) S. Lucas. It contains significant holdings relating to the Mattachine Foundation, the Mattachine Society, Pan-Graphic Press, the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, the Society for Individual Rights, and the Economic Opportunity Council of San Francisco, particularly the Central City Target Area. The collection contains a small cache of personal correspondence, mementos, and subject files.
Donald Stewart Lucas was born in rural Colorado in 1926. He was raised on a farm mostly by his mother; work took his father away from the family frequently and divorce separated his parents permanently when Lucas was 16. Lucas had one brother who was three years his elder and who had cerebral palsy. Lucas spent a good deal of his adolescence caring for his brother, who died when Lucas was 18. Lucas finished high school at the age of 16 and then attended the local junior college, in Pueblo, Colorado, until he was 18. With his brother dead and his parents divorced, Lucas left for Tacoma, Washington, where he lived for five years. He worked in the shipyards during wartime. In his spare time he also worked in children's theater, the production of educational films, and performed on the stage as the magician, "Jus Foo Ling." Lucas had visited San Francisco once, in 1943, and was impressed with the beauty and magic of "The City." Six years later, while making a stopover in San Francisco while driving back to Colorado, Lucas decided to stay and settle in the city. He first lived in a rooming house near the corner of Haight Street and Market Street. He continued performing in local theater until the middle 1950s and worked for North British Insurance Company between 1949 and 1960.The Mattachine Society is perhaps the best known but also among the least understood organizations of the homophile movement. The Mattachine Society experienced three distinct stages in its organizational history and they can be categorized along the following lines: the Mattachine Foundation (1951-1953); the Mattachine Society as a national organization with local chapters (1953-1961); and the Mattachine Society as an independent organization (1961-1967).The Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH) was an outgrowth of San Francisco-based homophile organizations the Mattachine Society, the Daughters of Bilitis, and the League for Civil Education. Since the late 1950s, one goal of these organizations was to build alliances with liberal, mostly Protestant, ministers with hopes that they would become allies in the fight for homosexual civil rights. The immediate impetus of the organization dates to June 1964 when a two-day "Consultation" on "The Church and the Homosexual" was held in Marin County. The Consultation was sponsored by the Glide Foundation, two other agencies of the Methodist Church, and several homophile organizations. Out of this Consultation grew CRH. Along with the general goal of increasing understanding and tolerance of homosexuals was the more specific goal of addressing the problems and needs of young homosexuals and gender variants, many of whom ended up on drugs and working in prostitution in San Francisco's Tenderloin, where many of the homophile and religious organizations were located.Simultaneous with 1960s homophile activism, President Lyndon Johnson declared that a key feature of his Presidency would be waging a war on poverty. Johnson's "war" was subsidized through the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA), which he signed into law in August 1964. The EOA provided for the establishment of a national Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which in turn called for the founding of local Economic Opportunity Councils (EOC). The EOC of San Francisco decided to distribute funds according to geographically and racially-based zones of poverty; the EOC initially established four of these zones, called "Target Areas," and formed boards that were to oversee the hiring of directors and staff and the running of programs. The four "Target Areas" were the Western Addition (primarily African-American), Chinatown-North Beach (primarily Asian-American), the Mission (primarily Latino), and Bayview-Hunter's Point (primarily African-American).
21 Boxes
Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
Collection is open for research.